The Ultimate Guide To Organic TikTok Content In 2023
The misconception is floating around that only dance videos go viral on TikTok.
That’s not true. At all.
Let’s look over some examples.
Search #Duolingo and the specific hashtag have accumulated over 640,000,000+ views.
Not only is that an extreme level of awareness, but also it helped push Duolingo to the number #1 education app.
It Ends With Us
It Ends With Us is another prime example.
The book didn’t take off until it started gaining traction on TikTok.
Now, the hashtag #itendswithus has accumulated over 460M+ views, thousands of UGC videos, and Google Trends proves it.
Colin & Kelsey
My good friend Colin Landforce’s wife, Kelsey Landforce recently launched a DTC brand.
One viral video later, and she sold out all of her products after only posting six clips.
Zack Hargett works with a company called Scout.
They created five organic TikTok videos that amassed nearly 9 million views organically.
Not a dollar spent.
Tactic had a different approach.
They spent $1820 to work with 16 micro-influencers that drove 150K+ downloads of their Chrome extension.
Those posts accumulated 7,363,561 TikTok impressions and 920,426 likes organically
Lastly, Kat Norton aka Miss Excel used TikTok to build a 7-figure business as a solo creator in a year.
The Importance Of How You Deliver Your Content
When I spoke to Kat Norton aka Miss Excel a few weeks ago, she said something that stuck.
“Essentially social media content is straight-up energy transmissions. You’re receiving my energy through the phone.” - Kat Norton
And so if you want your content to stick, then you need to deliver value in a way that’s enjoyable.
Because in this social media ecosystem where millions of posts are published every day, this Steve Job quote becomes even more evident:
"It's a complicated and noisy world, and we're not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.” - Steve Jobs
So, don’t only consider the context of your content, but the energy and emotions it transmits to the viewer.
So, I spent hours on hours researching the best content types to drive business results.
And there are 13 content types that I’d
1. Date Relevant Content
It’s easier to go viral when you create content relevant to a conversation that already exists.
Because instead of starting the conversation, you join it.
2. Repurposed Content
Some of the best TikTok content lives on other platforms and can be easily repurposed for TikTok.
For example, taking a viral tweet and adding a background clip can perform well.
Or taking content from Twitter and using the green-screen filter to add your opinion.
No reason to reinvent the wheel, re-purpose it and make it native.
3. Vlog Content
Vlogging on TikTok takes behind-the-scenes, building in public to new heights by reducing the need for the best camera quality possible.
Instead, your days become micro-stories authentically shot on your iPhone.
An area I see wide open for vlog content is more businesses creating vlog content relevant to the decisions they’re making.
For example, what customer review fueled the idea for a new feature. Then sharing the process from idea to execution.
It’s a great way to not only drive awareness but build trust quickly.
4. Reaction Videos
Similar to date-relevant content, reaction videos perform well because the content is based on an existing conversation.
5. Product Videos
The best product videos don’t feel like ads.
They share the value, benefits, or features that either make the product stand out or differentiate it.
But the common denominator in viral product videos is that they follow similar formulas.
A majority of product videos follow one of four formulas:
1. Scenario heightened by a problem → Display the solution aka your product
2. Problem → Agitation - Solution
3. Before the product → After the product → How the product makes it happen
4. Testimonial or Use Case Told By Customer
5. Educational Content
Take something your audience would find value in and make it entertaining.
6. Quick Tips
Teach somebody something new fast, without any time wasted.
Drop nuggets, and people share it.
Similar to reaction content, reviews fall under the same umbrella.
They're relevant to a product or a trending conversation.
Brand mascots seem to perform well as lower the entry barrier to creating "branded" content.
Plus, they add a runner element to content native to TikTok.
Have a lot of important info to say but too much for one video?
Create a series.
If one takes off, a portion of that group will watch the other parts of your series.
And it telsl the viewer that this info is so important you created multiple versions of it.
People like to stay up-to-date in their niches.
By taking headlines and spinning them into videos, you can quickly start trending by being one of the first to share relevant news.
