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State Press Play: Why is pop punk thriving on TikTok?

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Is TikTok bringing back your emo phase, too? Here’s how new and old favorites are using the platform to thrive despite the pandemic


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Listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts

Kirsten Dorman:

Hang on a second! Stop scrolling! I want to talk to you about something. Recently, a growing community on TikTok has set out to prove that: It was never a phase, mom!

It’s safe to say that a lot of new things came out of 2020. One of them was that TikTok is now a place where budding musicians can get their start. Some have even launched their careers to near-instant stardom from their time on the platform. Doja Cat, Lil Nas X and more recently, Olivia Rodrigo, are all notable examples of artists who saw their music become cultural phenomenon because audiences on TikTo took such a liking to them.

According to an article Elias Leight wrote for Rolling Stone, TikTok has benefited from greater resources, an algorithm that enhances social mobility and targeted outreach efforts that ensure popular users are up on the latest trends. TikTok’s algorithm specifically tends to be central to the conversation about how creators get their content out there and how more viewers will see and hopefully interact with it.

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Playing now in the podcast

Royalties, one of the more relevant elements of all this algorithm talk for musicians. Those get paid through posts, John Strauss, CEO of Create Music Group, parent company of Flighthouse, a brand with over 18 million fans on TikTok told Leight. When it comes to royalties being paid out, new videos being created with a musician sound are what will do the trick over views.

Views still mean something, though. According to Leight’s reporting, when videos perform well enough, TikTok can become involved in boosting sounds through various means. 

However, when vying for the algorithm’s blessing, there are risks. Mainly, becoming a one hit wonder. Just like any artist or group that wants to stay in the limelight for longer than their initial 15 minutes of fame, TikTok musicians are tasked with building a following that will stick with them even when they don’t put out hit after hit. 

The pop punk scene, which has seen a resurgence partially thanks to TikTok, is no exception to this. So how are artists and groups in the pop punk genre tackling this challenge? I sat down with members of the band Arrows in Action to get their take.   

And before anything else I had to ask, why pop punk over any other genre? 

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Victor Viramontes-Pattison:

There’s this very specific film. It’s called “Straight to DVD” that All Time Low put out. It’s like a live concert story. Jesse and I both watched that religiously when we started getting into pop punk, independent of each other before we even knew each other. 

I know it’s kind of silly, but I watched that video over so many times, and it kind of decided for me what kind of band I wanted to be in and how I wanted to act on stage and stuff. So pop punk has always been a big influence for me and just something to kind of gravitate towards — specifically pop punk and not just rock music.

Kirsten Dorman:

With so many other groups and artists on the rise, how do you stand out? 

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Victor Viramontes-Pattison:

Something that I think we focus on a lot, regardless of vocals or anything, is that like, something that kind of bummed me out about some bands was that I feel like the parts could be cool, then the melodies were lacking or the melodies were awesome and that the parts were lacking.

So I think that’s kind of a cool “middle of the road” that we get to sit in. It’s that we get to have interesting parts while the melodies are also a very important part of the song.

Matt Fowler: 

Oh, I also want to say, as far as like things that make us stand out. I feel like in any collection of songs — so whether it’s the 2020 songs or the EP before that — everything sounds pretty different. Which could maybe come with some drawbacks, you know?

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But I think that fans that we do have right now really like that. And I think we like that from a performance standpoint too, to not just play a bunch of double-time pop punk songs, we play a lot of different stuff. 

Kirsten Dorman:

The band’s Discord has become a great place for fans to congregate, hang out and even occasionally interact with group members.

They say it’s part of their effort to build a community around their music and around them. It’s a great way for them to get to know their fans and vice versa in lieu of regular live performances. 

See also  Cousin offers insight into San Diego TikTok star charged with murder | cbs8.com

Matt Fowler:

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I just think we want to have a fan base that is just really welcoming and kind of exists on its own as this friendly community.

It’s really cool in our little Discord channel to see friend groups forming of people that have never met each other before that only know each other through the band. And that’s the most important thing I think that we can do, is to build a community that’s safe for people, friendly for people. That’s just really important to us, and then communicating with people and remembering as many names and everything or usernames as humanly possible is also important to us.  

