In the latest episode of the Digital Marketing with Bill Hartzer podcast, I spoke with Austin Armstrong from Socialty Pro about iIkTok Marketing. Austin talks about how to get started with TikTok, and how you can use TikTok to market your business and get more customers. We also discussed the TikTok algorithm, the types of videos you should and shouldn’t create, and how to get content ideas for creating TikTok Videos. You can follow me on TikTok @bhartzer and Austin Armstrong @socialtypro
The full transcript of this episode of the Digital Marketing with Bill Hartzer podcast is below:
Bill Hartzer (00:00):
Okay. Hi, this is Bill Hartzer. This is the Digital Marketing with Bill Hartzer podcast for Thursday, February 17th, 2020, 20, 20 22. It’s a tongue twister for me, 2022. So I have the pleasure of having Austin Armstrong here from Socialty Pro, right from and who is a TikTok marketing expert? I’m actually, you know, I’ve been on Twitter. I’ve been on Facebook for years. I think it was probably 2007 and I started on Twitter. But you know, I am honestly, I am not up to date as all as I should on TikTok cuz now TikTok is now the number one website, as far as traffic goes, I have surpassed Google and Google properties. So welcome Austin. Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got into this and, and what you do on TikTok.
Austin Armstrong (00:59):
Yeah, bill, thank you so much for having me on it’s a pleasure to speak with that everybody today. My name’s Austin Armstrong, as you had mentioned the CEO and, and co-founder of social Ty pro we’re a full service digital marketing agency that specializes in TikTok marketing for service based businesses. Yep. As well as search engine optimization, I got started on TikTok about three years ago. I was fairly early all things considered, not the earliest, but I was I was told about the platform from a couple big name, marketers like Gary Vayner, Chuck I’m a big Gary V fan. He was shoving it down our throat saying, you know, you gotta get on this thing. You gotta get on tick time. So I got on there for a little bit fly founded a little bit for the first couple months and sort of told myself, well, why am I on here?
Growing Your Business on TikTok
Austin Armstrong (01:48):
I want to use this as a tool to grow my business. So that’s what I pivoted into. I had a little bit of a mindset shift. I went all in on promoting the product services and education about everything that our agency could do. It helped me very quickly triple my business revenue. We, we went from two people to we’re a team of 12 people now all thanks to TikTok and the past year and a half we’ve rolled out repeatable strategies that I tested improved for myself for all of our service-based business partners that we work with.
Bill Hartzer (02:26):
Sounds great. So mentioned you know, to, you know, what, what is kind of the, what do you think is the fascination, you know, between and why are we seeing, you know, TikTok actually, we now have more traffic than Google. Honestly, I, I spend a couple times you know, a day, you know, going through there and looking at looking at videos and so forth and, and you know, they have a pretty good algorithm as far as figuring out, you know, what stuff you like and what, you know, what you don’t like. But you know what ki, you know, why, why is everybody going? You know, a TikTok now I’m watching these videos
Austin Armstrong (03:01):
Such a great question. What, firstly it’s it’s because it’s engineered to be addicting. It’s rude. Yep. It is just dopamine hit after dopamine hit and the algorithm is really something special on the platform. There there’s algorithm for every social media platform, Google, everything has an algorithm, right? But this actively learns from you based on so many different signals, what you watch slightly longer than what you’re swiping away from what you’re engaging with on a regular basis. And it begins the more that you watch. And the more that you teach that a, a rhythm, the more content that it serves you based on what it thinks that you’re going to like, I think it was also the perfect storm with the pandemic to be Frank with you. Everybody was at home and, and still many people are at home for the past two years. Now this platform was really in its infancy, but starting to build up momentum at the at time, people were at home bored with all this extra time. They adopted the new kid on the block, which is TikTok and due to the the addictive nature of the platform in and of itself with this massive influx of people. It was just this perfect storm to build its momentum to where it is today, the most pop in the world, surpassing Google, which is absolutely wild.
