Building Successful Creator-Brand Relationships for TikTok

Sep 15, 2022 1:30 PM2:30 PM EDT

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Key Discussion Takeaways:

Whether you’re a startup brand or a big-name company, now is the perfect time to get active on TikTok. But with the rapidly changing trends and preferences of the platform, how can you stay relevant and generate content that resonates with your audience?

It’s about building successful, sustainable creator-brand partnerships. Content creators can help you craft quality content at scale and reach larger audiences. However, there are a few best practices to ensure your partnerships run smoothly. Some of the key principles are making sure creators get paid on time, drafting a detailed creative brief, and finding on-brand creators to form a mutually beneficial partnership. 

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant is joined by Cooper Low, Campaign Coordinator, and Drew Mellon, Campaign Coordinator at Cohley, to talk about the best practices to launch your brand on TikTok and build strong creator partnerships. They discuss the common misconceptions around TikTok strategies, tips for starting out on the platform, and their advice for discovering on-brand content creators and onboarding them into your process.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • What types of brands should be using TikTok?
  • Tips to stay relevant on TikTok and create content that resonates
  • Drew Mellon and Cooper Low talk about going viral on TikTok
  • The best practices to create quality content at scale
  • Drew and Cooper’s advice for getting your brand started on TikTok
  • How should you compensate content creators?
  • Commercial-feeling TikToks versus more natural, authentic content
  • The first step in establishing a successful brand-creator relationship
  • The do’s and don’ts of creating content on TikTok
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Event Partners


Cohley is a content generation and testing platform that helps brands create content for social ads, email marketing, websites, and more.

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Guest Speakers

Cooper Low

Cooper Low LinkedIn

Campaign Coordinator at Cohley

Cooper Low is a Campaign Coordinator at Cohley, a content marketing platform focused on user-generated content, visual asset creation, and text review generation. Cooper has been with the company just over a year, starting out as a Business Development Representative. He received his bachelor’s degree in marketing and business administration from Utah State University.

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Drew Mellon LinkedIn

Campaign Coordinator at Cohley

Drew Mellon is a Campaign Coordinator at Cohley. He’s also the Co-founder of Beach Byrds, which specializes in content creation and high-resolution photography for menswear and lifestyle brands. Drew received his degree in management information systems from the University of Arizona.

Event Moderator

Cooper Low

Cooper Low LinkedIn

Campaign Coordinator at Cohley

Cooper Low is a Campaign Coordinator at Cohley, a content marketing platform focused on user-generated content, visual asset creation, and text review generation. Cooper has been with the company just over a year, starting out as a Business Development Representative. He received his bachelor’s degree in marketing and business administration from Utah State University.

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Drew Mellon LinkedIn

Campaign Coordinator at Cohley

Drew Mellon is a Campaign Coordinator at Cohley. He’s also the Co-founder of Beach Byrds, which specializes in content creation and high-resolution photography for menswear and lifestyle brands. Drew received his degree in management information systems from the University of Arizona.

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18

Happy Thursday everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the Co-founder and Managing Director here at BWG Connect. We're a giant networking knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands, we do exactly that. And we network and now share together to stay on top of the latest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it might be that shaping the digital space. I spend a lot of my time talking to brands 20 to 30 a week that startup the fortune 100 would love to have a conversation with anybody on the line today, all focused on digital strategy. Also focused a lot on partner selection. If you're looking for any kind of help from you know, logistics supply chain, you know, fulfillment to Amazon to agencies, don't hesitate to reach out, we've got a shortlist provided by the brands in the network that are more than happy to make any connections. It's also during those calls that we get the hottest topics and how we stay incredibly relevant week over week. And it's also how we get resident experts in the spaces. We're asking those brands, hey, who's working for you and who's not who's the most knowledgeable people out there. And on both of those when they come up over and over again, in the same topics and then the same experts, we host an event like this, we're gonna do over 100 dinners in-person events this year in close to, I don't know, probably 300 virtual events. So thanks so much to everybody who participates in those calls. And now, we're gonna kick this off. We were just chatting a little bit ahead of time. I don't think anybody is surprised that TikTok is a hot topic. This is building successful creative brand relationships for TikTok, 88 minutes a day was the stat that's months old now it's probably 98 minutes a day, right? It's it's something that's consuming people more and more and more time. I think more videos are viewed more time has been viewing videos than on YouTube now. So highly of interest, this topic for tonnes of brands. So we got great friends, partners, supporters, the network over at Cohley have been for years now helping a lot of brands out and they agreed to jump on. So Cooper, I'll kick it over to you first, if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and COVID. That'd be awesome. And kick it to Drew and then yeah, we kick off the conversation, sounds good?


Cooper Low  2:18

Yeah, sounds great. Thank you, Aaron. I'm a little bit disappointed that we don't get even a coupon for a steak for this band considering that a lot of the live events you get some food with it. Yeah.


Aaron Conant  2:32

We get the food with to cocktail hours though. So not to rub it in a little more.


Cooper Low  2:40

Well, I guess I'll have to jump on. We'll


Aaron Conant  2:42

do another one. Yeah, yeah.