Looking at bands like The Main, they don’t really charge for meet-and-greets, they’re always taking pictures with people, you know, they remember fans’ names. And, you know, I just think that’s really special — trying to be as appreciative of these people as we can, as we’re growing, because they’re the only reason we get to do it.

Kirsten Dorman:

The oldest TikTok on the Arrows in Action account is from November of 2019, but it wouldn’t be until October of 2020 when they’d strike gold with a video that currently sits at over 41,000 views. And that video would be quickly followed up by another posted the same day, which sits currently at over 62,000 views.

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Jesse Frimmel:

It started out — in the very early days we did these skits that were not at all part of true TikTok culture. They were just things that we made. And then I just posted one of our music videos, just cropped for vertical. And that first one just blew up. I was like, “Oh, OK. We should do that.”

It just sort of turned into a no-brainer to start posting on TikTok. And it worked incredibly well, beyond really anything we were expecting from TikTok.

Victor Viramontes-Pattison:

I feel like this year specifically has been a completely — well, 2020 specifically has been a complete shift for us because we’ve gone from being a band that — not that we’re not this type of band anymore, but we’ve gone from being a band that it’s like, OK, we’re playing these venues. We’re booking this show. We’re going to be doing these things live.  

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We can’t do that as much anymore, and TikTok has made me feel more connected with everyone in the world than, more than anything else has, and I think that the whole community aspect of it comes from the fact that we can just meet new people all the time through TikTok and through Twitter and everything.

Before we were on TikTok, we might have someone find us on Twitter and they would be excited about it. But the response we’ve gotten from TikTok has been so overwhelmingly positive that it’s just unlike anything we’ve experienced before. 

Kirsten Dorman:

What about the pop punk aspect of your identity as a band? And how does that play into your presence on TikTok? 

Victor Viramontes-Pattison:

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We have definitely dug into the emo pop punk side of TikTok. That is definitely where we shine the best, because we can put out a cover of a Dominic Fike song and it might get 600 views. But if we cover “Face Down” by the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, it’s going to do 10 times better because we’ve already embedded ourselves in this “pop punk TikTok.”   

Matt Fowler:

Even if our songs don’t really sound like that, as far as where our sense of humor lies — like the fake Fall Out Boy song videos or whatever, that did better than anything. We didn’t plan it, that was actually improvised. And it was so stupid, but it actually got like 300,000 views. 

Kirsten Dorman:

Aside from just posting content, the band also regularly goes live on their account. Which not only gives existing fans a reason to stick around and stay engaged but can also give new fans a reason to do the same.

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Matt Fowler:

Going live has been the biggest thing for us.

So yes, as cool as it is to get a bunch of views on one video every once in a while, which is true, we’ll go for weeks without having one take off, and then sometimes one will take off and it’s great. We get a few bucks and a whole bunch of comments and new followers, and that’s amazing. But the most important thing then is going live soon after so that all those new people get to hop in and hang out with us. 

We answer questions, even if it’s some of the same questions, engage those people. We’ll talk to them, play songs for them. And that is what drives traffic to the page.

See also  Final Destination Trends After Log Crashes Through Windshield in TikTok Video

Victor Viramontes-Pattison:  

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And we’ll sign merch on live, we’ll take requests for songs, make them feel heard.

Jesse Frimmel:

It’s very organic, which is fun for us, but I think it’s fun for the people watching, too. Cause they’re like, “Oh, you guys aren’t putting on an act. I’m with them, meeting them and getting to know them as they are.”

Kirsten Dorman:

Like many others, pop punk is a genre that’s constantly evolving.

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Artists are constantly experimenting with new things to incorporate into their sound and constantly pushing boundaries of what defines it. Combine that with the suddenly brand-new environment the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust artists into, and you end up with some tough challenges to tackle.

I sat down with the band, Not My Weekend, whose name is inspired by an All Time Low lyric to talk about their approach.

