*PS. Below you will find an auto-generated transcript of this episode.
Arek Dvornechuck: Hey, what's up branding experts? Arek here at Ebaqdesign and welcome to On Branding Podcast. And my guest today is Austin Armstrong and Austin is a digital marketer, public speaker, and the CEO of SocialtyPro, which is a digital marketing agency specializing in TikTok marketing and SEO. He has posted over 1500 videos on TikTok and tripling his own business and thousands more across his clients' accounts. So Austin believes that TikTok can help just businesses unlock unrealized marketing potential. And he would love to share with us some tips today. Hello Austin, thanks for joining us today.
Austin Armstrong: Hey, thank you so much for having me on it's a privilege.
Arek Dvornechuck: Thank you very much. So these days, you know, we all know that digital marketing, online marketing is extremely important for any kind of a business, small business. It doesn't matter if it's a personal brand, if you're selling products or offer services, but you specialize in TikTok.
1. Why TikTok?
Arek Dvornechuck: So, I just want to start with something simple. Why should we implement TikTok in our marketing strategy? Why not Instagram? Why not Snapchat? What is so special about TikTok that we cannot leverage or cannot find in other platforms.
Austin Armstrong: Well, yeah. Great question. First of all, you absolutely can and should leverage the other platforms as well. It's not TikTok versus Instagram. I think they can work really well together. So, I'll kind of get into that. So TikTok's the new kid on block. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, whatever. They've all been around for over a decade. At this point, TikTok is really in its infancy still. It's really just come to America in the last three years and built up so much popularity over the last two years, even less than that. So, it's still wide open for everybody in every industry to reach as many people as you possibly can organically. Now, another great reason to incorporate TikTok into your social media digital marketing strategy for your business is that all of these other platforms are adopting a short form, vertical video strategy. So go in with the mentality of creating a TikTok for strategy. That's typically what we do. You can repurpose those videos and simultaneously grow your Instagram, grow your Snapchat, grow your YouTube, grow your Facebook channel by using the exact same video. So, it's a little bit of a shift in how you're approaching digital marketing. It's the latest cutting-edge format of content that's performing exceptionally well online. But it's the best chance and best time that we've ever had, in my opinion, to grow on online and, and TikTok is right at the forefront of that.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. So, some of my key takeaways, so basically, for our listeners, right? So, either our listeners are either creatives or businessowners themselves, right? So, you can just use our tips to either develop a strategy for your clients or implement these tips and this strategy in house. So basically, just to summarize. TikTok is wide open. It has a great organic reach, which actually I believe, you know, from what I've seen and articles I've read on the internet on Instagram is the opposite. It's kind of like it's on the downhill and, and TikTok is more on, you know, gives you more, it pushes the content of new creators more than on Instagram. So. It performs really well. And you know, it's all about those short form videos, as you mentioned, so we can reuse them and we can upload them on Instagram. We can upload them on as YouTube shorts and on other platforms.
2. TikTok as Marketing Strategy
Arek Dvornechuck: So maybe we can just jump into, you know, specifically into how to make those videos, what to share on TikTok, how to go about, where to start figuring out your strategy, like, you know, should we target certain keywords? Should we just tell our story? Should we answer people's questions or, any ideas?
