16 TikTok video ideas for when your creative well runs dry

Giant TikTok logo with smartphones dancing around it

More than 1 billion people now use TikTok to be educated, entertained, or discover something new. There’s a lot of opportunity there for creators who want to connect with an audience and grow their followers. But let’s be real — developing good TikTok video ideas can be challenging. Which is probably why you’re here! Whether you've just created your TikTok account and don't know where to start, or you've posted a few videos and need some inspiration, we've got you covered.

In this article, we'll explain what makes a TikTok video go viral and share 16 TikTok video ideas for you to try, as well as tips to increase your chances of creating a viral TikTok video.

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What makes a TikTok video go viral?

Video content that performs well on TikTok has one or more of the following traits:

It’s relatable

With relatable content, your audience feels seen and heard because they've been where you are. Sometimes being relatable means being yourself, then hoping it connects with others like you. Other times, it means noticing a universal experience and talking about it in a new way. Relatable content builds connections with your audience that keeps them coming back. In a recent Nielsen study, 84% of TikTok users said they find content on the app that they can relate to. If your videos aren’t relatable, they’re likely to swipe on by.

It’s inspirational

Inspirational content isn't just motivational quotes stitched onto throw pillows; it can also be authentic storytelling that shows people what they can achieve or overcome and how to get there. Inspirational content is positive and memorable. It can excite people or motivate them to take a specific action. It makes people feel hopeful and encouraged. In the same Nielsen study, 31% of TikTok users said uplifting content was one of the top 3 reasons they love the app.

It’s educational

Educational content teaches people something new through FAQs, how-tos, tutorials, recipes, guides, lists, or simply sharing valuable information with people. TikTok is fast becoming a search engine as users look to TikTok content for ideas on where to dine out, recipes to try, makeup looks, dating and financial advice, and more.

 Creating educational content in short video form and optimizing it for search makes it easier to get noticed than competing on existing search engines like Google. So share your knowledge and interests; it may be precisely what someone is searching for.

It’s entertaining.

Entertaining content quickly grabs attention and sparks feelings of joy, amusement, or intrigue. That can be through storytelling, sharing unique perspectives, adding humor, dramatizing relatable experiences, or even dancing and singing — after all, that’s what the app became famous for.

How the TikTok algorithm determines a viral video

When content is relatable, inspirational, educational, or entertaining, it immediately becomes shareable. As people engage by watching the full video, then commenting, liking, and sharing it, TikTok's algorithm takes notice and recommends it to more people, which improves the chances of the video going viral.

For TikTok to push your video to the For You Page (FYP) — that’s the app’s home screen, personalized to each user — it ranks your video based on a combination of factors. Those include:

  • User interactions: These include likes, follows, shares, and average video watch times.
  • Video information: These are the captions, sounds, hashtags, and text you have on your videos.
  • Device and account settings: Language settings, device type, and country settings have a lower weight on your video ranking, but they still play a role.

So when thinking of TikTok video ideas, ask yourself how you can incorporate these factors to improve your content performance. Let's look at video ideas that tend to perform well and how you can make them work for you.

TikTok video ideas you can try with examples

1. Create an ASMR video

ASMR videos became a popular trend on YouTube because viewers were drawn to the deeply relaxing feeling they got from the sounds and visuals of seemingly mundane tasks. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response which is the soothing, almost calming sensation you feel while listening to certain sounds. Pumping water from a spray bottle, light tapping on a counter, and crinkling a wrapper are just some of the sounds that induce this relaxing feeling.

On TikTok, the ASMR hashtag has over 500 billion views with videos in different categories. It might seem silly to make an ASMR video when your niche is, say, landscaping services, but a quick browse through the hashtag may prove you wrong. There are organizing, packaging, morning routines, product restocking, and haircut ASMR videos. If there’s something you do with a sound that could be calming in this way, why not make an ASMR video out of it?

How to make it work

  • Choose the type of ASMR video that would best appeal to your niche and audience.
  • Plan the scenes you want to record and consider which sounds you'll capture.
  • Emphasize the sound while filming. For example, if you're placing a glass on a counter, that sound should be the primary focus and nothing else.
  • The audio is the star of the show. You’ll want to make sure there’s no background noise and use EQ and compression to make the sound really shine. 

2. Stitch a popular video.

Stitching other people's videos can be an excellent prompt for new content. It’s also a win-win: you get a new idea while also giving credit to the original video. When you stitch a video, the original video from the creator appears first for a few seconds, followed by your video. You can type "stitch with" into the search bar to find videos to stitch. Alternatively, you can stitch any relevant video, provided the creator has enabled the option for others to stitch their videos.

How to make it work

  • Try a popular hack, then stitch the video and show your result at the end, whether it worked or not. This is how accounts like Khaby Lame shot to fame. He stitched videos and tried "hacks" that defied common sense, like cutting your shirt when it gets stuck in a car door,  and showed the logical way of achieving the same results without saying a word.
  • You can add a different perspective to the original video. Ask yourself how you can improve the original video. Do you have an opposing view? Did the video exclude important information? Can you add facts to dispel or strengthen the point made? You can likely find a good "angle" from personal experience, common consensus, or other people's objections in the original video's comments.
  • Choose videos that are going viral to piggyback on their popularity, provided the video is relevant to your niche.

