tiktok video ideas

What I learnt from my first viral TikTok video

Tiktok is one of those platforms that feels like it has hit the mainstream very quickly but the truth is it has be brewing for several years. And what feels like flash in the pan Tiktok trends are actually a fascinating evolution of content since the platform first launched. But we are not here to talk about why we have gone from Jason Derulo to social activism.

Instead I wanted to share my story of a video I posted recently which, unlike all my other videos which sit at a few hundred views shot to over 50 thousand views in around 24 hours. In Tiktok terms this is pretty good but certainly not the millions we sometimes see. But for my account I was astonished that every time I refreshed, my views jumped by several hundred.

viral tiktok video

From this small success, there are a few things I have noted about this video that I believe has contributed to a higher reach. Now, I’m not going to sell you a winning viral TikTik video formula because we all know that these things change quicker than Elon Musk’s business plans. But I will instead offer a bit on insight and observation – with my marketing, content hat on.

  1. The video was relatively poor quality. This goes against what so many people will tell you about quick snappy videos with music and text that pops up designed to keep you hooked. I simply shot this sitting on my sofa with the TV screen glare on my face and probably some cooking noise coming from the kitchen. No bells and whistles here. But in hindsight, I wonder if that is part of the appeal.
  2. The topic choice was childcare costs. Nothing wildly controversial here but I shared my own personal story, how much I pay and my observations and frustrations. This is widely relatable and also specific enough that it feels like a conversation with someone who is facing the same struggles as you. I  also talked about my person spending, we are on social media to be nosey after all, so I’m sure this helped!
  3. I asked for comments. This was not something I had pre planned but I dropped this in during the video asking people to ‘share my pain in the comments’. And my gosh they did! Without a doubt this is what has caused the video to push out to a wider audience. People not only commented with their stories but evidently engaged with other people comments.
  4. No viral Tiktok video formulas in sight. There has been a lot of chat on Tiktok and other platforms about what winning formula will get you more video views and interestingly we see a shift away from such heavy use of trending music and sounds and more of a move to genuine conversation and ‘characters’ that we feel we get to know.

As a marketer by day I can’t help but analyse this small success and look at the elements of the posts to work out why the platform has sent it out way beyond my normal audience. There was a trending sound (of course) going round a few months ago saying how fun social media could be when you are not trying to go viral and I would broadly agree with this as a strategy to live by, or post by! Rather than looking to chase viral Tiktok video formulas, showing a bit of yourself and posting when you feel like it, with your true enthusiasm is more evident than looking to emulate something artificially.

Here is my video – WATCH

Happy posting!

Beth Hellowell
Founder of Women in Agencies and co-founder of Signify Digital. Mother, social media scroller and frequent pasta eater.