The Sounds of TikTok | Popular Pays

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The Sounds of TikTok

by Kayla Mueller | 6 months ago

@gbergphoto for Macy’s

Keep your sound on, because we’ve got some insights #foryou.

TikTok is a unique platform that was essentially founded by creators – they have proven that they know what works on the platform and how to be successful. Creators can develop the most brilliant content, visibility can skyrocket by leveraging trending sounds. It’s no secret that trending hashtags and sounds are always evolving on TikTok. When partnering with a creator for a branded activation, it’s key to note that brands must consider a strategic and agile approach to audio on TikTok.

“With other social/network platforms, the best practice has always been to ‘optimize for sound-off.’ TikTok has the exact opposite approach – a video must leverage sound to succeed on the platform. I’d encourage brands to leverage unique sounds/songs to track reach.” – Associate Director of Partnerships, Jane Simon

How to identify a trending sound?

Within the app, when adding a sound, you either keep the original sound, select from the recommended sounds, or select “more”. Under the music playlists you can browse music by category, or specifically go towards trending with the fire emoji. At this point, you can browse and select a trending song, especially one with the blue TikTok symbol next to it. Simply click the red check mark, and then adjust your volume as desired, adjusting how much original sound you want to appear or if you want the added sound to be the only audio. Here is a great resource for this as well!

How do brands act on a trending sound quickly?

A sound that may be trending when the brand team bought into the campaign may be completely different by the time the creator builds out original content. For that reason, it’s key to ensure that creative briefs are extremely up-to-date and brands have open-communication with their creator team.

What sounds can brands use?

All of the music available on the platform is legal to use in your own videos as TikTok’s music library is extensive and integrated with Apple Music. If you stick to this you should never be subject to DMCA requests or any legal action, all of the royalties are paid, and the music is licensed so you are covered. When creators post sponsored ads, they must leverage a specific library with music approved to leverage for commercial use. Popular Pays places this link in our brief for every TikTok campaign.

To successfully execute a brand campaign, advertisers must understand the platform from a consumer’s perspective. For example, I have utilized my own TikTok to test, and one of the most interesting learnings to date is that sounds are almost everything on TikTok. I posted the same video clip with original sound vs. one with a trending laugh track I found from the trending sounds page. The original sound garnered only about 500 views and the laugh track clip garnered over 770k views. Hear me out, sound is almost everything on TikTok.

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