3.    Create a duet video.

When you duet with a video, both videos play side by side simultaneously. It's a brilliant way to interact or collaborate with other content creators. These features are what make TikTok such a great community-building app. Some creators have built their entire following by dueting other people's content and adding their creative takes.

How to make it work

  • Add your humorous narrative to the video. Accounts like Shabaz Says, in the example above, have become famous for adding their own comedic narratives to different videos using duets.
  • Film your reaction to a video on a topic that would interest your audience.

4.   Hop on a TikTok challenge

While dancing on video and posting it on the internet can feel intimidating, don't let that stop you. Even if you're a business account, you can have your team try a challenge to show your team spirit and culture.

Alternatively, use the TikTok sound to a popular dance challenge to create a non-dance video that could trend based on the sound, like the example below.

How to make it work

  • Find a challenge and make it relevant to you and your niche. To find recent challenges, go to the Discover page.
  • TikTok also recommends popular challenges on the For You page. Click "use the sound" to create your video.

5. Try out a new trend

TikTok trends are created using a specific sound and video theme. For example, you can use a trending sound and then create a scenario for your video that fits the trend sound. You can discover new trends on the discover page and For You pages. In turn, your use of a trending sound will make your video show up under that sound as it trends. Trends are an easy way to create video skits, which require little to no editing and usually perform well in terms of views.

How to make it work

  • As with challenges, pick a trend relevant to your brand or niche.
  • First, observe the trends and see what strikes you. In the above example, the #RaisedBy trend urges creators to show off flattering photos of the people who raised them.
  • Decide how you'll customize the trend to your content and what images or content you'll use.
  • Click "use the sound" to create your video.

6. Create a GRWM video

Get ready with me (GRWM) videos started on YouTube and were made famous by beauty vloggers. On TikTok, these videos are popular because everyone can put their creative spin on them. A quick “GRWM” video search will show creators sharing their process of getting ready to work from home, work the night shift, go to school, have a night out, and many other ideas to choose from.

How to make it work

  • Make it authentic. If your getting ready process is more chaotic than aesthetic, film it that way. It may be more relatable to people who experience the same chaos than the overdone aesthetic routine.
  • Share helpful tips or products. Whether you have a creative way to help you get out of bed in the morning or reduce fatigue, share that in your GRWM process visually or narratively.
  • Use creativity when filming. If you're not talking through your GRWM video, your footage needs to tell the story in a captivating way. For this to work, try filming from different angles and editing to combine the shots using smooth transitions.
  • If your video doesn’t have narration, you’ll want to choose a sound that works for your video, whether it's ASMR sounds from your getting ready process or a trending song. Make this decision before you film to coordinate the footage.
  • GRWM videos are a chance for you to let your audience into your life. Share interesting facts about yourself through storytelling.
  • Try the opposite, “get unready with me.” Follow the same process but show what you do after a long day instead.

7. Make a day in the life vlog

“Day in the life” hashtag has over 9 billion video views and is a popular adaptation of the longer YouTube vlog. TikTok creators now use these videos to show their day-to-day lives in 3 minutes or less. Anyone can create these videos, whether you’re a nurse, a business owner, or even a stay-at-home mom — you just need to put your own creative spin on them. These videos are popular because they show people's routines, which may give others ways to become more productive or mindful — or simply have more empathy for the people around them.

How to make it work

  • While it may be tempting to show a glamorized version of your life, stick to filming realistic scenes that accurately depict your day. That will make your content more relatable.
  • Write a script beforehand so you don't forget key points to mention and the editing process is easier.
  • Create a captivating video title that will attract people who identify with you or aspire to be like you, along with those who are just curious.

8. Share your creative process

If you're an artist, you can show a high-speed version of yourself creating an art piece from start to finish. Some artists have amassed huge audiences by showing many hours of their work compressed into 60-second videos. If you have a small business, sharing your creative process can show potential customers the effort and love that goes into creating your products.

How to make it work

  • If your process is relatively short, you can click the “Speed” feature on the right of the TikTok camera window and choose the speed you’d like, then film your video that way. 
  • For a longer video, film your process, then import your footage into Descript. There, you can click the Track Inspector to adjust the playback speed. Click and drag to the right to speed it up. 

9. Behind-the-scenes video

What does it take to create your content? Whether you’re a podcaster, a video creator, or any other kind of creative, your audience will likely be fascinated by a behind-the-scenes look at your content. Show a blooper reel, film your setup process, or talk about your gear. Behind-the-scenes videos can also serve as tutorials for others who can use your same process to create their content.

How to make it work

  • If you’re a video creator, you'll need to set up at least two cameras: one to do the actual filming and the other to film yourself filming the content. If you’re not a video creator, just the one camera will do.
  • Show the final product. It can be a separate video you link to in the comments, but bonus points if you can fit everything in one video.