Austin Armstrong: Yeah. You brought up a lot of great strategies, actually. One thing before I get into it, I want to come a common obstacle that a lot of people think that you need in order to be successful on TikTok. You need to dance or do sketches or funny skits or, you know, anything along the lines of that, which is absolutely not true while there is a fair amount of that. There are dancing videos on there. There are kids on there. There are prank videos, there's videos of cats and dogs. There's a very fast-growing educational side of TikTok in every industry and that is your opportunity. So, as you were saying, you know, telling stories, tell the stories of you, tell your origin story, tell the brand story. How you can help your clients overcome, whatever it is that your service or product provides really clearly know who you're trying to reach. By clearly defining your buyer, persona, your target demographic, all of your content decisions are going to be soldiered through that lens. And you're much more likely to reach that person. So, I would really go about TikTok and a short-term vertical video strategy from an educational perspective. What are all of the frequently asked questions that you get? You can leverage keyword, SEO keyword tools, likeAhrefs.com or Semrush.com or Ubersuggests.io, to type in your industry and find out a ton of questions that people are searching for online. Guess what? That's a great video that you can do a 30-second video answering that specific question and you put that up on TikTok and you put that up on Instagram and you put that up on YouTube. It's going to resonate with who you're trying to reach and provide them with really detailed information. Now, another thing to focus on is these are short form which basically means 60 seconds or less. So you don't have a lot of room to tell your life story before you get into the content. YouTube is like the opposite where you have time to introduce yourself and say what your channel is about give your background and your expertise. No, not on TikTok. Just open the video up by immediately hooking them in by saying what the video is about, the value proposition of that video and get right into it. Don't introduce yourself, just provide your audience with as much value as you can for free and stay consistent with it as frequently as you can post.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. And I've seen this to some of your videos. So basically, as you mentioned, it's all about like, what you are doing is all about education. You are giving some educational tips or some interesting facts, or, you know, some tips or tricks and things like that. And that's what you would recommend for any kind of a business, right? Whether you have products or services, there are some benefits behind, you know, either using your service or using your products. And we can talk about those benefits, right? And so how to even start. So maybe we can discuss more about like, if you have like a structured process, but I would assume that, you know, somewhere at the beginning you would have to like define your strategy, right? Like, you mentioned, figure out their demographics, psychographics and things like that. Try to build like a brand persona. So, you know who are you talking to and then try to like, do some keyword research, as you mentioned, right? Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Uber suggest, and start there. And I personally like Uber suggest, you know, because there is this Chrome plugging and it gives you like, you know, whenever you search for something, it gives you like an estimated volume. So, you know that other people search for this keyword as well. So, this is something that you can create content about. Am I right? Am I right here?
Austin Armstrong: Yeah, absolutely. I love Uber suggests. It's the website too, is like the best free SEO tool out there. They just give you a ton of information for free, but let's deep dive into this a little bit and then we can keep going. So, you know, another thing that I like to do is, this everything that we've talked about is kind of surface level so far, so let's kind of deep dive and take it to the next level. So what we like to do, our process is after you've clearly out outlined your buyer persona. Outline at least four categories of content that you're able to talk about. So, the frequently asked questions could be one category. Or let's say that you are a therapist, right? I work a lot with therapists. I work a lot in the behavioral health space, so I love to give this example. But if you're a therapist, you'll offer therapy, but there's a lot of different areas of therapy that you can help people with. So one category of content might be addiction. Another category of content could be depression or anxiety. Another category could be marriage problems or relationship problems, and another category could be narcissism. And so if you have all of these category, these are broad categories, 10 to 20 individually broken down topics or questions, single bullet pointed topics. Under each one of those categories that you can talk about in a 30-second video or 60 seconds, if you need to go that long. And what this is going to do is provide you with a systematic approach to go through a video in category A of video in category B, category C, category D, category E etcetera. And you go through this process. So after like 14 days or a month, however long you're going to see based on the trends, based on the data of videos in this category, perform exceptionally better than the videos in this category. Double down on what's working. That's good digital marketing. All of these platforms have a momentum push on them. So if you put out really good videos consistently, it's going to consistently reach more and more people. But if you put out a good video and then you put out just a crappy video, it's going to hold true growth a little bit. So, what you want to do is this is a systematic approach to tackle all of the things that you're able to talk about, do, offer, sell in your business. This is going to let you figure out what works and what doesn't work, do more of what works, pivot your strategy. In this example, a therapist, we recognize that that his narcissism-oriented content was performing far better than the other categories that he's able to talk about. So we pivoted and we do now about 70% videos about narcissism-oriented questions and topics and things that people are asking in the comment section. And we do far less of the other types of videos. And that's why he's growing so quickly. So this is the secret. This is the process. Outline and double down on what works.
