Step into the world of TikTok.
TikTok is a social media platform built on fast-paced, attention-grabbing video content where the only requirement is to entertain. Everything from funny tales to live music, life hacks, restaurant recommendations, and inspirational stories are all thrown together in one non-stop scroll. Whether you want to make a lo-fi meme video or film a polished production, there’s a niche for everyone on TikTok.
TikTok 101: Attention is everything.
While they are somewhat similar to YouTube videos, TikToks are much shorter and faster-paced. “The most important thing you need to do is capture somebody’s attention within the first two to three seconds. And then have content that’s compelling enough to get viewers to finish the video,” says creator Robert Cole.
The easiest thing a viewer can do on TikTok is swipe away to the next video. So if you want more views or to build your platform, your video should instantly capture your viewers’ attention — and keep them coming back for more.
Don’t drag it out. A TikTok is a short video, with an emphasis on the “short.” “Completed watch time and rewatching are some of the biggest factors in how well a video does with the algorithm,” says Cole. “People think likes are a big factor, but likes are actually the least important factor. Watch time is number one, and the number of shares and comments are right behind that.”
The maximum length is 60 seconds, which for TikTok standards is basically a movie. “My videos tend to fall between the 20- to 45-second range, and a 45-second video is really long,” says creator Danny Tumia. Get to the point quickly, and trim any nonessential clips. The longer your video is, the harder it is to retain viewers, so if you use the full 60 seconds, make sure you’ve got something that can make it worth the watch.
Tips for planning your video.
So you’ve got an idea for a video that will capture that all-important viewer attention. Now it’s time to plan how you’ll execute your vision. While some videos are completely spontaneous, others will need you to spend at least a little time mapping them out.
Plan it out.
Sketch out your idea, a process otherwise known as storyboarding. If you’re doing a dance, this phase could include practicing the choreography. If you’re telling a story, it could mean writing a loose script, rehearsing your narration, or planning what kind of shots you’ll need. Because your video could be anything from sketch comedy to a musical performance, this stage will look different for every TikTok user.