If you’re looking for top-performing TikTok video ideas and best practices, you’ve come to the right place. Yes, TikTok and Instagram Reels are pretty fairly matched. However, TikTok is said to offer much higher average engagement per video, and it’s still growing – fast.
There is no denying that TikTok is fast becoming a popular video marketing platform, having topped one billion active monthly TikTok users as of January 2022.
And how much content are they consuming? According to Statista, TikTok users are watching a whopping 167,000,000 videos per minute!
This means that TikTok isn’t just growing in popularity and reach, but also in content. This is making it more and more important for eCommerce marketers to invest in video marketing and use TikTok best practices.
So, what’s the best way for brands to make an impact on TikTok when creating videos?
We’ve got you covered.
In this post, we take you through winning TikTok video best practices when creating ads and content, and give you some eCommerce TikTok video ideas for each that you can steal. Feel free to jump ahead to a relevant section.
Ready to create high-converting TikTok video ads?
Let’s dive in.
1. Convert with On-Screen CTAs
Compelling calls to action are a vital element to any high-performing eCommerce marketing strategy, and TikTok is no different.
According to TikTok, video ads with on-screen CTAs see a 55.7% impression lift compared to those without. This shouldn’t surprise you, given the success of Branded Hashtag Challenges which are built around on-screen CTAs.
However, your TikTok video content and ad captions shouldn’t just captivate; eCommerce marketers also need them to convert. This means whether you just opt for the button CTA, it’s also worth testing the inclusion of on-screen caption CTAs as well.
Here is a product launch co-branding TikTok example from Fly By Jing.
In this TikTok video ad, Fly By Jing leveraged a known food influencer, TiffyCooks, to show shoppers just how tasty and easy-to-use their product is. Not only did they use a CTA button, but they also included an on-screen CTA incentive that gave shoppers 10% off when they clicked on the CTA and used the code.
However, you can keep it simple when it comes to TikTok video ideas. Here’s another example from Elf Cosmetics using a basic “visit us” on-screen CTA.
@elfcosmetics Follow us @elfyeah ♬ original sound – elfcosmetics
2. Let Your Shoppers Show Off
We know that building campaigns around individual creativity can be very successful. To build viral engagement, brands need to let shoppers show off.
Or in other words, let your audiences express their creativity, and in turn create a more authentic experience – but more on authenticity later.
Let’s take a look at this Clearly challenge campaign. This video inspired their target TikTok user enough to generate 241,000 video submissions and 32.7 million engagements.
TikTok Hashtag Challenge Best Practices
- Make an impact with people
- Be fun and authentic
- Get creative with sound
- Tap into their TikTok audience
- Join culture trends or is part of a culture
- Keep thing simple
A brand that understands this well is Simmons. Simmons’s #Snoozzzapalooza Branded Hashtag Challenge worked collaboratively with agency partners and TikTok, and resulted in six billion views and 2.3 million video creations.
This means over 2 million TikTok users ran with the challenge, showing off their creativity while spreading Simmons brand awareness. They did this by including a fun, upbeat song (original) and giving creators full creativity on how they imagined the challenge, resulting in an engagement rate of 20%.
3. Keep It Authentic
When it comes to fine-tuning your TikTok ideas, it’s vital they pass the authenticity test. TikTok, after all, is a social media platform, making it vital for brands to be themselves. This is something online fitness apparel store Gymshark – who are now up to 3.4 million followers – are masters at.
Keeping your TikToks authentic is crucial if you want to duplicate their success. Ultimately, this brand has built its whole TikTok content marketing around just that. Take a look at Gymshark’s Halloween TikTok from last year.
@gymshark Even the biggest guy in the gym is scared of something 😳 @Thomartos #Gymshark #Halloween #GymNightmare ♬ original sound – Gymshark
Gymshark have been able to grow their following by tapping into the audience and speaking their language with every TikTok video they create. Take a look at their homepage. It’s more entertaining than educational. Their whole strategy is around creating TikTok video ideas that tap into the latest trends.