Bill Hartzer (04:24):
Yeah, it is. Yeah. So there’s all sorts of stuff. I mean, I, I’m starting to see some kind of, you know, some service service businesses you know, roofers on there. People who are talk, you know, different things inspectors, real estate you know, so if I’m, let’s say if I have a small business, I’m a home inspector, a roofer you know, maybe, you know, maybe an you know, a, an addiction center re drug rehab, what kind of, you know, where do I start? I mean, where, where do we just basically get our phones out and starting to count and, you know, just start, start plucking about stuff or, you know what, what’s kind of the strategy. How do, how do, how do we get started?
Being Successful on TikTok
Austin Armstrong (05:09):
Well, bill to be Frank, if you wanna be successful on TikTok, you have to dance. No, I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. Go about it from an educational perspective. What are the frequently asked question that you get from your customers, educate your audience on a consistent basis. That is how you’re going to actually grow your account. And that’s how you’re gonna actually transition viewers into leads and sales for your business. So you can mark down those frequently asked questions that you get, you can leverage tools like SEO tools like uhf.com, SIM rush.com. There’s great ones like answer Socrates answer the public. These are all great websites that, that show you what people are searching for in your industry. So you can type in roofing as that example, right? And then you can see all of the questions that people are asking about roofing.
Austin Armstrong (06:08):
Well, start to create videos around all of those questions. When do you need a new roof what are signs that your roof is failing, how to prepare your roof before a, a snowstorm how to prime your roof to get solar panels installed? Right? These are just top of mind. Things that I can think about, these are all things that your potential customers are searching for and are interested in. If you’re a local based business, have that, that same approach. I talk with a lot of real estate agents, mortgage brokers, et cetera, right? Do house tours. This is what $500,000 will get you in Houston, Texas, and take them on a tour help them with what they need to know if they’re a first time home buyer, right. How to increase the odds that your offer is going to be accepted, how to reduce closing cost fees, anything along the lines of that. The most important thing that you wanna focus on as a business owner is providing value to who you want to reach. So don’t make it about you. You don’t wanna make every video, an info commercial about your service and about your business, right? This is not a, this is not late night commercials rolling endlessly in between, you know, whatever shows on no, you wanna, this is building rapport with your audience. You want to educate people.
Bill Hartzer (07:34):
Yeah. So actually, you know, what’s interesting is we think these are, you know, these are short videos and, and their kind of viral videos, but there’s actually a good association or really good association between really just keywords and doing keyword research and yeah. And, you know, FAQ questions and so forth. And you know, tho those, even though we go at SM RO ATFs, you know, they kind of say, okay, well, you know, all these, you know, for this particular question, you know, like you know, something related to, you know, how, how to get my roof ready for you know, or why is my roof, you know, how to fix my leaking roof or something. I like that. So those questions in particular are, you know, whether they’re popular, not only just on, you know, let’s say Google, but, you know, just pop, pop popular in, in general, we don’t necessarily, you know, and they apply to a lot of different platforms.
Bill Hartzer (08:40):
And so if, you know, people are asking in that question on Google, there’s a very good chance that what you’re saying is a very good chance that actually it kind of goes over to and applies to TikTok and probably some other social platforms, but in particular, you know, touc as well. So yes, that’s a great you know, so as far as content ideas, you know, it’s like, okay, well, what, you know, what do I need to look at? You know? And, and yeah, I mean, the easiest thing is sure. Go answer those questions and that’s, you know, this I haven’t really thought thought of it like that. But it totally makes sense. Definitely. And and then obviously when, you know, when you are starting and you get some videos up there and people actually commenting, I can see Ian comment, people may ask more questions of you.