Playing now in the podcast

Patrick Gilchrist:

If I had to give an elevator pitch, I would say we’re like a really, really cheesy, poppy, pop punk band that kind of deconstructs a lot of things about the scene, and we’re really happy. And I want people to listen to it. I grew up listening to Warped Tour bands and going to Warped Tour.

And, you know, there’s so many phases of what punk rock and the alternative scene is, and it changes so quickly. Crabcore was the biggest thing in all of rock music for like six months and then immediately, it just became a big joke.

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And right now pop punk is having a big moment and MGK is really taking off, but I can totally see in two years everyone just looking back on that and thinking, “That was silly.”

Kirsten Dorman:

In much the same way the music itself goes through cycles of change, so too can the industry and the forces that make hits. Forces which even pop punk may find itself subject to. 

Patrick Gilchrist:

TikTok is really interesting. I was thinking about this the other day. I feel like every couple of years, something will happen where music is kind of taken control of by the masses and by the listeners through some new medium, and then somehow the industry takes it back a couple of years later and they just go back and forth between those two things forever.

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When we were young, MySpace decided what bands got played on the radio. That went away and Spotify came up, and Spotify decided who was on the radio by what playlist they put music on. And now TikTok has come up and it’s so much bigger than everything else, and it’s so user based that TikTok decides what’s on the radio.

TikTok’s amazing, and I think every five years pop punk kind of has a new moment, and I think it’s having one now. Just because music lives on TikTok, that’s happening on TikTok, also. 

Kirsten Dorman:

In the past few months, a trend where users shout that it was “never a phase, mom,” and sing the lyrics to All Time Low’s “Dear Maria, Count Me In” has taken hold. 

It was seemingly kick-started by user yungricepatty when he did exactly that in a video posted December of 2020, which currently sits at around 8.9 million views. This January, the 2007 hit saw this renewed surge in popularity represented in it peaking at No. 5 on the rock streaming songs chart, according to reporting by Gab Ginsberg for Billboard.

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Like many other groups and artists on the scene, All Time Low’s newer material also received support from fans enjoying the wave of nostalgia TikTok’s algorithm has delivered to their screens. Even before “Dear Maria’s” resurgence in April of 2020, the band released their latest album, titled “Wake Up, Sunshine.”  

By September a single from the album titled “Monsters” would reach the number one spot on the Alternative Air playlist and spend 18 non-consecutive weeks there. And, according to Ginsburg’s reporting, was now tied with Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” for third longest reign in the list’s 32 years of existence. 

Two months later, a remix of the track featuring Demi Lovato and Blackbear was released. And as of mid-February, it’s peaked at No. 21 on Billboard’s Pop Air playlist. 

All Time Low’s recent and arguably TikTok-related spike in success is reflected in how the platform has influenced listeners’ nostalgia for older hits and love for new music from other groups and artists. 

Simple Plan’s iconic hit “I’m Just a Kid” has been used by about 4 million people, including Will Smith, as part of another trend, according to reporting by Eloise Bulmer for Kerrang. So has Paramore’s “All I Wanted” with at least 40,000 clips using the track for singing challenges and showing off relationships.

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Artists like Machine Gun Kelly and YUNGBLUD have seen their 2020 releases do exceptionally well. Both seeing one track each debut at the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 — Machine Gun Kelly taking that spot in the U.S. and YUNGBLUD nabbing it in the UK. 

See also  TikTok Said to Revamp US Lobbying Efforts as Washington Targets Chinese Ownership

Patrick Gilchrist:

It’s a weird world where more when we were growing up, there was this situation where if you were a band, you had to develop a social media presence.

Now it’s kind of like, if you want to be a band, you better develop a social media presence first. Everyone that still does it, and everyone that has successfully traversed being a band for a long time and successful for years has been really, really good at adopting whatever’s coming next.

They were on TikTok. As soon as it came up, I signed up for it. I’m signed up for dozens of social medias that just never take off, just crossing my fingers. 

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Kirsten Dorman:

What kind of content do you post to make the best of TikTok and really build that social media presence as a band? 

Patrick Gilchrist:

The band’s TikTok is really just what I think are the coolest shots from our “El Camino” music video or “Honeymoon” music video.

