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'relistening to marketing spark. One of the most interesting parts the BEDB marketing landscapeis watching marketers do their own marketing. I see a lot of it onlinked in, my social media platform of choice. There are marketers who createtext posts, videos, carousels and, of course, Poles. But believeit or not, there is life beyond linkedin for bed marketers, and oneof the most intriguing places is tick tock. Yeah, Tick Tock. It's nolonger just a social media platform for goofy videos, but a place wherebed marketers can successfully leverage and a marketer who appears to have cracked tick tockis Stephen Pope, who runs GGP labs in La. For Steven Tick Tockhas become a lead gen machine, so I'm excited to have them on thepodcast to talk of his approach and keys to success. Welcome to marketing spark. Thanks, man. I appreciate your being on, or I appreciate I'malways saying that because I'm I appreciate being on your show. I actually lovebeing 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'sa platform that you and I have been embraced and seeing tremendous Roy. Sohow did you get into it and how has linkedin evolved for you, orhow 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 ofmy companies, or my the main company that I built, a coupleyears ago and then after I started the next one, which I've actually gonethrough several pivots to where I am now. I was I had, you knowit, seeing Gary v. He had been talking about Linkedin, he'dbeen 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 beingsuccessful at something, I don't have that many doubts. I I might havedoubts in myself, but I don't have doubts in the and in what itcan do. And so I was just like, you know what, I'mgoing to go on Linkedin and I'm going to do what he says. I'mgoing to start doing videos and I'm going to go for it. And sothat's what I did and I started posting every day, just like he toldme to do. Didn't know what I was doing and I started to doa couple videos, like terrified out of my mind, to be quite honestwith you. You go back to my first linkedin video, I still leftit there just for memories. I'm just really stressed out. And then Iended up taking a video course that helped me kind of learn how to articulatemy ideas and get on camera and then just to kind of like I've actuallygone 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 isjoin an engagement group, which is, if people don't know what that is, was odds. Yeah, it's a group of people that pretend, whoare that not pretend, but they they share links and content and then thenthey all go in there and they all engage and everything, and all ofa sudden you're like you were nobody and all of a sudden you're getting likefifty likes and comments a day and you feel really good, but then youdon't. You don't ever learn how to make really good content. So thatwas kind of the beginning. I actually, right after I got on Linkedin,I did get like I got a client, I like it within thefirst week, which I thought was pretty cool. But I quickly learned.I quickly, basically I started to get really in tune with like how Iwas feeling about what I was doing and pretty quickly in those engagement pods Iwould go to sleep and I'd even talk to my wife and I'd like thisis ridiculous, like what are we doing in here? I'm in I'm engagingwith people that I don't even like their content. They have nothing to dowith what I'm doing. And so I...

...quickly got out of that and Istarted started the journey of really learning how to create content that performed on thetone and that started to reap the benefits and I started to get clients fromthat, people reaching out to me and and overtime that has kind of snowballedand it's really more the more, the more and more I focused on creatingvalue, like showing people what they could be doing, showing what life couldlook like if they were doing these different things, dispelling certain things that theydidn'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 tofind 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 bea lot more people creating content as well. Do you think that Linkedin is rewardscontent creators? Do you think that it's tougher to get the spotlight thesedays 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 Idon'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, andI think that's why platforms like took talk are doing well, is because theyinvented a new way to create content. You know, they created a reallycool APP that lets you record videos within the APP and you can you canedit it and you can add captions. You can do all this stuff within ten minutes, and I think that is the innovative thing. They likecreated real tools. So and then, I you know, and then youdo see a lot of people getting banned. I don't know specifically about any ofthose specific situations other than people complaining a lot, but it does seemlike 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 Iwould say this too. It's like number one, just because you create contentdoesn't doesn't mean you deserve a client or something like. You do have tocreate 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 islike the next bar is like it has to be really, really goodcontent. So that won't happen overnight, but you have to make that immediateswitch. You have to say, okay, I committed, but now I gotto 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 moreattention and you have to be patient as you get there. But you dohave to make that next lead. I think people that are creating good contentthey do find their voice and and you're also developing the skills to move toanother 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 manyBTB marketers, Tick Tock is is a non starter. I'm they don't wantto be