If you’re looking for more TikTok video ideas that exude authenticity, Red Bull is always a good brand for inspiration. One of their Dance Your Style competition campaigns generated over 7 billion video views and an engagement rate of 14.94%.
4. Find Your TikTok Length Sweet Spot
When it comes to TikTok best practices, yes, length matters. But what length? TikToks started as 15-second clips, which then increased to 60-second videos. They are currently testing extended videos of lengths up to 10 minutes. This differs from an Instagram Reel, which sets the limit at 30 seconds.
So what is the best TikTok video length?
According to TikTok, 1 in 4 top-performing videos range between 21 and 34 seconds in length. Additionally, they found that these videos see a 1.6% lift in impressions.
Generally, brands should keep videos short, but it’s vital to test different lengths against your TikTok performance metrics. Brands should also match length to the message and content.
Let’s take a look at Ryanair’s TikTok account. Although their TikTok videos are from 6 to 46 seconds, their content averages the 10-second mark.
This doesn’t mean you should go all-in with 10-second videos, and that’s that. Here’s another example from Fenty Beauty. This brand takes on TikTok trending makeup tutorials, with some videos exceeding a minute.
@fentybeauty @nikkietutorials serving LEWKS and HAWT #FENTYICON tea!! 🍵 Which shade(s) did y’all snatch already? #iconenergy #lipstick ♬ original sound – Fenty Beauty
In a Nutshell: It’s a balancing act. TikTok video length should be tweaked specifically for your brand, message, and audience. The best way to do this is to:
- Keep a close eye on all content engagement metrics and adapt your TikTok content marketing strategy accordingly
- Watch trending and viral videos to gauge what TikTok users are engaging with
- A/B test your TikTok ads before launching a campaign in full
TikTok Video Best Practice: How to Set Up a Split Test in TikTok Ads Manager
5. Include a Promotional Offer
Next, you will want to test adding promotional offers to TikTok video ads and content. Emphasizing an offer, whether it’s a seasonal discount or a promotional code, can boost impressions. And more impressions mean you’re likely to get more clicks.
Despite only 3.21% of top-performing TikTok videos actually featuring product promotions, the ones that do see a 67.4% impressions lift, which is quite a substantiation. This includes influencer campaigns.
Remember that winning TikTok example from the Farmer’s Dog we highlighted in our case study post? In this campaign, they combined the power of influencers with on-screen CTAs and strategic promotional offers.
TikTok Promotional Video Best Practices
- Set the right tone
- Start with high-impact visuals
- Partner with popular influencers
- Keep your message short and to the point
- A/B test different promotions
6. Always Shoot for TikTok (Vertical)
It shouldn’t be a surprise that brands should prioritize vertical videos when it comes to TikTok marketing.
This means that repurposing content that is shot outside the recommended TikTok video and ad specs, or expecting TikTok users to rotate their screens, is a big no-no for brands wanting to make an impact. And the video performance stats back it up.
According to TikTok, videos shot in vertical format see a 40% impression lift, compared to those shot using square or horizontal aspect ratios. These videos are explicitly shot for TikTok in the 9:16 aspect ratio and in line with trends. They are not Instagram Reels or other social media platform videos just posted to TikTok.
TikTok Video Best Practices and Shooting Tips
When creating TikTok video content or ads, you want to make sure you:
- Use TikTok effects and text
- Focus on the subject
- Use good lighting
- Keep it simple and have fun
- Shoot vertical
- Experiment with transition techniques such as a floating effect or camera drop
7. Shoot Full Screen and Border Free
Another TikTok video best practice is shooting full screen and border free. Simply put, high-performing videos aren’t just vertical but are shot using the full 9:16 aspect ratio, without any empty spaces or borders.
98.63% of the highest performing videos on TikTok are full screen, border free, and shot or edited to a 9:16 aspect ratio. These videos also see a 60.5% lift in impressions. In other words, when you combine good formatting with entertainment, your TikTok video ideas are bound to soar.
