Way back in October 2016 (wow, it seems so long ago compared to what we’ve all been through in the five years since doesn’t it?), my colleague Jonathan released a blog post called Rough Ready Relevance. It was a blog about how users perceive video content and how viewers may forgive content for not being shot professionally. It may seem unusual for a video production company to highlight this, but we still believe it is true. Viewers will accept a slightly less than perfect video if it is ready to watch online quickly, meeting their needs at that time with content that is relevant to them. Jonathan looked at some of the most popular videos on YouTube at the time. He demonstrated how content doesn’t always need to be produced using high-end equipment to make a good video which is seen as a success for an individual or business.
The original rough ready relevance method is undoubtedly still useful when creating long-form videos for sites such as Youtube and Vimeo. However, the popularity of these sites has skyrocketed, making it arguably more challenging for newcomers to get a foot in the door in terms of the number of viewers and engagement they get. In recent years, new short-form video platforms have come into play in the social media world, the most notable of which is Tiktok.
What is the Story of Tiktok?
Before we get to the success story of Tiktok, let us have a quick chat about ByteDance’s first success – Douyin (originally named A.me). Douyin got over 100 million users all in all and over a billion videos viewed per day. This success sparked interest from ByteDance in the international market – and guess what came next?
Funnily enough, Tiktok didn’t start as what we all know and love (maybe love is a strong word). Tiktok used to be called Musical-ly. Weird right? Musical-ly was released back in 2014 and had a large amount of the same features Tiktok has today; “Users were able to create short videos lip-syncing to popular songs, interacting with other users via trending sounds and hashtags” according to a History of Tiktok blog I came across while doing my research.
ByteDance – the company behind what we now know as Tiktok, found these features exciting and bought the app in 2017 for an amazingly eye-watering $1 billion US dollars. The company then merged it with another one of theirs in 2018 – and so Tiktok was born.
Nowadays, Tiktok is one of if not THE most popular video-sharing platforms on the planet, with a staggering one billion users and counting. It has a wide variety of content to choose from, to learn from or laugh at, depending on what takes your fancy. From the text to speech-type videos, comedy clips, memes and teenagers, (and wannabe teenagers) dancing to the latest trendy tunes videos, a viral hit is only a Tiktok away. The app has grown so popular in recent years that even celebrities clamour to get a piece of the action. Now film stars and musicians get started on Tiktok (such as Olivia Rodrigo, for example), or they add to the vast amount of content already there.
If you’re looking for businesses that have made good use out of Tiktok, I recommend HandMadeByBecca’s stuff! Becca owns a small online-only jewelry business and advertises a lot of her products on Tiktok; here are some recent ones of hers!
Making Videos on Tiktok
Making videos on Tiktok is pretty straightforward and anyone can get the hang of it! To get to the video creating tab, you first tap the + button in the bottom middle of the screen; this then takes you to a screen where it’ll turn on your device’s camera for you (as long as you permit them!).
If you’d prefer to start from scratch – that’s fine! To record a video, all you have to do is press the red record button in the bottom middle of the screen. You can add various effects and filters from the tabs at the bottom and the side of the screen; play around with it for a bit to see what you like! There’s also a ‘sounds’ tab at the top middle of the screen which will give your TikTok some sound – this could be music or a celebrity saying something hilarious (GC sounds are some of my favourites)! It’s completely up to you how you create your Tiktok and what sort of style you want to go for.
Suppose you’d prefer something a little more premade or aren’t too comfortable with starting from scratch – no worries! You can use the Templates feature. Located on the right bottom of the screen, tapping the templates feature will give you a massive range of templates for you to use and add photos to put your Tiktok together. You could, for example, use photos of the front or interior of your physical business or office, products, or services – it’s up to you!
Once your Tiktok is all set to go – all that’s left to do is post it! Add a caption relevant to your post and business (maybe a link back to your website, product or blog) and add some relevant hashtags – not too many though, you don’t want to overwhelm your customers! You can also share your Tiktok to other social media platforms if you’d like!
And there you have it! Congratulations, you posted a Tiktok! Make sure to go back frequently, check how it’s doing, and answer any comments you may get. Consistency is key! Post as much as you can; even if you’re struggling for ideas, anything can go viral on Tiktok – you just need some luck!
You don’t always need professional cameras, lights, microphones and edit equipment to create content for your business. When considering video content, the barriers to entry have never been lower to meet the essential video content requirements laid out in your video marketing strategy. Use your phone, some creative thinking, and motivation and get it done!
We often share tips and hints on how to get the best from your mobile footage, so be sure to subscribe and follow our social channels.