B2B Marketing on TikTok: Is TikTok Right for You?


Ashley MonkFounder & CEO of Onya

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Today, many B2B organizations are asking themselves: “Should we be on TikTok?” The question isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Article 9 Minutes
B2B Marketing on TikTok: Is TikTok Right for You?

While other platforms in the past have focused on effective copywriting, visual components and photography, TikTok’s demand for creative and compelling video content that genuinely engages the audience transcends that of any other platform. To do that well requires more time, talent and investment than other platforms for B2B brands, which is why many have doubts about incorporating it into their strategy.

So is TikTok right for you? In this article, we'll explore the challenges and opportunities of B2B marketing on TikTok to help you determine if this platform is right for your business.

The significance of TikTok

At large, TikTok drastically altered the state of the social media landscape. Unlike platforms like Facebook, Instagram and more recently Twitter and LinkedIn, TikTok’s virality and ability to serve effective and engaging content to its users supersedes any other platform. It’s also one of the few platforms from an advertising standpoint that punishes traditional ads, creating a need for authentic creativity that has many marketers scrambling to connect.

Learn more: Instagram vs TikTok: Who’s Gonna Win the Social Media War?

Needless to say, TikTok truly is the first of its kind, and competitors are striving to introduce short form and vertical content in the same way.

Here are several other reasons TikTok’s emergence is so significant:

  1. Huge user base: TikTok has over one billion active users worldwide, making it one of the most popular social media platforms globally. This large user base presents a significant opportunity for brands to reach new audiences and potential customers. While it’s not the largest - its growth rate is worth noticing.
  2. Highly engaged audience: TikTok users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app, a significantly higher statistic than the average time spent on other social media platforms. This high level of engagement presents an opportunity for brands to capture the attention of their target audience and build brand awareness. Unlike other social platforms, TikTok users aren’t online to make connections - they’re there to be entertained, entertain others, and share creative content. Therefore, their audience has a level of investment that supersedes other platforms.
  3. Viral potential: TikTok's algorithm is designed to promote videos that are engaging and entertaining, which means that content has the potential to go viral quickly. This virality levels the playing field away from typical pay-to-play models, and allows anyone - regardless of follower count - to enter the game and create compelling content.
  4. Influencer marketing: TikTok is home to a large number of influencers with massive followings, many of whom have built their brands entirely on the platform. Partnering with these influencers can be an effective way for brands to reach a new audience and build trust with potential customers. With a seamless influencer marketplace and creator-oriented influencers, the amount of customization taking place for brands is unprecedented.

Learn more: How to Promote a Brand on TikTok: Methods and Tips

Criteria for evaluating TikTok

While TikTok is a highly effective platform for many brands, it’s worth noting that the platform isn’t right for everyone. In a day in age where content is a commodity, quality supersedes quantity every time. To make the decision to invest in TikTok for your organization there are several factors worth considering:

1. Target audience

The first and most important consideration is whether your target audience is active on TikTok. The platform is shifting from a younger demographic to individuals of all ages, similar to the inception of Facebook moving from college students to adults. However, unlike LinkedIn, it’s not a platform where professional conversations are happening on the daily basis. Perhaps the question isn’t whether your target audience is present, but moreover, if you’re willing to create a strategy that engages with them differently than in a traditional business setting.

2. Brand identity and values

Consider whether your brand's identity and values align with the culture and values of TikTok's user base. TikTok is known for its playful and informal nature, so brands that are more serious or corporate in nature may have difficulty fitting in unless they create different content exclusive to the platform. While educational content has a place, organizations would be remiss if they didn’t customize their approach to being one that’s more engaging by the nature of the platform.

3. Content strategy

Determine whether your brand has a clear content strategy for TikTok that aligns with your overall marketing objectives. TikTok is a unique platform with its own style and format, so it's important to have a plan for how you will create engaging and authentic content. With this platform, it’s impossible to repurpose content from other platforms. Your content here must be unique and niche to be effective - which takes time and capacity - leading to our next point.

Learn more: Why Branding and Social Content is Critical for Your B2B Brand in a Down Economy

4. Resources and expertise

Consider whether your brand has the necessary resources and expertise to create high-quality TikTok content. This includes having a team with experience in video production, social media marketing and influencer partnerships. Not only that, but TikTok content takes significantly longer to create than other platforms and is challenging to batch create since it orients around trends. Large teams challenged with time may not have the bandwidth, and if it’s a priority, outsourcing this may be to an organization's advantage.


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5. Regulatory compliance

Finally, it's important to ensure that your TikTok content complies with all relevant laws and regulations, particularly if you’re in a highly regulated industry such as finance or healthcare. With all the legalities, it’s important to determine whether the opportunity supersedes the risk.

