Harnessing TikTok Could Help B2B Companies Elevate Their Job Education

 

Harnessing TikTok for more than fun videos: Advertisers are doing it, so why not B2B companies?

The social media giant TikTok’s recent integration of sponsored content into its search results closely resembles Instagram’s strategy earlier this year. Users searching for videos will now encounter ads alongside organic content with a distinct “sponsored” label. While this offers advertisers a prime spot, it’s turned on by default, raising questions about user experience. The platform’s growing popularity as a go-to for recommendations contrasts its search functionality, which some find less refined than Google’s. Still, the growing popularity of the platform and its influence on young employees entering the workforce give pause for how B2B organizations might use TikTok for more than brand awareness; it could prove an excellent education tool for their workers.

Dave Loomis, President of Loomis Marketing, believes B2B companies not harnessing TikTok to reach their employees could be losing out on a golden opportunity.

Dave’s Thoughts

“I think it’s inevitable, actually, so I’m not surprised at all, especially since Instagram implemented it earlier this year. As you said, with Meta going for that, I just think it’s a natural evolution of the platform. I always believe it’s good news when you can see targeted content for things you’re interested in. There are two schools of thought: one is that ads are intrusive, and the other is that ads are helpful. I’m always a glass-half-full kind of person.

Looking at the B2B angle, if I’m searching for a specific kind of building supply or type of equipment, I find it beneficial to see both user-generated videos and ads, provided they are relevant to my search. I haven’t seen the statistics, so I don’t know. It’s going to be new, so they’ll be learning right along with us. My gut instinct is that if you’re searching for something, you want the content you’re searching for first and don’t want to be sidelined by an ad. It may take some getting used to.

On the other hand, I’ve heard many younger people are starting to use TikTok, almost like Google. They’re using the search on TikTok to look for restaurant recommendations and other things. For them, it might not matter whether it’s sponsored content or not; they’re looking for what they’re searching for. On the general “For You” feed within TikTok, if someone’s been scrolling for a while and a sponsored ad appears based on their preferences, they might be more inclined to check out the ad since they’re not as focused.

B2B companies need to realize that many younger individuals are joining their firms. These individuals are turning to platforms like TikTok for job-related education. Unfortunately, many leaders in B2B companies either don’t use TikTok or misunderstand its potential, thinking it’s just for entertainment. In my job, where I focus on “voice of customer interviewing” in the B2B space, I’ve spoken to many young professionals. When asked about their sources of information, many mention TikTok, not just for entertainment but for practical insights related to their work.

These individuals grew up relying on platforms like Google and YouTube for answers. For them, turning to TikTok for professional advice is a natural progression. I believe it’s also a natural evolution for the B2B space. I’m all for it and am advising all my clients to embrace it.”

Article by James Kent

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