[Insert Audio Here]: Navigating TikTok Sounds

woman wearing black sleeveless dress holding white headphone at daytime

TikTok, the app that took the world by storm, was created in China in September of 2016 attracting around 100 million users.  By merging with the fading app Musical.ly, the app became a worldwide phenomenon in 2018.  During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, TikTok became the most downloaded app in the world.  So, what is the significance of TikTok?

Why is TikTok so important?

TikTok today is one of the most useful tools in a brands belt.  The way that TikTok operates is unique, as it is content based and not socially based.  The content is more important.  If your content is quality and relevant, there is a very good choice of it going viral through the algorithm.  TikTok also allows a brand to specifically tailor its content to its desired target audience.  And, most importantly, TikTok has an extremely high engagement rate.  There are around 689 million TikTok users who actively engage in videos, which makes it a massive platform. This article from Influencer Marketing Hub goes into greater detail about why TikTok sounds are important.

“TikTok’s meteoric rise is both undeniable and unprecedented, sparking whole new trends in content consumption that have flowed onto virtually every other form of media in some capacity.”

(Hutchinson; TikTok’s dominance is now expanding into news and search, according to new reports; SocialMediaToday)
TikTok Sounds Logo, from Spotify.com

In this blog, we are going to discuss TikTok audios and the best ways to navigate what sounds to use. Sounds are one of the biggest components of successful videos. Who would want to watch a video with no sound? So, there are a few options for TikTok audios. The first option is using music from the TikTok library. Second, would be to use a sound created by other TikTok users.  The third and final option is to create your own sound.  Now let’s dive into the pros and cons of each option, to determine which route content creators should take.

1. Ready Made Music

One of the most popular options for sound on your videos is to use real songs from the library.  TikTok has a very extensive library of music with almost every song you could think of being an option.  The library has many options to of finding the song of your choice.  You can look at songs that are trending now, search by genre or new released. 

  • The pros of using songs are better odds of going viral if a popular sound is used, and more specific target audiences through the artist used.  A popular song, like Super Freaky Girl by Nicki Minaj, would get more traction on the For You Page because of its current popularity.  Similarly, any song by Taylor Swift would be pushed towards the pages of those who have interacted with posts about Taylor Swift. You can also record dialogue over sounds, so you can add your own voice to a trending sound to combine songs and your own sound.
  • However, this strategy only applies to songs that are either popular or made by famous artists.  Songs outside of that realm would not perform as well.

2. Sounds from Other Creators

The second option is to use sounds created by other creators.  TikTok users can generate their own sounds, and sometimes these become popular. When these sounds go viral, it is very likely that the sound will be used by other creators. This can also then lead to a trend starting through users continuing the sounds popularity.

  •  The obvious pro in this is using sounds that have gone viral.  For example, there was a TikTok trend in which there was a filter that told you what kind of bagel you were.  The audio that went with this filter was a commentary from a user.  And when other users would use the filter, they would use the sound from the creator.
  • The cons would be that these sounds are harder to find, as they are not stored in the song library which is very easy to use.  Another con would be if the sound isn’t trending, it isn’t as likely to gain a lot of engagement.

3. Build Your Own Sound

The third and final option is to create your own sound.  This option isn’t as popular as the other two, because it requires more effort and isn’t as easy to use.  In order to create your own sound, you have to turn the microphone on and record whatever sound you want.  After this, you push the red checkmark to continue and then post the video to the drafts section or to my eyes only.  Then you can click on the sound, the spinning disc in the bottom right corner, and record another video of yourself using the sound. 

  • If you’re looking for more information about creating your own sounds, this article is a very helpful resource!
  • A pro of this option is that it serves as a way to channel your creativity.  TikTok is meant to be used to express yourself, and creating your own sound is a great way to do this.  Creating your own sound also enables you to do videos like “A Day in the Life” vlogs, or to review a product.
  • A con of this feature is that it can be more difficult for your video to go viral.  Using popular songs is almost a sure way of getting your video to be seen by users.  But by using your own sound you are relying on producing quality content, using trending hashtags, and the algorithm to push your video on the feeds.

So now that we have learned about the different sound options, which is the best one to use? 

Coming from the perspective of brands trying to push their product or service, it is better to use a popular song or a sound from another creator.  You want your video to be seen by as many people as possible, so using the sound most likely to get your video viral is the best strategy.  Brands mostly either advertise their products through their own pages, or through brand deals with creators.  Content creators mostly feature the product in a day in their life, of them using it, or just a review of the product.  But these videos often feature a trending song in the background.  By using a popular song and adding your voice, you are getting the best chance of getting viral while also getting to share your thoughts and opinions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is no right way or wrong way to creating content.  Which sound you should add to your video simply depends on your goal.  If you are just looking to post a funny video for your friends to see, the sound really isn’t that important.  But if you are looking to guarantee a wide audience for your video, it is better for you to use a trending sound.  Following these tips for which sound to use should guarantee you are more comfortable with using TikTok audios, and you know which options are the most successful.

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