So, while the platform presents many opportunities, let’s discuss some of the factors to consider when making the decision to move to TikTok.

Advantages of TikTok for B2B

While TikTok was primarily known as a social media platform for younger audiences, that demographic is vastly shifting. This creates an opportunity for B2B organizations to innovate and be the first ones present whereas many are absent, and to increase market share while there’s so much opportunity. Moreover, there are several advantages for B2B brands to consider:

  1. Reach a wider audience: TikTok has a massive user base, with over one billion active users worldwide. This presents an opportunity for B2B brands to reach new audiences and potential customers. There’s an untapped market here for B2B organizations to take advantage of.
  2. Showcasing brand personality: TikTok's informal and playful nature allows B2B brands to showcase their personality and values in a creative and engaging way. This can help to build brand awareness and establish a unique brand identity. Moreover, this can establish more trust and affinity in the long term for organizations, considering people buy from brands they trust - not companies.
  3. Demonstrate products or services: TikTok's video format allows B2B brands to showcase their products or services in a dynamic and engaging way. This can be particularly effective for brands that offer visually appealing products or services. It also can aid the sales cycle in showcasing tangible use cases that provide prospective customers a way to better understand business offerings.
  4. Creative content options: TikTok offers a range of creative tools and features, such as filters, music and special effects, that B2B brands can use to create unique and engaging content. The sky is the limit when it comes to creating content.
  5. Influencer potential: There are many niche experts with highly targeted followings B2B organizations can connect with and partner with. Many of these creators have full-time roles while they’ve amassed a following, and can be hired at a relatively affordable rate. The opportunity to collaborate and create additional credibility is extensive.

Overall, B2B brands can leverage TikTok's massive user base, creative content options and influencer marketing opportunities to build brand awareness and reach new audiences. While the platform may not be suitable for all types of B2B brands, those that can adapt to the platform's culture and values may find it to be an effective marketing tool.

Disadvantages of TikTok for B2B

While TikTok presents several advantages as a marketing platform, there are also some disadvantages for B2B brands to consider:

Younger audience

TikTok's primary user base is younger, with the majority of users aged between 16-24 years old. This means that B2B brands targeting an older audience may not find the platform as effective. This is largely shifting and expanding and will continue to evolve. However, it’s worth noting the majority of users are younger.

Learn more: 15 Statistics That Show How Gen Z are Changing Customer Service

Limited content options

TikTok's short-form video format may not be suitable for all types of B2B content. Brands that rely heavily on long-form content such as whitepapers or case studies may struggle to adapt to the platform's format. These types of content need to be re-created differently, or even avoided for the platform.

Brand fit

TikTok's culture and values may not align with all B2B brands, particularly those with a more formal or serious tone. Brands that do not fit with the platform's culture may find it challenging to build an audience or engage with TikTok users. While there are opportunities for more educational content, it can be hard to amass a following strictly focusing on an inbound strategy that’s not entertainment driven or based on trends.


TikTok is one of the most challenging platforms to batch content for, considering it’s based on trends that evolve on a weekly basis. This requires marketing teams to utilize agile workflows as opposed to waterfall methods of scheduling. If a marketing team isn’t agile and unable to make changes on a weekly if not daily basis, the platform poses unique challenges to an organization.

Is TikTok right for you?

The answer? It depends on your outcomes. While there are certainly many factors to consider, marketing as we know it is constantly shifting and evolving. If your organization has the dedicated time and resources to be a change leader and capitalize on a vastly untapped market, TikTok may be the platform for you to consider. If an organization's core outcomes are focused on long-term retention, client engagement, and innovation in the marketplace: TikTok is worth considering.

If a B2B’s organization’s marketing budget is responsible for driving direct efforts with demand generation efforts over a short-term period, has limited capacity for resources, is highly regulated and presents a more formal tone, TikTok may not be the best solution.

Ultimately, there are a lot of factors for brands to consider when evaluating the platform, and at the end of the day, it depends on your specific goals.

Watch Ashley Monk's latest appearance on The Strategic Marketing Show: What Tasks Should Marketers Outsource vs Keep-in-House?

Ashley Monk

Ashley is the founder & CEO of Onya, an online advertising agency that helps clients reverse engineer their desired results through strategic and innovative outcomes. As a Facebook Verified Marketing Partner, contributing writer for Databox and JotForm, in addition to having clients featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Huffington Post, Ashley helps growth-minded companies who have been unable to scale their services & digital products because they cannot dial in strategy or solve their own marketing problems. Her agency Onya is ranked one of the top 13 marketing agencies in Indianapolis and serves clients internationally. Ashley takes a strategic and data driven approach to identifying your business’s primary goals and translating them into actionable KPI’s that move the needle. She specializes in helping companies jump through their biggest marketing hurdles, so that companies that play big can have an even bigger impact.


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