Not just for teens — TikTok means business for Kenney Property Services
Glitter. Red wine. Acrylic paint. Glue. Jake Kenney’s seen it all when it comes to carpet stains. And, thanks to a strategic video content marketing strategy, so have millions of viewers on TikTok. Under the handle @OmahaCarpetCleaning, Kenney’s demonstrations on how to remove various stains out of carpet have gone viral dozens of times, building…
Glitter. Red wine. Acrylic paint. Glue.
Jake Kenney’s seen it all when it comes to carpet stains. And, thanks to a strategic video content marketing strategy, so have millions of viewers on TikTok.
Under the handle @OmahaCarpetCleaning, Kenney’s demonstrations on how to remove various stains out of carpet have gone viral dozens of times, building them a large audience that’s 1.5 million followers strong.
The videos have had a combined 32.9 million “likes” on the platform; some individual videos have even surpassed 15 million views. Those are large, consistent numbers on TikTok, the trendy-with-teenagers social media platform that has also drawn the attention of information privacy advocates.
Kenney Property Services is a family affair — six of the eight siblings work in the business. Jake, the oldest, and his brother, Pete, started managing the business in 2012 and bought it from their father about two years ago.
The brothers decided to ramp up a video marketing strategy to grow the residential side of the business, which was about 70% focused on commercial jobs. While their main strategy was to focus on Instagram and Facebook, they decided to attempt TikTok, based on the advice of the youngest siblings. The first post was a simple slideshow of before and after photos, showcasing their work.
“It got 10,000 views. We thought that was unbelievable,” he said. “It’s become fairly popular.”
That’s quite the understatement. The account’s growth has been exponential of late. In July, they had 409,000 followers. In the five days between Kenney’s interview for SPN and the story’s publishing, the followers nearly doubled, from 800,000 to 1.5 million. The carpet cleaning account has far more followers and engagement than @huskers, the official account of the Nebraska Athletic Department (25.1k followers, 127.4k likes).
“We’ve hit another echelon (of popularity), where we’re at right now,” he said.
And, yes, Jake Kenney is so confident in his stain-removing ability he does many of the how-to removal videos in his own house.
“The majority of stains I do on my carpet, much to my wife’s chagrin,” he said.
@omahacarpetcleaning##howto remove ##glitter from your ##carpet ##diy ##oddlysatisfying ##satisfying ##moodflip♬ Up Beat (Married Life) – Kenyi
And so far, all the time invested in recording videos and writing voiceovers has been good for business.
“We’ve gotten probably three or four jobs straight from TikTok and people seeing our content,” he said. “I’ve been surprised, when I do a live broadcast (on the app), just how many Omaha people will join in.”
Kenney also has fans, who love his voiceovers, draw cartoon versions of him and Pete, and request specific stain removal techniques.
“People get really attached, calling me the stain king and tag me all the time in (other) videos,” he said.
Another TikTok realm the @OmahaCarpetCleaning account is getting into? Influencer territory. They’ve received requests for ads or paid promotions, and have done one sponsored ad before — for the movie recommendation app Likewise.
“I did that less about any sort of revenue, and more about creativity,” he said. “I wanted to find a unique way to coordinate it that would also make people laugh at the same time.”
Kenney said they’re particular about who they will partner with — a good quality product or service he thinks will actually be useful to others. He mentioned interacting with some national cleaning brands about a potential sponsorship.
“That would be another source of income for us,” he said. “But there’s so much in limbo with the potential ban. Everything’s gone fairly stagnant.”
Kenney says he has mixed feelings about the potential TikTok ban or sale to an American company. Debate over whether the app is a security concern has prompted President Donald Trump has ordered TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to sell its U.S. business on a short timetable.
“I understand the potential concern and talk about the ban,” he said. “(But) it really is unfortunate for us as a company, because of the amount of effort and time we’ve invested on this platform.”
They’ve also used their fast-growing platform to discuss serious issues, such as depression and mental health. It’s a welcomed normalizing of everyday life on an app that, like other social media platforms, has bullying issues. Even TikTok’s two brightest stars, Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae Easterling, who are both teenagers, have dealt with body shaming and bullying from some pockets of the TikTok community.
Kenney’s advice for other small businesses who are hoping to use video marketing? Don’t match norms, but try to find your own niche.
“In the service industry, there’s so much in your day to day you find mundane that is fascinating to people who don’t know anything about it,” he said. “Video marketing is a great way to add some character to your business.”
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