TikTok made its impressive rise in 2020, capturing the attention of the millions of people stuck indoors looking for things to do. TikTok’s sometimes cringy, satisfying, or dance-worthy video content was a perfect distraction to the world during a global pandemic.
The app quickly became an international sensation and we’ve been keeping up with all things TikTok ever since. With over a billion users worldwide, it’s no surprise that businesses are starting to take notice of the platform.
MDDC Ad Services recently had an exclusive opportunity to attend a series of trainings with senior strategists at TikTok. Here are six key takeaways TikTok beginners can use now.
TIKTOK IS ALL ABOUT DISCOVERABILITY
TikTok is built different (crushes egg in flexing elbow pit, #IYKYK). Its algorithm is like your longtime best friend that knows exactly what you like. It’s because of that high-level algorithmic sophistication that the users dive deep into a rabbit hole of highly personalized, accurate and diverse content from all around the world, even if they’re not actively following or engaging with a content’s brand. Why is this a good thing? Because brands can really experiment with video content that can achieve some level of viral reach. Grow you reach, grow your audience.
BE AN ENTERTAINER
If you’ve spent a single evening of your life swiping through TikTok content, you’ll quickly realize that there’s no shortage of topics or ideas. But the singular universal similarity across all TikTok videos is that they’re entertaining. The more entertaining a content idea is, the higher it’ll trend, because that’s what consumers want. I’m not saying that to be successful you must Mukbang your way through a table full of food or learn the dance to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage”, but you really need to do your homework on how to bridge, “what you do” with, “what is trending”. So, the best way is to hop on to TikTok as a consumer. Trust me, it’ll pull you in terrifyingly quick. Because you set your profile up as a TikTok Business Account, you can leverage TikTok’s “Creative Hub” to see what types of video content are trending on TikTok in real-time. Right now, the top-trending video is pool Mario Kart spoof where a woman rides a laundry basket on a moving treadmill into a pool at various speeds. I’m not joking. And I’ve watched it 10 times so far with a gaping half-smile on my face.
DON'T OVER THINK YOUR CONTENT'S PRODUCTION VALUE
Seriously. It’s not necessary. In fact, a tightly produced video has a lower average watch time than a video by someone using their iPhone. There’s a certain charm that people are drawn to by an amateur production of video content so focus on the ideas behind your content. Invest in a ring light, a tabletop tripod, a lavalier microphone and if you want to be fancy, an affordable handheld gimbal for your device. It’s really all you need to create vertical, well lit, video content with clear audio.
CONTENT CO-CREATION BRINGS THE BIG NUMBERS
It’s largely in the “Average Watch Time” metric. The higher the average watch time is on your video, the more likely TikTok’s algorithm will display your content in front of more people, and co-created content has some of the highest average watch time. If your content can be cannibalized and built-on by another content creator, your content has a higher chance of going viral. A great example of this are “Duets”. Have you seen the video of a young woman beautifully singing an acapella version of Adele’s “Hello” with another person split-screened in playing a haunting melodic violin harmony to it? That’s a duet, and people L-O-V-E them. A Duet like this has gone all over the TikTok multiverse, garnering tens of millions of views. Other co-creation tactics are Stitch videos and Reaction videos. When you see them, you’ll know them – trust me.
GETTING IN TO THE CAPTION NITTY-GRITTY
This is where TikTok will become more familiar to you, especially if you have experience in social media management. Use relevant hashtags, including “#foryou” to increase the opportunity to appear on a consumer’s “For You” section within their feed. It’s not a silver bullet by any means, but it helps. And while TikTok doesn’t currently have a strict hashtag limit, they do have a character limit so try to stay between two and five hashtags. Keep your captions short and digestible.
This isn’t just a motivational hype, there’s some science to it. Beyond more content equaling more views, TikTok’s algorithm will (over time) begin to expose your content to more people if you’re posting consistently. So don’t give up or become discouraged when you’re seeing low views and engagement in the beginning.
TikTok is as much of a commitment as it is addicting. It has wide audience and holds the advantage of a large audience segment trending younger compared to Facebook and Instagram. If you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone a bit and relax your content strategy, you’ll find that the investment in time to grow your TikTok page can be fun while exposing you to effective video content strategy and video marketing.
If you’re ready to take your TikTok content to the next level, contact us to get started.