A Beginner’s Guide To Making TikTok Videos

There’s no denying that TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms today. What was once a social media platform where teenagers could come up with dance routines while lip-syncing to their favorite songs has become a mainstream video universe that also includes genres like food, advertising, and comedy.

Thanks to its massive library of popular songs, trendy effects, and the platform’s open space for small niche communities to grow, TikTok has grown into a vast marketplace of entertainers, content creators, and business ventures. The best part is that it doesn’t take years to build your brand into something big⏤all it takes is one viral video and you can become an online sensation overnight.

Despite its ease, it’s important to learn how to make a TikTok video correctly, as there’s a science to making your video go viral. Naturally, there are numerous studies and analyses that provide helpful strategies for beginning TikTok users, but so far, blog writer Emily Blackwood at Backlight Blog has been the most thorough in her breakdowns of how-to tutorials for TikTok. Let’s run through a few of her tips and ideas.

How to shoot your video

According to Backlight, the first thing you need to do is decide on how you’re shooting your video, which can vary from using TikTok’s in-app camera to uploading an existing video from your photo library. As with everything, there are pros and cons to each option.

Shooting a video in the TikTok app makes it a lot easier to apply filters and effects before you even start recording, which can save you time. Also, any videos that you are lip syncing to will be much easier to record with the TikTok app⏤that is, unless you’re shooting a video incorporating multiple clips. At that point, it makes more sense to shoot with your device’s native camera, since the TikTok app only has a 60-second time limit. This way, you can shoot one long clip with your phone’s camera and then edit it down later for TikTok.

How to make your TikToks go viral

Once you’ve decided how to shoot your video, you then have to figure out the best strategy for creating a TikTok that has the highest probability of going viral. Here are a few things to try to remember as you’re putting that strategy together:

  • Get to the point of your video as quickly as you can. With only 60 seconds to get people’s attention, it’s best to keep it short and sweet.
  • Use trending sounds or songs. TikTok’s algorithm usually leans towards videos that incorporate sounds that are already performing well on the app. It’s good to use the sounds that you hear on your For You page as examples.
  • Make sure to use trending hashtags. That will help land your video on TikTok’s list of trending hashtags in the Discover tab.
  • Hopping onto a trend and leaning into content that is already popular on the app, like a popular dance, can also help your video go viral. Just remember to put your own original spin on it; you don’t want to get lost in the sea of videos where users are all doing the exact same thing.
  • You can also tell a story. Sure, you can gain traction from a good trending dance video, but a story is the most likely piece of content that can go viral from an unknown account. You’d be surprised to learn how many people are actually interested in simply hearing you talk about something interesting.
  • Remember to leave a little mystery. Whether you’re giving advice or simply throwing a crazy phrase out there, make sure to leave out some content for the future. Leaving certain questions unanswered will more than likely prompt people to comment and ask for a follow-up video.

Regardless of what type of video you choose to create, it’s in your best interest to study all the factors involved in each category. There are a few basic procedures to remember that will make producing those videos a lot easier and faster once you know what to do.

How to record a TikTok dance video

Of course, the most popular type of video on TikTok always seems to incorporate a dance routine. If you’re leaning toward making this kind of content, then it’s very valuable to look for a slow-motion tutorial that breaks down the moves first so that they’re easier to see and try out for yourself. You can usually just type “tutorial” into the search engine along with the name of the dance you want to try and TikTok will more than likely bring up a lot of results.

Once you’ve found the dance you want to try, turn on your phone’s front-facing camera and set it on a flat surface. This will provide the best view to make sure you’re replicating the moves properly. According to Mashable, you can also set a timer to record your videos hands-free. To do this, you basically set up the timer for however many seconds you need to prepare. 

Also, browse through the various effects and filters at your disposal. With all those options, you can not only manipulate the speed of your video, but you can also add special effects like smoke, powder, and camera shaking without ease. You can also add stickers to liven up any text that you use in your caption. You can also make use of the beauty filter to soften your features and present a younger version of yourself.

After you’ve gotten all set up, just follow the simple instructions to start making your TikTok dance video: 

  1. Open your TikTok app.
  2. Press the + button at the bottom-center of the screen.
  3. Hit “Add sound” at the top-center of the screen.
  4. Search for the sound you wish to use by looking it up in the search bar.
  5. Tap the sound and press the red check mark to add it to your video.
  6. Set up your phone to prepare to record.
  7. Press the timer button on the right side of the screen.
  8. Choose either a 3- or 10-second countdown.
  9. Press “Start countdown” button and record your dance.
  10. Add any filters, effects, stickers, or text.
  11. Press the Next button. 
  12. Write your caption and fill out any other details.
  13. Press Post.

How to do a slow motion video on TikTok

Another trend that tends to go viral on TikTok is the slow motion video. Just like with the dance video, search the hashtag “slow motion” on the app’s Discovery tab and see what other creators are doing. Then all you have to do is follow the instructions to shoot your own.

  1. Open your TikTok app.
  2. Press the + button at the bottom center of the screen 
  3. Record the video as you normally would.
  4. Pressed the Effects button at the bottom of the left screen.
  5. Scroll to the bottom row of options, navigate to the right, and select Time. 
  6. Tap the Slow-mo option. 
  7. Use the bar underneath your video to move the effect to the desired location on your video.
  8. Press save at the top right of the screen.
  9. Add any other filters, effects, stickers, or text.

Then just press the next button, write out your caption, and press Post.