Cooper Low  2:44

I love that time we had in New York. It was, what, four months ago. Anyways, um, yes. I'm Cooper from Cohley. I am a Campaign Coordinator here at Cohley. And so I help manage campaigns within the platform. We're currently on behalf of brands. And so I'm in the day to day communicating with creators reading through creators helping that content and everything involved with getting new user generated content influencer content for getting brands, user generated content, influencer content for their campaigns. And just a little bit about about Cohley is Cohley’s really changing the way that brands generate and test content. And so we are linking tons of brands out there to great creators in order to scale up their user generated content, influencer content, product reviews, whatever in that realm, it may be, we're helping those brands scale up in that way. And doing it all through our very own platform that helps in a lot of ways to make things lickety split, to make things a little bit more scalable and ease of use. And so I'll kick it over to Drew who can also introduce himself.


Drew Mellon  4:03

Yeah, nice. What's up everybody, my name is Drew. I'm a Campaign Coordinator at Cohley for about two years full time on the brand side of things. Interestingly enough, I was a creator, full time creator before joining the Cohley team and I was one of the first creators on the quality dashboard. So we've got an interesting perspective on things from a creator standpoint of view and also, you know, the platform and brand side of things. So yeah, it's a you know, it's a great time for brands to be you know, talking about TikTok getting active on TikTok, and, yeah, super pumped for this conversation. Aaron, I'm bummed I missed out on the steak, but maybe, maybe happy hour or maybe stay


Aaron Conant  4:47

Hey, we're gonna do 102 So we'll get to connect again. You know, just a reminder for people who have dialed in here if you have questions along the way, drop into the chat, drop into the q&a, email them to me Aaron, And we'll get as many of them answered real time as possible. I have a few that have come in already. And I have a few that I kind of stacked up from brand conversations. I've had this kind of spurred this conversation as a whole, I would say, the number one that comes up is the who should be, you know, is this right for all brands, I guess is the right way to put it, you know, is TikTok for everybody. Because if it's not, you know, digital marketers, we got enough, you know, things to do, we don't need to add one more like completely mysterious platform to go try to figure out so how do you guys look at? You know, is it? Is it right for everybody? Or are there certain people that can carve themselves out and not have to worry about it for right now?


Drew Mellon  5:50

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think whether you're a startup or large enterprise, for that matter, I think there's plenty of benefits for being on TikTok, I think, you know, one of the biggest reasons I believe that is because there's such an opportunity to potentially reach new audiences, it really only takes kind of one video to take off, which can translate into a ton of new customers, I think it's no longer really like Gen Z is only on TikTok, it's more, you know, for everyone. And that's brands included.


Aaron Conant  6:19

Yeah, I want to go ahead and jump in, don't jump in, please.


Cooper Low  6:23

Yeah, I wanted to hop on the back of what Drew said there at the end about TikTok no longer being just for Gen Z, or younger, even younger millennials, it's actually there's a stat that 38% of the TikTok user base is 30 plus, and So gone are the days of, of that sort of, of notion. And really, you're able to tap into that audience, if that's, you know, a worry of yours that, well, our audience isn't necessarily young, we're able to tap in directly to that audience of 30. Plus, through ads, and so definitely worth it for all brands to jump on. Because the way that TikTok is set up to it's really based on interests, it's not so much a social platform where, you know, it's people that live near you or do or that you know, that you follow, it's all based on an algorithm. And so it's really based on people's interests, and people are finding a lot of success, getting their product or service into these different communities like hashtag Haritaki, hashtag teacher talk, hashtag animais talk. And so, if you can find your way into one of these communities and leverage these users, I mean, 70% of TikTok users use TikTok to find new products and services. And so if you're, you're missing out if you're not trying to get into these communities, and really leverage all of these users on TikTok, which are not limited to just the young folk.


Aaron Conant  7:53

Outside of the, you know, this is the age kind of misconception. Are there any other common misconceptions? You see? Either that or mistakes brands make when deciding to go? No on TikTok or not?


Drew Mellon  8:11

Yeah, I definitely think there's a few I think probably the biggest one, like most relevant one is the misconception that you have to, you know, go viral in order to be successful on TikTok. Like, it's definitely great, and it can happen, but it does take a lot of effort and strategy to stay current with these trends. So I just think that virality maybe shouldn't be, you know, the number one goal or metric when running TikTok campaigns, I think going viral is obviously great. It has a lot of bad but you know, a lot of benefits, but it does take a lot of work and a lot of videos to get there. So I think like running TikTok ads is like way more reliable way to control who sees your content and the audience's sees your content. So I think that's like the big big one another. I guess another call out that I would say is whether you're just starting TikTok or if your brand has been on TikTok, like the videos that you're scrolling through and you're seeing on your for you page or your homepage, you know, whether it be personal or the business side of things like these are typically the best videos, some have paid media or some have, you know, gone somewhat or viral but the algorithm is catering these videos to what you're searching, you know, what topics are spending time on so you're really only seeing like, a fraction of all the videos being on put posted on TikTok  in a day. So there's some misconception around like, all TikTok videos need to look exactly like that. So I'd say that's probably secondary And then third, probably just like repurposing content, I think. You know, I think that that's more of a mistake in my eyes. I think, you know, seeing brands repurpose content from other channels to use on TikTok like it's certainly can work occasionally. But I think more often than not, it doesn't. You know, it does take quite a bit of content to you know, fuel TikTok and stay active and current with the, with the trends. So I definitely see you know, TikTok native content perform better on TikTok rather than repurposing like a YouTube clip into into TikTok. So, or, you know, user generated content that has purpose to Cooper's point like in a specific, you know, demographic or community. So, I'd say those are probably the three biggest misconceptions or mistakes.