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Nick Hudson:

There’s also the dances. 

Patrick Gilchrist:

Oh yeah, and there’s the dances! Yeah. Nick makes a great point. Our good friend, Sydney Edwards, and I did choreograph a full dance for “El Camino.”  Man, I was trying to get take off and I still am. I need to do it more, but I believe in it. We’ll get there. 

And then on my personal account, when it comes to our music, I just try and post intermittently and often, something related to our band. If there’s anything even kind of music related at all, the caption is probably please stream honeymoon by my band Not My Weekend. 

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I’m confident in our band and our songs, so I know that you’ll like our stuff if I just get that person to click “play.”

Kirsten Dorman:

According to the guys from Arrows in Action, in a few words, getting listeners to click “play” means adapting. 

Matt Fowler:

If you are an aspiring musician, do it, and get on TikTok and get on all the other — like, get all your stuff on Spotify and then make a TikTok. You’ll get people onto the Spotify.

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Be really nice to people and constantly play music and, I don’t know, people will find it — which sounds lofty to say, but it is the truth. And it’s really cool to see it happen.

Victor Viramontes-Pattison:  

I heard an artist say somewhere that if you’re not on TikTok, you don’t want it bad enough. I don’t know — as mean as that sounds, it really rings true, I think. It really does. 

Matt Fowler: 

And that goes for anything, right? If it wasn’t TikTok and let’s say Twitter was still the biggest thing or something like that — it’s like, if you aren’t adapting, then you don’t want it bad enough. 

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Cause if it’s not TikTok, it’s going to be whatever the next app is. We’ll download it. We’ll make a band account, and we’ll go for it. 

Playing now in the podcast

Kirsten Dorman:

As these groups and others seem to know, right now when it comes to getting yourself out there, especially in the pop punk scene, if you’re not already posting on TikTok, now is the time to create an account and start belting the lyrics to “Dear Maria” — or whatever hit is next in the trend cycle — on camera this time.

After all, TikTok may be a phase but, for many, pop punk is a lifestyle. 

Thanks again to both Arrows in Action and Not My Weekend for taking time to sit down with me, as well as for lending their music to this podcast.

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You can find Arrows in Action on Instagram and Twitter under their band name or visit their website.

Also, stream their songs “Close Enough,” “Honey,” “Failing on Purpose” and “This Time,” which were all featured in this episode. 

Not My Weekend can be found on Instagram under their band name and on Twitter under @NotMyWeekendWyo, or you can visit their website also. Stream their songs, “Honeymoon,” “El Camino” and “Come Over,” which were featured in this episode as well.

For the State Press, I’m Kirsten Dorman. 


Listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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Reach the reporter at kcdorman@asu.edu or follow @dorman_kirsten on Twitter.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.


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TIKTOK

TikTok Expands Creator Tipping and Video Gifts, Providing More Monetization and Marketing Options

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TikTok continues to expand its creator monetization tools with the addition of video tipping and virtual gifts for regular uploads, in addition to live-streams in the app.

To be clear, live tipping and digital gifts have been available for selected live-stream creators via its Creator Next program since last year. This new expansion brings the same functionality to regular TikTok videos, which will add another way for users to generate direct income from their TikTok videos.

TikTok Creator Next

As you can see in these screenshots, shared by social media expert Matt Navarra (via Dan Schenker), to be eligible for the new Creator Next program, users will need to have at least 1,000 followers, and will need to have generated more than 1,000 video views in the previous 30 days.

Though TikTok does note that these requirements vary by region – TechCrunch has reported that creators need to have at least 100k followers to qualify in some cases.

As explained by TikTok:

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The new Tips feature allows people to directly show gratitude to creators for their content, much like recognizing exceptional service or giving a standing ovation. As is standard for tipping in person, with Tips creators will receive 100% of the tip value.”

Tip payments will be processed by Stripe, with creators required to sign up to manage their earnings in the app.

“With Video Gifts, also available today, creators can now collect Diamonds not only by going LIVE but also by posting videos. This also gives people an all-new way to interact and engage with content they love.”

TikTok live gifts

That will provide expanded capacity to generate real money from posting, without having to go live, which will open new doors to many TikTok creators.