there. Linkedin is the place to be. What was it aboutthe platform that intrigued you? Number One, I was so number one, likeabout a year and a half ago or a year ago, before Ihad gotten on to linked in. I had download of the APP and Iwas just kind of exploring it and I thought it was interesting that the whatwas going on there, and then I just I had the realization. Iwas like wait a minute, if I'm there looking at content, then maybethere's not as many of me. So I'm forty two. So maybe there'snot 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 thatthere was potential there, and I also realized, Hey, I'm going thereto be entertained. And then so then I was like okay, so thenif it's just my message that pops up instead of me dancing, there's noreason why somebody wouldn't have as long as it's valuable and it's if I'm talkingto another person like me, then there's no reason why that it couldn't justbe my content. And then I started also kind of breaking down these Ithink sometimes we talked about B tob and BBC and all the stuff, butI 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 thinkthat way. Sometimes I don't like because otherwise you get yourself boxed in likewell, there's no other businesses there, so but it's just people. There'speople. If the you know there's people there that are running businesses, thanI can talk to them. And then I also knew that eventually linkedin wouldget crowded and that took talk. You'd see people blow up overnight, likeone video, like I've literally had one video on Tick Tock that kind ofchange the trajectory of my business. And so I think when you go toa platform early you have those interesting opportunities. Just like the people on Linkedin thatgot got in early. You see how they're doing now and they havejust a larger following, they have more likes, more comments, more exposure, and I just was like hey, I I feel like I could goto tick tock and do the same. Yeah, I don't know whether youwere smart or pressent or just got lucky at the right time, but Iit is interesting. You mentioned life beyond Linkedin and the fact that linkedin maybelosing some of its momentum. It's getting more crowded. You could argue thatthe whole, a lot of the enthusiasm for clubhouse, for example, wasthe fact that people were looking for something different. I sense that there's adesperation, or not maybe not desperation, but a hunger for another platform becausepeople like me, and I think you recognize that the runway for Linkedin letsort of that open space that we can run free and attract a lot ofleads 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, andobviously it's paying off. Just wanted to get into how you got started andwhat are some of the lessons that you've learned, both in terms of whatto do and what not to do on Tick Tock. Yeah, and justone note about that. But as before I go in, the other thingis like, so people also get frustrated with the platform, either because it'sactually your reach is diminishing and you're not reaching as many people, or becauseyou haven't really you haven't really done you haven't really done a good job onthe platform anyway. And so, like you haven't said, you're kind oflike you just have Shiny Object Syndrome and you're just like, oh, Iwant to go do something else, even when you haven't really given linked ina chance. So you do got to give these things a chance. Butso I will say I was able to grow faster on Linkedin because I hadbeen created or on Tick Tock because I had already been creating content for along time. So I knew how to do videos, I knew how tocapture attention, I knew how to write headlines. So when I make avideo on Ticktock, I do talk quite quickly compared to the way other peopledo, and I've developed that skill over time. Some every once a lotof 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 youexactly what you're going to get within the first three or four seconds of watchingmy video. I say, let me show you how you can generate twentylead in the next week. Let me show you how you can make avideo 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 popsup, between when I start speaking. You know, usually have a littlebar 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 attentionon Tick Tock. Is like, if you're being entertaining, you might nothave to take that approach. Like if you're being funny or or you're playinga really cool piece of music and people connect with that, you might nothave to capture people's attention like that. But I think from in terms ofwhat 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 goingto get and then show you the information very quickly and not not lose yourattention throughout the the the thing. So so then, to answer your otherquestion, what I see a lot of people do is when their tick tockstarts, it's like, oh, hey, you know how you doing? Thisis what I'm going to show you today, and by then somebody's alreadygone 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 rightnow, but it's also very competitor. Of So, like you do haveto use some of those tactics so that you are viewed, if that makesany sense. You mentioned earlier that there was a tick tock video that blewup and generated or basically change the trajectory of your business. Curious about whatyou were talking about and why you think it resonated. Yeah, and that'san interesting story too, because I had I had done an earlier video whichhad done pretty well and then I had looked back and I said, howcan I make that one better? So I'll tell you. So all itreally was was a post on how do you repurpose, how do you createa ton of content and generate a lot of a lot of business from avideo podcast? So it's nothing, nothing different than probably a post that you'vemade about how do I take a video podcast and turn