Marketing a brand on TikTok is harder than it sounds. Hours of video footage may result in mere minutes of useful content. Editing is tedious and time consuming. Ryan Magen, founder of Viral Edits, knows the difficulties firsthand.
He told me, “I started making videos about BMX training and selling DVDs out of my bag. I put my face on the camera. I understand the devastated feeling in the comments, the feeling of insecurity.”
The Magin Experience includes a YouTube channel focused on men’s fashion. From there, colleagues and friends asked him for video assistance. This led to Viral Edits, which he launched nearly two years ago to primarily produce TikTok and Instagram videos for businesses and influencers.
In our recent conversion I explain the challenges of video reusing, hiring skilled editors, software tools, and more.
Our full audio interview is included below. The text is edited for clarity and length.
Eric Bandholz: Tell us about Viral Edits.
Ryan Magin: We are a digital marketing agency focused on videos. We launched two years ago, right before the pandemic. We went from zero revenue to half a million dollars in the first year. We work with brands and influencers, primarily, on TikTok and Instagram, to improve their presence in the video.
Bandholz: Little disclosure about our listeners. Birdbrand has been working with you for about a year. You manage and produce our TikTok account.
Majin: We work with a lot of brands. I prefer working with companies like Beardbrand that have a constant flow of content. You make several YouTube videos each week. You understand the good content.
There is a misconception that TikTok is easy and of lower quality. I disagree. It requires high-quality cameras, good photography, and good settings – just for using the phone. It’s a lot of work.
Beardbrand has a mountain of content on YouTube. We find gems and repurpose them. We shoot directly to clients as well.
For re-purposes, we have two people working on the accounts simultaneously. One is watching videos. The other is editing. It is a simplified system. It was fun.
Bandholz: I like the job description that the help asks for: “Come to work at my company and watch YouTube all day.”
Majin: It is a difficult position to fill. I’m trying to hire someone who understands videos and marketing, but all you do is watch YouTube videos. It is a mind drug. If you are not paying attention, you will miss the 3 second clip we are looking for to build our video.
This is the secret. We find the most polarizing thing done or said in a video. Ordinary video editors can’t do this. Most people can’t see a video from a marketing perspective and realize “this is the hook”.
We have simplified everything. The two of us do most of the time. There are a lot of legal aspects. If we post the wrong thing or take something out of context, it can tarnish the brand negatively.
Bandholz: How do you pay your video editors?
Majin: We have tested some methods. It is usually a base salary for a number of videos per month. Each editor starts with two clients. Each client accounts for about 25 new videos per month and five reposts. We are reposting because a video that pops up once will appear multiple times.
So the average editor makes about 50 videos per month. Most of our edits take about an hour each. Most people don’t realize how long it can take. I’ve edited six hours of 30-second videos.
Our base salary starts at $1,200 per month for around 50 videos. We increase wages and incentives from there. If you do 100-150 videos per month, you are working full time, and it depends more on performance. Editors receive a $100 bonus for every video that gets 1 million views.
However, we are constantly testing incentives, performance, and pay.
Bandholz: You do what no other agency does. You are viewing and understanding the content.
Majin: Most of the agency owners have never appeared in a video. I have. I started making videos about BMX training and selling DVDs out of my bag. I put my face on the camera. I understand the destructive feeling in the comments, the feeling of insecurity.
Bandholz: How do you make sure that clients are a good fit and you will witness success on TikTok?
Majin: At the end of the day, we focus on what we can control. We want every video to be a hit. We’ll ask ourselves, “Is this the best video we can make with what we’ve got?” We especially like working with clients who have a large number of followers on YouTube, say 250,000 followers.
It’s hard to monetize TikTok. It’s the Wild West. However, TikTok provides massive exposure. So I tell potential clients, “You probably won’t make a lot of money on TikTok. But if you want to grow fast and get a huge amount of exposure from people interested in your brand, then TikTok is for you.”
But I cannot guarantee a return on investment. So I try to be honest and say, “Let me grow your company as fast as I can, and then worry about the money later.”
So I look for clients who are not in them to make a quick profit. They want longevity, brand presentation.
Bandholz: Let’s talk about software. What do you use for editing?
Majin: I use ScreenFlow, a screen recording software for Mac. They have a PC version called Camtasia. When I started, without staff, I used Adobe Premiere Pro. I had ScreenFlow to capture the screen.
Then I started using it for editing because Premiere would crash once or twice during the day. I was going to get the death wheel spinning on my computer because I was maxing out.
So I deleted Premiere from my computer and started using ScreenFlow for editing. It is smaller. It strips everything down to the basics. You can’t get anything great on TikTok, however, because it’s so fast.
I don’t care what the employees are using – the big three are Final Cut, Premiere and DaVinci. But if you want to go faster, use ScreenFlow.
Bandholz: How can people communicate with you?
Majin: Instagram is the best -ryanmagin. I love talking to the DMs out there. On TikTok, it’s @ryan.magin.