Aaron Conant  10:41

Yeah, I want to just a couple questions that come in, in one tags right off that Well, the first one is, is the recording for the webinar are going to be available afterwards. 100%. Just shoot us a note, we can make sure you get a copy of it usually takes us I don't know, a week or so just to get it edited on the front end and back end, but for sure we can make it available. The next one goes kind of what you're talking about true. As far as content it says I'm testing out original brand content created by me with UGC, creator content for TikTok? Is this something you guys would recommend?


Cooper Low  11:12

So I think the variety of that is great. You'll see some of the most highest performing TikTok profiles. Don't just rely on UGC, they will add in some branded content, they will add in employee generated content, and things of that nature. And I think people really get interested when you're able to show the breadth of the type of content you can provide. I will note though, that when it comes to branded content, it still should feel native to the platform people can see right TikTok has garnered this kind of mish crowd of people who can see right through when a brand is being when a brand is being genuine, and what they're trying to do and when they're not. And so, definitely taking in some of the best practices that we talked about in this webinar can help you guide the branded content side of things. Of course, you'll get that from the UGC side of things, though, but definitely a really good strategy.


Drew Mellon  12:17

Yeah, I think you could probably there's probably some great learnings, if you're doing it internally, stuff like that, you know, I think I think you can certainly use that. And you'll you'll figure out what works and what doesn't straight away. So. Yeah,


Aaron Conant  12:31

I mean, it's getting back to testing and learning. I think the only thing that people can do wrong right now is to not try it out. Right? It's not like you do one post and you've repurpose content, and it goes nowhere, that all of a sudden, you know, nobody ever follows you again, right? It's the testing and learning the nonstop, not just with the content, but the forms of content and what you're creating and how often you're putting it out there. Super big advocate of testing and learning. Another question that comes in here is either TikTok go viral, at least for me, you know, 50,000 views and a noticeable bump in sales and a small promotion, but not sure did much. Should I go ahead and learn the TikTok ad manager? I familiar with Facebook ad manager, you know, in launches an ad or does it ruin the magic once it's sponsored? Oh, good one. So getting to the heart of it is a lot of people it's taking off? is throwing a spark add on is pushing to the sponsor? Does that fizzle it out? Or does that actually fanned the flames?


Drew Mellon  13:34

Well, I would say that it's gotten traction already let that ride but then I I always would recommend putting a little spin behind it and seeing you know, you will be able to sell when you start putting spin behind it if it if it completely dies, you know, so yeah, ride ride that ride that ride that way for sure.


Cooper Low  13:54

Yeah, idea, I would say for a short amount of time. Because I think when we get in this and Drew kind of touched on earlier, we get in this mindset of, oh, we went viral or we want to go viral. We ride we might ride that wave a little longer than we should. And so don't get comfortable with that one asset and make sure that you are continually putting out content, maybe content that's similar to the one that went viral and making sure you're continually testing out new things. So you don't because TikTok really is such a fast pace platform. People will move on to the next shiny thing in an instant. And so you need to be ready for when that happens. And so it's important to to continually be testing out other things, in addition to putting maybe a little real estate paid behind that asset that did go viral.


Aaron Conant  14:50

Yeah. Awesome. So a couple more questions. And I'm going to kind of tie them together. One is about the algorithm change and video view numbers going down. And I'm actually going to tie that one into something that comes up all the time, which is, how can my brand go viral on Tiktok? I mean, it's good love to hear your thoughts there. Is it just a numbers game at the end of the day? That? I mean, there is an art form somewhat to it. But isn't it just like, you can't plan for it to go viral? Right.


Drew Mellon  15:20

Yeah. So I mean, I know I touched on it briefly, but I don't think going viral, like, it doesn't necessarily happen immediately. So patience is definitely a virtue, I think, I would say in order to go viral, you got to be in active on platform and engage with other accounts, have a you know, posting strategy, stay current with trends, hashtags, music, great on audio, and make sure you're providing value. So I do think, I do think one thing that, you know, I, it's tough, I think that it's almost like it takes out it's almost like buying a lotto ticket, you know, it's like when when the lotto tickets high, you know, everyone wants to go buy a ticket and win that jackpot. If it's super high, you know, everyone is hoping for that one video to go viral brands and individuals alike. So I think, in a sense, like, while there are some best practices, I do think the stars kind of have to align, so to speak. So there is a little luck involved. But with that said,

you know, you shouldn't always count on going viral, I think ads is a great way to supplement that. And to make sure you know, you're reaching the audience that you want.


