How a B2B Marketer Successfully Embraced TikTok


One of the most interesting parts of the B2B marketing landscape is watching marketers do their own marketing.

I see a lot of it on LinkedIn – my social media platform of choice.

There are marketers who create text posts, videos, carousels, and, of course, polls.

But, believe it or not, there is life beyond LinkedIn for B2B marketers.

And one of the more intriguing places is TikTok. Yeah, TikTok.

It’s no longer just a social media platform for goofy videos but a place where B2B marketers can successfully leverage.

A marketer who appears to have cracked TikTok is Stephen Pope, who runs SGP Labs in L.A.

In this episode of Marketing Spark, Stephen talks about why he embraced TikTok and his tactical approach to making videos that attract prospects.

Hey, it's Mark Evans and you're listening to marketing spark. One of the most interesting parts the BEDB marketing landscape is watching marketers do their own marketing. I see a lot of it on linked in, my social media platform of choice. There are marketers who create text posts, videos, carousels and, of course, Poles. But believe it or not, there is life beyond linkedin for bed marketers, and one of the most intriguing places is tick tock. Yeah, Tick Tock. It's no longer just a social media platform for goofy videos, but a place where bed marketers can successfully leverage and a marketer who appears to have cracked tick tock is Stephen Pope, who runs GGP labs in La. For Steven Tick Tock has become a lead gen machine, so I'm excited to have them on the podcast to talk of his approach and keys to success. Welcome to marketing spark. Thanks, man. I appreciate your being on, or I appreciate I'm always saying that because I'm I appreciate being on your show. I actually love being interviewed, so I'm really excited to be here and I'm really honored. Thank you. We connected about a year ago, like many people on Linkedin. So I'd like to start by getting into your linkedin journey. Sure it's a platform that you and I have been embraced and seeing tremendous Roy. So how did you get into it and how has linkedin evolved for you, or how has your approach to linkedin evolved over the last year? Oh yeah, that's a great I actually love that question. So, so I sold one of my companies, or my the main company that I built, a couple years ago and then after I started the next one, which I've actually gone through several pivots to where I am now. I was I had, you know it, seeing Gary v. He had been talking about Linkedin, he'd been talking about content. I just kind of like I drank the juice. Ultimately, like I'm one of those people where, if I see somebody being successful at something, I don't have that many doubts. I I might have doubts in myself, but I don't have doubts in the and in what it can do. And so I was just like, you know what, I'm going to go on Linkedin and I'm going to do what he says. I'm going to start doing videos and I'm going to go for it. And so that's what I did and I started posting every day, just like he told me to do. Didn't know what I was doing and I started to do a couple videos, like terrified out of my mind, to be quite honest with you. You go back to my first linkedin video, I still left it there just for memories. I'm just really stressed out. And then I ended up taking a video course that helped me kind of learn how to articulate my ideas and get on camera and then just to kind of like I've actually gone through quiet an evolution, because you get a lot of advice from people, and I'll tell you one of the worst pieces of advice I got is join an engagement group, which is, if people don't know what that is, was odds. Yeah, it's a group of people that pretend, who are that not pretend, but they they share links and content and then then they all go in there and they all engage and everything, and all of a sudden you're like you were nobody and all of a sudden you're getting like fifty likes and comments a day and you feel really good, but then you don't. You don't ever learn how to make really good content. So that was kind of the beginning. I actually, right after I got on Linkedin, I did get like I got a client, I like it within the first week, which I thought was pretty cool. But I quickly learned. I quickly, basically I started to get really in tune with like how I was feeling about what I was doing and pretty quickly in those engagement pods I would go to sleep and I'd even talk to my wife and I'd like this is ridiculous, like what are we doing in here? I'm in I'm engaging with people that I don't even like their content. They have nothing to do with what I'm doing. And so I...