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah, that's an awesome example. And then this is more for, you know, business owners who are listening to our podcast. And just to sum up, so basically, we are trying to come up with about four categories of content, right? Could be Q and A and so on. And you gave us example about this therapist, right? So, it could be depression and so on and narcissism, as you mentioned, perform that. And then, so you prepare like 10 to 20 topics for each category and you just start regularly posting, you know. It’s all about consistency and you check what performs best. And you double down on that, obviously, right? And some ideas for maybe creators who are listening to our podcast.
3. TikTok Tips & Tricks
Arek Dvornechuck: Let's say, you are a branding expert, you design logos, you design brand identities and so on. What kind of content you can create. So now talking from my own experience, you know, those categories could be, for example, something like logo, design, web design, brand identity, maybe a star guide and so on, right, and then topics. So, for example, for logo design could be, you know, how to design a logo, logo, design process, how to choose a code for a logo, how to choose a font for a logo, you know, what are the types of logos and, and things like that, you know? So, I hope it gives you guys some ideas on how to create content. And maybe do you have, like any other tips or tricks you would like to share with us. Maybe some common mistakes that you know, your clients or your colleagues in this space run into.
Austin Armstrong: Sure. So, I'll do common mistakes as well that I've seen. Another way to funnel this even more now that you have your categories of content and videos focused. A good marketing funnel is really three stages of the funnel broad awareness level, which is the top of the funnel that brings everybody in from the furthest reaches. So, this is really broad content that's going to reach as many people as possible. The next stage is awareness or consideration. So, you've brought them into your ecosystem. You've brought them into your funnel. Now you're nurturing them with content that's going to provide them more effect, value, and cause them to consider buying or learning more about you or signing up for your email list. And then at the bottom of that funnel is conversion. So, you really want to focus on straight call to actions, you know, click the link in my bio to schedule a call with me, you know, click the link to get my free eBook that I made for you or just put in your email address. And so, what I like todo is I like to do like 70 to 80% of the videos that I put out to be in that broad awareness funnel because you're going to grow. You're going to bring in a lot of eyeballs. You're going to get a lot of people to follow you. Just to give you a quick example of all three of these from my own personal funnel of how I grow my business on TikTok, my broad awareness content is useful websites. So, I I'll do a video on these are five useful websites that every business owner needs to know. So, it's going to be attracting every businessowner is going to be interested in these videos and they follow me to find more useful websites. This is super broad, very broad. It just gives people value for free value. My nurturing or educational awareness content is going to be more step-by-step tutorials, like how to get more back links for your website, how to structure a blog article on your website to optimize it for SEO. How to form the perfect content strategy on TikTok for your business. These are really granular. So, I'm nurturing all of the people that have come in and then very infrequent. And so that'll be like 20% of the content. And then the last, like5 to 10% of content is called to actions. I do this very infrequently. Nobody wants to be sold. You don't want to go on TikTok and, and watch an infomercial over and over again. That would be boring. It's not valuable to you, but sneak one in every now and then it's okay. You've earned that right. By putting out free, valuable content to say, hey, you know what? I just created you a free TikTok for business checklist. You can get it right now in my bio. Just put in your email address and you'll get it instantly. And that's how you're going to build your email list. You can say, you know, schedule a 15-minute call with me and drive him to a, a Calendly link, you know, something like that. But that's a great way to structure your content and go in with a systematic approach. Now to answer your other question about common mistakes, I kind of alluded to it a little bit, but this is a short form platform. The attention span on TikTok is awful. It's you've got two seconds to hook that person in. Otherwise, they're swiping on to the next video. So, you need to immediately open that video with what you're going to be talking about and why it's beneficial to who you're trying to reach. Don't say your name, don't say your credentials. Don't say, here's what my channel is about. Here's my 10-year life story, don't do any of that. Just provide them immediate value. That's what's going to cause them to watch your video. That's what's going to cause them to follow you, to learn more about the value that you're offering them. And that's, what's going to have them actually contact you to become a client or a sale or whatever it is that you're selling.