Cooper Low  16:32

Yeah, yeah. And I I, there's a couple things, there's three things I think that going along with a Drew was talking about, the third thing being to be strategic. But the first two that I want to touch on are be natural and be consistent. I think these are two key elements, on terms of going viral before you tap into two ads and putting in an ad strategy is that you want your product specific TikToks to match everything around it. So when you're scrolling through, you see a TikTok, that's an ASMR style video, your video should match that. And the video after that is a green screen filter of someone ranking the US states based on a very niche criteria, it should mirror those, those that type of content that's around it. So being natural, and being native to the platform is huge. And then being consistent. Don't get discouraged after you post one or five or 10 videos on TikTok. And doesn't seem to be gaining any traction, that consistency of content. And that building what your presence is, like on TikTok will get more users interested in you. And then like Joe said, at the end still shouldn't be the end goal, make sure you also look into putting paid behind things and using ADS, because then you can guarantee that you're capturing an audience.


Aaron Conant  17:58

Awesome. So I have three different questions that have come in and that I think we're going to really get into a lot more around content. One is, is let's see here from a content standpoint, how are you able to create content at scale? Are you primarily leaning into influencers or hiring creators in house?


Cooper Low  18:21

Yeah, I can chime in on this one real quick. So when it comes to so starting out, I think the best practice is to test and to reach out on your own. And you can do so on the platform reaching out directly to people like I talked about that are in these communities, you're able to DM them and say, hey, we'd love to partner things like that. And so that's like a good way to start out. But I see what you're saying where you want to scale them. And so going to shamelessly plug Cohley just a little bit. But we have a captive group of influencers, content creators, who when you put out what you're looking what type of content you're looking for, they come to you and apply to you to work with you. And so really that I mean, that sort of format we feel is like one of the best ways that you can scale. Obviously we might be a little bit biased, but


Aaron Conant  19:19

just really quick there. So a brand would reach out to you. I want to spend like maybe one minute on this because there's a ton of questions, but just for clarity, a brand reaches out to you. They sign up, they put together a creative brief and then it aligns with all these UGC, content creators, videographers, whatever, photographers, and then it kicks back content, like vetted content. And then we'll just you know, the only more seconds we can spend on this, you know, but I think it's, it's important that what you're saying is answering like three questions here. How do I get more content? Especially UGC?


Cooper Low  19:59

Yeah. So I'm doing your time and the platform, I said, like, there's lots of tools out there. And Cohley is one of those to scale. And yeah, you put out the creative brief. And then people will come back and they apply to you, they're interested in you. And then you're able to select from that list of creators who you want to work with. And then eventually, content gets back to you. And you have perpetual rights to that content to put whatever you want, wherever you like, on any channel. Awesome.


Aaron Conant  20:31

Awesome. So anyways, I didn't mean to interrupt you, but I wanted to make sure we clarified there. So what about the quality of content? I guess is what I would throw out there is people are concerned, especially when you go UGC, one of the reasons they want to try to keep it in house is they can control it being on brand. Right? It was part of that dinner that we did, right? There is some really high end women's fashion brands that said, you know, like, you know, the founder will let us go off brand, which then kind of restricts you, but I think that we're turning the corner on a lot of that. But still you want high quality? Like how do you ensure high quality content from any tips or tricks for people who are using the UGC content creators?


Cooper Low  21:17

Yeah, the first thing I'd say, and all that, and I don't want to be talking the whole time, of course, but I'll chime in first year. The first thing I'd say is you need to define what quality means to you first. So digging a little deeper into that, because quality is very subjective. And it could mean a lot of different things to a lot of people doesn't mean you want a shot on a DSLR instead of an iPhone, does it mean you want good transitions in your video, it can mean so many things. It's so first, it's defining that and then you have to translate that into your creative brief in a way that the creators can understand because really, what we say all the time here Cohley is that the creative brief acts as a contract with the creators it really is the thing that holds them accountable and you're only going to get back what you want if you're putting exactly what you want in the creative brief like the creator's cannot read your mind and so first of all digging into what is quality mean to you and then make sure that what you're saying is translating to that creator facing document in a way that they can understand and then you'll end up getting better content the creative brief is very important awesome


Aaron Conant  22:35

das there Drew and or we can keep riffing through questions what do you think


Drew Mellon  22:38

I yeah, I think you hit it pretty much had on coop I think you got to we got to dig into what high quality means like like you said it's going to be different for everyone. So just having kind of the baseline of what it means to you know, the the brand or or whatever the case may be and then going from there putting measures in place so that you know, creators that are working on creating content can execute and that it is up to your standards and it is you know, high quality whatever that may be so awesome.


Aaron Conant  23:15

Couple of other things that come in we do not have videos uploaded to our brands on TikTok so is running an ad weird for the consumer if they go to our profile and don't see the brand activity posting you know the brand actively posting content on TikTok save a lot of people like yeah, I get at the heart of this because there's another one that came in it's an awesome question too is how do I get started if I don't have any content there but I see people talking about it and something goes do I throw a spark at at it or if I'm trying to pour into it but then if people check me out and I have never posted on the platform I have no content out there. Is that weird? Or like is it a okay place to start? Can it hurt is another way to put it.