See also  How Super-Straight Started a Culture War on TikTok

In addition to this, TikTok’s also lowering the threshold for those who can list their profiles in its Creator Marketplace brand collaboration platform, which enables businesses to find TikTok influencers to partner with on in-app campaigns.

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TikTok Creator marketplace

Up till now, creators have required 100k followers to qualify for these listings, but now, TikTok is reducing that number to 10k, which will further expand available opportunities for both users and brands.

That could make it much easier to find relevant creators to partner with, in a lot more niches, which will add more considerations into your TikTok posting and engagement process.

As noted, these are the latest in TikTok’s broader efforts to provide comparable monetization opportunities, in order to keep its top stars posting to the platform, as opposed to drifting off to YouTube or Instagram instead, which have more established monetization systems.

The advantage that other apps have in this respect is that longer videos can include pre-roll and mid-roll ads, facilitating direct monetization, which TikTok can’t utilize given the shorter nature of its clips. As such, it needs to look to alternate funding methods, which will also include eCommerce listings, with direct product displays now the primary source of income for the Chinese version of the app.

The platform’s continued growth facilitates even more opportunities in this respect, with more brands looking to tap into the various opportunities of the platform, and partner with creators to maximize their presence.

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How popular, and valuable, direct tipping and gifting can be is more variable, as some dedicated fan bases will pay, while others will see no reason to donate for what they can already access for free.

See also  TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer Quits After Three Months, Just as Firm Challenges US Ban

But even so, it adds more opportunity, and the lower thresholds for monetization will see many more opportunities across the board in the app.

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INSTAGRAM

Shorter Videos Are In Demand. Here’s How Different Social Media Platforms Are Reacting.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With TikTok and Instagram Reels slowly conquering social media marketing, there’s no mistake: Short videos are in demand.

The average length for most, if not all, business videos is only six minutes long. And that number is set to decrease as consumers look for shorter videos.

With that in mind, why are short videos in demand? What platforms are implementing short-form videos the best? And most importantly, how can they benefit your business?

TikTok – Changing consumerism, one video at a time

Where shorter videos are concerned, TikTok has always led the industry. What started as a merger with Musical.ly quickly became one of the world’s most powerful social media platforms. And what made it so famous? The same concept that made Vine viral short videos.

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TikTok has over 1 billion active users, twice as many as Snapchat and Pinterest. For reference, Twitter only has 397 million users. With such a massive user-base, the only thing keeping the platform alive are the 15-second-long videos.

But why are short videos so popular? Simple – people don’t have time on their hands. When they open apps like TikTok and Instagram, they’re more likely to spend time watching shorter videos.  And businesses are already catching up.

The impact of Instagram Reels

With the invention of Stories by Snapchat, other platforms like Instagram caught up on short videos. Instagram Reels presents adults and young users with a more straightforward way to tell others about their day. It employs quick photos and videos that are only available for 24 hours instead of being permanently posted. Now engagement is encouraged, especially after Instagram included the “Swipe” option. This has allowed e-commerce sites to both advertise their products and make instant messaging easier.

See also  Cousin offers insight into San Diego TikTok star charged with murder | cbs8.com

Youtube has joined the bandwagon

While YouTube is more or less a platform for long-form videos, its recent update offers shorter vertical videos. Known as YouTube Shorts, the feature allows creators to engage with their audience in under 60 seconds.

But YouTube has another trick up its sleeve, and this one is mainly towards advertisers. It is “YouTube TrueView” and is the primary advertising technology for YouTube. Through this, advertisers can promote long or short videos, with some being skippable after five seconds.

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However, since most people are unlikely to click on longer ads, YouTube now offers 6-second non-skippable ads. The clickthrough rate for shorter 15 and 30-second ads is around 70%, a whopping number for any business.

It’s time to say goodbye to IGTV

With Instagram’s IGTV coming off as less captivating than its Reels and video posts, it has decided to remove IGTV. Instead, it has a separate section for videos. These videos will appear on a person’s profile and can be viewed from the Instagram app.

