When TikTok exploded onto the scene, we couldn’t just ignore it. There was a whole new platform devoted to video, and here we are, a video creation company. Clearly, we had to at least try making TikTok videos.
We have to admit to some concerns early on. We’d heard that TikTok wasn’t the right platform for B2B businesses. Plus, although we’re video experts, stepping onto the TikTok stage was like moving to another country. The social norms and expectations were different and we needed to learn the language.
So the experiment was this: test whether TikTok is a useful place for B2B companies by building our own presence on the platform. We asked influencer Cole Williams to give us a hand, since he was already familiar with the platform.
How it Started: Setting Up Our TikTok Profile
We know TikTok values authenticity and personality, so we didn’t set up a general brand profile. Instead we asked Cole to become the face of the company on TikTok. He set himself up as @ColefromIdeaRocket.
The first video, posted May 7th, 2022, featured Cole talking to the camera interspersed with screenshots and other graphics. He was talking about Thumbnails and how to use them. That first video had just under 250 views as of this writing.
Over the next few weeks, we experimented. We pulled topic ideas from high-performing blog posts and from trending videos on TikTok. By the end of the month, our audience was growing and so was our view count. The last video from May, 2022 has hit 6627 views as of this writing.
Since our goal was to increase brand exposure, we seemed to be on the right track.
How it’s Going: Making TikTok Videos Work for Us
We tried entertaining skits and trending audio, both strategies that B2C brands and individual creators use to great effect. They didn’t work as well as we expected.
Surprisingly, we found that our audience really seemed to like videos that discussed video creation tips, tools and software for business. Maybe that’s not so surprising when you think about it. Turns out, our audience was looking for tips on how to make better videos. When we delivered, they rewarded us with high view counts.
Our top-performing videos were:
- The best export settings for posting video to TikTok with 75.7k views
- 3 Point Lighting Basics with 63.3k views
- Render farms with 25.8k views
All three were technical topics that Cole somehow managed to make both entertaining and easy to follow.
Speaking of follows. We started with an audience of 0 and grew to 7774 followers. Creating quality videos set us on the path, but communicating with viewers and responding to comments seemed to help keep people involved.
By August, we’d found a formula that worked. Cole, talking directly to his Sony a7iii camera from his nicely lit filming studio. The videos were still sometimes funny and relied on clips to illustrate ideas, but we’d dumped the skits and trend-chasing.
Key Takeaways about Making TikTok Videos for B2B
So what can B2B brands learn from our experience making TikTok Videos? We think it boils down to three key insights:
- Useful content performs well. Enough said.
- Authenticity does not equal low quality. We’re a video creation company. Shooting inside a film studio and using clips from real projects makes sense. We could be authentic in our messaging while upholding video quality.
- Establish your account before posting. Before you post any TikToks, follow accounts in niches similar to yours. Also, comment on the videos of these accounts. This way the TikTok algorithm will know who is likely to enjoy your content.
- Hire a TikToker… or not. We hired someone that had already built a TikTok account to 700,000+ followers. Cole understands the platform, and that was an advantage. However, if you want to build a thought leadership platform, don’t be intimidated. TikTok rewards Founders and CEOs who can speak to the camera with energy, verve and patience – that might be you. Another option is to appear on camera yourself, but hire somebody else to shoot and edit.
- Answering comments is important. Reward engagement by replying to comments. The algorithm likes it, and the followers do too.
- TikTok likes frequency. The more often you post, the better. Once a day is considered a standard, but many people post 3 or 4 times a day.
- Measure success with plays, not follows. On TikTok, most views come from the “For You” tab, not the “Following” tab, so the Followers number is really a vanity metric. What matters is the brand exposure you get.
- Post your TikToks to Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. We got quite a bit of play on all three platforms, although it is recommended you upload separately to all three, as the other two platforms don’t like the TikTok logo.
- Trends come and go, develop your own style. Chasing trends is a lot of work, and doesn’t always deliver. You’re better off developing a unique style that represents your brand.
It’s important to note that TikTok is fickle. Even the most popular accounts on the platform don’t see linear growth. Instead, they have some videos that rack up major view counts, and others that just do okay. Try not to get too invested into the success of any single video. Look at trends and averages to keep refining your strategy.
While on Twitter and Facebook, organic growth is a thing of the past, on TikTok there is a real hunger for content. It is a place where you can build truly large audiences for your brand.
For help creating high quality video on and off TikTok, contact the video marketing experts at IdeaRocket.