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In episode 21 of the podcast I spoke with Khaleel Gonzalez of Optimal Agency about the 2020 phenomenon that is TikTok.
As we all know TikTok absolutely exploded in use at the start of the year, particularly during the global pandemic and lockdowns, and contrary to popular belief, its not just a hit with the teens, there’s also a significant audience in the 18-34 bracket as Khaleel will explain on the podcast.
TikTok does really sound like an amazing new opportunity for marketers, and one that can’t really just be exploited with cheap hacks and tricks. This one really will require more time, effort, and resource, but the payoff could be significant, especially due to the low competition on the platform.
Optimal is a leading performance marketing agency specializing in TikTok, Facebook and Instagram advertising. They have worked with hundreds of brands and have over $60M in ad spend under management. They are proud 'Preferred Marketing Partners' with Facebook and were one of TikTok's first Beta advertising partners. Optimal’s goal is to serve as trusted growth partners for brands looking to invoke thought-leadership as they scale. They excel at creative development, Influencer Marketing, and driving meaningful performance outcomes across all paid social channels.
From deploying disruptive digital technologies at McDonald's to managing advertiser partnerships at Facebook Inc. Khaleel has built his career around placing himself on the bleeding-edge of emerging tech and consumer sensations. As VP of Strategic Partnerships at Optimal Agency, Khaleel is the connecting tissue between brands, creators and a leading performance marketing agency that helps unlock incremental revenue and drive awareness with tremendous efficiency for a growing roster of clients. Khaleel and Optimal are making history on TikTok as one of the first advertisers on the platform and by producing conversions much more affordably than competing social channels.
04:58 - 09:18 - Khaleel introduces us to the TikTok platform - Over 500 million monthly active users spending on average 71 minutes a day consuming content, and when videos tend to be around the 15 second mark, thats a lot of content! The algorithm on the platform is also more focused around discovery, and less around your friends, so if you can create a popular piece of content the virality potential is immense.
10:14 - 17:37 - Myths and Misconceptions around TikTok - While there is a large teen audience, around ⅓ of users are 13-17, there’s also ⅓ of the base in the 18-24 range, and the 24-34 range is also growing very quickly, so there is actually the perfect demographic for a lot of businesses there. This is the social media generation, the people who grew up with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and everything else that’s come out. They adopt new platforms very quickly.
18:57 - 24:24 - How does Optimal Agency start with a new client? - Getting your house in order is crucial, getting the pixel in place is key, but its important to know that the TikTok pixel doesnt have the 15 years of experience behind it that the Facebook one does. You need a good click to conversion ratio, that’s important with the TikTok pixel, but it also tracks every click on a page, not just the click through from the ad. So if someone changes the colour or size of a product, that currently counts as an additional click.
24:49 - 32:00 - What content works well for advertisers? - It’s really crucial that you create TikTok content. Not just in the right format for Tiktok, but actually identifying and getting involved with the trends. The best content is always the content which is a TikTok video, but just has that branding and call to action in there as well. It’s not like Facebook where you’re just sticking an add in the feed. This means you need the right person, you’ve got to have someone super confident, great on camera, and entertaining.
32:12 - 42:14 - What are the biggest mistakes brands make? - It’s important to understand the technical side of TikTok, understand how it tracks and attributes conversions. At the moment it uses single session attribution, so at the moment if someone were to click through your ad, find a product they like, but then return to your site a little later in the day to complete the purchase, TikTok does not claim credit for it. While you should be doing this for all platforms anyway, it’s even more important that you’ve got your own tracking methods in place, even if its as simple as using a TikTok discount code.
The other big mistake is trying to get your existing marketing setup to take on TikTok as if it were just any other performance marketing channel. You can’t whip up an animated video or boring explainer video for your product, it has to be a TikTok video.
42:33 - 50:40 - Biggest tends for the next 18 months - In terms of the trends in content, these change so quickly, so you have to be super responsive to this and get your content out as quickly as you can when a new trend or challenge appears. In terms of new functionality, gaming and live streaming is going to be the big thing that TikTok goes for. Being able to stream from your console or PC is a key objective for them going forwards. It doesn't just have to be gaming though, product launches could be huge for TikTok, think about the content you can produce for TikTok using one of their current (at the time, not now) challenges to incorporate a product launch.
51:04 - 54:40 - Khaleel picks an underused marketing channel - Particularly on TikTok, users are impulse buyers which doesn’t really work for the high end and luxury brands. So the rise of using cheaper, smaller products or even free samples as ways of bringing in customers, introducing them to the brand and then working your way up to the big purchases. Things like free+shipping offers, or finding a product you can sell at <$100 maybe even <$50 as a lead gen tool, so you’re not really looking for the profit on this purchase.
If you’d like to hear more from Khaleel you can reach out to him on LinkedIn, or head over to optimalagency.io and get in touch with the team there.