TikTok continues to be a sleeping giant when it comes to SMB marketing. There are several SMBs already tapping into its ability to showcase their products and personalities, and to reach Gen-Z audiences. But these represent a small share of the overall SMB universe (more on that in a bit).
Meanwhile, TikTok sees value in the SMB segment in terms of the long-tail impact on its growing ad business. It invoked SMB efforts several times during recent legislative scrutiny that put its fate as a U.S. operation in jeopardy. And it continues to put its money where its mouth is for SMB-focused features.
The latest such move recently crossed our desks. TikTok has launched a new hub for agencies and SMBs, mean to be an educational resource for their ongoing TikTok endeavors. Known as the TikTok Agency Hub, it includes case studies, best practices, and guides to becoming more TikTok-savvy.
As its name implies, the new resource is meant for agencies. But in the same breath, TikTok notes its intentions to likewise help SMBs accelerate their savvy and effectiveness. This includes guides to get started on its Creative Center, as well as its sounds library for royalty-free audio to enliven videos.
In addition to these educational resources for TikTok creation tactics, the Agency hub includes guides to aid other parts of SMBs’ broader marketing efforts. These include explanations about how its ad targeting system works as well as modules on strategic marketing considerations like brand safety.
The hub also details the range of SMB marketing options on TikTok. These continue to expand and, though they’re meant to be user-friendly, aren’t always intuitive at first. For example, like the expanding formats of social channels like Instagram, TikTok offers purpose-built formats, such as shopping ads.
These are each explained throughout the browsable Agency Hub. The idea is to boost SMBs’ use of TikTok – and thus their graduation to paid formats – by making it less intimidating. While the agency side of the equation is a bit savvier, SMBs that execute in-house marketing often need their hands held.
The Language of TikTok
Back to the part about SMBs’ aggregate TikTok embrace, there’s anecdotal evidence of healthy adoption, including our ongoing series that showcases the best SMB TikToks. But panning back, there’s still ample growth potential, as TikTok-adoptive SMBs are relatively few in the grand scheme of things.
Though TikTok doesn’t disclose such figures, we see other evidence that we can use to extrapolate aggregate SMB adoption levels. For example, Soci CMO Monica Ho told us on stage at L23 that the number of local businesses that use any form of video in their marketing is about 2.5 percent.
This means that the upper limit of TikTok’s SMB adoption is 2.5 percent. That’s the service addressable market (SAM, a subset of TAM), so the actual number of TikTok-active SMBs is a subdivision of that. This makes its penetration lower than expected, but the good news is that it has plenty of headroom.