Drew Mellon  24:08

I don't think it can hurt I mean if it if it sticks if it's going like again let that ride I will say it kind of depends like the specific brand if you know if it's more of a product or more of a service like some some some users might you know dive in and look at the profile say Hey Is this legit not see any videos and maybe question that a little bit so I don't think it hurts to have you know a handful of videos on there whether you're you know actively posting or if you're just kind of you know have a handful of videos just on your channel so people can look in and like see who you who you are but I don't think either approach is necessarily wrong or right. I think you just kind of got to feel it out and see whatever is working, you know.


Cooper Low  24:54

Yeah, I was about to say the same thing. I don't Think you need to start with organic that's not like necessarily a best practice or start with paid that's not necessary best practice either it's testing out what's what's working what's going to work so you can get go out at any angle and I think when it comes to ads if you are worried about no content being there when they click then the call to action could be something toward your website or a promotion rather than checkout our page. Awesome.


Aaron Conant  25:28

See here. As you're testing iterate iterating in TikTok, should you go back and delete videos that didn't work? Also, should you care about the overall aesthetic of the page the way you would an Instagram or is that not a primary concern?


Drew Mellon  25:45

I don't recommend deleting videos and I don't recommend having necessarily an aesthetic for TikTok. I think Instagram is its own thing. You know, we've all seen aesthetic feeds, aesthetically pleasing feeds, you know, I think TikTok is completely different. That's why all the assets should be native to the platform because it is a little sporadic. It is a little all over the place. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. I think, you know, it's more there's more trends on TikTok people capitalize on trends, very trend focused. So yeah, I don't necessarily think you need to look for an aesthetic or theme on creators, TikTok channels. I mean, there's certainly creators that do that, you know, like I've seen recently, like, you know, cooking cooking meals for my wife for the next 30 days. And, you know, kind of going into like that segment, you know, that's their aesthetic or theme for 30 days, and then they transition to something else. So it is, it is a little all over the place. But yeah, I wouldn't worry too much about aesthetic for for TikTok. Deleting, I don't recommend it.

But that's that's just me.


Aaron Conant  26:56

Cooper, you seem to be agreeing the thoughts there as well. Yeah,


Cooper Low  26:59

no, I totally. I'm on the same in the same vein there. The the aesthetic thing, I think the major focus you should have is doing the work in the platform to see what's currently going on that's popular, and making TikToks toward that rather than what's gonna look aesthetically pleasing to your feet unless unless you are in that I would say community of like aesthetics and things like that, then you definitely want to cater to that community, and find what trends are happening within that community there. Because the trends even vary when from community to community, be a part of the conversation and interact with the people in these communities you're trying to get into. Awesome.


Aaron Conant  27:47

So the next question, how should brands compensate content creators? I'm sure it varies, but are there any best practices you recommend?


Drew Mellon  27:56

Yeah, it's kind of varies like crazy. There's obviously you know, a few things that dictate comp in my eyes. So you know, followers, niche deliverables, let's see usage, and then even quality. So I think a major best practice for all brands that all brands should be aware of making sure payment is on time. I think, honestly, that's my biggest pet peeve as a creator like I personally like knowing the amount the payment terms upfront because there's always that thought in the back your mind like I just know this one contacted the brand, you know, what if they leave what if they forget about me? Things like that. So this is I mean, it's also something we hear on Cohley all the time on the platform like payment is a big trigger for creators. So for me personally, I will prioritize as a creator, I will prioritize a brand who pays on time. I think it like seeing a brand that holds up you know, their end of the deal pays on time really helps relationships with the creator. So me, you know, I would definitely prioritize working with a brand that pays on time. But then also when it comes to comp, I think you kind of have to look at it through I'd say two different lenses. So one being you know that influencer piece like influencer posting, so TikTok influencer posting on their channel or you know, content creation only whether that be for ads or for organic use from a brand's channel, but influencer post you know, you're obviously paying for that creators following that they've built up, you know, for however long if they're in a specific niche that's harder to come by, for example, I'm a big surfer. So let's just say male surfers in Southern California over 50k. Like, sure there's those people out there but they're harder to target. They're harder to come by. And they kind of know they have the upper hand right like there's, there's not a ton of them out there so they can get either rates and they know their limited supply so and then you got to see what what deliverables are you asking from them? So in my eyes, you know, there's some brands that still run great influencer campaigns. I think it's it's, you know, there's there's more of a trend now for paying creators just for content and usage that content so I'd say like, don't get me wrong there's there's good stuff with influencer campaigns but I feel like in some ways, you know, I guess I personally


Drew Mellon  30:31

I'm fine with time as a creator I'm fine with influencer campaigns but you know they have to fit your channel. And there's you gotta you gotta pay for you know the followers and all that good stuff. So I think bottom line is if you're expecting content from a creator for your brand, you should be paying them in cash versus a gifted product. Obviously, there's some exceptions, but more often than not, that's the biggest, best practice. Awesome.


Aaron Conant  31:01

Next one comes in working with a retail brand looking to break into TikTok, but I'm concerned with an authenticity, overly commercial look in a field that comes from there, the overly, overly commercial look and feel that comes from their over upper level team. How do you commercial feely? How do commercial feeling TikToks? Do? Or does everything need to be original and authentic? That just happens a lot. Right? It's off brand. And you've got a PR team or an internal communications team, especially at an established brand. And they're saying you can't put it out? Is it even worth doing then? Or not? I guess is where if it's overly commercial feeling?


