How to Grow Your Tik-Tok
Looking for tips to increase your brand's TikTok success? In this webinar, Abraham Shaheen will share his knowledge and experience on marketing brands through the platform.
Topics include how TikTok works, how to go grow your business with TikTok, and how to generate UGC through hashtag challenges and audios.
How's it going everyone? Thank you for joining this segment of Cloudflare TV on how to grow your TikTok.
My name is Dylan Saffer and I'm one of the BDR managers in the Austin office and I'm joined by Abraham who is one of the BDRs on my team who also happens to have a vast amount of experience and knowledge with TikTok.
So I'll leave it to Abe if you want to give a quick introduction of yourself.
All right thanks for that Dylan.
Hello everyone my name is Abraham Shaheen. I'm on the business development team here at Cloudflare and I help small businesses grow and generate revenue on TikTok and I'm happy to share my knowledge with you today.
Awesome cool thanks Abe. So the format for today is we'll have about 20 minutes or so of just Q&A on questions that we have written out for Abe and then the last five to ten minutes depending on how much time we have will be just open Q &A from the audience.
So for anyone watching if you want to write questions throughout the segment for Abe there should be a little question bar underneath the video so feel free to write those in.
But let's just kick off. I think it'll be helpful just I think a lot of people have kind of heard of TikTok and everyone has kind of varying experience and knowledge with it but if you want to give kind of just an overview of what is TikTok.
Yeah so TikTok is what I'd like to call a next generation video social media content platform where you can share short form content between three seconds and 60 seconds and the platform allows you to you know edit your videos, use different texts on videos, add music so it's pretty intuitive and the real beauty of the platform is its ability to generate organic outreach for people and its ability to show hyper interested users content.
So basically you know you download the app you'll scroll through it for a day and then eventually they'll know your behavior and they're really gonna put content in front of you that you're gonna like and with that said like 52 minutes a day is the average watch time for active TikTok users and if you think about it that's like about six percent of the time that somebody's awake which is which is crazy like that's how addicted people are to this platform and I'm happy to share more info on that.
Yeah definitely I guess I'm curious on my end how you got started in your TikTok journey.
Yeah yeah so in college I actually started helping small businesses grow their Instagram.
This kind of stemmed from working at a startup and I was doing all the marketing stuff and I'm like oh small businesses need help with Instagram I can do that and then one of my main clients it's a company called partymachines.com they're a phone machine manufacturing company so like for phone parties they basically they're a manufacturer distributor and retailer and they kind of like commissioned me to run their Instagram they didn't have much at the time and I kind of took it from there and then I guess it was like around the beginning of COVID the owner of the company he's like hey I made this TikTok thing back in 2019 just to secure the domain I want to start posting on here and I was a little skeptical I'm like uh who uses TikTok like I've heard of it it's for kids and I'm like okay I mean he's gonna pay me so let me just start posting content on there.
I didn't want to put like too much effort from the get-go so basically what I did was I take content from Instagram that we already had in like our repository and just started posting it on there and you know I'd post a couple a day and the first TikTok I posted got a thousand views and I was like baffled because we had like zero followers at the time and I was like how are we getting a thousand views with zero followers and then as time went on like at one point like we posted a video it went semi-viral and we went from 10 followers in a day to 30,000 followers in a day and that's when I realized like we need to be posting on TikTok.
Is that the, sorry I think I cut you off, but is that the viral video that you were talking about in our team meeting?
Yeah yeah um I mean there's been a lot of viral videos since but um essentially like in the beginning we were just posting random content and then me and one of my uh colleagues Kayla Delgado, she's a TikTok specialist at Good Fair now and we just started creating different TikToks with the foam with the bubbles.
Now I'm just running my camera, didn't know much about TikTok at the time.
She starts like running around like picking up this like foam bubble that kind of looked like a cloud it's like really it was really dense and a gust of wind came and she started pushing it up and she's like I found a cloud like to the camera and she's like pushing it up it needs a push I'm going to send it back to where it came from like to the sky and like it started floating up to the sky.
We posted that video and it got like over a million likes and over six oh my god which like really set off the account and it was like honestly an accident like it was like a complete accident that we made that video and uh I mean a lot of videos since then uh have done pretty well.
We've grown the account from zero to 750,000 followers um and I'll kind of touch on how we generate revenue with that as well um but it's crazy because you don't really know what's going to do well on TikTok until you just post.
Right definitely um I guess you touched on Instagram a bit before but what would you say are the main differences advertising on Instagram versus TikTok?