...quickly got out of that and I started started the journey of really learning how to create content that performed on the tone and that started to reap the benefits and I started to get clients from that, people reaching out to me and and overtime that has kind of snowballed and it's really more the more, the more and more I focused on creating value, like showing people what they could be doing, showing what life could look like if they were doing these different things, dispelling certain things that they didn't know or things that they did they didn't know but they needed to know, and showing them that, then things just started to get better and better, and so I just kept doubling down on that and kind of trying to find my own voice and like what made me comfortable and what felt right. What I'm curious as someone who also produces a lot of content on Linkedin, I'm curious about how you think that platform is treating content creators these days. You've got creator mode, which we'll talk about later. There seems to be a lot more people creating content as well. Do you think that Linkedin is rewards content creators? Do you think that it's tougher to get the spotlight these days because there's more people creating content? It does, it does seem harder. I always do wonder like do those engagement pods drown other people out? You know, and we can talk about creator mode later, but I I don't think that they're really empowering content creators really, for my point of view, I think to empower content creators you give them help to create, and I think that's why platforms like took talk are doing well, is because they invented a new way to create content. You know, they created a really cool APP that lets you record videos within the APP and you can you can edit it and you can add captions. You can do all this stuff with in ten minutes, and I think that is the innovative thing. They like created real tools. So and then, I you know, and then you do see a lot of people getting banned. I don't know specifically about any of those specific situations other than people complaining a lot, but it does seem like a large number of people getting banned. So I you know, it's like, I don't know what it is, but like when a lot of times, when corporations get really large and they're dealing with a lot of stuff, it's like individual, individual people just seem to get crushed. But I would say this too. It's like number one, just because you create content doesn't doesn't mean you deserve a client or something like. You do have to create good content. I think the first step of creating content is to commit, like I did and like you did, but then that the next thing is like the next bar is like it has to be really, really good content. So that won't happen overnight, but you have to make that immediate switch. You have to say, okay, I committed, but now I got to make it really good. It has to be better than everyone else's, has to be more informative, has to be more has to grab more attention and you have to be patient as you get there. But you do have to make that next lead. I think people that are creating good content they do find their voice and and you're also developing the skills to move to another platform like tick talk. There are some knowing things that happened on Linkedin. I'm curious about what prompted your exploration of Tick Tock, because for many BTB marketers, Tick Tock is is a non starter. I'm they don't want to be there. Linkedin is the place to be. What was it about the platform that intrigued you? Number One, I was so number one, like about a year and a half ago or a year ago, before I had gotten on to linked in. I had download of the APP and I was just kind of exploring it and I thought it was interesting that the what was going on there, and then I just I had the realization. I was like wait a minute, if I'm there looking at content, then maybe there's not as many of me. So I'm forty two. So maybe there's not as many of me, but there's...

...going to be more if I'm there. Then that I knew that there was going to be. It was that there was potential there, and I also realized, Hey, I'm going there to be entertained. And then so then I was like okay, so then if it's just my message that pops up instead of me dancing, there's no reason why somebody wouldn't have as long as it's valuable and it's if I'm talking to another person like me, then there's no reason why that it couldn't just be my content. And then I started also kind of breaking down these I think sometimes we talked about B tob and BBC and all the stuff, but I always just look at it as like Ete, I'm entrepreneur talking to entrepreneurs. I'm a person talking to people. So to me I'm I just think that way. Sometimes I don't like because otherwise you get yourself boxed in like well, there's no other businesses there, so but it's just people. There's people. If the you know there's people there that are running businesses, than I can talk to them. And then I also knew that eventually linkedin would get crowded and that took talk. You'd see people blow up overnight, like one video, like I've literally had one video on Tick Tock that kind of change the trajectory of my business. And so I think when you go to a platform early you have those interesting opportunities. Just like the people on Linkedin that got got in early. You see how they're doing now and they have just a larger following, they have more likes, more comments, more exposure, and I just was like hey, I I feel like I could go to tick tock and do the same. Yeah, I don't know whether you were smart or pressent or just got lucky at the right time, but I it is interesting. You mentioned life beyond Linkedin and the fact that linkedin maybe losing some of its momentum. It's getting more crowded. You could argue that the whole, a lot of the enthusiasm for clubhouse, for example, was the fact that people were looking for something different. I sense that there's a desperation, or not maybe not desperation, but a hunger for another platform because people like me, and I think you recognize that the runway for Linkedin let sort of that open space that we can run free and attract a lot of leads is running out right now. You've got to have another, another plan. You Need Plan B or or, are you know, another play. I know I totally commend what you're what you're doing on Tick Tock, and obviously it's paying off. Just wanted to get into how you got started and what are some of the lessons that you've learned, both in terms of what to do and what not to do on Tick Tock. Yeah, and just one note about that. But as before I go in, the other thing is like, so people also get frustrated with the platform, either because it's actually your reach is diminishing and you're not reaching as many people, or because you haven't really you haven't really done you haven't really done a good job on the platform anyway. And so, like you haven't said, you're kind of like you just have Shiny Object Syndrome and you're just like, oh, I want to go do something else, even when you haven't really given linked in a chance. So you do got to give these things a chance. But so I will say I was able to grow faster on Linkedin because I had been created or on Tick Tock because I had already been creating content for a long time. So I knew how to do videos, I knew how to capture attention, I knew how to write headlines. So when I make a video on Ticktock, I do talk quite quickly compared to the way other people do, and I've developed that skill over time. Some every once a lot of people tell me I talked too quick which probably is fair, fair feedback. But but what I do on Tick Tock is I say I tell you exactly what you're going to get within the first three or four seconds of watching my video. I say, let me show you how you can generate twenty lead in the next week. Let me show you how you can make a video that is going to capture people's attention. So I get right to the point. There's no little space in between when I when the my video pops up, between when I start speaking. You know, usually have a little bar at the top that says that reinforces what I'm about to talk about. I get to the point really quick I try to show like actual stuff, so you can see me going around on my whiteboard and trying to demonstrate things. So I think there's kind of two...

