TikTok is evolving. The same strategy that worked back in 2020 won’t achieve the same results in 2023.
TikTok’s success was built on rapid-paced 7-15 second videos. Over the last few years, the platform extended its maximum video length all the way to 10 minutes. Many TikTok social media managers and experts report that longer videos can produce more views and engagement on TikTok in 2023 and beyond.
There are few constants in social media. As platforms and audience preferences shift, marketing strategies must follow suit. Outdated strategies that worked for previous iterations of the platform won’t work forever.
Staying successful as a social media marketer requires constant strategy auditing. You have to keep a close eye on what competitors are posting, who is growing and who isn’t, and what trends are facilitating that growth. This is especially important for TikTok, as the platform is a notoriously fast mover.
Creators are posting more long-form content than ever. This is vastly different from what worked on TikTok even just a few months ago.
Many creators report having more trouble gaining followers on TikTok than on Instagram. While 15-second videos still have the potential to go viral with both original or trending audio, they aren’t as effective at converting views into followers.
Another shift we’ve noticed is that more creators are leaning into vlog-style and storytelling video content, similar to what performs well on YouTube. This content is highly engaging, and it gives the creator time and space to form deeper connections with viewers. Invested viewers will follow to keep up with future content.
Long-form content might be performing better anecdotally, but that doesn’t mean you should completely transform your content strategy overnight. Start introducing long-form content slowly, keeping an eye on how your audience responds. Check engagement metrics and views in your analytics and pay attention to the comments on your long-form videos.
One way to implement this tactic is by creating a regular video series that exclusively features long-form content. This slow and steady introduction of longer videos is a way to dip your toe in the water. Once you see how your audience is responding, you can decide how much long-form content your strategy should include going forward.
Slowly introduce more long-form content to avoid shocking your current audience with a complete 180.
Another tip– use lots of visuals and text to keep viewers engaged. Some people like to fast forward through longer videos, and text can help segment your videos so viewers know what they want to skip through.
Throw up photos, data charts, memes, and even video clips to add context and keep viewers engaged throughout.
Additional Resources: How to Get More Followers on TikTok
As with all video content, you’ll want to make sure you have a clear hook, middle, and end.
The first few seconds of your video are key to snagging users’ attention so they keep watching all the way to the end. The hook should provide a quick summary of what viewers will get from the video, but that summary shouldn’t give anything away. There are a lot of different ways to hook your viewers. Think about the text you show on the screen, the words you say, your energy, and what visual elements in your composition may catch their eyes and stop the scroll.
Next, it’s time to put your fourth-grade English class knowledge to use in the real world. Every good story needs a conflict. This may be the problem you want to solve for your customers. If you’re simply telling a story to provide engaging content, it’s whatever problem you encountered in your life. Think of conflict in a more abstract sense here. We aren’t talking literal arguments here. Just a hint of subtle conflict to drive your video’s plot.
The middle of your video is the solution to that problem. Tell your customers whatever they need to know to solve that problem, how you solved the problem for yourself, etc.
End your video with a strong conclusion. The whole “like and follow” ship has sailed. People expect that– it goes in one ear and out the other. Instead, think hard about what you want your viewers to get out of the video. What do you want them to do next? If the goal is for them to follow you, give them a reason to do so. Entice them with what to expect from future content. Your end CTA should be strong. Tell your users what they will get from whatever action you want them to take next.
Additional Resources: How to Write a Video Script
The most important part of long-form video is being yourself. Show your unique personality, and your audience will react. People crave authenticity and connection. When researching competitors, look at what elements of their content are gaining traction and take inspiration, but never copy. Use elements like lighting, video structure, visual elements, etc. to accentuate the personality that only you have to offer.