it into little clipsand something that Chris Walker would have talked about or Gary v what have talkedabout. All I did is, due my own version of it, saidHey, here's here's how I take here's here's the marketing strategy that you cantake, and it all revolves around a video podcast and creating sending that tothe podcasting platforms and then this is how you can create a blog from itand then kind of how it how the second one blew up is that Ilooked at the first one and I made a few critical tweaks, and thetweak was the first one. I said, steal my marketing strategy, and thenthe second one was, steal this marketing strategy that's generating nine million dollarsfor 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 sothey so had had a lot more meat to it in terms of like youshould, this is why you should actually do it, other than just likestealing my marketing strategy. That doesn't work, you know. And then I alsoimproved 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 alot of people get more views than that, have more followers than me. Thathit a certain percentage of the market and booked a ton of leads andBook Me Business and and then I've had several others that have done the samething. So let's talk a little bit about actual tactical execution. Like howdo you what does that look like? How long your videos? Do youscript them? Walk me through sort of the nitty gritty of creating a techtock video. Again, like I have a little bit of an advantagure becauseI've created so many videos. I used to script every video kind of likestory brand. What do people want? What's the problem? Why should theylisten to me? Display some empathy that I understand them. What's the processto actually go through to achieve what I'm about to tell you, and thencalling them to action, not necessarily to call, not not a call toaction 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'sgonna Happen. So that's my general script that I follow on every video thatI 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 fortyfive seconds and I'm following that makeup and they take me about ten minutes tofifteen minutes to make, because I can do the entire thing within the ticktock APP I don't need to send it to a video edit or anything likethat. I do send it to a video editor after that to repurpose itto other platforms. So what I usually do is, like my tactical executionis I'm talking to the camera. I tell people exactly what they're going toget. You're going to get this marketing strategy. This is, you're goingto learn how to automate this, this is, this is going to helpyour business this way. And then I usually kind of like head to mywhite board. I've drew I've drawn something out like a diagram, I thinkit. 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 thatblack streak. Yeah, and it doesn't really seem to bother people. SoI I'm literally just taking my phone and going over the white board or goingor if I, if I, if I use a an application like aZappier or something, I will just point the phone at the screen and Iwill record it. So like it's very raw and uncut, or it's actuallyvery 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 ifyou screw up, you can just erase the previous chunk, which is prettycool, right. So, like, you don't have to I don't haveto do the video and forty five seconds without making a mistake. So Ican just write, so I can record in these little chunks and then youcan go in there and then you can actually clip each little chunk to pulloff any like space. So, like, if you look at my videos,there's no space without me talking, but when I recorded it there wasright and it's is it? Is it hard to create a video like atechnically 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 originalquestion about what is linkedin not doing for people. This is what Tick Tockdid 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 tookme fifteen minutes. I kind of stopped counting, but it booked over,you know, thirty calls. Well, and I guess that's that's the thattheir question I had. Of with Tick Tock or what are the some ofthe key metrics and how do you measure the success of your tick tock effortsand and what what Kepis, for lack of a better term. Do youfocus 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 thatin a few months and I surpassed what I ever did on Linkedin. Andthen I look at the views. So it's interesting about tick tock is thatyou could have a video that has three hundred views and then you could haveone 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 thatit gets two million views. So I look at the views and the viewstell me a lot. It's like, okay, so on Linkedin it's likeyou have a little bit of a variance. You might have a post here therethat just goes nuts and you have no idea why. But with TickTock that variance is very telling. It's like okay, people, people aren'tinto that. Like what I will say is I on Tick Tock. Ifyou 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 todo with you is rapid fire around. But before get into it, I'mcurious about your video set up and some of the recommendations that you have forpeople looking to get started with video or to raise their games. Walk methrough your camera, your mic, you're editing software and give me some sortof 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 onmy individual videos that I push to social media, it's all on my allon my phone. I do have lighting in my room, so I douse that, but when it comes to the the short tick tocks and allthat kind of stuff, it's just my phone. I don't let get anythingget 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. Sobut then when it comes to like my podcast or my live show, Ihave a green screen. The main thing that makes that look good is Ihave, I do have an arsenal of