@misocomehere My forever unicorn. 💜 Stay safe tonight everyone! #shihtzusoftiktok #shihtzu #halloween #dogsofttiktok #cutedog #unicorn ♬ Break My Stride – Chateau Pop
In fact, all their videos will give you a ton of winning TikTok video ideas.
TikTok Video Best Practice: How to Repurpose Existing Video Content
To repurpose existing videos from TikTok, brands should:
- Invest in good editing apps and tools
- Shoot with repurposing in mind when creating any video content
If you are DIY-ing your video production, check out this “How To Repurpose A Video Into a TikTok or Shorts” how-to.
8. Opt for a Sound-On Environment
When narrowing down your TikTok video ideas, don’t forget to consider background music or sound. According to TikTok, 93% of top-performing TikTok videos use some sort of audio, so it’s a good idea to opt for a sound-on environment to lift impressions. This can be in the form of:
- Talking to camera
- Background music
Being creative with sound definitely does pay off. Here’s one of the most popular videos from last year, proving just how impactful sound can be.
@tacobell World, say hello to #TacoMoon ♬ original sound – tacobell
TikTok Best Practice: Use Smart Video Soundtrack
Want to quickly find royalty-free music for TikTok ads? TikTok’s Smart Video Soundtrack is a free and easy-to-use tool that automatically matches TikTok to best-fitting music.
This creative TikTok tool offers eCommerce TikTok marketers and video creators 500,000+ pieces of music in 10 genres – far more than is available when creating an Instagram Reel. It enables them to try different background music to test their effect on ad delivery performance.
9. Switch Up Scenes in a Single Video
The next performance hack to consider when creating good TikTok videos are scene variations. When analyzing top-performing video ads, TikTok found that videos with varied scenes see a 40.6% lift in impressions and account for 99% of top-performing eCommerce videos.
In a nutshell, when it comes to creating TikTok video ads, B-roll or transition footage is critical. This is something winning eCommerce TikTok account Sud Scrub understands and executes well.
@sudscrub PSA: Washcloths are also prone to bacterial growth 🦠❌ #showerroutine #hygienehacks #beautyhacks #cleantok #mysmallbusiness ♬ original sound – Schitt’s Creek
TikTok Best Practice: Scene Transitions
To better turn your TikTok video ideas into high-performing content and ads, testing scene transitions are a must. Luckily, TikTok offers several suggestions on how to do just that with their top transitions tips, including:
- Sudden reveal transition
- Flying objects
- 360 video
- Instant clothes change
- Camera drop
- Floating effect
- Perspective grab
To name a few. Here are two transition how-to videos to get you started:
10. Don’t Sacrifice on Quality – Opt for High-Res 720p+
Yes, in some cases, quick in-the-moment smartphone videos can generate millions of views. And no, you definitely don’t need a professional video service to create your TikToks. The trick is balance, and the results are worth it.
According to TikTok, 83.2% of top-performing TikTok videos have a resolution of 720p or higher and result in a 5.4% lift in impressions compared to those under 720p.
Take a look at HelloFresh’s TikTok account. As you can see below, all their videos follow the same quality standards. One of their latest TikToks makes for great TikTok video idea inspiration.
@hellofresh So many delicious options for every meal of the day! 😋 #whatieatianday #recipes #HelloFresh ♬ original sound – HelloFresh US
Here are some TikTok video shooting tips to get you started:
TikTok Best Practice: Tips for Filming Good Quality Videos
- Start with an impactful visual
- Opt for your rear-facing camera
- Center your elements
- Film using your phone before opening the TikTok app or business account
- Stay up-to-date with current effects, filters, and sound trends
- Think of your lighting
11. Almost Always Include Captions
When it comes to TikTok best practices, closed captioning is a must. They make videos accessible while increasing engagement.
TikTok has found that captions can increase impressions by over 50% in 73% of top-performing TikToks. Here’s an excellent example of taking TikTok captions to a new level from Crocs.