Yeah I'd say there's like two different advertising mechanisms on TikTok and Instagram.
There's the organic outreach on Instagram which is limited to your followers um and then sometimes they'll show it to like a pool of people on like the Discover page um but you don't really get the sort of organic traction that you would see on TikTok.
TikTok what they do is they show your uh content to about on average it's about like 300 people they'll just show your video to 300 people give you 300 views from there they'll see how the video does and then it'll keep hitting different tiers um to whether it's going to go viral or not and by going viral I mean you end up on this thing called the For You page and the For You page is basically like when you're scrolling it's just like you don't follow them but it's just like the Discover feed like as you would see on Instagram and on Instagram like typically if you if you're scrolling on Instagram every fourth post is an ad which is like kind of like distorts the user experience like if you're using Instagram I mean I started on there you know Instagram is a great platform but TikTok is you know really changing the game like they're one of their like slogans is don't make ads make TikToks which is uh pretty true to the sense that you don't really see many ads on TikTok except when you first open the app if you do see an ad it it doesn't really look like an ad like you end up watching more of the video and uh one thing that's super interesting is companies are starting to buy TikTok videos um from creators that went viral on TikTok to use it for ads and we've actually used that interesting because essentially it's like proven content you know that people like this content well why don't we just use it on the advertisement people are going to watch it all the way through and I started A.B.
testing that with this foam machine company and you know we're getting like a 400 percent better return on our ad spend using TikTok videos like on Instagram using like running Instagram ads as well there's also TikTok ads that are still kind of uh premature in the making but it looks like they're hiring heavily in the U .S.
and seem to be scaling so the cost per click on TikTok is uh significantly uh cheap right now compared to other platforms so if you do get into advertising TikTok's one that you should look at definitely how does that work so you're saying that even for this uh like the foam company you can buy other TikToks that people have made and then use it in your ads but how do you decide like if a TikTok has nothing to do with that company or are you specifically looking for viral viral videos that you can tie back to your product yeah uh I guess it depends because there's there's actually something I wanted to dive into later but since you brought it up it's called user-generated content so one of the trends that you'll see on TikTok is people will post videos of products that they think are interesting and like these are like super honest reviews like some of them are good some of them are bad or it's just like a video of somebody just like showing how it works it goes viral like with the intent of them you know just wanting to get views or they really wanted to share their experience with you know people on the platform and then like advertisers will end up getting tagged in it or different companies will get tagged in it and then they'll end up reaching out to the influencer and be like hey you know can we buy this for x amount of money whatever they agree on um so that's kind of how they do it it does have to be relevant but like imagine right now you have zero followers on TikTok and you you just decide to start buying things on Amazon from like popular companies um and just make videos if some of them go viral like you can sell those videos to those companies which is super cool like yeah are you doing a mix of that are you doing partly like you individually are you also doing the side of it where you're creating videos that are reviewing things or you know trying to eventually get them sold to an advertiser personally that that's not something that i'm working on right now we're just kind of like using our own viral videos to like generate revenue for our own business um but it's something I'd explore in the future but mainly just like TikTok strategy how to grow your TikTok how to generate revenue with your TikTok and how to create a funnel to eventually get people to buy your products.
Gotcha and how do you create a strategy both I guess from both ends of it so I guess starting off like as a um as a company with a product that you're trying to sell uh or a platform that you're trying to sell on TikTok how do you create a strategy around that and then also you know or if you're an individual I know there's a you know there's people trying to grow their individual TikToks whether they're I know that it started off as kind of like people dancing or whether you're you're singing or you have a talent that you're trying to share or you just have you know thoughts and ideas that you want to share on the platform how do you create an individual strategy?
Yeah so I mean there's kind of like two different questions here like if you're a business like what I would say is to just start posting your first month like whatever content you have whether it's good you think it's good or it's bad I would just say get it out there because your approach in the very beginning is volume you need to see what people are interested in like from your company because like for instance the dynamic of like party machines like the people who watch our videos are like kids probably between the ages of like 10 in like 15 but we sell like 600 foam machines so we have to like adjust our business model in a way to like sell to those that different demographic now so you don't actually like there's no strategy until you like start getting followers and see like who's actually consuming your content who you creating this content for so my advice would be just keep posting like the content you have and then see what people like and then start developing videos around that and if you're an individual that's that's a little different you kind of want to pick a niche you want to pick like okay let's just say you want to sell purses or something well start just reviewing purses on the platform make engaging content like the the way to go viral on TikTok is really to get a longer watch time if you can like create the video in a way to make somebody watch it all the way through that's what the platform essentially rewards like that's why they have like people that are on 54 minutes a day which is insane so like one strategy that I use is like I'll put like wait for it in the description or I'll put like wait for it in text in the video so people are anticipating that something's going to happen and generally those end up going viral like as your account gets bigger like your definition of viral will change like what like what do you think is viral Dylan?