See it. Create around it. Share it.
If someone’s video goes viral, feed off their virality by duetting the content.
12. Cultural Moments
Lastly, when there is a story that seems to be everywhere, quickly create content around it.
1. Your Cover Photo
Sometimes all a Youtube video needs to gain traction is a different cover photo, aka thumbnail.
The same goes for
Treat your TikTok headlines like you would your ads.
But instead of focusing on driving a click, you focus on driving a micro view.
Similar to ads, the same headline formulas apply.
Here are examples you can use:
- Use Data - 85% of website traffic does this when they visit your site.
- Use a Rationale - 9 Tactics to boost your site’s SEO today.
- Offer A Test - Does your site pass this SEO test?
- Drop A Hint - This One Tip Increased My Open Rate By 10%.
- Share Your Experience - What I learned from building a $1M business in 1 year.
- Ask a Question - Don’t know how to find good business ideas?
- Shoot It Straight - Side Hustles You Can Start With Only $1000.
- Problem w/ Solution - Your FB ads aren’t covering. Here’s how to fix it.
But remember, no matter the headline, the content that follows is what keeps the viewer engaged.
The headline is solely the bait.
3. The Hook
If the headline is the bait, then the first 1.5 seconds of your video is the hook.
If it’s not compelling, it won’t set.
If it is, you’ll get a bite.
Length can vary for TikTok.
The first video I created for The Hustle went viral, and it was nearly a minute. But it was fast-paced, included b-roll, had an engaging hook, and told an interesting story.
Because of that, a minute video was okay.
Similarly, Morning Brew has created multiple viral videos that range from 45 sec to 1 min.
But it’s a humorous, engaging, fast-paced minute that tells a good story.
On the other hand, if you take a minute to drop one tip, you’re not optimizing your video for completed watch time.
So, your video length should be determined by your content type.
And should have the goal of having a high completion percentage.
When I spoke to Campbell Barron, this is what he had to say:
“This is important because TikTok rewards videos with the highest watch time. And a video with a high watch time will reach more people.“ - Campbell Barron
Campbell’s most viral video, with 2M+ views, also had a 95% completion rate.
5. Native Text
Adding native text to your videos is essential.
It supports the narrative and helps amplify the story.
I recommend watching viral videos in your niche and observing how they add text to their videos and then replicate it in yours.
6. Trending Sounds
When I spoke to Kat Norton, aka Miss Excel, she told me she uses trending sounds to fuel her viral videos.
She said, “ I spend time going through trending sounds until I find a sound that inspires my next video. I then plan out the video to the sound.”
Which emphasizes that using a trending sound isn’t enough.
You need to use the trending sound to amplify the value you’re delivering.
7. Trending Hashtags
If I’m talking about any other platform, I’m not talking about hashtags.
But with TikTok, it matters...and works.
So, use trending hashtags when relevant to add your content to TikTok’s Discover page, where they display the top content relevant to the trending hashtag.
8. Trending Challenges
If there is a trending challenge, jump on it.
And find a way to incorporate your value creation into the challenge.
This is one of the most effective ways to pop off quickly.
On the other hand, you can also try to create your own challenge and amplify it by working with influencers to get it trending.
Here’s How I Would Approach TikTok
So, how do you take this and start driving results?
Well, here’s what I would do:
- Search hashtags relevant to your niche or business.
- Find viral content and break down the content types, headlines, length, speed, text, and how the content is delivered.
- Then I would create an idea pipeline based on different content types.
- I’d spend the next 2-3 weeks testing different content types and finding what performs best with your audience.
- After determining the winners, I’d scale the quantity of content I’m publishing on TikTok.
Bonus: Zack Hargett’s TikTok Tips For Creating Content That Converts
About a week ago, I chatted with Zack Hargett after he tweeted about TikTok and its insane ability to drive business results. Intrigued as hell, I reached out, and two days later, we were talking all things TikTok.
Pretty crazy, but he was driving conversions at $0.20 for one of the brands he’s working with.
