New artists are breaking into the scene every day because their song has gone viral on TikTok – but how do you actually do it?
If you take a look at the billboard charts these days, you will see a common thread amongst the tracks at the top of the chart. Most of them have or are currently going viral on TikTok.
With over 1 billion users, it makes sense that for any new pop music to chart in 2021, it pretty much has to go viral on TikTok.
The whole platform is built around audio. Way more so than Reels on Instagram or Shorts on Youtube. Any video that is put out there is accompanied by sound – whether from the platform itself or uploaded by the user.
Yes, there are other platforms like Triller, which seems to have kept itself within the hip hop niche, but that has nowhere near the amount of organic traffic that TikTok is seeing. If you want your song to go viral – then TikTok is where you need to be.
Think your content has to be a dance video? Think again!
I’ve written about short form video content before. It’s the BEST format to use to increase awareness of your song and your brand. The chances of a 15 second video going viral are considerably higher than a 3 minute video. So, with all of the platforms pushing this format right now (TikTok, Reels, YouTube Shorts) it’s something you definitely need to start using.
But I can see how it can be overwhelming.
A lot of creators on TikTok have sick editing skills. Their videos look polished and professional. I mean, my 8 year old son has better editing skills than me right now, but I’ll let him off.
But, it’s easy to create content on TikTok. The app has tonnes of editing tools that you can use, which are all way better and more responsive than Instagram or any of the other social media apps.
However, what if I told you there is a way for your song to go viral WITHOUT you being on TikTok or even creating the content yourself at all.
Let’s take a closer look.
6 Steps to Your Song Going Viral on TikTok
1. Make sure your song is available
Sounds simple, right? The first thing you need to make sure of is that your song is available to users on the platform. It’s worth making sure that the song is available across all socials when you upload through your distributor.
2. Find the section of the song that triggers content creation creativity
Find 15 seconds of your track that really stands out. A strong beat, some sick lyrics – something that grabs attention right away.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be the hook of the song. Remember the ‘flip the switch’ challenge to Drake’s ‘Nonstop’? The beginning section of the track was used because the lyrics ‘I just flipped the switch’ were there and it’s perfect to use for a transformation on TikTok.
Suddenly, thousands of content creators are jumping on the trend. The content fits perfectly to the music, it’s funny and guess what? It went viral.
You may be tempted to just pick the most catchy part of the song, but you need to start thinking a bit differently for TikTok. It’s not simply the song itself – but the content creation that it triggers.
My top tip is to listen to your song in 15 second segments. Listen to each clip and see whether it triggers any content creation ideas. It might be a lyric, it might be a strong beat. But to go viral on TikTok, the music has to fit perfectly to the content that’s created.
3. Brainstorm content ideas
Once the perfect snipped has been found, you need to sketch out some content ideas. It’s important to remember that you’re creating a content trend that you want other people to jump on too. So, it needs to be damn good.
The TikTokers at the top of their game are very selective on the trends that they follow. They choose challenges where their creativity can be shown to their followers. Let’s look at some examples:
- Flip the switch challenge
- Wipe it down challenge
- I’m just a kid challenge
All of these use super basic editing tools that are available on TikTok for all users, and they’re all a transformation that fits perfectly to the music.
You could create a dance video that fits perfectly with your track. However, I would suggest getting a professional to put together choreography that’s easy to pick up. Make sure it’s something that people WANT to learn and then grab their camera to record.
Whatever you choose, your content idea needs to reflect your audience and what interests them. If you’re a rapper and singing about making it rain, for example, think of a content idea that reflects your audience and your niche.
Who are the people that are going to recreate these videos?
Who are they sharing it with?
Sometimes, ideas don’t come easy. So if you’re struggling with content creation and you can’t come up with a new idea for a trend, start building a rapport with some TikTok creators that are in your niche. Once you’ve built that connection online, then you can pitch your ideas to them and see whether they think it could go viral. They’re the experts, so their opinion and feedback is vital if you’re not familiar with creating successful content on the platform.
Making a connection with creators is vital, as you’ll need them in the next step anyway…
4. Find 5 influencers in your niche
Though this blog is all about going viral even if you’re not on TikTok – I would suggest being on the platform as a musician and creating content. If you do this, the visibility you will get from your song going viral will then benefit you even more.
If you’re not active on TikTok and not creating content yourself on the platform, you will need to rely heavily on other content creators if you want your song to go viral.
So, pitch your new trend/challenge to some niche influencers and get them on board before you go live. But make sure they’re relevant to you. Find the influencers that your fans (or potential fans) are already following – and you’ll reach your widest possible audience.
I currently have a techno producer in my membership launching his new track. He’s decided to focus on the Parkour community. There are tons of content creators on TikTok that are creating parkour content every week. If he can get 5 of them to start his trend at the same time, he will get the initial traction needed to potentially go viral.
We chose the Parkour niche because it’s more than likely that a lot of the same followers are following crossover. As soon as they see more than one of their favourite influencers doing a particular challenge on TikTok, the more likely they are going to want to do it themselves.
An audience overlap with your niche influencers makes the chances of a viral TikTok a lot higher. If the 5 influencers that he chose all had different audiences, then each of them would only see the challenge once. This would make it difficult to get the initial traction for it to go viral.
Another example. If you’re a rapper and love sneakers, go and find some sneaker heads on TikTok and start your trend with them.
If you can’t find 5 large influencers, then get 10 smaller influencers. You can make it work for you in your niche.
When you’ve found the influencers that you want to use, and you’re pitching your idea to them, make sure to make them feel like they’re a part of the trend. If they like your idea, they’ll more than likely want to jump on it as one of the first to get their video up on the platform.
But make sure to listen to any feedback that they give to you. These influencers are never going to create if they feel like they’re joining a bad idea. If you’re not hearing back, you may want to go back to the drawing board and hash out some more ideas.
5. Publish all the content within 24 hours
Once you’ve got enough influencers on board, then you need to plan your launch. Ideally, you want all of them to publish their content within 24 hours. This will optimise the amount of traction that you get in a short amount of time.
As we said before, your niche influencers should have an overlapping audience. If this audience is logging on to TikTok and seeing your content idea over and over again, they’re more likely to want to try it themselves.
The more people it triggers, the better your song will do.
6. Make it go viral
With your initial influencers posting within your 24 hour timeframe, you’ll probably already see some traction.
This is not enough.
The next step is for you to start contacting the followers of your chosen influencers and invite them to do the challenge themselves. Feel free to send these people a DM
“I just saw [influencer name] do our X Challenge – would you like to join as well?”
Since these people are already following that influencer, who’s agreed to do your trend, then you have the authority to contact them and get them on board as well.
Eventually the ripple effect will get bigger and bigger and you’ll see more and more creators posting up your challenge. The more people posting your challenge, the more chance of both your song and your content idea going viral and trending.
I mean, just take a look at BMW Kenny’s song and the #WipeItDown challenge. There have been 3.5 million TikTok’s been created to that one song. That one song that’s connected to your Spotify. Will Smith even joined the challenge!
The possibilities are endless.
Creating a viral TikTok using your song isn’t just down to you. Yes, the initial idea may be yours, but you need to use influencers in your niche to make your idea go viral.
TikTok is an amazing social media tool that you should be using when releasing new music. If you want to launch your next single with me, make. sure to join my Smart Launch Club. where I arm you with all the tools you need to market your music successfully.