The social media trends of 2021 have significantly shifted the quantity of content we post on most platforms. On some social media sites, less is more. But success on TikTok depends on a consistent, fresh supply of content. Yet, many managers and individuals alike, find they still struggle to come up with fresh TikTok ideas.
Being present and active on the platform is crucial for your content strategy's success. TikTok's algorithm continues to favor fresh new content posted regularly, which proves to be challenging at times. The platform is still among the strongest players on social media, as it will surpass 1.5 billion users next year, according to App Annie's 2022 Mobile Forecast report.
How can you keep your ideas flowing and produce content your audience will love? I would recommend exploring a strategy combining both evergreen content and trends.
Most brands jump on trends, using them as their sole strategy for TikTok. I am a firm believer that evergreen content ideas can help you keep inspiration fresh. These are content ideas that do not “age,” and are relevant weeks or even months after it has been posted. First and foremost, evergreen content can save you time because it can be repurposed from other platforms. Secondly, it often ties in with facts about yourself or your brand, or is based on your audience. Lastly, you can re-use the same content (sound, filter, idea) in other ways in the future with minor adjustments.
Trends and challenges
However, I would not rely only on evergreen content. Tapping into trends is a great way to elevate your account even further. This is content that has been trending on the platform, usually linked to a specific filter, sound, or combination of factors.
How to find trends on TikTok
A presence on TikTok can make your brand seem more approachable, and by participating in trends you can increase the chances of your content going viral. You can tap into discoverability thanks to TikTok's algorithm. 68% of engaged TikTok users claim to have watched somebody else's video in March 2020.
The beauty of trends and challenges is that they can be adapted to communicate your brand messaging.. By pairing entertaining, relevant content with your marketing goals, you create content that speaks directly to your audience.
How can you use your products, expertise, or USP (Unique Selling Proposition) to add value to TikTok? An example comes from a sponsored challenge from LinkedIn called Work this Way as an example of how you could use TikTok trends for yourself. The challenge is an excellent example of encouraging users to share their priorities in the workplace.
If you are looking for challenges that stood the test of time, look no further than Chipotle. Their challenges have gone viral countless times on TikTok, including the #ChipotleLidFlip challenge (which currently has over 400M views).
Challenges are not just for brands. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson recently launched his own 'Face Off' Challenge to publicize his latest single collaboration.
Start spending time on the discovery page of TikTok to get more ideas for challenges and hashtags. Once you find a trend you love in a TikTok, you can save the individual post in your favorites and have a backlog of inspiration.
To find more trends:
- Head to your Home feed and tap the 'For You' title at the top.
- Scroll through what TikTok has curated just for you.
- Once you find a video you like, click on its audio title underneath the caption and hashtags.
You can also head to your Discovery tab and find a challenge you'd like to join. Always remember to make a challenge of your own. Use the right hashtags—and sounds linked to the challenge—to get more eyes on your content.
Most challenges have a very short lifespan, so most social media managers check in daily. But if it's unrealistic to you, once a week will be enough. Trends are significant because they give you ideas you can use and draw inspiration from, whilst evergreen content requires more thinking on your part to come up with a concept you can replicate. Thankfully, there are a few compelling examples you can tap into to make the most of evergreen content.
TikTok ideas for brands
Especially when you are not the face of your brand, creating content on a platform like TikTok may seem hard at first. Honestly, it doesn't have to be. You can use the examples interchangeably (for both brands and individuals) as long as you adapt them to your needs.
Teaser and product updates
Build anticipation for your upcoming campaigns with new product teasers. Whether it's a specific product or showcasing the behind-the-scenes process, you can better connect with your audience by showing the process behind the final result. Create videos hinting at a new release or give an insider look to how products are made.
With a unique brand (and products), Broken Plates Jewellery built a niche on TikTok by just doing that. It's a natural way to educate customers around what you do and a favorite for smaller brands and businesses, as they cannot rely on a big name and prior awareness.
Commentary on latest news
You can make your TikTok content a reflection of your company culture. A great example (and an all-time favorite) is from the Washington Post—probably one of the best brands on TikTok. As a newspaper, they could come off significantly cut and dry, yet, they focus on a combination of timely news and humor to create a unique, unmistakable brand.
They carved out their niche by focusing on one type of content. And since the news never sleeps, they will hardly run out of ideas.
Frequently asked questions
Do you have a simple hack involving your product or related to your field? Use TikTok to give a spin to the old school FAQs with a screen recorder, or by shooting short videos and combining them. Make sure you add relevant text. You can also use voice overs from the text-to-speech feature to make your videos even more engaging and answer specific questions about your product.
