The future of music marketing may rest in the hands of the quirky video app phenomenon TikTok, so the question remains, are you ready for it? Over the past 2 years, TikTok’s 500% year-over-year growth rate has redefined how younger audiences are discovering new music. With Vydia’s global distribution partnership with TikTok, more creators are seamlessly delivering their music to this rapidly growing video application. These early adopters who have made their music available on TikTok have seen significant success that transcends the app itself. For example, TikTok played a central role in the viral success of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” that currently holds Billboard’s Hot 100 record which tracks the top songs based on sales, radio airplay, and streaming.

As more artists and labels start to turn towards TikTok for a shot at overnight stardom, now is the perfect time to get ahead of the game and be one of the first to formulate a marketing strategy that sticks. In order to help you improve your odds of success, we’ve broken down why it matters and how you can get your music to trend on TikTok.

Why Does TikTok Work For Artists?

When it comes to music discovery, TikTok’s unique algorithm offers artists a completely crowdsourced experience. This gives them the ability to get their music in front of large audiences while bypassing traditional gatekeepers in the process. Unlike other social media or streaming platforms, TikTok’s algorithm does not rely on follower count. Instead, it ranks content based on its level of engagement including trending hashtags, inside jokes, themes, and a shared feed to offer users an equal chance at fame.

Best Practices Get Your Music To Go Viral on TikTok

If fame is your end-game as an artist, there are a few strategies you can incorporate to make your audio tracks trend on TikTok:

  • Tailor tracks to TikTok- While TikTok offers artists ample opportunity to be heard, simply delivering your music is not enough. Selecting the right song is critical for your success on the platform. Keep in mind, TikTok videos cannot be longer than 60 seconds, so the track you choose must act as a standalone clip without the context of the entire song. It is important to think of the TikTok audience and understand that you need to provide snippets of music that they can create content around, lipsync to, or even start a challenge with. The tracks that tend to trend well are humorous in nature or have catchy lyrics that can be easily brought to life – and this does not always mean the use of a song’s chorus. If you need help deciding which song to make available on TikTok, try listening to your music in full while reading the lyrics. Break it into 15 to 60-second intervals to find a set of lyrics or a strong playful melody you think would fit.
    • Pro tip- Since TikTok is targeted to a younger global audience, it takes a very cautious approach when it comes to explicit content. If you are delivering music, keep it clean. Submitting explicit content may delay the activation of your song for 2-3 weeks or it may result in not being accepted at all.
  • Create a challenge- Once your music has been delivered to TikTok, one of the best ways to ignite audience engagement is through challenges. Many of the most viral TikTok tracks gained initial popularity through spontaneous dance challenges. For example, earlier this year country rap singer Blanco Brown’s single ‘The Git Up’ caught the attention of TikTok user Harvey Bass who posted a video of himself dancing to the song in a classroom to spark the #GitUpChallege. The challenge currently has over 347.4 million views on TikTok and landed features in top news publications.
    • Pro tip- If you would like to start a challenge but aren’t a fan of the spotlight, encourage your fans to start one for you or try to incorporate your music using one of the trending hashtags and a quirky behavior.
  • Tap into TikTok influencers- It’s no surprise that influencers on TikTok are in high-demand for major brands. Their innate ability to influence Gen Z (people who were born from 1995 onwards) is unmatched with influencers on other social platforms. If you are looking for a way to get your music out to the masses, try looking for relevant TikTok influencers to create content around your music.
    • Pro tip- Once you have secured an influencer to work with, let them have creative control over the video they would like to create. While you can send suggestions in your initial pitch, influencers are experts of the TikTok platform and have a good understanding of the type of content their audience will engage with.
  • Make it happen with hashtags- Similar to other social platforms like Instagram, hashtags play an integral role in music discovery on TikTok. Once your single is added to TikTok’s catalog, try to brainstorm a clever hashtag that represents you as an artist and a theme tied to the new music you just uploaded. Encourage your fans from other social networks to post new content with your hashtag to further boost visibility for your track.
    • Pro tip- Hashtags work even better when combined with a challenge. Try to combine both methods for maximum results!
  • Don’t be afraid to collaborate- Another great way to get your music to trend on TikTok is to tap into one of the platform’s most interactive features, duets. When enabled, the TikTok duet feature makes it possible for users to share two videos side-by-side so they can be watched simultaneously. Similar to remixing a song, users can take another person’s video (i.e. celebrities, influencers, etc.) and add to it thus creating something completely unique.
    • Pro tip- This feature can be useful for artists in 2 ways. First, you can team up with another artist or influencer to create a duet based on your new music. This method is effective if you are looking to build your fanbase because it will expose your music to an entirely new network. Another great way to leverage this feature is to duet with your already-established fanbase. This will allow you to increase fan loyalty by building a deeper connection with your audience.

Now that you’ve got a better understanding of how to make your music successful on TikTok, it’s time to put your plan into action. If you’re looking for an easy way to deliver your music to TikTok, check out our blog to learn how you can leverage Vydia’s turnkey audio distribution service.