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. Now, that's a great overview. And I'm glad that you explained to us with how the final funnel works, you know, going from broad topics and just bring awareness to your brand and then funneling this audience down and then nurturing them. And then, you know, sometimes it doesn't have to be a direct call to action, right? It could be an indirect call to action, as you mentioned, right? It could still be about the value, like download my check list or things like that. So, you can just, you know, grab their email, follow up and perhaps convert them later on. Right? But, it's great talking to you because I'm not really on TikTok, but I'm on, I could just, you know, I started doing YouTube shorts and I started doing Instagram shorts and I could just reuse this content on TikTok, right? And I have some videos on YouTube and just regarding to what you just mentioned, that you shouldn't introduce yourself. You should go straight, get straight to the point. So, the way I'm doing now is like, let's say I have a 10minute or 15-minute video on YouTube and I'm trying to create, now I'm going doit on TikTok, but I'm doing on Instagram currently and on YouTube shorts. I'm creating like under 60-second version of that. Like, you know, just to hook people and get them towards the full video. Okay. So, I guess I'm doing this right. So yeah, I just wanted to mention that because I've seen people do this a lot, because as you mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, you know, nowadays it's all about the short form content and that's where our attention is. So that's where we need to go right? And it's really hard to, you know, just get people to read a long, 2000 words, article or watch a 20-minutevideo, right, an interview. So, just what we are doing now. We are doing a podcast, 20-to-25-minute podcast, but I'm going to take some highlights from this podcast and I'm going to post it as YouTube short and on Instagram. And I'm going to do it also on TikTok. I'm going to start doing this there. So, you know, so my goal would be with this video to hook people and get them towards the full interview. Right? So, yeah. And it's basically how it works.
Austin Armstrong: Yeah. It it's important to know that people, we're all unique people, we’re all unique human beings and we all learn differently. There are different learning styles for this information. And that's why it's so important to take the time to repurpose across all of this, right? Because some people are audio learners. So, they're going to listen to this podcast. They're going to listen to this episode and they're going to retain that information better than if they were to read it, or if they were to watch longer YouTube video. The same thing as with everybody, right? Like a, a blog article. Some people are readers. Some people retain information by reading it more so than listening to it or watching it. So that's where blog articles come in. And same thing with video elements, watching a YouTube video, some people are visual learners. For me, like if I'm putting together a piece of furniture, I key a furniture or changing a tire or something. I'm a visual learner. If I read instructions, I have to read it 10 times. For me to understand how to doit. I'm a visual learner. And so we also have to focus on attention span now because our attention span is terrible. So not everybody wants to learn or has the attention to watch a longer YouTube video. So we have to condense that information down into a short, vertical video where it is everywhere right now. So that's why it's so important to create content for everybody because we're all learners and we all learn in a different capacity. So it's so important to cater to that so that you can reach and help as many people as you can.
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah. Awesome. So, it was great talking to you. So, as we are approaching at the end of our episode, I just wanted to ask, you know, how do you want people to reach out to you? Probably on TikTok, right? So what's your TikTok, what's your website.
Austin Armstrong: Yeah. If you want to find me on TikTok, my username is socialtypro, that's S-O-C-I-A-L-T-Y-P-R-O. You can also find me on any social media platform on that. And if you want to learn more about how businesses are leveraging a TikTok to grow their business, I have my own TikTok for business podcast. It's called Business Tok that's Business T-O-K, and you can find that on iTunes or Spotify, wherever you listen to podcasts.
Arek Dvornechuck: Okay. I'm going to link to BusinessTOK in your podcast. I'm going to link to your website and your social media. So, you guys can check out. You can find the links in the description below. Thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it.
Austin Armstrong: Likewise, thank you for having me on it was a great experience.
Arek Dvornechuck is a strategist and designer who helps brands grow by crafting distinctive brand identities, backed by strategy. Need help with your project?—Get in touch
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