Cooper Low  31:41

Yeah. So obviously, of course, if you are a well known brand, you can test and see if those type of assets and how they're doing how people interact with them. It's always worth a test. But I will hit it hard always that it is important to be authentic on TikTok and I think that I think it really does come down to what's putting the creative brief and having a lot of eyes on that, I think you can get a lot of a lot more leverage and a lot more people on on the side of TikTok, if you're able to produce a really good creative brief that is going to ensure that all of your brand guidelines are being kept while also pushing the boundary a little bit. So making sure that many eyes are in that creative brief and suggesting things because that like I said, it'll end up being the contract for the creator. And I think you'll be able to bridge that gap a little bit better. When things are written out. And it's a collaborative process, instead of saying, you know, going, going there and saying, Hey, we not TikToks great, we're just gonna do it. Really getting everyone involved in that process to try to bridge the gap between something that's really branded and something that's TikTok authentic. Awesome.


Aaron Conant  32:58

Next one thoughts and creators that have really high UGC content rates because they have a lot of followers but low video engagement. Like you had one video go viral and gained tons of followers, but the rest of the videos don't perform


Cooper Low  33:12

well. It just doesn't matter.


Aaron Conant  33:16

So what are you looking at when you're what should they if they're looking for a UGC, content creators? What are the main things they should be looking at?


Cooper Low  33:22

So I'll I'll chime in on this. Honestly, followers with TikTok doesn't matter as much as other platforms, because of what I was talking about earlier. The way that TikTok works is its interest based its algorithm based, so you're going to be fed what you're interested in, people are mostly browsing there for you pages, where they're fed what they're interested in more than they're following pages of the people they're following on Tik Tok. And so followers can still have an impact. But it is a little less important than say in Instagram or Twitter, et cetera. Yeah, to that


Drew Mellon  34:01

point, I think there's a lot of value in creators that may have a smaller following and are more active on the app and know the ins and outs of trends and understand like, TikTok native content, so that for me, I'm less concerned about, you know, specific follower account, and more concerned about the content and, you know, the views and again, if you're, if you're a brand that's really, really looking for views, you know, ads is your best friend there because, you know, TikTok, everyone knows TikTok is a little volatile. So, you know, the best way to kind of negate that is by putting some ad ad spend behind it and targeting an audience so that you can kind of accurately measure that.


Aaron Conant  34:47

So interesting question comes, in our view, video view numbers dropped from 20 to 500,000 to 700 to 2000. And so, is this a, is this a tendency now is it normal? Do you see TikTok strategy He's been using this as a strategy to push brands towards paying for ads we know at the end of the day and it's going to be the monetization of the platform so interesting take care right and I think a lot of


Cooper Low  35:12

like it's possible


Aaron Conant  35:15

you'll love to hear your thoughts there. Like


Aaron Conant  35:18

are they diverting traffic away? And


Aaron Conant  35:23

or have you seen that a lot it's a better is a better way to put it is Have you seen this happening? You guys work with a ton of brands a ton of brands have you seen this happening a lot or is this was just happens to be an anomaly


Drew Mellon  35:37

ah, um, put it this way. I guess more brands are coming to us for content show that they can use in ads as opposed to organic TikTok. So, do Is it because TikTok is limiting views. I you know, I don't know. But I will say there has been a trend as far as what we're seeing at Kali is a lot of clients are coming to us asking for ad ready assets for deployment on TikTok.


Cooper Low  36:06

Awesome. I'll go ahead there.


Aaron Conant  36:09

No, no, no, it's just is interesting.


Cooper Low  36:11

Yeah, definitely interesting. I think, you know, everybody was rushing to TikTok, because it was a great place to get, get a lot of traction, get a lot of brand awareness, get a lot of conversions for free quickly, etc. But I think it's a maturing platform now. And so we're going to see that that that trend shift, like Drew said, we're seeing a lot more people wanting to come for ads, rather than organic, or influencer. And so that means, in my mind, that content, the quality of the content just needs to go up just that much more. And when I say quality, again, it's subjective. But in this this context, I'm saying TikTok native content that's native to the platform make TikToks in the hands.


Aaron Conant  36:58

I don't think it can be, like, understated, like, how many brands have jumped in to the TikTok game, over the past six to 12 months, where 12 to 24 months ago, they thought it was cool. They were toying around with it, but everybody was so swamped with just, you know, you know, shoring up for, you know, the digital ship that was coming. You know, as it kind of eased a little bit. I've just had a tonne of brands jump in, and then naturally, that's going to dilute overall. And if there's lower, then it's less likely to go viral. So no, super interesting is I, every brand that I'm talking to, it seems like right now, this comes up as a question. What's the first step in establishing a successful brand creator relationship? So a lot of people out there looking to get started, if I kind of interpret this a little bit, get looking to get started? And step one is like, they don't have this creative team in house. Right? And so you need to go out and find it. What's like, how do people get started? How do they go identify who they need to work with?


