Last Updated on 07.06.2023
The question of how to shoot videos for TikTok today concerns literally everyone, from creative teenagers to representatives of large companies.
The TikTok social network, which quickly and quietly bypassed the recognized leaders, became the event of the year even for those who had never had anything to do with posts, likes, shares and had no idea what an event was inspired avalanche-like audience growth.
Starting in the summer of 2020, this network began a rapid growth of the business segment. In several countries, a monetary support program for active creators of high-quality content was launched, promoted Tiktokers showed the whole world how much can be earned from short videos, and the world’s leading brands started placing their ads on this network.
The web focuses on human-generated content. Everyone who has a mobile phone can become a prominent media personality, earn a comfortable living and become a world celebrity.
How many people want to achieve it? Many? Certainly. But only a few people are successful. There is a gap between the massive desire for fame and money and the harsh reality of real success for a select few.
Not surprisingly, this dramatic situation has spawned a plethora of suddenly-appearing specialists: consultants, experts, coaches, and just plain successful TikTokers actively sharing the secrets of success and talking about their achievements.
The results, frankly, disappointed us a bit.
Basic video requirements for TikTok
The vast majority of advice and guidance material is a mere recount of documentation, official forums, and TikTok support responses, which are publicly available on the social network’s official site.
The recommendations given by active TikTokers seem somewhat more varied, but there are few practical benefits to be derived from them. Here they are, these recommendations:
- the video must irresistibly attract the attention of viewers from the first second,
- the video should stand out in the general context to attract those who do not know it yet,
- the video must contain recognizable images that immediately attract everyone who already knows it,
- the video should hold the viewer’s attention for as long as possible to provide good viewing depth,
- the video must be valuable (interesting, useful, funny, unexpected, WOW) to be actively shared,
- the video must be of high quality to get a lot of likes.
That, in fact, is all. Of course, you need to find your thematic niche, your own style, have an action plan and the ability to record and post at least 1 video per day. Because there must be videos. There are also many such tips.
Have we forgotten something? It seems not. This means that now everyone who has read up to this line is armed with the knowledge to work on TikTok.
These stereotypical incantations, expressed in different words and literary styles, are the existing storehouse of public knowledge.
The reason for this situation is not that the authors of the recommendations do not understand something or hide something. The real reason lies in the uniqueness of each tiktoker’s experience and how that uniqueness is handled by sophisticated social media algorithms.
Are you disappointed too? Do not be angry. Actually, there is a general list of rules that work.
We have prepared for you a list of specific tips and tricks on how to make videos for TikTok, tested by us and bearing (successful) results.
The tips are given in the order that more or less corresponds to the stages of the workflow. They are arranged neither in descending order nor in ascending order of importance and meaning.
No general words, just practice!
How to properly shoot and edit videos for TikTok
- No special video editor is needed. If you have a video editor handy that you know how to use and like to use, and it supports the 9:16 vertical video format, use it if you want. TikTok does not give preference to content created with the built-in video editor.
- Copyright. Regardless of which video editor you use, take your music from TikTok. Do not take soundtracks from third party sources. The variety of sound contradicts the social network’s practice of viral popularity of soundtracks that are officially available to users. Collaborating with music producers is one of the pillars of TikTok. Leaving the TikTok music space will do no good, only harm.
- Copyright – 2. TikTok gives you the ability to record duets. Officially, you can also borrow clips from other people’s videos (up to 30 percent of the total video length). Better to do neither one nor the other. Mutual promotion does not work until you have at least one hundred thousand subscribers, and the use of others’ content does not replace your own content. And any complaint, if you really have something in your video that you don’t own and aren’t allowed to use, will inevitably lead to problems, even losing your account. Record yours and only yours.
- Shoot a video for TikTok in such a way that there are no significant details in its lower third, without which the video will lose meaning. Everything should happen in the top 2 thirds of the frame. The bottom third will be taken up by your hashtags (left) and TikTok symbols (right). Also, avoid using narrow stripes on the right side up to 60 percent of the frame height starting from the bottom; that’s where the TikTok icons will go.
- It doesn’t matter what technique you record with. A mobile phone is enough. TikTok audiences don’t make high demands on video quality. The image must be clear, understandable, bright and contrasted. What really matters is the lighting. There must be enough light and it must suit the scene.
- To photograph small objects and actions that take place on the surface, such as on a table, you need a reliable tripod. We recommend buying a “clamp” with two flexible arms. There is a small light ring on one rod and a spring-loaded phone grip on the other. To record alone: an absolutely indispensable device. If at the same time it is possible to use side lighting, preferably natural light, then you can record any object from any angle.