...different ways of going about getting attention on Tick Tock. Is like, if you're being entertaining, you might not have to take that approach. Like if you're being funny or or you're playing a really cool piece of music and people connect with that, you might not have to capture people's attention like that. But I think from in terms of what I do, which is like coaching people on how to do things. For me in particular, it's important to be very upfront about what you're going to get and then show you the information very quickly and not not lose your attention throughout the the the thing. So so then, to answer your other question, what I see a lot of people do is when their tick tock starts, it's like, oh, hey, you know how you doing? This is what I'm going to show you today, and by then somebody's already gone right, got it. And so that and I one final thought. The interesting thing about tick tock is there is a huge opportunity to grow right now, but it's also very competitor. Of So, like you do have to use some of those tactics so that you are viewed, if that makes any sense. You mentioned earlier that there was a tick tock video that blew up and generated or basically change the trajectory of your business. Curious about what you were talking about and why you think it resonated. Yeah, and that's an interesting story too, because I had I had done an earlier video which had done pretty well and then I had looked back and I said, how can I make that one better? So I'll tell you. So all it really was was a post on how do you repurpose, how do you create a ton of content and generate a lot of a lot of business from a video podcast? So it's nothing, nothing different than probably a post that you've made about how do I take a video podcast and turn it into little clips and something that Chris Walker would have talked about or Gary v what have talked about. All I did is, due my own version of it, said Hey, here's here's how I take here's here's the marketing strategy that you can take, and it all revolves around a video podcast and creating sending that to the podcasting platforms and then this is how you can create a blog from it and then kind of how it how the second one blew up is that I looked at the first one and I made a few critical tweaks, and the tweak was the first one. I said, steal my marketing strategy, and then the second one was, steal this marketing strategy that's generating nine million dollars for one of my clients and also generated them ten new clients in one month. Right. So I adjusted it to put all the results up front so they so had had a lot more meat to it in terms of like you should, this is why you should actually do it, other than just like stealing my marketing strategy. That doesn't work, you know. And then I also improved some some flow of it. So that was that was it, man, and then it just got like it's like two hundredzero views and a lot of people get more views than that, have more followers than me. That hit a certain percentage of the market and booked a ton of leads and Book Me Business and and then I've had several others that have done the same thing. So let's talk a little bit about actual tactical execution. Like how do you what does that look like? How long your videos? Do you script them? Walk me through sort of the nitty gritty of creating a tech tock video. Again, like I have a little bit of an advantagure because I've created so many videos. I used to script every video kind of like story brand. What do people want? What's the problem? Why should they listen to me? Display some empathy that I understand them. What's the process to actually go through to achieve what I'm about to tell you, and then calling them to action, not necessarily to call, not not a call to action to buy my course, but to like hey, if you do this, this is what's going to happen. If you don't, this is what's gonna Happen. So that's my general script that I follow on every video that I ever create, every linkedin post. That's the the flow I use. So these videos that I'm doing on Tick...

