How to make a TikTok hit in 2021
Whether you like it or not, TikTok is a part of the music industry and it's here to stay (or so it seems...)
With that in mind. How does something go viral on TikTok? Are there formula's or is it just dumb luck?
And what defines a TikTok hit? Because all popular music finds its way to TikTok anyway. After all, TikTok is just kids dancing to popular music, not the other way around.. or is it?
I wanna take a look at what kind of songs popped off in 2020. I mean this production wise and stylistically, as well as songwriting and TikTok gimmicks.
Obviously there's old hits, as well as new hits from already highly established artists such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, that go viral on TikTok and receive a boost in their streams, but this is not what we're interested in, and probably not why you're reading this article. These acts aren't what we are, and we wanna find out how us producer folk can create a TikTok hit.
A lot of songs that go viral on TikTok are instrumentals. For example, look at Jawsh 685's Siren Beat. It seemingly came out of nowhere... and it did actually. It's production is simple, very simple, and have I mentioned it's simple? However, the power is in it's simplicity and catchiness. I thought I'd never say a good word about this song, but I have to respect the fact that they made it work with a simple beat that sounds like everyone's first bedroom beat.
Another great example is heavily inspired by the Laxed Beat is... the Tampa Beat. This is pretty much the same concept. It went viral on TikTok without ever making its way to Spotify. It's currently doing its thing on the charts with Jason Derulo on the vocals.
The Banjo Beat is great example of a song that ticks all the TikTok boxes. Drastic changes, trap drums, funny sounds & a very distorted 808.
Instrumentals of all TikTok hits are mostly one of 3:
- a trap beat (both up and downtempo)
- a downtempo dreamy pop beat
- a simple house track, but not too EDM
Get the perfect sounds for your instrumental from this Sample Pack (+ 50 Serum Presets).
Do I need vocals?
If you're a songwriter looking to write + produce your TikTok Hit, your life is easy! With our TikTok Hit pack, you'll have no problem creating the perfect instrumental, however, if you're a producer looking to write the perfect TikTok hit, having vocals in your track is not necessary, but it obviously is what makes your track a "song", so it's very recommended. Having a fun 15 second excerpt from your song go viral is one thing, but converting into streams (on Spotify etc) which ultimately monetizes your success, only works if you have a great song to go along with your excerpt.
Created a hit? Here's how to make it "TikTok-READY"
If you wish to utilize TikTok as a platform there's 1 simple trick you can do to your current song: add a 15 second skit intro or excerpt to your song which is video-able.
Know the platform
Getting into the mind of the average TikTok video creator is getting into the mind of an average 14-year old. What you like is not what they like, and it may surprise you.
Get on the app, check videos, spot trends and keep them in mind while writing and producing your new songs.
I've made my TikTok hit but it's nobody is making videos
This is something I hear a lot.
People follow people and influencers don't work for free. Or do they? 2021 is the year for micro-influencers. This means that there's a lot of people that want to use your song, you just don't know how to reach them.
For example, you don't need to pay someone $5000 to post one video that may or may not work, you just need to find the right people with less followers. The reason this works is because cousin who does nothing in the music industry, still has followers and friends. These friends will also copy and challenge each other. An agency that covers micro-influencer-pitching that we love is TMG.
Another great and underrated strategy is creating videos yourself and asking your friends. The beauty of TikTok's algorithm is that it doesn't just push people with a lot of followers, but also new users with little to no followers.
Do I need followers on TikTok to get my own TikTok Hit?
No. and yes. and no.
A great example is Salem Ilese. She grew to over millions followers quite rapidly after her song and videos of her song went viral with Mad At Disney.
However, Ritt Momney went viral with his cover of Put Your Records On and is sitting at a couple thousand followers on TikTok.
Some people aren't made for TikTok, as it can be time consuming and non-rewarding if you don't like creating content. But lucky for us producer and songwriter folk, who want to score a tiktok hit, without having to spend much time creating our own tiktok content, it's possible to get a TikTok hit without having to.
To summarize, a TikTok Hit needs to have the right production elements, the right videos, the right challenge and get the right influencers involved. You need a gimmick and preferably a funny excerpt of 15 seconds and a good song to actually convert to streams.
That's it. Go get them!!!