How to Stand Out on TikTok with Unique Content

With Local TikTok Creator, Tyler Wrightsman

February 3, 2020

On this episode of JMatt’s Social Club, we take a look at TikTok with our guest is Tyler Wrightsman (TikTok: @TylerWrightsman), who has gained over 35,000 followers on the platform since the end of September 2019 and two of his videos have reached over one million views each (see his first viral TikTok here).

For those that haven’t downloaded the TikTok app yet, in Tyler’s words, TikTok is a social media platform that houses short-form video (from a few seconds to 60 seconds). Highly entertainment-based (a lot of comedy or dancing) created by either people or brands.

It's a platform that is audio-driven, from the moment you open the app – the first video will auto-play with audio, even if your phone is muted (you have to manually bring the volume level down to zero in order to browse the app in silence). Much of the entertainment value of a video on TikTok is lost without the audio; people don’t tend to use TikTok in a loud setting (ie a party) – oftentimes, you have the viewer’s full attention.

Whereas most other platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…), if you want to get your content consumed, the best practice is to add captions to your video. TikTok is a nice change-up whereas you don’t have to write out every single word said on the video, you can just let the content exist as is.

Related: Your Little Sister/Daughter is Obsessed with TikTok (What You Need to Know)!

According to Digiday via Hubspot, “60% of TikTok’s U.S. audience is between the ages of 16 and 24.” Based on what we’re seeing most often from using the app, many of the content creators skew younger (13-22). However, don’t let age limit you to what the app has to offer. If you don’t see ‘yourself’ on the app, then now is the perfect time to create content and see what works best for you.

Outside of age, there are occupations that are underrepresented that could spark curiosity amongst users (ie @DoctorGraves or @TheBentist – both in the medical field). Or if you have a really unique genre to offer (ie funny grandpa or funny family).

As for deciding what content to create (if you don’t think you have a unique job or not sure how to stand out), in Tyler’s words, you should create content that you love – as you would on any other platform. For Tyler, he loves creating video content with cool editing tricks (often with Adobe Premiere and other software).

Another thing to consider is what do you have access to that many others don’t that could be fun to watch. If you get to skydive regularly, this could be a cool opportunity to make content that many don’t have the opportunity to play with.

Related: 2020 Social Media Trends to Keep Your Eye on

TikTok isn’t just for people/individuals, there are brands that have gotten on the platform and excelling with the content that they are creating. That being said, brands shouldn’t just get on TikTok to blatantly put out ads.

For example, @GymShark doesn’t feel like an ad when you’re watching their videos – rather, they look like a fun brand that happens to be wearing their apparel in their TikToks. There aren’t (currently) links available in TikTok bios, rather you can link to your YouTube and Instagram accounts. For Gymshark, if you enjoy their videos, you check out their bio and head over to their Instagram which offers up more ads and a sales funnel to their product.

TikTok is a great platform to establish your brand with the young demographic that is just starting to get the buying power with either their own money or asking their parents for what they want.

One brand that I am consistently surprised by is the @WashingtonPost! When you think of media… the newspaper is arguably one of those news sources that is dying out and needs to adapt to stay relevant. The Washington Post has learned to adapt to the younger audience on TikTok.

Another brand-style to keep your eye on are the sports teams (ie @Bucks, @BennyTheBull, @NFL). The NFL will reuse clips from games frequently. Sports teams have quickly taken to TikTok and are growing fast.

There are two ways that you can create TikToks, either on the app or off the app (with editing software of your choice, Adobe Premiere is a popular one among many). Tyler enjoys taking the time to edit up a video just right but knows that several videos can do well straight from the app; the latter works especially well for those that are trying to get a video up quicker and not spend all the extra time of editing off the app.

Tyler also brought up an interesting theory about the algorithm, that TikTok prefers when users shoot and edit videos directly on the app. Granted, this is just a theory, so it’s still something worth testing to see if more of your videos perform better from edits on the app or with alternative editing off the app.

One ‘hack’ that I prefer to use with shooting my videos is to create it on Snapchat, it’s the best app to use when you know you’ll be switching between the front and back cameras for your quick video. Instagram has a small delay when switching between cameras and that glitch can make all the difference between a good video and a bad one.

Related: Bottle Cap Challenge Gets the Attention of Jason Statham and Ellie Goulding!

As for the trends, you need to be careful about replicating the exact same thing as everyone else. Tyler likes to look at a trend that lacks good editing quality or quality in general and find a way to enhance it to stand out from the pack.

Don’t sit on your ideas for trends either, it won’t be long until someone else also figures out the same (or similar) twist for a trend. I am guilty of having an idea and pushing it off too much and then I see someone else do it (or it’s no longer relevant).

How does someone get on the ‘for you page’? This is somewhat of a trick question because everyone’s video gets onto the for you page, but most don’t last as long as others. If you see a video with a low ‘like count’ it typically means it was just uploaded and awaiting ‘approval’ from users. If people don’t like it or skip over it, it gets off the ‘for you page’ quicker than if people watch it again and again.

At the end of the day, if your TikTok is good and well received by users, it’s going to blow up. Granted ‘good’ is subjective, it has to be perceived as good by the masses. If it’s ‘TikTok Good’, then it’s going to stay on the ‘for you page’ for a while!

If you see a video with 5 likes, it could be good… but brand new. Consider yourself the beta viewer of that TikTok, a like from you could help keep it on the ‘for you page’. Additionally, if I see a TikTok on the rise (a couple of hundred likes posted within the last 12 hours), I will try to come up with a witty comment and attempt to be one of the top 3 comments.

Getting a top comment can get you more people checking out your profile and possibly following you and liking your videos. This is a great tip for brands trying to grow their accounts as well. It’s important to engage with other people’s content, especially with comments, to grow your account.

Related: Using Instagram Hashtags to Improve Your Reach and Discoverability

Before we wrap up this episode, I made sure to get Tyler’s take on using hashtags with posts on the app – does #fyp or #foryoupage really do anything? While Tyler hasn’t tested it, he does suggest using content specific hashtags over the overly-used ones. It may be worth trying hashtags trending at the moment or accompanied by ad campaigns currently spending money on the app (which you’ll likely notice an ad when you open the app each time).

Finally, while you can put in several hashtags, Tyler suggests not putting in any more than three or risk having your post limited with potential reach on TikTok. Additionally, I will say I have seen plenty of TikToks blow up without using a single word (or hashtag) in the caption. As they say, ‘content is king’ so if your content has the quality that users want on TikTok, it’s going to blow up regardless of the hashtag.

One last example of someone that can put out quality content that is received well by users is @CharliDamelio. So whether you decide to create content for yourself or a brand, play around with what will work for you and try your best to not get discouraged if a video doesn’t blow up right away. Keep testing and learning by making the kind of content you enjoy!

JMatt’s Social Club is a RADIO.COM podcast through 103.7 KISS-FM where we take a deeper dive into social media strategies with Milwaukee-area professionals. If you’d like us to cover a specific topic or invite someone to be on a future episode, reach out to JMatt on social media at @JMattMke (same handle on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok)!


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