TikTok Keyword Research
Bill Hartzer (09:38):
Yeah. And so, you know, and the, and the, you know, we’ve always thought about, you know, so that’s another area, but, you know, SEO and about, you know, it’s not only just a lot of it is educating the public. The more, you know, I feel like the more I can educate my CU professor customer, who’s a client more that I can tell them about, you know, how SEO works and how, you know, web traffic works and, and, and so forth that whether it’s fixing something on their website that education and educating people you know, is, is going to, you know, even though you’re, you’re telling them some secrets, you know? Right. And you’re giving them some, some of these tips it comes down to the fact that, yeah, I mean, you, you tell these people on, you know, TikTok, they’re gonna start following you, seeing you as an expert. And when they’re, even though if they’re not, they like for their roof, even though they may not right now ready for a new roof, you know, next year they may, and, and since they follow you, they’ll like I said, they’re gonna, they’re gonna hire you. So good. And it’s all about that education.
Austin Armstrong (10:48):
Yes. Yeah, absolutely. You hit the nail on the head there. I wanna mention something too, that you that you had mentioned earlier in there is that the more that you do this more questions that you’re going to get in the comments of the videos, TikTok has a fantastic feature that you can do a video response to comments. Yep. So it opens that dialogue up between people that are in need that are asking you follow up questions. You can jump on there and do a 32nd 62nd explanation directly answering what their question is. Nothing builds rapport better than that. What, there’s never been a platform before, aside from like live streaming where you can have that interaction. It’s so powerful.
Bill Hartzer (11:35):
Yeah. Explain to me a little bit about how these is in that, and that’s a little bit different than duets, right? Yeah. Explain to me a little bit about how the, how duets work on their,
Austin Armstrong (11:47):
Yeah, there’s a, so there’s a couple different ways that you can create content there’s, you can put out your own, your own videos, upload them, or record them in the app. You can do video responses which when you press the video icon next to a comment that pops up, you can do, what’s called a duet, which is basically adding context to somebody else’s video. So for instance, if you let’s say you’re a plumber yep. There’s a, there’s a, a great plumber. I’ve done some work with shout out to Roger Wakefield. He does a lot of these on on TikTok. So he’ll, he’ll look at a video of pipe bursting or sewage outflow of, of something, for instance, right? Yep. And he’ll duet that video, which basically is side by side.
Austin Armstrong (12:38):
So the the video that he’s dueting is on one side of the screen, and he’s on the other side of the screen, and he’s able to add context and clarity and expanded information on what’s happening in that video. So you can in real time show an example and explain what’s going on. This is really effective, another way an or another feature that you can do to create content is called stitching. So it’s similar to a duet but basically it front loads, your video with another video. So a really common example of this is you’ll see videos like tell me you’re a marketer without telling me that you’re a marketer, something like that. Right. You can stitch that video. So just that opening line shows up on your video and then your response to that as well. So you can stitch a lot of videos as well. Those are the primary different ways of content creation on the platform.
Bill Hartzer (13:38):
Yeah, there’s one actually that I remember specifically is there’s a girl on there who comes on and says tell me a secret about a company and that and that you’re allowed to tell because you don’t work there anymore. I don’t know if you’ve seen that particular one. And it’s, it’s in really interesting cuz you get people from who used to work from, you know, work at Starbucks and Walmart and, and Disney and all sorts of different companies that, you know, that, that, you know, that we go to and, and, and, and you know, from a lot of it is retail. And so they will stitch that way where they’ll have that question and they’ll, they’ll give the answer. And so that’s definitely a different, a good way. If you can find some videos that actually maybe even pop more, even popular already that yes.
Respond to Questions on TikTok
Bill Hartzer (14:37):
That, that you can respond to. And sometimes, you know, for some people it’s easier to just do that stitching video, that stitch video, because you’re, you’re, you, you have something in context rather than just having to kind of create, you know, a video and, and luckily it’s, they’re not that long. You know, obviously so as I understand it, we certainly, we, at the beginning we have what, 30 seconds. And then at a certain point in time, they give us I guess it’s you where you can do a longer video at the, I guess the three minutes.
Austin Armstrong (15:12):
Yeah. So there’s three timing settings on the app currently it’s 15 seconds, 60 seconds and three minutes. Okay. Now I don’t really recommend three minute long videos. It, it gives us the option. They don’t really perform that well, unless you’re really engaging. Everybody is used to it shorter video on the platform. So unless you’re a really engaging storyteller and you hold their attention from the moment that video starts until the very end, I would try and keep the video as short as possible.