Oh I don't know I would be if I were making a video and I think I mean if I got over a thousand views I'd be like whoa I got a thousand views but I'm sure for you that's peanuts.
I mean I wouldn't knock a thousand views because like a thousand interested people that's pretty powerful but I mean the the dynamic of like what's viral and what isn't viral will change as you grow on the platform like the best advice is to just start like and then like mirror success go on the for you page see what people are interested in and just like create similar content you don't have to copy them but like just see what works.
Right gotcha and how I guess from a an admin perspective or when you're looking at your advertiser dashboard you know things like companies like Facebook and now even Instagram advertising from my very limited experience with it you can get pretty granular as far as you know that seeing the types of demographics that are engaging with your content finding similar people that you want to advertise to and they get they can get very good at that of seeing this is your age demographic this is you know the types of interests of the people that are engaging with you so we're going to push advertising out to those similar profiles.
Does TikTok have they built out that kind of granular control over your ads?
Yeah kind of kind of I still do think they're in the infancy of like developing their ad platform it's not as granular as Facebook ads I do run Facebook ads for companies and Facebook is super super in-depth like essentially on Facebook you'd run like an interest campaign of with a pool of like a million people that you like perceive to be interested in your content and then like based on like the people who end up going to your website you like re-target those people and then create like an audience.
Currently on TikTok they don't have like specifically that it's kind of like they have general categories but I think they they kind of like do it for you.
I haven't like used TikTok enough TikTok ads enough to like understand like where they're going with this but the fact that TikTok is super good at showing hyper -relevant content to users is a plus because on Facebook you kind of like really really need to know what you're doing but I I'm sort of thinking that on TikTok it's like a set it and forget it thing you can you can set up like probably like three different types of campaigns like you know web traffic campaign a re -targeting campaign or like just abuse campaign but they all have different objectives but the fact that TikTok's algorithm is super super sophisticated is interesting like because the cost per click is super low and the traffic I'm generating is good organic not I mean if you're paying for ads it's not organic traffic but it's really good traffic.
I think it's too soon to tell um with TikTok ads but I'm pretty optimistic but I'm strictly been working with organic content which is I mean it's free so like everybody should do it right.
Yeah definitely and then I guess for if you're a company trying to generate revenue through TikTok what advice do you have there?
Yeah so I would say there's a couple ways you you'd want to do this there's like developing user generated content so after you've understood like the product line that you're trying to push you want to get other users to like post videos of your product so how do you do that you have to incentivize users like one thing you might want to do is give products away to like micro influencers that you think like fit into your niche so like for another company like a skincare company that I work with we basically will go in and we'll like scroll like through like skincare TikTok like there's different TikToks like you go to hashtag skincare TikTok we'll find like influencers that fall within that niche we'll send them emails we'll reach out to them on Instagram the reason I say that is because you can't like message people on TikTok unless they're following you so yeah one thing would just be like reaching out to them and say hey like I have a free product I think it kind of fits with the content you share would you be interested in sharing this for like money change sometimes like if the influence is big enough they'll ask for money but generally like I just do like product in exchange for post using relevant hashtags is something that's super important for your business like you might want to create your own hashtag centered around it there's a company called good fair that one of my colleagues Kayla Delgado runs and she was super successful at creating a hashtag called no new things and hashtag good fair and basically they created a culture around like mystery thrift and like a trend on TikTok now is that you order from good fair and you get your package and you open it like on TikTok and you post it like to see what you got because you never know what you're going to get so creating some some level of like hype around whatever it is you do is super important definitely I guess like I heard you say micro influencer what is like the the threshold for you as far as what defines a micro influencer versus influencer yeah I mean on TikTok I see micro influencer as somebody between like 10,000 followers and like like 300,000 followers on TikTok once you start to creep up like they start to ask for money once you get over 300,000 usually from what I've seen but yeah people who are like under 100k usually like they'll do it for free like for product but that's cool I'm not like promoting that you shouldn't pay people to like post because I think if you're getting enough value you should like reciprocate that because then you can develop that long-term relationship with the influencer and there's there's different ways that you can work with them like giving them their own code which they like be incentivized to push because they can make like commissions off like selling your products so like an affiliate