Try out the TikTok Q&A feature to gather questions from your customers, just like Kobee's Organic Lip Balm does on their account.
Brands have often used text-to-speech to answer questions and provide tutorials in a fun, quick, and engaging way. Rihanna's brand Fenty Beauty offers excellent examples of using the feature to answer questions or show short tutorials around their products without relying on talking heads.
Brands can also tap into user-generated content to encourage TikTok users to interact with your product. Great case in point is Chipotle, or even Gymshark.
The brand heavily relies on ambassadors and taps into the funny side of TikTok to create a unique experience - and they virtually never run out of content, thanks to the broader community they’ve cultivated.
If you are struggling with time and budget, you can use TikTok's Q&As to encourage your audience to provide you with ideas for content they'd like to see.
Honey Art Cafe uses Q&As to showcase menu options for potential customers and provide recommendations. Thinking outside the box can help brands with little budget or time by providing simple solutions to show up consistently on the platform.
Duet and Stitch features
Duet and Stitch are two excellent features that encourage you to collaborate with other users. The difference is quite simple: the Duet effect creates a split-screen, while Stitch will enable you record a response to a clip of an existing TikTok video.
For brand inspiration on how to use Stitch, you can check out Benny the Bull, the Chicago Bulls mascot, and see how they use it to engage with the Chicago Bulls community and audience.
Looking for inspiration? You can find Stitch content of a specific video by typing #stitch@/username in the TikTok search bar.
TikTok ideas for individuals
If you are an entrepreneur or have a personal brand that wants to create a more visible and relatable persona, TikTok might still be the place for you.
The platform can be an influential tool to answer critical questions, drive your expertise, and become that go-to person. Similarly to the section above, you can also use some of these ideas for a brand.
Educational content with talking heads
If you are starting, a talking head is the simplest of all TikTok content, allowing you to share some insights just like you would in your Instagram stories.
One of the most inspiring and funny doctors on TikTok, Dr Karanr, shares some great content as well as interesting facts you may have been too afraid to ask until now.
Another great example is real-estate professional Tamika Ellsworth (@realestate_t) who educates viewers about home buying terms, insurance, and more. Start by collating and writing down common questions or misconceptions in your area of expertise.
Pointing fingers and useful tips
Posting educational content is a great place to start, especially when repurposing content you’ve already created. Whether it's a takeaway from your latest post on Instagram or answering questions from your comments, it can be a great way to create content on a budget.
If you feel brave enough, you can take it up a notch and incorporate music with overlay text—it may be the closest you'll get to dancing on TikTok. Creating fun tips with music can be a great way to spice up your TikTok and get some trending sounds in.
Remember, make sure your tips are actionable and fun, and find a song or sound that would work well with them. A great example is Dr Julie Smith, a successful creator known as TikTok's psychologist.
TikTok favors niche content more than any other social media platform, encouraging creators to zero in on one topic or issue, and turn you into the person for the job. Your niche should inform the type of content you are going to create on the platform.
Content creator Chad from ManCrafting is a great example, as he uses educational videos about welding and woodworking to share simple hacks for his niche community.
For a more personal take on TikTok, you can follow Steph Elswood's example and use fun lip-syncs to talk about relatable content - I highly recommend checking out her pandemic-inspired content.
This content is less about what you can teach and more about providing relatable content for your audience that gives them a glimpse of your personality. From the concept idea to the lip-syncing skills, it can take longer to film.
One of my favorite creators is Rod, whose TikTok perfectly translates the millennial experience with every video. His mix of relatable comedy, pop culture lip-syncing, and millennial recaps made him one of the most successful creators on the platform.
Use comedy content to make your content more relatable, speak to your audience, and give them insight into your personality. It may not be for everyone, but it's a fun edge to TikTok.
It’s time to show up more on TikTok
TikTok is proving to be the place to grow your brand. If you are looking to create better content, I also recommend TikTok's video series on creating better content for marketers.
Now that you have a better idea of creating inspiring TikTok content, you can get clear on the intention behind your content and how it will capture your audience's attention. What is the main focus on TikTok? Behind the scenes? User-generated content? Education? Clarity always comes from getting the proper direction.
Please don't fall into the trap of trying to make your TikTok the reflection of every other platform. There is no need to polish it to perfection. TikTok is tapping into a uniquely engaged audience, and it is setting clear expectations around the type of content users can find daily, thanks to its algorithm. The beauty of the algorithm is that it provides endless ideas for new content for you to draw inspiration from. Get out of your comfort zone and embrace it because TikTok isn’t going anywhere.
Find out how you can show up consistently on TikTok with UNUM. UNUM is your best tool for planning, creating, and executing beautiful social media feeds and stories. Signup today for a free account.