The smart TikTokker knows that watch time is an important factor to consider for your video performance. Keeping on top of your video performance and paying attention to your analytics and engagement metrics is how you can keep track of exactly how your videos are resonating with your audience.
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There are four engagement metrics that you get data on in the analytics tab that are important to help improve your videos and grow your audience: watch time, likes, comments, and shares. Let’s go over these four in more detail.
Watch Time: This includes re-watching, something that’s very important and unique to TikTok. On TikTok, videos loop over and over unless you intentionally press pause or scroll to the next one. Getting people to watch your video in full is good (and what most people aim for), but it’s better if you get people to re-watch them. We’ll come back to this later in the blog post because this is what we want to focus on today.
Likes: Likes are similar to receiving likes on other social media platforms. These boost your video’s recognition in the algorithm, but not by very much. A like is the least valuable form of content engagement.
Comments: Getting people to comment and engage with your videos is important for brand awareness, algorithmic boosting, and your overall marketing strategy.
Shares: TikTok loves shareable content. Whether it’s sending videos to your friends in the app or sharing on other platforms, TikTok encourages and makes it easy for viewers to share your content.
How To Increase Watch Time
Watch time is the number one determinant of video performance. There are lots of little tricks and things you can do to increase your watch time and get people to watch your videos not just once, but multiple times through. Here are five TikTok tips that you can use to increase your watch time and audience engagement.
1. Create a Loop Video
Loop videos don’t seem to have an end and make it more likely that your viewer will watch for longer. Loop videos are extremely popular on TikTok; the hashtag ‘perfect loop’ has 632 million views. There are various ways you can make these, some of which require more editing know-how than others. The easiest is to break up a statement at the end, so your final words and first sentence appear seamless. This doesn’t require a lot of editing and makes your video more appealing to watch over and over.
2. Use Plenty of Text
Take notice of how long a sound is. You can use lots of text on a sound to tell a story or make a joke. The key is to make the time it takes to read the text longer than the length of the sound. This means your videos are played over and over and you can accumulate rewatches. Make sure that your text is relevant to your audience and your content!
3. Tell a Story
Humans are hardwired to respond to stories. Your story doesn’t have to be complicated or long, but it does need a clear structure and follow the basics of TikTok storytelling. You need to have a clear beginning, middle, and end. It’s even better if the end of the story has some kind of payoff. The beginning and middle action of the story can ‘hook’ your audience, but the payoff is what gets engagement. People like to share interesting stories with good payoffs, and if the payoff feels real and interesting, your audience will want to experience the story again and again.
4. Tease End-of-Video Surprises
Tease that something is going to happen at the end of the video. You can do this with the caption by saying something that hints at what might happen, or indicates that some reaction will occur. It’s ok to be somewhat vague and take a ‘less is more’ approach to this kind of enticement. Don’t say what will happen. Let your audience’s imagination fill in the initial blanks so that their curiosity is piqued and they want to watch all the way through.
For example, if you say something like “It’s the dog’s reaction for me,” your audience will want to know what the dog’s reaction is and what the dog is reacting to. They won’t scroll away until they’ve seen the dog’s reaction, which they can only see after they’ve watched your video all the way through!
5. Keep Moving
Add movement to your videos, whether that means moving the camera or moving the subject. You also don’t want to spend too long on one clip or scene. Keep your video’s pacing moving forward, and help things feel dynamic by adding sharp cuts and transitions. If your video feels fast-paced, your audience may end up watching it multiple times without realizing when it ended the first time.
Watch time is just one of the elements of improving your TikTok videos’ performance, but it’s a big step in making your videos go further. If you’re interested in learning even more about growing your presence on TikTok, be sure to check out my blog, register for a course, or apply to work with Wave one on one!