The change they made here is that videos posted to the Instagram feed can be up to 60 minutes long. The exact reason for doing this is not confirmed. But it seems like Instagram wants a seamless platform where short and long videos co-exist.

This makes long videos more accessible to users using the Instagram app. And it helps promote video tutorials that people typically do not consume on social media apps.

Another significant change is that Instagram videos that are longer can be monetized, a feature not available on Reels. This significantly shifts the focus towards creators who don’t sell a service and want to gain cash through Instagram.

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Does this mean long-form videos are out of the picture?

With short-form videos becoming more popular among consumers, will long-form videos die out? While it’s highly recommended for any business to create videos as short as possible, the answer isn’t that black and white.

See also  DAZN Chairman Kevin Mayer Sees Profitability in Sports Streaming, Fitness Videos and TikTok ...

While short-form videos will drive traffic from new users, long-form videos are better for brand loyalty. Shorter videos will get more engagement and show up on new users’ feeds. But longer videos will be the backbone of your business.

Of course, that depends on what service you’re offering. Ecommerce companies will want to direct their attention towards short-form videos and ads. However, long-form videos are better suited for when you want to go in-depth about product details. That is, of course, only after you’ve grabbed the user’s attention with a short-form video.

Companies that offer webinars will benefit from longer videos. And so will companies that post interviews. However, promos and how-to videos should remain under a minute or two, depending on how long the tutorial needs to be.

Essentially, ask yourself two questions:

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  • First, can the video content be summarized in a short-form video?
  • Do you want to merely catch the attention of the consumer or develop brand loyalty?

The correct formula is neither short nor long, but a mix of both.

What this all means for an entrepreneur

Short-form videos hold substantial market value, especially for new businesses. Take the example of the Dollar Shave Club. What started as a viral video on YouTube grew to become a behemoth of a brand.

And that’s not where the examples end. There are countless success stories like this one that prove the value of short videos.

Short videos have a higher clickthrough rate, and for entrepreneurs, that’s all you need. Short videos are of particular interest to people with ecommerce businesses. For example, 84% of people say they are more compelled to buy a product by watching a video. And the statistics keep on showing a friendlier short-video market.

See also  TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer Quits After Three Months, Just as Firm Challenges US Ban

There is no doubt that short-form videos are gradually creeping up the graph. And while long-form videos are great for information and brand loyalty, shorter videos are better for PR.

This begs one last question: Are videos beneficial for you? The answer is – yes!

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How to Make a TikTok Video: Beginners Start Here

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Let’s face it, TikTok is the moment.

And with 1 billion monthly active users, it’s time to join the action and get your brand out there to a wider audience!

Want to learn how to make a TikTok Video but don’t know where to start? Don’t sweat it! We broke down all the steps and tools you’ll need to make a viral-worthy first video and make sure your debut is anything but cringe.

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to prioritize and plan your social strategy in 2022.

How to create a TikTok account

First things first, you’ll need to create a TikTok account.

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There are different ways to sign up for one: you can use your phone number, email address or social media account. Here’s how to do it using your phone number.

1. Download TikTok from Google Play or the App Store.

2. Open the TikTok App on your iPhone or Android.

3. Click the “Me” or “Profile” icon at the bottom-right of your screen.

profile icon on TikTok

4. Choose a method to sign up (we’re choosing “use phone or email”)

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sign up for TikTok using phone or email

5. Enter your birth date and phone number (make sure this is accurate because it’s how you’ll retrieve passwords and confirm your account).

enter birthday when signing up on TikTok

6. Enter the 6-digit code sent to that phone number (see, told ya!)

7. You did it! Celebrate by scrolling TikTok for too many hours.

How to make a TikTok video

Here’s how to get started on your very first TikTok video. Luckily for you, it’s way easier than learning this TikTok Shuffle dance.

1. Hit the + sign at the bottom of your screen.

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2. You can upload photos and videos from your phone’s library or make a video directly using the TikTok camera.

See also  SweeTARTS® Celebrates Brighter and Bolder Chewy Line with Influencer Flossybaby and TikTok ...