Tock are generally thirty seconds to forty five seconds and I'm following that makeup and they take me about ten minutes to fifteen minutes to make, because I can do the entire thing within the tick tock APP I don't need to send it to a video edit or anything like that. I do send it to a video editor after that to repurpose it to other platforms. So what I usually do is, like my tactical execution is I'm talking to the camera. I tell people exactly what they're going to get. You're going to get this marketing strategy. This is, you're going to learn how to automate this, this is, this is going to help your business this way. And then I usually kind of like head to my white board. I've drew I've drawn something out like a diagram, I think it. It's all very rough. It's not. I have pretty messy writing. I haven't washed my white board in a while, so it's got that black streak. Yeah, and it doesn't really seem to bother people. So I I'm literally just taking my phone and going over the white board or going or if I, if I, if I use a an application like a Zappier or something, I will just point the phone at the screen and I will record it. So like it's very raw and uncut, or it's actually very it's actually very cut. Like you can with the tick tock APP. You can go in and you can record your video and chunks. So if you screw up, you can just erase the previous chunk, which is pretty cool, right. So, like, you don't have to I don't have to do the video and forty five seconds without making a mistake. So I can just write, so I can record in these little chunks and then you can go in there and then you can actually clip each little chunk to pull off any like space. So, like, if you look at my videos, there's no space without me talking, but when I recorded it there was right and it's is it? Is it hard to create a video like a technically hard, I mean on Tick Tock? Or is that it's actually really easy. That's what yeah, that's that's what I'm going back to our original question about what is linkedin not doing for people. This is what Tick Tock did for people. It created a really cool APP to let you make videos, and so it's really easy to make it like a video. That took me fifteen minutes. I kind of stopped counting, but it booked over, you know, thirty calls. Well, and I guess that's that's the that their question I had. Of with Tick Tock or what are the some of the key metrics and how do you measure the success of your tick tock efforts and and what what Kepis, for lack of a better term. Do you focus on? Well, you know, I'm looking at my follower account. So like I have like coming up on sixteen thousand followers. I've done that in a few months and I surpassed what I ever did on Linkedin. And then I look at the views. So it's interesting about tick tock is that you could have a video that has three hundred views and then you could have one that has two hundred Tho or two million. I've never had two million, but people do. So you have this huge range of organic opportunity, which you might say is a bad thing, but it's actually really a good thing. So you could have no followers and you could have a video that it gets two million views. So I look at the views and the views tell me a lot. It's like, okay, so on Linkedin it's like you have a little bit of a variance. You might have a post here there that just goes nuts and you have no idea why. But with Tick Tock that variance is very telling. It's like okay, people, people aren't into that. Like what I will say is I on Tick Tock. If you have more general advice, like this is how to develop a marketing strategy. If it's if it's too generic, it doesn't tend to do as well. Then if it's like really specific, one of the things I want to do with you is rapid fire around. But before get into it, I'm curious about your video set up and some of the recommendations that you have for people looking to get started with video or to raise their games. Walk me through your camera, your mic, you're editing software and give me some sort of shortcuts and tricks that people can use to make to make really good videos. Yeah, so I on this.

I there's two approaches. So on my individual videos that I push to social media, it's all on my all on my phone. I do have lighting in my room, so I do use that, but when it comes to the the short tick tocks and all that kind of stuff, it's just my phone. I don't let get anything get in my way. I don't worry about too much of the quality. I could probably get a better phone and all that kind of stuff. So but then when it comes to like my podcast or my live show, I have a green screen. The main thing that makes that look good is I have, I do have an arsenal of lights. Is Is this a video podcast? Yeah, it's video podcast, because I think I could actually show so people can see me. I can actually show you the behind the scenes. So this is let me move the real quick so this is that. This is what it looks like. So I got the green screen behind me and then I got kind of an arsenal light and there. These are all very cheap actually. So these are the best ones. I've found. Their Amazon led lights that are also encased in a diffuser. And then I have this ring light here. I've got this light up here to kind of light the top of my head, because the main thing that makes a green screen look good is a very crisp, very well lit green screen, and so this lights the top of my head, gets rid of the the darkness around that. And then I and then I because I'm doing live streaming. I have some other stuff, but it just in terms of like the basic stuff. Then I also have a Logicic Brio, which is probably one of the best webcams you can buy. I do have another, like a DSLR. It's alo mix cheese six or seven or something like that. I haven't set it up, only because I know I could make it look better, but that to make it look better than the Brio you have to kind of learn some stuff and I haven't learned it yet. And and then the microphone. I uses the the sure Smseven B bill set up for all the video geeks out there behind the scenes. Look is it's pretty awesome. Okay, well, let me let me get into the into the into the rapid fire around, and so you can answer these questions. You can say one word, you can riff, it really is up to you. So you're ready for this? Okay, I'm ready. Social Audio, also known as clubhouse. You know, I never got into it, partly because I do a lot of video, partly because you have to dedicate like specific time to it. So I'm going to for me, it was overrated and I just could never make myself. I could never make the time. I had ideas with it and I just never executed on it. Content Marketing, Oh man, I love it. It's not only fun. It's not only fun, but it works really well when you really commit to it and you make good content. I think it's probably the best way to grow your business at this point. Blogging, otherwise known as the workhorse of content marketing. I think that's probably a really good thing. It's harder for me. I'm doing it now only because I found that I can take a transcript of my podcast and I have an SEO strategy and I've been able to mix that send it to a good writer. So that's part of my longer term thing. If I didn't have that, I probably wouldn't do it, but I think it's probably smart if you can figure out how to do it. PODCASTS, I love them. It's funny, I don't listen to that many, but I think it's it's I love to be interviewed on them. I love to have my own. I think it's a great way to create content. I have a prospect right now that's, you know, may. I don't know that they're going to close, but I hope they do. But before the sales called they said, Hey, I've watched like for your podcasts and it also helps out. Yeah, it helps me create content so that people don't understand all then, like people focus on, oh, how am I going to get a lot of subscribers, and to me it's like that's probably a good long term thing to have, but it does so many different things for you right out of the gate. As you know, that...