@crocsComfort👏 Without👏 Carbon👏 We’re fully committed to our goal of Net Zero by 2030! Let’s make our world a more comfortable place💚 See bio for more!♬ 오리지널 사운드 – Crocs
And it doesn’t have to be complicated. Last year, TikTok launched auto-captions that automatically generate captions for uploaded content and give users the power to edit the text of their captions once they’re generated.
TikTok Video Best Practice: Generating Catchy TikTok Captions
Here are some tips on how to find captions for your TikToks and video ads:
12. Integrate TikTok in Your Marketing Strategy the Right Way
Before you start throwing a budget at your TikTok marketing, you need to make sure that it fits into your overall digital marketing strategy perfectly.
If you’re already using Traffic Booster, this is easy: you can just reach out to our support team to upgrade to enterprise. If you are DYI-ing your digital ads and content marketing, you will need to create a sound strategy for TikTok that integrates into your marketing the right way. This means:
- Defining your TikTok audience market
- Doing a competitive analysis (AKA spy on your competitors)
- Setting goals and objectives for content and ads
- Defining budgets
- Optimizing and tweaking continuously (even better if you are doing this in real-time with PPC automation)
Let’s take a look at Collars & Co, whose TikTok marketing strategy is centered around creating engaging and fun content aimed at engaging their desired audience. Justin, their founder, having had previous success with one TikTok getting 50k views overnight, decided to use ads to grow his brand’s TikTok following and increase daily sales. They used:
- Conversion campaigns
- Lookalike audiences
- Retargeting audiences
And the results? They were able to grow their followers by 29,000 during the campaign.
Once you have narrowed down your TikTok video ideas and used the given best practices to produce them, it’s time to run your ads. You want to consider your TikTok goals and your overall marketing strategy. Simply put, think cross-channeling!
In a Sprout Social case study, one of their key findings was as follows:
“Don’t just wait for people to discover your TikTok channel. Spread the news and cross-promote on your other social channels. TikTok videos are easy to export and can add new flair to your omnichannel content strategy.”
There are three ways you can navigate this:
- Test and run your own TikTok ads for eCommerce
- Use an agency or hire a PPC manager
- Opt for a robust PPC management service that includes TikTok ads and dedicated account managers
Also be sure that you check out these expert guides as well, to help build the optimum social media platform marketing and PPC strategy:
- Facebook Ads for eCommerce
- Google Ads for eCommerce
- Pinterest Ads for eCommerce
- Microsoft Ads for eCommerce
- TikTok Ads for eCommerce
Final Thoughts: Define, Test, Run, and Optimize Accordingly
To recap, to create high-performing TikTok Videos, brands should:
- Convert with on-screen CTAs
- Let your shoppers show off
- Keep it authentic
- Find your TikTok video length sweet spot
- Include a promotional offer
- Always edit or shoot for TikTok
- Shoot full screen and border free
- Opt for a sound-on environment
- Switch up scenes in each TikTok
- Shoot at 720p+
- Almost always include captions
- Integrate TikTok in your social media and PPC strategy
But it doesn’t stop there. With each TikTok account video, you want to assess engagement and learn. When it comes to TikTok video ads, you will want to keep your eyes on overall CPM, CPA, CTRS, CPM, conversions, and ad spend.
Before throwing your total financial weight behind producing TikTok video ideas, you will want to:
- Define: Come up with a shortlist of content marketing and video ad ideas
- Test: Create videos using TikTok best practices and test to your audience
- Run: Run ads with smaller budgets, assess results, and tweak
- Optimize: Increase campaigns and budgets, consciously optimizing
And that’s it!
If you’re still looking for TikTok content ideas, head over to this post: 9+ Winning TikTok Ad Examples and Why They Work.
Also, be sure to join 40K other online store owners and follow us on TikTok for advanced eCommerce marketing tips.
Have eCommerce TikTok marketing questions? Post them in the comments below, and our PPC experts will get back to you.
Nicole is a content writer at StoreYa with over sixteen years experience and flair for storytelling. She runs on a healthy dose of caffeine and enthusiasm. When she’s not researching the next content trend or creating informative small business content, she’s an avid beachgoer, coffee shop junkie and hangs out on LinkedIn.
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