Harness the incredible power of the most popular video sharing app for your movie and video customers and brands.
It's now 2021 and we can safely say that TikTok is staying here. Yes, there is a chance there will be a Vine-level shutdown at some point, but all indications are that the popular social video sharing app continues to dominate social video. And for many, that's a good thing. Not only can TikTok be used forever, it's also a powerful tool for filmmakers and content creators.
Let's say you want to start your own TikTok channel. Or, you work with a client who wants to enter the room to better promote their company. Here are five basic tips to help you set up your own TikTok channel for building your brand.
1. Research and define your niche
Start your research by watching other TikTok videos. Image by oatawa.
Before you start messing around with your own profile and channel, it's important to do your research first. The best way to do this is to watch many, many TikTok videos. But don't just set up a quick account and start scrolling. You need to be a little more scientific in your research. When evaluating your personal brand or business, you should at least have some idea of what niche you are in.
For example, I recently worked with a friend who started a YouTube channel for disc golf. And just like with YouTube, when he switched to TikTok, he did a lot of research to find out what other disc golf TikTok channels there are, which are the most popular, and what types of content are going down well with this particular audience.
You should do the same for your own brand and niche. TikTok makes this pretty easy with the use of hashtags. Just like with Twitter or any other social media platform at this point in time, you can directly click or browse these target tags to browse large amounts of content, often grouped by newest or most popular for a guide. Do your research, collate the results, and outline a plan of action.
2. Include vertical filmmaking
Another challenge for many film and video professionals first time switching to TikTok is simply taking care of the vertical content format. But no worry! While it may seem intimidating (or at least annoying) at first, it's actually quite easy when you're properly set up to handle vertical over horizontal video. Check out this in-depth article on creating vertical videos for apps like TikTok for an in-depth guide to the best camera settings, as well as tips on trimming standard videos to a vertical format. Additionally, if you are serious about creating a large amount of content, you'll want to invest in the right equipment – your best bet to get the most out of TikTok.
Personally, I found the transition to the vertical to be an interesting and fun challenge. The biggest obstacle is to train your brain to think vertically and to focus on individual elements rather than group compositions. For example, vertical video is great for filming a person right in front of the camera (I also learned a lot by disassembling this vertically filmed short by Oscar winner Damien Chazelle).
You can frame from your feet to your head with everything in focus instead of cutting them off at the waist. Working with a grid display for your "rule of thirds" is also a helpful trick to staying cinematographically focused the first time you start. Here are a few more resources to help you take advantage of vertical videography:
3. Follow the trends
There's always a new trend at TikTok, so it never hurts to add your own twist to these trends. Image via chaoss.
One of the main reasons TikTok has become so popular and relevant is the platform's ability to quickly bring the latest trends to the top. If you download the app and take a look at the For you side (FYP) Today it will look very different from a few months (or even weeks) ago. If you want to create content specifically for your brand, you should follow these latest trends and use the latest audio tracks, which make up a large part of the algorithm settings.
To do this, make sure you have a quick start in creating your videos and content that allows for quick turnaround times and sometimes multiple videos per day. Remember, apps like TikTok don't penalize content creators for creating too much content. Rather, you will be rewarded more often for uploading lots of content that is in line with the latest trends.
4. Use text for clarity
When you start creating the content for your TikTok channel, it is important to add text to all of your videos. Text not only adds clarity (and offers more views from the hearing impaired), but creates an overall sense of professionalism – especially when done stylistically. Here are some quick guides on how to add text to your TikTok videos:
As a guideline, it is best to limit the text to only a few words on the screen at a time. You can either let it scroll down line by line or have each line replaced as it appears. If the text follows along with a person speaking, try to make it appear close to the person so that your viewer can clearly understand where the text is coming from and what he is saying.
5. Add outbound click links
One simple tip that can greatly improve the ROI of your TikTok videos is to use one of the many outbound click-link platforms. If you look at some of the most popular and successful TikTok channels, you will find examples of them on just about every page. These "reference social media landing pages" can be pasted into the bio of your TikTok account so viewers can click on a landing page that has direct links to all of your specific content.
There are many options, several free (or freemium with upgrades) as well as paid ones that offer more options. Here are some of the best ones to consider:
You can use many of these platforms on other social media channels like Instagram that don't allow easy or direct clicks on your website. These click landing pages can be very helpful when you want to direct your viewers to more in-depth content (like links to longer YouTube videos) or directly to your business or brand website to offer products, services, etc.
For more tips and tricks on creating video content for TikTok and other social apps, check out the additional resources below.
KeyStock cover photo.