3. If recording directly, hit the Record button at the bottom of the screen. Hit it again when you’re done recording. The default video mode is “Quick” which is for 15 second videos but you can switch it to “Camera” for more editing options and longer videos (15s, 60s and 3 mins), or “Templates” to create a specific style of video.

record button on the bottom of TikTok screen

4. Tap the check mark when you’re done shooting all your footage.

tap checkmark after shooting footage

5. Make any edits or changes on the post page. All your edits are on the right sidebar of the screen. Also, add music or sounds by hitting “Add sound” at the top of the screen.

add sound on TikTok

6. Post that video and share it everywhere! Make sure to include a description with some hashtags so it finds its way to your audience.

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post video on TikTok with description

How to make a TikTok with multiple videos

Instead of taking one long video, why not capture shorter videos and edit them together to make your TikTok video? Here’s how to do that (and you don’t need a film degree).

1. Hit that “+” sign to start your video

2. You can either shoot multiple videos directly by hitting that record button after each clip, building up your video with different shots. Or, you can hit the “Upload” button next to the record button and add multiple videos and photos you have stored on your phone.

3. Select all your media and tap Next.

4. You can now sync sound across your videos and make adjustments (or try “Auto sync” which will do the syncing up for you.)

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sync sound on TikTok

automatically sync clips

5. Hit Next when done. You’ll be brought to a preview screen where you can further add sounds, more effects, text, and stickers.

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hit next and add suggested sounds

6. Tap Next when you’re done editing your video and proceed to the Post screen.

7. Remember to throw in a description and some hashtags and bingo-bango-bongo you’re the Steven Spielberg of TikTok!

5 things to know before creating your first TikTok

TikTok style is less polished than other types of video

Don’t worry about being too precious with your videos. On TikTok, videos are meant to be candid, and natural—and they should show off your personality. Things like perfect edits, smooth transitions or flawless lighting shouldn’t get in the way of your idea and your own charisma.

Sure, there are lots of editing options, effects and filters to choose from (what the heck is the difference between B3 and G4 filters anyways?) but the real star is you —or, at least all 6 of these friends belting out Lady Gaga for the #caughtinabadromance challenge at this bachelorette. If that’s not candid, I don’t know what is.

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@ariellehartford

That finger stole the show! 😂😂😂 #bachelorettetrip #gatlinburg #caughtinabadromamce

♬ original sound – Arielle Hartford

You don’t have to dance

Good news! You don’t have to spend 2 hours trying to perfect the LaLisa dance tutorial to make sure your video stands out (unless you want to, then no judgment over here!).

There are so many different ways to engage your followers that don’t involve you popping and locking in your living room in front of a ring light (but again, no judgement if you do, except maybe from your pet and their adorable judging eyes).

You also don’t have to attempt whatever this is.

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@sdavidrodriguez

♬ Grab Da Wall & Rock Da Boat – 504 Boyz & Weebie

Hashtags can help more people see your post

It’s no secret a good hashtag can go a long way on TikTok. Strategic use of hashtags will help people find your videos who don’t already follow you, and maybe even see it on their For You Page (FYP).

Find the best hashtags to grow your views and help get your content recognized by the algorithm. You worked so hard on it, might as well show it off to as many people as possible.

The right song can go a long way

Attaching a trending song to your video or audio from a popular TikTok video can help it get seen by more people. This app has a big music following (lots of new songs are intentionally promoted through the app to help them climb the music charts) so lassoing your video to one of these shooting stars is only going to help you get on more FYP and in front of new audiences.

@suzyjonesmusic

♬ original sound – Suzy Jones

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Your greatest asset is you

Don’t overthink it, just come up with a simple idea and let your personality shine through. The sense of intimacy and community that TikTok brings is why people love this app—it feels personal.

Even if you’re doing a TikTok challenge or trend that’s popular, the thing that will make you stand out is your unique take on it. It’s not about gimmicks but about putting your best self out there. Nothing should feel too staged or self-aware (that’s cringe territory). Pretend your audience are your good friends and approach it with that energy!

@janikon_No, I can’t re-record this, I’m laughing too hard #fyp♬ original sound – Stu (he/him)

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