lights. Is Is this a videopodcast? Yeah, it's video podcast, because I think I could actually showso 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 meand then I got kind of an arsenal light and there. These are allvery cheap actually. So these are the best ones. I've found. TheirAmazon led lights that are also encased in a diffuser. And then I havethis ring light here. I've got this light up here to kind of lightthe top of my head, because the main thing that makes a green screenlook good is a very crisp, very well lit green screen, and sothis lights the top of my head, gets rid of the the darkness aroundthat. And then I and then I because I'm doing live streaming. Ihave 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 bestwebcams 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 setit up, only because I know I could make it look better, butthat to make it look better than the Brio you have to kind of learnsome stuff and I haven't learned it yet. And and then the microphone. Iuses the the sure Smseven B bill set up for all the video geeksout 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, youcan riff, it really is up to you. So you're ready forthis? Okay, I'm ready. Social Audio, also known as clubhouse.You know, I never got into it, partly because I do a lot ofvideo, 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 nevermake myself. I could never make the time. I had ideas with itand I just never executed on it. Content Marketing, Oh man, Ilove it. It's not only fun. It's not only fun, but itworks 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 probablya really good thing. It's harder for me. I'm doing it now onlybecause I found that I can take a transcript of my podcast and I havean SEO strategy and I've been able to mix that send it to a goodwriter. So that's part of my longer term thing. If I didn't havethat, I probably wouldn't do it, but I think it's probably smart ifyou can figure out how to do it. PODCASTS, I love them. It'sfunny, I don't listen to that many, but I think it's it'sI 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 rightnow that's, you know, may. I don't know that they're going toclose, 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 lotof subscribers, and to me it's like that's probably a good long term thingto have, but it does so many different things for you right out ofthe gate. As you know, that...

...probably very underrated. I guess thatyou really want on your podcast, Gary V. that's an obvious answer.INSTAGRAM, for be tob marketing. Go or no? Go instagram. Idon't know that well. So I just started to push content there, butit's just to like build out my system. So I don't really know. Ican't really give people advice on instagram. Cora can't give people advice. They'reeither. 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 probablygoing to pay off. How about read it? That's another place that Ihaven't spent a lot of time. But but, and I from what Ihear, it's kind of brutal. So you might have to have a toughmentality to survive there. But my guess is again like if you can,if you have that tough mentality, it probably would work pretty well. Linkingcreator mode. Yeah, this one I I just don't get. It kindof annoys me because it to me it seemed like created more confusion than anythingelse. 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 writeabout, and it pushed my profile or the about section down. Yeah,I just not a fan. Maybe maybe at some point they they make itmore meaningful. Linking creator mode on or off. Right now that's off.Linkedin polls, the scourge of Linkedin, or or something that offers insight andresearch opportunities. Well, it's funny. I did a link Din live todaywith a guy named Marcus and he was kind of showing you how you canreally use it to to basically drive business. So I think you could use itpretty strategically. I try, like I have my own opinions about likepeople's content and like how they use it. I try to kind of like becauseI'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 thatdo this or that, but to me it seems like there's a lot ofpeople making polls and like I'm not sure why they're doing it, but Ithink if you use I think, like everything, if you do it strategically, you could probably get some good use out of it, especially because Ithink right now linkedin is pushing the reach on those more than other posts topthree iphone APPs or Android APPs. Yeah, so I use tick talk. Excuseme, I used tick talk a lot, I use linkedin a lotand I use Gmail. I I actually try not to like, use myphone too much. It's kind of a boring a boring landscape. The BestBusiness Book that you've read recently, one of the Best Book Business Books thatI'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 wasone of the more insightful books that I read. He's just he's a consultantand 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 canmake. You can be the innovator, you can be the copier, andhe did. There was no judgment in the way he talked about allthese different things. He just kind of exposed them and I would say that'sprobably the best book I've read recently. Well, thanks for all the greatinsight, 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 tochat or ask me questions and just send you can connect with me. Sendme a dam and usually get back to you pretty quick well, thanks forlistening to another episode of marketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, leavea review, subscribe by Itunes, spotify or your favorite podcast APP, andshare by social media. To learn more about how I helped ATB SASS companiesas a fractional CMO, you're teaching advisor and coach. Send an email tomark at marketing sparkcom. I'll talk to you st.

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