Cooper Low  38:02

Yeah, I think this would probably be a great time to bring up the Cohley creative, talk creative brief template. Let me share my screen.


Aaron Conant  38:16

So it's the creative brief. Getting back to that.


Cooper Low  38:20

Yes. So I think going back to what I said before, I think trying out a few things first, like reaching out directly to creators on TikTok is the best way to figure out who's willing to work with you figure out where you kind of are going to fit in the TikTok like atmosphere. And then when you're ready to scale and when you feel like you, you've kind of gotten that sort of info back, really leveraging something like this a creative brief where you're breaking down exactly and communicating exactly to creators, what, what any campaign, you're doing what you want it to exactly be, I think can help in. And when you don't have that big creative team, when you have kind of this framework that you use, that you can continually change campaign by campaign that really can guide creators and really help you scale. In terms this


Aaron Conant  39:20

is so dark that you can share with brands who would just connect you after the call. Yes, absolutely. You could send out to people or they request the video and you know, go to whatever minute 42 to try to pause it multiple times.


Cooper Low  39:36

Yeah, we'll send a link after this that you can download your own TikTok creatively brief template. But just wanted to walk you through a little bit here. This is such a great place to start when it comes to TikTok. We have it laid out step by step everything that would be important for creators to know when they're wanting to partner with you. And so looking at the There's a few stats here at the top I mentioned one earlier 70% of TikTok users. You TikTok ears use it to search for other products. 49% of users say they purchased something after seeing it advertised or promoted on TikTok so that we haven't sold it for you already TikTok report. And then there you go. I'm talking about your brand is the first step. And so letting the creators get an insight onto who you are as a brand. I think one thing that's super important to note, we're not going to read this word for word, I'm going to give you a couple of great tips when it comes to each of these things in this creative brief, but being brief, being brief in this creative brief about your brand, it's a really big tendency, I think, for brands to be really excited about their founder story and say, Oh, in the 1960s, we found the perfect solution for blah, blah, blah. And that's all really great and good. But when it comes to translating that to a creator facing document, you want to make sure that they don't get lost in the sauce. And they're not just going to ignore if they see text that they they know it's not exactly pertinent to the campaign, then they may start to ignore things and then maybe even ignore things that are a bit more important to the campaign later on. So very important to be brief about your brand. And also you can use it as a subliminal kind of way to tell creators what you want in your content, you're not in this section, you're not coming out and saying, Hey, we want this, this and this in the creative, but you can use words that creators will inevitably pull from to use in their content. And then feel free to Aaron, if you want to clarify anything or ask any question I'm


Aaron Conant  41:43

just popped open it. I think this is answering a ton of questions. I think a lot of people are gonna pin you for this. It's the I mean, it answers so many questions, right? Where do I start? It answers? You know, how do you ensure you're getting the right people in the shortest amount of time, right? So you're not spinning your wheels for six months finding the right people is how do you make sure that they're, quote, unquote, on brand, and they're UGC. And I love the fact aligning with describing your brand values. So people can jump in and say, Hey, this aligns perfectly with me, because the end of the day, you want to partner here, right? You want it to be mutually beneficial. You don't want to cycle through and have to every, you know, three to four weeks find somebody new. So now it is, is I mean, this is a question that does come in, I want to make sure that we get to as well as the startup brand not currently on Tik Tok. Is there a recommendation on how frequently we'd need to post content? And what do we need to know about the timing of when to post? But the reason I think of that directly related to this is is getting started. How much content do I need to create out of the gate? Right? How do I create three pieces? And I burned through it in a week? Like what's the right amount of content? The frequency of posting? You know, we'd love to hear that as well. Yeah,


Drew Mellon  43:03

I wish I could give you a straight answer. I don't think there is a straight answer for this one, I think, you know, more content is is better than less content, obviously. If you're starting out, you know, if whatever is feasible, on the brand side of things, you know, if you if it's once a week, you know, try that and test it and see what happens if you increase that frequency to, you know, twice a week, three times a week. You know, it's all about generating testing. So, ultimately, if you're, if you're getting out there, if you're posting, you'll keep finding learnings and do iterations from there. So yeah, I don't know if there's necessarily a right or wrong answer there. But I think, you know, getting started is just the biggest the biggest


Aaron Conant  43:50

thing you got to do it in the tool, are there metrics to determine the level of the Creator. For example, I only want creators who have a high level of engagement.


Cooper Low  44:06

In the tool, as in, is it Cohley that they're referencing, or TikTok?


Aaron Conant  44:13

will say, Cohley and TikTok. Oh, well, we'll answer them.


Cooper Low  44:17

Okay, and then repeat the question again.


Aaron Conant  44:20

In the tool, are there metrics determine the level of the creator? You know, for example, I only want creators who have a high level of engagement.


Cooper Low  44:30

Yeah, so there are a couple of tools, obviously, Cohley. And then there's the TikTok crater marketplace. And there are filters in there that you can use to find specific craters in terms of engagement. At least on the Cohley platform, you're able to see creators engagement rates. And you can if that's important to your campaign, when, when making your creative brief, for instance, that is something that you'd want to include To the brief objective, and maybe some other places and within the creative brief talking about how you're looking to leverage this specific kind of creator for this specific kind of content. And then when you're reading through creators, you're able to access that information in the Cohley. Platform. And then it's also you can also find ways do math in certain ways to find people's engagement rates, through just their platform alone by finding the platform as well. Awesome.