How to make a TikTok video with several clips

As mentioned, the easiest way to shoot a TikTok video with several clips is to shoot one long video with your phone’s camera and then trim it down to individual short clips. However, it’s also possible to shoot multiple clips with the TikTok app itself. Just follow these simple directions:

  1. Open your TikTok app.
  2. Press the + button at the bottom-center of the screen.
  3. Press and hold the record button at the bottom-center of the screen.
  4. Let go when you’re finished recording the clip.
  5. Press the record button again to film your next clip.
  6. Repeat until your video is complete.
  7. Add any filters, effects, stickers, or text.
  8. Press the Next button.
  9. Write your caption and fill out any other details.
  10. Press Post.

Editing on TikTok

Once you’ve recorded your video, it’s time to publish it. This is where you can use the editing portion of TikTok to make it more aesthetically pleasing. If you’re not sure what to use, here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Use vibrant filters. There are tons of TikTok filters that will make your video look brighter and more colorful, which can keep viewers’ eyes on the screen longer.
  • Add text to your video that describes what your content is about.
  • Use the text-to-speech effect to create a voice-over.
  • Use transitions to jump between video clips.

If you’re looking to add extra sounds to your video, then you need to be familiar with how TikTok’s audio library works. 

To add sound from TikTok, all you need to do is:

  1. Open the TikTok app.
  2. Press the + button at the bottom-center of the screen.
  3. Record your video without adding an additional sound.
  4. Add any filters, effects, stickers, or text.
  5. Press the Next button.
  6. Write your caption and fill out any other details.
  7. Press Post.

If you’re looking to create your own library of sounds, recording a video without adding a sound will automatically make your sound the only audio on the video. You can then tap on your video’s sound to save it to your Favorites. Now, when you create videos later on, you can find the sound in your Favorites to reuse it.

Doing voiceovers while sounds play on TikTok

Many popular TikTok videos simply consist of creators talking while a popular sound or song plays in the background. If you want or need your voice to be heard over an existing sound on a TikTok video, then this is the only way to do it:

  1. Open your TikTok app.
  2. Press the + button at the bottom-center of the screen.
  3. Record your video without adding an additional sound.
  4. When your video is complete, press the Sound button at the bottom-left of the screen.
  5. Search for the sound you wish to use by looking it up in the search bar.
  6. Tap the sound and press the red check mark to add it to your video.
  7. Press the Volume button at the right of the screen.
  8. Turn the volume for the “Added sound” down and the “Original sound” up. Adjust until you reach the volumes you desire.
  9. Add any filters, effects, stickers, or text. 

Then all you have to do is press the ‘Next’ button, write your caption, and fill out any other details. Once you’re absolutely satisfied with everything, all that’s left to do is press Post.

How to add transitions to your TikTok video

One of the most popular uses of the app is its ability to incorporate transitions in your video. Using transitions can also help add flair and uniqueness to the type of content you’re trying to present. If you’re looking to add a transition, this is all you have to do:

  1. Open the TikTok app.
  2. Press the + button at the bottom-center of the screen.
  3. Record the video as you normally would.
  4. Press the Effects button at the bottom-left of the screen.
  5. Press Transition at the bottom of the screen.
  6. Select the transition you wish to use. You can use multiple transitions in the same video.
  7. Press the Save button at the top-right of the screen.
  8. Add any other filters, effects, stickers, or text.

By now, you’ve probably figured out how the rest of the steps go: just press the Next button, add your captions, and post it.

How to add text to a TikTok video

If you’re a business owner trying to pack your info into a short clip without having to do a lot of talking, then text overlays can be very helpful. They also add uniqueness to creators with a particular message or a comedic element that they’re using in a skit. For some, the use of text overlays can really make a video stand out from others, so it’s good to get familiar with. If you’re interested in adding text at different times throughout your video, this is what you need to do:

  1. Open the TikTok app.
  2. Press the + button at the bottom-center of the screen.
  3. Record the video as you normally would.
  4. Press the Text button at the bottom-center of the screen.
  5. Type the text, then choose your font and color.
  6. Press Done at the top-right of the screen.
  7. Tap the text and select “Set duration.”
  8. Use the tool to select when you want the text to appear and for how long.
  9. Press the check mark icon at the bottom-right of the screen when you’re finished.

Then all you have left to do is add your filters and effects. Once you’ve done that, just write out your caption and press Post.

A final word on going viral

Now the only thing that’s left to do is make your TikTok video go viral. This alone is a science in itself, so you’re going to have to play around and experiment to find what formula works best for you. If you’re looking for a blueprint to guide you in the right direction, here are a few recommendations that will hopefully put you on the right track to viral stardom.

  1. Add popular hashtags to your captions, not generic ones. Use hashtags that describe what your video is about rather than the general “#FYP.”
  2. The time of day that you post doesn’t matter. What’s more important is that you post consistently. Make an effort to post often and your content is more likely to go viral.
  3. Engage with anyone who comments on your videos. Like their comments, reply back, and check out their content if they have any.

All that’s left to do is to share your videos on other social media platforms to help increase your exposure and views. With this method, you have a much greater chance of having your video go viral and gaining new followers.

Of course with the flood of content that seems to increase on TikTok every day, it still may take a little while before you become TikTok famous. But if you continue to provide interesting and valuable content for your audience and drive up your view count, then it won’t be long before you earn yourself a spot on the “For You” page. If you make use of these tips, you’ll definitely have a higher chance of success.

If you’re looking for more helpful tips and tricks to help you succeed on social media, make sure to visit Emily Blackwood at Backlight Blog for the best strategies and tutorials on how to use TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.