- For shooting a “talking head”, makeup demonstrations and close-up scenes, it is better to purchase a ring illuminator with a diameter of 25-40 centimeters, combined with a reliable tripod. Typically, such an illuminator has a spring-loaded grip device for a phone inside the ring. Choose the brightness, distance and recording mode, and you can always prepare the recording location in two or three minutes.
- A shaky and unsteady image can spoil the impression of even a very successful video. As a result, a potential subscriber may walk by and those who have already subscribed to you may unsubscribe. Fix your mobile phone securely. If you hit a tripod or table and the image shakes as a result, cut this piece off. If you can’t cut it, use a video editor with the necessary functions to stabilize it and correct the defect.
- To shoot landscapes or motion videos, buy a handheld phone stabilizer. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, inexpensive mechanical counterbalance devices are available. True, in this case it will not work so comfortably, and the stabilization efficiency will not be very high. To start working or try if you want/need to take pictures outdoors, this is a good option.
- Sound quality matters. The ear is more demanding than the sight. If you’re recording sound into the built-in microphone in your phone’s headset, it’s not okay. Strange sounds that you do not pay attention to in everyday life will be recorded. The volume will change less with changes in the distance between you and the microphone. If the outside of the microphone comes in contact with clothing or items inside (and it will), unpleasant crackling and clicking sounds will appear on the phonogram. Buy a lavalier microphone. At first, this will be more than enough.
- When editing a video for TikTok using the built-in video editor, make sure to link the motion dynamics in the frame to the music using the built-in tools. No matter what’s in the frame—dance, active facial expressions, whipped cream, or a running cat—the phases of movement must be in sync with the sound. The video should be perceived as a music video.
- Use popular soundtracks from the TikTok music library. The best: those whose popularity is growing. You can easily find these soundtracks after a little practice. TikTok will tell you which options are relevant. You should listen to TikTok’s advice: their stats are the most accurate. Do not use music from other sources.
- Use subtitles. If you have the opportunity and the ability, do it not in the TikTok video editor, but in another. Titles based on standard TikTok templates have become familiar and recognizable to everyone. Videos with such titles are generally lost. Your job is to stand out.
- Titles must be legible. Before posting the video, read the titles yourself; you should be able to read and understand them without stopping the video playback. Viewers don’t like to tap the screen to pause so they can read titles. It is best to plan a place to place the titles before recording. Titles should not interfere with the presentation of the plot, but should help to understand it.
- Carefully consider which part of the video will appear in the TikTok feed as a splash screen (cover). The most important thing is the dynamics in the frame and the recognizable objects. The action that ends on the cover must be incomplete. This is the “hook” of the intrigue, which will capture the viewer’s attention; the viewer must want to see what will happen next.
- The sound of the cover should correspond to its content and be complete, no intrigue is needed in it, the aesthetics of sound accompaniment not interrupted by anything is needed. The sound should not suddenly stop in the middle of a note, this is annoying. Two or three notes that form a short musical phrase that accompanies an interesting image is a very powerful attraction.
- If you have “expert” content, then the video intro (cover) should have subtitles. Well visible, legible and understandable, on the essence of the video. The TikTok video editor allows you to add them to the selected cover, while this inscription will not be on the video itself. Subtitles are generally not required for entertainment content.
- In the bottom right corner of the video, TikTok will place your logo. If you put your own or there are watermarks from another video editor in this corner, it is very likely that your video will look bad. Avoid occupying the lower right corner! If this happens, then you have a trick at your disposal that will solve the problem. When preparing for the post, cover the unnecessary letters and images in the lower right corner with a sticker of a suitable shape and size from the TikTok collection.
Some more tips
It is believed that to be successful on TikTok, you need to post 1-3 videos per day at least. This is true for medium quality content.
TikTok itself has a large number of accounts that have gained millions of subscribers on various videos posted with interruptions from several days to several months. It’s just that your content made a lasting impression for some reason.
The bottom line is simple: the secret to success is content. If you manage to make an impression, give useful information, encourage, surprise… and success will follow.
To do this, many videos need to be recorded and published. This is not about pleasing the TikTok algorithms at all.
Your task is to become an interesting author for viewers. TikTok is a network where people make videos for people.
So making lots of posts is your way of finding your genre, your topic, your style, your style, and your audience. Do it with heart, post a lot, try different approaches, change footage, change clothes, look for cool details. Experiment and don’t stop!
And the last.
To get many views on a video of any content, you must already be a star. Celebrities can do anything – an army of fans will only be happy with something new.
If you’re just starting your journey to fame, pick a theme. In principle, the more unique the better, but it should definitely belong to a popular niche.
Work on your topic, create unique and interesting content, surprise and delight people. Then everything will work out for you.