Aaron Conant  45:32

Next one, what's the average number of creators that that contact a brand when the reef is created? I think we're looking specifically at

around your platform right now.


Drew Mellon  45:47

It varies by brand, but typically hundreds, we've got a pretty big network of creators. So yeah, it's it's not unusual to be in the, you know, 678 Hundreds, you know, as far as applicants go, you know, it's kind of there's definitely plenty of creators in our platform to work with. And the nice thing is, obviously, they're looking at this specific to Cohley, their look looking at his creative brief before opting into a partnership. So they have all these requirements that they can go through and make sure that kind of aligned with them, and they can execute that. So yeah, we typically see quite a few applicants across all the campaigns are running on Cohley.


Aaron Conant  46:34

Awesome on a roll through here. Anyways, other people have questions, feel free to drop them in. I mean, we're just cruising through these right now. Are there other things, you know, true Cooper, things that come up all the time, that maybe didn't get asked today, but you think are really important for people to know whether they're getting started, whether they've been around for a while around the platform and content creation as a whole.


Cooper Low  46:58

I think something really important, goes back to I think, what's communicated to the creator, I, we've touched on it a lot. But I think this is a big misconception or a big kind of problem people have is communication with the creator and making sure that what's communicated and what they want return is really communicated well, so that the brand comes off with content that they're really like, and that's going to perform well. And so in this, I want to reference this creative brief. Once again, this brief deliverables part, we typically include a list of do's and don'ts. And these are really mandatory don'ts and do's for the content that they're creating. And having it in that format, we've noticed really, ups the quality of the content that people get in return, because it's a simple way to say, you know, show the creator the direction of the content. So I think that a lot of people's worry is letting the creative gas off a little bit, and letting creators be creative and let kind of people make TikTok native content. But that really that do's and don'ts list we typically include in every brief, and it helps to really save from a lot of heartache later on, if the brand, you know, is worried about not liking the content, or things like that. Awesome.


Aaron Conant  48:34

Drew from your side, things that routinely come up that might not have been covered so far today. And others if you have questions, drop them, and we'll keep getting them answered.


Drew Mellon  48:46

See, I guess maybe one of the one of the worst things I'd say for a content creator. Well, I guess probably two things would be, you know, surprises being one and reshoots being too. So surprises being something that's brought up like later in the process after agreeing to take on a project. So I know that one thing I do and we do at Cohley, as campaign coordinators, we host a zoom call with all the creators that are on specific projects to just talk them through the brief. And again, like a big, big key point is having some sort of briefing place where you're outlining like deliverables, requirements, all that good stuff. So at least, you know, on the brand side of things we've seen as really help creators get a better understanding of like, what the content you're looking for is and really helps minimize those reshoots. Putting on like my creator hat, like, if I'm a creator and miss something that's listed in a brief and Anna writing, you know, that's on me. Like, I'll take ownership I'll reshoot like it's happened to me in the past. Not too many times, obviously. But I try and be very thorough if I have a brief and looking at that, but, you know, I think that's that's one of the things you know, reshoots do happen it's the nature of being a creator. I think just having stuff outline on what they need to execute on. Rather than you know, subjective ask subjective asks are tough to reshoot, like, we didn't like the content can you film in different location like, that's tough like that maybe should have been brought up before like, hey, love to see more energy in the video when you're talking to the camera like, that's, that's just that's a tough ask, you know, it's a little bit more subjective. So from a creator standpoint, you know, bottom line is, you know, if if, if a brand has certain preferences, love to see that ahead of time and I think, at least at Cohley, again, shameless Cohley plug like a brief this, these creative briefs like really help us in in partnerships with creators so awesome. Well,


Aaron Conant  50:54

I think we always like to end a little bit early. I think this is a great time I do. I'm going to drop in a link here. For everyone. If you're in the New York City area, Tuesday after next 927. We'd love to see you in person at a event similar to this completely educational informational. ask as many questions as you want. But only in person at the midterm often in terrace. They're in Midtown. So encourage anybody click on the link, sign up, invite friends, it's super fun time. Hundreds of brands, they're just hanging out and asking questions all day long. Also encourage anybody have a follow up conversation with the team here at Cohley, we'll make sure we send an email connection so you can get a copy of the creative brief. Let us know if you want a copy of this video. We're also going to probably end up posting this probably to the podcast page as well. So you can you know, listen to at any point in time who want this just the digital deep dive if you want to check out that podcast and you can kind of go back through all these different episodes that we're doing and kind of listen to the the key people out there that are making a difference in the digital space as a whole. You know, Drew, Cooper, thanks so much for your time today. Thanks for being such great friends, partners, supporters, the network and really enjoy all these. I mean, I'm learning as much as everybody right now. So super stoked for the relationship. So look for a follow up email from us. Hope everybody. Take care. Take care, stay safe and look forward to having you in a future event. Alrighty. Thanks, everybody.

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