A month after creating our Kapwing TikTok channel, we had made 38 videos, got over 2k followers, and received 21,000 likes. Two of the videos we posted in the first two month got more than 100k views.
Now in 2021, we have almost 17k followers. Since we serve modern creators, we plan to continue experimenting with it for a long time. In this article, I'll share our tips for how to go viral on TikTok and get followers for your account. Here's what you should know:
- Post a lot of videos
- Watch videos for inspiration
- Try our trending formats
- Stay in tune with current events
- Make an immediate impression
- Edit videos outside of TikTok
1. Post a Lot of Videos
One of the keys to TikTok is volume. Get creative and unleash the wacky, unfiltered part of your personality. It's very hard to predict which videos will do well, so you have to post a lot. Often, you'll spend a lot of time create an amazing video and it won't get that many views, but other times, you'll post something that you didn't work very hard on, and it will take off. The secret? Just keep posting.
To get those first couple thousand followers, we posted 21 videos in two weeks. Volume is the name of the game, so you shouldn't go a day without making a new TikTok in your first few weeks. Here's the first video we made, a simple screencast with no music. It wasn't much, but it got the ball rolling.
2. Watch Videos to Get Inspiration
Popular TikTok videos can fall into any category. You'll find everything from very polished, put-together artsy videos to low-effort Vine-style clips. Since the app doesn't have specific interest feeds, you'll need to appeal to a wide audience. Some people are successful showing exceptionally beautiful things (incredible nature, attractive people, or amazing experiences), and other TikTokers specialize in #hacks or practical lifestyle how-to videos.
The more time you spend on TikTok, the more you'll start to notice trends and get inspiration for your own projects. We started a spreadsheet where we started brainstorming ideas for videos. Some of our ideas included:
- Show how to use Kapwing with a "screencast" style video for simple tasks
- Use Kapwing on an in-car tablet
- Introduce people in the office
- Do a dance move tutorial wearing Kapwing swag
In one of our most successful videos, Peter showed off his pen spinning skills. To make it more unexpected and surprising, we staged the video to reveal his skills at the end. Try out different video structures to see what people like best.
3. Try Out Trending Formats
From the discover page on TikTok, you can find trending sounds, dances, memes, or formats that you can copy with your own style or twist. On TikTok, it's simple to hop in and put your own spin on things while building off of a familiar format.
For example, we created a #HOCO transformation video using the popular svensven39 soundtrack. It was a huge trend at the time, and it worked out pretty well for us, so if you're out of your own ideas, just hop on a big trend.
4. Stay In Tune with Current Events
Our most popular video was a response to the Tesla truck unveiling. Sometimes, hot hashtags can get your video attention. We spent lots of time absorbing trends before the event, and we knew that a lot of people would be talking about the event online, so we were ready to come up with ideas and film a video. Our video got more than 100,000 views in just a couple hours.
The song that we used – GoldLink by Crew – is commonly used for videos where people transform themselves into funny pictures or memes. But we still had the "shock factor," the twist that surprised people even when they thought they knew what to expect, by including the actual video clips of the Tesla truck.
5. Make an Immediate Impression
Because TikTok is designed for casual viewers, videos have to immediately catch the viewers attention. People scrolling through their FYP will usually wait only about 1-3 seconds before judging your video and swiping to the next one. So you'll need to hook your audience early in order to make them watch to the end, and TikTok is more likely to feature your video in front of more potential fans.
Here's an example where we told users to "stop scrolling" so that we could get their attention immediately.
6. Edit Videos Outside of TikTok
One way to stick out on TikTok is to use video editing techniques that aren't possible in the app, like merging with part of a YouTube video or adding subtitles. You can use Kapwing's Studio create 9:16 collages and edit vertical videos quickly online, then publish those videos in the app. We make nearly all of our TikTok videos on Kapwing in a shared Content Marketing Workspace, then publish them to the TikTok account.
Our best performing TikTok video (see #4) was created in the Kapwing Studio by combining clips we uploaded directly from YouTube. We've also made collages, side-by-side videos, memes, reaction videos, and before-and-after videos by using Kapwing to combine videos with popular images, videos, and audio.
The viral TikToks we have made have also made a big impact on our other social accounts: they've driven engagement on our account and helped get exposure for our other, less popular videos. If you want to grow your fan base and get TikTok famous, you need to create a few videos that go viral, bringing more attention to your account.
Hopefully this article helps you rock your first two weeks on TikTok. It's taken some guts and creativity to get started on TikTok, but since it's such a new app there's a lot of opportunity to grow a fan base and get TikTok famous.
We will continue to update this article as we learn more about TikTok and have more successes/failures with our TikTok videos in 2021. Thanks for reading, and let us know if you have ideas or suggestions for how we can make Kapwing a better online video editor for TikTok creators.