program you can develop yeah so how does I mean I'm thinking right now and you kind of touched on this a bit the demographic of even people that are looking at the phone machine are relatively what you what was the age group you said 10 to I'd say between like 10 to 15 years old yeah 10 to 15 years old what would you I mean do you what would you say the age demographic of people that are on TikTok so I'm thinking of a I mean so for example cloud player or or just any you know companies that would maybe target people who are 20 plus 30 plus how would you recommend those kinds of companies going and creating TikTok brands or you know is it too early for that do you think TikTok will eventually get to the point where the average user is is you know within that demographic do you think it's kind of still catered towards younger audiences yeah I mean just because like party machines is falling under like the the 8 to like 15 year old I think that like if you look at the stats it's like on TikTok it's between like ages 10 to 26 right now is like I think something about like 60% of their users but there's still like 40% of users who are over 26 years old which is a lot yeah pretty significant portion definitely and the fact that the targeting is hyper relevant like my dad uses TikTok like he he's probably the person who like spends two hours a day on TikTok no way so I would say like companies like Cloudflare and like tech companies they could leverage TikTok as like an early funnel for their products like for instance we have our free plan we could sell like we can just get people to sign up you know use our DNS like there's kids that are 18 years old building WordPress sites they can use our DNS they can use our CDN and we can definitely generate users from that it just really depends on the strategy and the fact that TikTok's hyper targeted it'll land it'll land on their page love that that's great um cool we're just at about eight minutes left looks like there's two questions in as of now um first one is what is the difference between TikTok and Vine okay so yeah one of the biggest differences is like I said the hyper relevance like Vine was like okay they're just gonna show you all the most popular videos um and Vine was only I think was it like up to seven seconds uh that's what I think it was a while ago yeah it was a while ago and TikTok's between like three three seconds to a minute um so I think that's a key differentiator I think the user experience on TikTok is better the editing capabilities um there's a reason why Vine isn't here anymore but not to say it wasn't a great platform because I did I did use Vine back in the day yeah definitely uh cool and the second one are what tools would you recommend for people wanting to scale their TikTok yeah so I mean the number one thing would be um like a light like get one of these because you want like really really clear content um to users as well as downloading apps like Splice um TikTok has great editing capabilities in the app but once you start to get a little bit more specific with the content you want to release you're going to want to edit a little bit better and Splice will allow you to do that um so that's another great tool you can use and looks like we got one last one it's a little broad but how do you think TikTok is changing the social media landscape yeah I think that it's promoting authenticity if you if you look at other platforms people like to show their best self like for instance Instagram why do people like not post too frequently on Instagram well you can't always look your best all the time but TikTok's more about hey this is me like just be yourself be authentic and like people will be drawn to your page definitely not bad cool well looks like we are at about five minutes left and there's no other questions but thanks so much Jay I know I definitely learned a lot from this I've heard uh throughout our team meetings you mentioned TikTok a ton and you're uh kind of the side hustles that you're doing with it so it's really cool to dive into that with you and learn more about it but thanks again for all the answers absolutely man um happy to share you know anything else that you're interested in um learning about from a TikTok or marketing perspective if we do have time like I'm happy to answer any other questions you can pick my brain if you want well um I guess I'll ask one last one as far as like our our BDR team um and for those of you that aren't familiar with the BDR team we are the first point of contact between any prospective Cloudflare customer and Cloudflare so on across a couple different channels our inbound team handles inbound calls and web forums our outbound team is reaching out to go find prospective Cloudflare customers do you see this as being a strategy I've never heard of a BDR team or a BDR use TikTok as a prospecting strategy or a way to find good prospective Cloudflare customers um but do you see that as a potential either way that we can leverage it or our marketing team can leverage it I think from like a paygo perspective Cloudflare could leverage TikTok to generate free and pro users in terms of enterprise I think we could we could like make TikToks and then possibly like share them on other platforms um but I don't think like we're gonna sell like enterprise or develop a funnel for enterprise on TikTok at this time not to say that we won't eventually I like that concept maybe we'll have to maybe there'll be a campaign that we run I like that idea thanks again it was really insightful thanks absolutely pleasure awesome thanks everyone for watching we'll see you we're betting on the technology for the future not the technology for the past so having a broad network having global companies now running at full enterprise scale gives us great comfort it's dead clear that no one is innovating in this space as fast as Cloudflare is.
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