...probably very underrated. I guess that you really want on your podcast, Gary V. that's an obvious answer. INSTAGRAM, for be tob marketing. Go or no? Go instagram. I don't know that well. So I just started to push content there, but it's just to like build out my system. So I don't really know. I can't really give people advice on instagram. Cora can't give people advice. They're either. I've read a lot of stuff there. So my guess is, like most platforms, is if you get dirty, create value there. It's probably harder to create value there and get noticed now because it's older, but my guess is if you if you go there, like on any platform, and you provide value and people can find your stuff, that it's probably going to pay off. How about read it? That's another place that I haven't spent a lot of time. But but, and I from what I hear, it's kind of brutal. So you might have to have a tough mentality to survive there. But my guess is again like if you can, if you have that tough mentality, it probably would work pretty well. Linking creator mode. Yeah, this one I I just don't get. It kind of annoys me because it to me it seemed like created more confusion than anything else. People people talking about how it increased their engagement, lower their engagement. I think it really it re revamped your profile and I think it like, I don't think anybody cares what hashtags I have or what Hashtags I write about, and it pushed my profile or the about section down. Yeah, I just not a fan. Maybe maybe at some point they they make it more meaningful. Linking creator mode on or off. Right now that's off. Linkedin polls, the scourge of Linkedin, or or something that offers insight and research opportunities. Well, it's funny. I did a link Din live today with a guy named Marcus and he was kind of showing you how you can really use it to to basically drive business. So I think you could use it pretty strategically. I try, like I have my own opinions about like people's content and like how they use it. I try to kind of like because I'm a content creator and I'm usually trying to encourage people to get going. Like I tried not to like, you know, bag on people that do this or that, but to me it seems like there's a lot of people making polls and like I'm not sure why they're doing it, but I think if you use I think, like everything, if you do it strategically, you could probably get some good use out of it, especially because I think right now linkedin is pushing the reach on those more than other posts top three iphone APPs or Android APPs. Yeah, so I use tick talk. Excuse me, I used tick talk a lot, I use linkedin a lot and I use Gmail. I I actually try not to like, use my phone too much. It's kind of a boring a boring landscape. The Best Business Book that you've read recently, one of the Best Book Business Books that I've ever read, is by Peter F trucker, and it was about management, but he went off on all sorts of stuff and I thought that was one of the more insightful books that I read. He's just he's a consultant and he's helped a lot of a lot of businesses and he talks about, like, all the different types of businesses, all the different strategic maneuvers you can make. You can be the innovator, you can be the copier, and he did. There was no judgment in the way he talked about all these different things. He just kind of exposed them and I would say that's probably the best book I've read recently. Well, thanks for all the great insight, Steven. Where can people learn more about you and SGP? Yeah, so you can go to STP labscom. You can always contact me there. I'm also on Linkedin. You can just search for Stephen G Pope. I should pop right up. Pretty pretty...

...accessible if you if you want to chat or ask me questions and just send you can connect with me. Send me a dam and usually get back to you pretty quick well, thanks for listening to another episode of marketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, leave a review, subscribe by Itunes, spotify or your favorite podcast APP, and share by social media. To learn more about how I helped ATB SASS companies as a fractional CMO, you're teaching advisor and coach. Send an email to mark at marketing sparkcom. I'll talk to you st.

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