So, he shared with me 12 tips he follows to create content that converts for his clients.
Here they are:
1. Make sure TikTok is right for your brand.
- Is your audience on TikTok? You may be surprised! According to a recent Statista model, 51% of TikTok users are over the age of 30.
- Find out! Use TikTok’s Explore feature to search for your target audience. Start by searching hashtags and phrases but don’t be afraid to get creative in how you find them.
- If your audience is on TikTok, read on!
2. Get out of an advertiser's mentality.
- TikTok is rewriting the rules of advertising. So, if you come from an advertising or traditional marketing background, TikTok may be a bit counter-intuitive to you!
- Instead, adopt the mentality of your target customer in their leisure time.
3. Start by getting inspired.
- TikTok is about culture and vibes as much as it is about metrics and conversion. Creating content that converts starts with creating good content. Creating good content starts with consuming content.
- So, if you’re not already, start watching TikToks! Explore the product and get acquainted with the interface. Begin to understand how TikTok is unique from YouTube and Instagram. Like and comment on videos you like. Favorite videos you especially love. Notice which videos you like so much you’re compelled to share them with friends.
- TikTok is built with remix culture in mind — they make it easy to create content at the point in which you’re most inspired... When you’re consuming content.
4. Sign up as a creator account.
- When you’re ready to start creating, be sure to sign up as a creator account (not a business account). We’re still testing this theory, but we have reason to believe creators' accounts are better for organic content.
5. Leverage trending sounds, filters, and hashtags.
- In tip (3), you collected inspiration — now it’s time to use them!
- Trending sounds, filters, hashtags, etc., are all changing on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Stay on top of trends to increase your chance of creating viral content.
6. Identify a hook that will captivate your audience within the first 1.5 seconds.
- The best content we’ve ever posted led with beautiful visuals from the product in the first second (and in the thumbnail). Having a captivating hook — be that aesthetic, sound, drama, humor, or shock!
7. Create content around all of your value props; from all angles.
- Think of your product from all angles... Think. of the most compelling, exciting, funny, and scandalous use cases for your product. How could you act it out as if a superfan of your product is making a video about that scenario?
- People like following storylines! Create multi-part videos that allude to past content.
- Create a numbered series of videos. Multi-part TikToks can drive viewers to your profile page and drive views on past videos up! Multi-part videos subliminally say, “Other parts in this series were good enough for me to continue and are available in my profile... don’t you wanna go check them out?”
8. Use your best-performing videos as a template for new content.
- Continue what works! Don’t be shy about recycling the same format and style of a video you’ve had success with or seen another person have success with.
- Experiment with getting extreme here! Our most viral videos never said the name of the product. It helps message to the viewer — this isn’t an ad.. otherwise, they would have said the name of the product! (Note: if you can drive users to open comments on your TikTok (e.g., to find the name of your product), loops of your video increase in the background which encourages TikTok to show your video to more people).
9. Interact with your audience.
- Reply to any relevant comments and pin the best ones to the top of your page.
- Make videos replying to comments left on your video.
10. Study and stay up-to-date with your niche.
- What seems to be resonating within your niche? Stay up to date on new lingo, memes, trends, etc., happening in your target audience.
- If possible, identify what's working for your competitors. What are the comments saying? What style of content and themes seem to be getting traction?
- Engage with other creators' content in your niche! Don’t hesitate to comment on their posts and hop into their live streams with digital gifts. Making a name for your account can happen in comments and through creator connections in addition to original content!
11. The best-branded content doesn’t feel like an ad.
- Your audience can detect BS from a mile away. Referring back to tip (2), don’t be salesy! The art of content on TikTok is being subtle with your call to action. The goal is to create content that feels native to the platform.
- Try actor-Generated Content: Almost like a superfan is creating content about you for fun instead of it looking like it's made from an in-house hire.
12. Find your Flo from Progressive or Jake from State Farm.
- If possible, have your content come from a single creator/voice. We assigned a creator to manage our TikTok account that has a personality our target audience can relate to and identify with.