How to Make TikTok Videos – Getting Started

Many businesses are starting to create videos on TikTok to increase their outreach, and with good reason. TikTok is excellent for reaching more of your potential audience and getting them closer to your brand. It is popular with Gen-Z for researching products to buy, and it’s reported that 49% of users decided to buy a product because of a TikTok promotion. This is evident with the ongoing trend of “TikTok made me buy it.”

How to make a TikTok App Account

If you haven’t yet created an account on the TikTok app, install and open it, and create your profile. Because your username shows at the very top of your TikTok profile page, use your official brand name for brand recognition and avoid imposter accounts.

Switch to a business account and carefully choose your brand category to advertise what you do or offer/your product or service. This influences how the TikTok algorithm is applied and could impact your content ranking.

How to Shoot a TikTok Video

Once you have set up your TikTok account, you are ready to make your TikTok video.

Planning Your TikTok Video

Before you start recording, clarify what your video will highlight, and plan it, to ensure it stays on focus. For the sake of this tutorial, let’s use a cooking utensils business as an example.

In order to showcase your cooking utensils, shooting short clips of yourself or a chef cooking with the utensils is a good way to make your videos more personal. Mixing in that personal connection along with most other clips being zoomed in and focused on the food creates a good mix of content.

Consider Tips and Lists Formats

Certain types of TikTok videos, like tips, best practices, hacks, or lists are very popular. Consider content that fits the “top five tips” or “three kitchen tools you can’t live without” style of video. For example, you could include:

  • Five tips for taking care of your knives
  • Follow these five tips to ensure the longevity of your pans
  • Five tips for beginners in the kitchen
  • Three (or five) types of knives everyone should own and what to use them for
  • Three (or five) essential types of pans and the types of dishes they’re used for

When going through a list, you can mention the specific brand or product you’re using. For example, if you’re filming a list of five knives every home cook needs, you could indicate that you’re using F. DICK knives, and then show each type, such as a paring knife, chef’s knife, bread knife, and so on. Zoom in on the knife or other item you are illustrating.

Just don’t be *too* salesy! The idea is to make people interested in you and your products or services in an informative value-first way. The video should not be a direct sales pitch.

For these styles of videos that focus on lists or top tips, have a clip for each of the items being demonstrated. Again, zoom in on the chef, from the shoulders up, to show the chef holding up the item being discussed. It will make the video more personal. For this style of video, there doesn’t need to be as much heavy editing as a full cooking or recipe video; however, the speaking needs to be concise to keep the video short and under a minute.

Don’t be Shy: Hit the Record Button

Start by tapping the plus sign. Always shoot your video vertically for viewing on a mobile device. Use a lot of close ups for better engagement.

Set the maximum length of video you want before you start to record, as this cannot be changed later on. Tap the red record button and hold to record a clip. You can release it to stop recording, then start to record the same video again for additional clips. Multiple clips can be added until the maximum length is reached, and if you don’t like a clip, you can delete it with the Backspace. The length of your video can be anywhere between 15 seconds to three minutes.

Short and Sweet

TikTok allows anything from a three-second to ten-minute video, but shorter is best. Shorter videos perform better so keep it under a minute. TikTok videos are unlike other social media videos. Instead of a complete video that shows the full process you’re demonstrating, or videos that feel full-length, using several short clips that show only essential, key highlights is most popular. TikTokers want quick and to-the-point videos.

For example, in 2022, the trending #sevensecondchallenge showed that very short videos, which also had lots of text, were getting massive engagement and very popular. If you feel the need to upload lengthier content, then split it up into parts. This can be a good practice to drive eager viewers to visit your page, but don’t overdo it. Make your first video under a minute and let viewers know to follow you to watch Part 2 in the next video.

Preview and Add Effects

Next, tap on Check and go to preview your TikTok video. The back arrow on the preview page lets you go back to re-record any video clips. You can also add music and other effects, like a camera shake or smoke.

You can add captions, text as an overlay, and even stickers. Use the adjust clips to rearrange and crop clips. Add sound with the voiceover feature, keeping or removing any audio clips from your original recording. You can add effects like flip, speed adjustments, beauty and fun filters, and more. The timer feature lets you record hands-free. Most importantly, don’t forget to choose the best thumbnail for your video.

Stand Out

Because most TikTok videos are creative and larger-than-life, visual and sound effects help your video stand out.

Add Music

Add trending music in-app to increase your appeal.

At Merged Media, we add the music and other effects for you, based on what is trending, to help you gain more visibility and appeal.

Start Strong and Focus on the Finish

Have an impactful beginning; the first few seconds of your new video are critical to prevent viewers from scrolling on, so make it captivating. Circling back to our cooking example, adjust clips so that the completed dish is the first shot. This clip should just be a couple of seconds long. You could also show the chef eating the food at the start, visually demonstrating how delicious it’s, to create a strong and interesting beginning. After this eye-catching beginning, quick clips to show how the food was made should follow. You can also end with the chef eating the dish, to highlight how delicious it is.

Add Location Tagging

Don’t forget to add location tagging. This is more important than you may realize. Location tagging is a very powerful tool on TikTok to place your content in front of new audiences and the right audiences. This is especially important for a local business focus, but for global brands, location tagging can still help reach new audiences.

Add a Description

Add a short video description, and manage your video settings, such as; who can watch it, whether comments or duets are allowed, etc. A duet, aka stitching another video, is where one video appears beside another video for commenting or reactions. It’s a great way to increase your engagement.

Careful Descriptions are Critical

TikTok is becoming more of a search engine, so keyword descriptions are essential. Be sure to use clear and accurate descriptions, to make sure your TikTok video reaches the right people.

Do Your Research

Take time to do research on popular and trending hashtags, and include relevant hashtags that relate to these interests. However, don’t add lots of hashtags to your video just because they are trending if they are not also relevant to your content, or you could make it look like spam, and it just distracts from your message.

TikTok Video Best Practices

Post videos regularly and consistently. Once or twice a week is best. Try creating multiple videos in a series. Consider posting reaction videos to trending videos, which is known as a stitch ok TikTok.

Connect with other influencers, and make a TikTok video with those other accounts, if possible. Comment on other TikTok videos, too, and be positive. Be sure to reply to every comment on your own TikTok video to maintain engagement and authenticity.

Add videos you made to another social media platform to boost your reach and advertise your TikTok profile.

Stay Authentic

Don’t aim for perfection, just let your personality shine. Authenticity in TikTok and being relevant in the moment is critical. A majority of TikTok users prefer more “raw” videos; 65% of TikTok users feel that professional-looking videos from brands are out of place. They also relate better to those brands that are more authentic and ‘human’.

Mention any brand of tool you are using in the video, but be careful to not overdo the plug that it comes off as unnatural.

Need Inspiration?

For inspiration and to see what other successful videos look like, check out these popular food influencers on TikTok.

Get Help

Merged Media can help you with creating videos that have impact, as well as your overall social media marketing planning. We help you with videos and add text and music for content that perfectly fits the style of each social media platform, and stay on top of trends to ensure your content is current. Get in touch if you have any questions.

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