TikTok Tips and Tricks
Bill Hartzer (15:46):
So any tips and tricks about the about the algorithm and getting, you know, getting, getting more view and getting something, you know, to be shared more and so forth, or is there anything, you know, that, that we should know, that’s not, you know, that, that, or any parts of the algorithm that, that, you know, that we can use that as, as an advantage if you will.
Austin Armstrong (16:10):
Yeah, absolutely. So go in with a, with a plan of attack, if you will. So structure your video out effectively. And what I mean by that is opening the video by hooking them in immediately because of the low attention span of this app, you don’t have time to introduce yourself, share your credentials, just jump right into the, into the video. Like you would open the video up with here’s three signs that you need to replace your roof. That is the first thing that that video would open up with and then get right into the value of that video. Tip. Number one, is this tip number two, is this tip number three, is this, then you would end that video either with a direct call to action. You could say thing like if you’re unsure and you wanna get a free roof quote, you can click the link in my bio one clear call to action, or if you’re really sneaky, sort of an advanced trick as something called a loop, which is basically ending that video with the same visual frame or verbal cue that you open that video up.
Austin Armstrong (17:16):
So if you can end that video with saying something like watch this video again, because these are three tips to see if your roof needs to be rep replaced, right? Yep. It, it forms a complete sentence and it it increases that watch duration, which is one of the most important factors for a video to go viral and continue to reach people on, on TikTok, that structure we use over and over again for many different service based businesses. And it works. You wanna get really strategic with the hashtags that you use as well, really specific to that individual video three to five hashtags is, is perfect to use on that. And you really want to be consistent as well. You should upload a minimum of one video every single day. You can batch these ahead of time. I don’t wanna overwhelm people.
Austin Armstrong (18:11):
There’s there’s a lot of different ways to do this. Remember they’re like 30 seconds or less. It’s not gonna take up too much of your time. But you wanna do at least one a day. If you can do more, there’s not really a magic number. The more that you can do is going to allow you to build up momentum some faster, fail faster, so you can learn more about what works and what doesn’t work and get you more comfortable in creating short form vertical video content. Those are really good tips that are gonna help people get started
Bill Hartzer (18:45):
As far as in one last question, as far as I’m recording. I mean, you know, do you know, we don’t really necessarily need any kind of fancy equipment or anything, obviously, you know, just on our cell phone typically is, is good. Certainly, you know, we can edit, we can edit those you know, edit the videos and so forth. You know, obviously you can add new and add, you know, texts and titles and, and so forth or even right in the TikTok app.
Recording Equipment for TikTok Videos
Austin Armstrong (19:17):
Yep. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there there’s so many potential obstacles. The bottom line is that just gets started. Right? Your message is important to who you’re trying or reach don’t let any of these obstacles like, oh, I need to get the best lighting. Oh, I need to get a better camera set up. Oh, I need the, the, I, I have the iPhone 12, but I, I need the iPhone 13 in order for me to start doing this. That’s all mindset issue. Put all of that aside. You can always improve stuff later on, just get it started.
Getting In Touch with Austin Armstrong
Bill Hartzer (19:54):
Sounds good. So tell me a little bit about your company and how you get, and you know, how we can get in touch with you and and so forth.
Austin Armstrong (20:04):
Yeah. so my company’s name is social Ty pro if you want a, I have a free TikTok checklist that your listeners can download it’s OT, pro.com/tiktok checklist. That’s S O
Austin Armstrong (20:21):
S O C I a L T Y P R o.com/tiktok checklist (socialtypro.com/tiktok-checklist). That’ll get you there. You can contact me on the website. You can contact me on my, to as well. You’ll find me everywhere on the internet at socialty pro.
Bill Hartzer (20:38):
Okay. Sounds great. Thanks again for joining me this afternoon. Austin, CEO of SocialtyPro.com and Austin Armstrong. Thanks again. This has been the Digital Marketing with Bill Hartzer podcast for Thursday, February 17th, 2022.