Looking to attain a larger following on TikTok? Or do you just want to keep your finger on the pulse with all things social media? Whatever your objectives for diving deeper into the TikTok machine, it certainly does pay to do your research and first understand exactly what it takes to become viral-worthy.
So how can you set yourself up for success as a TikTok or social media star? We’ll be answering just that question today by sharing our top 7 tips for creating TikTok videos that are sure to be seriously engaging if not downright addictive!
1. Invest In The Right Video Equipment
When it comes to TikTok – or any other social media platform – the golden rule is as follows: your videos need to be produced to a high quality. Although the odd grainy video can go viral every now and again, those who want to build up a following of consistent viewers will need to give these TikTok users a reason to stick around and see what entertainment you can offer.
Thankfully, there are plenty of free tools that you can use while you’re honing your skills. For instance, you can use an online video trimmer to edit your videos without having to shell out for more costly video editing software.
On that same note, while you don’t necessarily have to splurge on industry standard gear, there are some basic tools you’ll definitely want to invest in to record video that looks as good as it sounds. Mirrorless cameras are popular amongst vloggers and TikTokers because they’re lightweight and versatile, making them a great alternative to clunkier DSLRs.
Even so, you don’t need a professional level camera to film a great TikTok. A lot of smartphones on the market today have cameras with specs that actually rival a lot of cameras, so be sure to experiment and see what kind of footage you can record with the simple tap of your touchscreen.
2. Find Your Niche
TikTok is a wellspring of content, but not all of its content is recorded and published in the same format. Some TikTokers have made a name for themselves as journalists, some as comedians, some as make-up and special effects artists, and some as dancers and performers. There are even whole communities on TikTok that focus on sustainable or green living. Simply put, if there is a niche, then you can expect to find it on TikTok.
With that, it’s well worth deciding what you’d like your niche to be before you get started as a content creator. Take some time to think about the kinds of videos you’d like to produce and the unique value you’d ideally prefer your videos to provide for your audience.
It’s also well worth mentioning that TikTok is filled with trends, and some of those trends might really appeal to you. If that’s the case, then why not ‘jump on the bandwagon’ so to speak, and then find out how you can make that trend your very own? You’d be surprised by just how many TikTokers get their start by excelling at one trend in particular and letting that talent evolve as their following grows.
3. Plan Your Content
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just jump on TikTok, post a video, and expect your view numbers to skyrocket from there. If you’re lucky (and we mean lucky), you may have a video go viral on a fluke. 99.999% of the time, however, going viral takes a lot of trial and error, and a whole lot of perseverance to boot.
In fact, without a clear cut plan in place, you’ll likely find it difficult to see your numbers grow organically. But how do you develop this plan for your content? Well a great place to start is by thinking about who you want your TikToks to appeal to the most, and then find the sweet spot in your niche where your audience is likely to:
- Enjoy your content, and
- Share it with their friends.
Naturally, producing content that’s both fun and shareable requires you setting out some time to brainstorm ideas, sort through video concepts and themes, and plan a posting schedule (yes, this one counts too!). Once this plan has been developed and is in place, you’ll be able to produce content on a regular basis, and with great direction or focus. Your profile will become curated with creative clips that showcase your talents and clearly highlight your niche.
And as you grow this profile and add new videos, your viewers will come to expect more of those videos that they’ve come to love from you. It’s true what they say: it all starts with just one good idea.
4. Grab Attention Quickly
Just as Vine that came before it, TikTok has well and truly contributed to our dwindling attention spans. The opportunity to have quick and easy entertainment in less than 60 seconds can certainly be addictive, but it also ensures that TikTok viewers have high standards for their viewing material. In other words, if your videos don’t reel them in from the get-go, they’re likely to scroll on before you’ve even said three words.
How do you hook your audience in with just 1-3 seconds’ worth of material? Well, the answer naturally lies in the quality of that material and its ability to be compelling. Great tactics here include starting from the middle of the story rather than at the beginning (i.e. generate intrigue), or even adding captions to your video as a method for retaining interest through readable text. But we’ll talk about that a little more below.
5. Make Use Of Captions and Text Boxes
As mentioned above, captions are one of the best ways to keep your viewers from scrolling. This is because captions provide an additional level of engagement. Your viewers can follow your narrative verbally or by reading through your video captions, which takes the pressure off and ensures that your videos provide a consistently pleasant viewing experience.The best practice here is to use a caption that either tells your audience exactly what your video is all about, or leaves just enough to the imagination to make them want to stick around and find out.
Captions are also a fantastic way to get a little engagement out of your viewers – so if you can ask a question, or include a call to action at the end of your video, you’re golden.
6. Use Trending Sounds and Hashtags
It’s no secret that capitalising off of TikTok’s trending sounds and hashtags is a great way to boost your views and follower count. But it’s important to make sure that your videos are adding a little something extra to these trends rather than just participating in them at a base level.
For instance, it’s one thing to just do a viral TikTok dance in front of your camera and then add all the same hashtags, but it’s another thing to do that TikTok dance as a flash mob or even put a surprise twist ending to the dance challenge that sets your video apart from everything else. This is the essence of producing videos that are both fun and shareable. Nobody’s going to want to share a video that’s just one of ten thousand, but if you have a little something left of centre to offer, then you can start getting more shares, and that’ll tip the TikTok algorithm further into your favour.
7. Not Too Short, Not Too Long
Finally, as the classic tale of Goldilocks & The Three Bears goes, the magic in concocting engaging TikTok videos lies within the duration of your clips. That’s to say, it’s all about making sure your videos are not too short, but also not too long. To be more specific, most digital media outlets say that the sweet spot when it comes to TikTok video lengths is anywhere between 21-34 seconds.
But what if you have a story that may require more time to tell? In that case, consider breaking it up into different chapters (i.e. ‘like and follow for part 2’…but don’t actually say this). Not only will your audience be riddled with greater suspense and anticipation leading to your next instalment (which will then direct them straight to your profile), but this also caters to short attention spans.
At the end of the day, just like your favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe, creating engaging TikTok videos requires a handful of specific ingredients that all come together to create a standout video that appeals to the masses. By pairing these simple yet effective tips and tricks, combined with consistency and effort, you’ll be well on your way to being a verified account on TikTok. Good luck and happy TikToking!