TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms ever made. In a matter of four years, TikTok has managed to gain over one billion users and has become the designated platform for Gen Z users.
Part of what has made TikTok gain popularity so fast is its focus on content and potential to go viral. Any stunning videos can go viral whether you have a lot of followers or not, which is why it is also a great platform for marketing.
TikTok can be an effective tool for businesses of any size to reach their target market. In this blog post, we go through how to make a video go viral on TikTok but first let’s define what TikTok is.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a free social media platform that has become known for its entertaining short-form videos. The app was created by Chinese entrepreneur Zhang Yiming under the parent company Bytedance.
It was first launched under the app name A.me, then it changed to Douyin, and eventually, the app name changed to TikTok in 2017. TikTok merged with Musical.ly in 2018 which gave the platform a huge boost to its user base. Now, TikTok has over 1 billion active monthly users with over 138 million daily active TikTok users.
Explaining The TikTok Algorithm
TikTok may be relatively new to the social media scene but it has been reported that the platform has the most engagement out of any other.
The typical TikTok session lasts 10.85 minutes, which is double that of Pinterest, which comes next with the highest engagement rate. The TikTok algorithm was created to keep users scrolling through the platform and is largely responsible for the high engagement.
The algorithm works by making personal content recommendations based on the likes and interests of each individual user.
The system displays these recommendations on the For You page where users can sift through content personalized to them. As your interests change, the For You recommendations should change as well. So, how does TikTok track your interests and behavior? The TikTok algorithm follows key data indicators provided by user behavior like video likes and shares, accounts followed, comments posted, content created, videos completed, along with favorited videos.
TikTok uses these indicators to understand your taste so that it can make better content recommendations for you in the future.
TikTok’s algorithm also puts an emphasis on valuable content over anything else by giving preference to videos that have engaged users without regard to follower count.
John Holdridge, the General Manager of Fullscreen, made a comment that the potential to create a viral video on TikTok is partly what drives its huge growth.
“TikTok’s success can simply be attributed to how it flips what we think of as social media on its head, while at the same time returning us all to roots of the original appeal–the ability to go viral. We’ve all gotten so caught up in maximizing reach by growing a massive fan base through subscribers or followers, so it’s refreshing to have a platform with an algorithm that rewards content above all else.”
Best Practices on How To Make a TikTok Video Go Viral
The cultural trends that overwhelmingly make up the social media space largely come from TikTok. The app has a finger on the pulse of what’s popular with Gen Z and has made a name for itself as being the trendsetter for memes and videos.
Going viral on TikTok is not uncommon and can be simple to get the hang of if you follow the best practices. Here are some tips on how to make a TikTok video go viral.
1. Follow The Trends For TikTok Videos
The trends of the internet are part of what drives social media and TikTok is where many of them originate. From memes and challenges to educational videos and politics, TikTok has something for almost everyone.
However, something is always trending on TikTok and the more engagement a trend gets, the more the platform will promote whatever feeds into it.
Using popular or up-and-coming trends to make your TikTok videos is a surefire way to get more views and engagement. You can check out the Discover page on TikTok to see what’s trending.
2. Use Hashtags
Hashtags aren’t useful on many social media platforms but TikTok is an exception. The platform encourages users to use them so that content can be easily found and sorted.
Hashtags also help your video appear on the For You page of other users who might be interested in what you’re posting. Hashtags also help content creators to target niche markets and trends.
Using hashtags relevant to your video is a great way to increase the reach of your content and get more views.
3. Make Short Videos
There’s a reason Vine was the most popular social media platform for years and that’s because shorter videos are easier to consume. The average attention span is getting shorter and it’s easier to maintain someone’s interest for a few seconds rather than a full minute.
TikTok’s platform was made for short-form videos and although it extended the video length requirements from 15 seconds to now 10 minutes, well-made concise videos typically do better.
Ideal TikTok Video Length
Initially, TikTok allowed videos to be created for up to 15 seconds, then they increased it to 60 seconds, and eventually, they landed on the 10-minute mark that stands today.
According to WIRED, the recommended video length for TikTok engagement is between 21 and 34 seconds. A report showed that 25% of high-performing videos fall in that time frame. However, you shouldn’t write long-form videos off either.
Depending on your topic and target market, long-form videos could be very effective. Experimentation is key to figuring out what your audience responds to the most.
TikTok Video Size Guide: Portrait or Landscape?
Users swipe rapidly on TikTok to get to the next video so you should try to use the recommended Tiktok video dimensions so that your post doesn’t look wonky in the news feed.
Vertical video is what is recommended for the platform but it is possible to upload a landscape video as well.
The TikTok video dimensions are 1080 by 1920 pixels, which is the standard portrait on most mobile phones. The aspect ratio should also be 9:16.
4. Use Engaging Content
A misconception about social media is that views are all that matters but in actuality, engagement is what social media platforms are looking for.
The algorithm rewards engagement over views because it wants to keep people on the platform for as long as possible.
Creating content that gets users to interact with it is key to going viral on TikTok. You can encourage interaction by asking questions, using calls to action (CTAs), or encouraging discussion in the comments below.
There are also interactive elements to TikTok videos that help promote engagement such as Duet and Stitch.
5. Use Keywords in Your Caption
Since every post on TikTok has a caption attached that can be filled in, it’s best to use those captions in order to help TikTok’s algorithm understand what the content is about and how to categorize it.
By filling those captions with relevant keywords, TikTok will have an easier time understanding where to place your content. The caption is also a great place to add any relevant hashtags.
6. Make Posts at the Right Time
Every social media has an optimal time to post and TikTok is no different. You should want to post when users are most active on the app in order to increase the chances that they’ll see your content.
According to Hootsuite, the best time to post on TikTok is on Thursday at 10 pm EST. Hootsuite also listed the best times to post every day of the week.
- Monday: 1 am
- Tuesday: 12 pm
- Wednesday: 10 am
- Thursday: 10 pm
- Friday: 6 pm
- Saturday: 2pm
- Sunday: 7 pm
7. Research Your Audience
In order to reach your target audience, you have to understand their pain points, wants, and needs. TikTok has many different sub-communities that you may want to target depending on your product or service.
If your content isn’t tailored to a target audience, it may be harder to get views and engagement.
Best Practices For TikTok Video Ads
1. The Budget
2. Video Length
3. End With a Call-to-Action
4. Prioritize Audio
TikTok Has Yet To Be Used To Its Full Potential By Brands
With TikTok being four years old, businesses have not yet tapped into its full potential as a marketing tool. Instead, marketers have put a lot of focus on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms.
Each platform has a different demographic that it targets and each requires a different type of video content. TikTok is still fairly new which means there is a lot of potential for businesses to take advantage of the platform and its capabilities.
Jungle Films is a video production firm in New Jersey full of experienced video marketing professionals. Our team will save you time, energy, and money by creating a high-quality video ad for you that generates results.
If you are looking to create a TikTok video ad or any other type of video content, working with Jungle Films is a great way to ensure that your video marketing strategy is both engaging and effective.
Get in touch with Jungle Films today to learn more about our services or if you want help creating a successful TikTok video ad campaign.