10. Instagram vs. Reality videos

Instagram is known for its aesthetics. Only the perfect shot gets uploaded. But what about everything outside of the frame? Or what it took to achieve that shot? From editing and meticulously choosing the right angles, Instagram can be very different from reality. But most people crave that reality.

This is why Instagram vs. Reality videos are becoming so popular. These are pictures that won’t make it on the ‘gram, from models showing what they look like in everyday life without makeup and filters to creators showing the “less aesthetic” side of popular travel destinations. But what Instagram misses, TikTok will eat up — it’s a platform about authenticity, after all. So show your reality and how it differs from what everyone thinks.

How to make it work

  • What is something that looks deceptively easy but is actually pretty challenging to put together? It could be a beautiful family portrait that took hours because your toddlers kept wandering into a nearby mud puddle. It could be the clean, organized image of your house that took forever to clean because it usually looks like a tornado zone.
  • Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. Authenticity wins on TikTok.

11. Show a transformation.

Whether you're repurposing a thrifted piece of clothing or making over your entire home, a good transformation video is just satisfying to watch. Home projects show people what's possible even with a small budget. You can flip anything and show your process from start to finish. The leading videos under this search have tens of thousands of views, showing that people love watching a good before and after.

Transformation videos aren't just limited to DIY. It can be about how you achieved clear skin, switched careers, or other exciting milestones.

12. Share helpful tips

With trends coming and going on social media, sometimes the spread of misinformation can be inevitable. If you're a professional and see popular trends that people are doing wrong, share helpful and accurate tips for achieving the same result. If you’ve recently discovered a life-changing tip, share the information. From makeup to skincare, home organization, and plant care, there are plenty of ideas for helpful tips that viewers will appreciate.

How to make it work

  • Mine your comments section for your most asked-about topics and create a list of helpful tips related to that topic. For example, do most people ask how you got your clear skin or crystal-clear audio quality? Create a video with your trusted tips.

13. Answer questions in a Q&A or FAQ video

If you've posted a few videos already, you'll know people will always have questions in the comment section. That’s a built-in idea for a video. If you’re low on TikTok questions, you can gather questions from your other social media platforms, too. You can use Instagram to let people ask questions using the questions feature in stories.

14. Test a life hack

Some life hack videos can give people an “aha” moment. They're like cheat codes to help people gain small wins. If you know good life hacks, create videos about them and share them with your audience. Better yet, if you've seen a life hack, you can make a video to test whether it works or if it was all just elaborate clickbait.

 Most searches on TikTok are for "life hacks that work," meaning people don't want to waste their time trying those that don't. Your videos testing life hacks could become popular in these searches.

How to make it work

  • List the life hacks that have helped you (as always, make sure they’re relevant to your niche)
  • Share what you learned during the process or any better alternatives you use.
  • Share any mistakes to avoid.

15. Create a video around an existing/trending sound.

Popular sounds can get your videos discovered a lot easier and improve your chances of having a viral video. You can save the sounds you want to use from other people's videos by simply clicking "add to favorites" or "use this sound."

How to make it work

  • Match the sound to a relatable personal experience and write this as the caption or video title.

16. Share an educational tutorial with original sound.

It’s easier than ever to learn anything, thanks in no small part to online tutorials. A video tutorial shows a simple step-by-step guide on how to do a particular task. By typing “tutorial” in the search bar, you can immediately see which tutorials most people are searching for based on TikTok's recommendations. You can add your subject or expertise after the word "tutorial" and TikTok will show all the videos in that category.

How to make it work

  • Look at the top 10 best-performing videos and think of what you can do differently.
  • Read the comments to see if any questions were left unanswered that you could answer with your tutorial.
  • Plan your video by writing a script and creating a storyboard.
  • If you don't want to show your face, add your voiceover to narrate the process. 

Tips to help your TikTok videos to go viral

Start your videos with a hook

A hook captures your audience's attention within the first few seconds. Your hook could be relaying a problem your audience might be facing and how you could help them solve it or a cliffhanger that makes them want to hear the story you’re about to tell them. A good hook convinces people that the video is worth watching.

Add text

Text on videos — whether a single line or subtitles — can help viewers decide if they want to stop scrolling and watch your video. Subtitles cater to people who want to watch without sound, along with users who are deaf or hard of hearing. Captions also improve the SEO of the content, as audiences might be searching for specific phrases mentioned in the video. 

To add captions or subtitles, you can use TikTok's caption button or import your video to Descript to create fancy animated captions.

Use hashtags

Using hashtags lets TikTok's algorithm know the type of content you're posting so it can get it in front of the right people. For example, if you're posting keto recipes, use the hashtag #ketorecipes, and your video will reach people following or interested in that hashtag. When in doubt, use hashtags with fewer videos attached. That way, your content can easily rank higher for the term than it would with high-competition hashtags connected to billions of videos.

Post regularly and be consistent.

When people follow your account on TikTok, they hope to see more of your content. In return, it’s good to be consistent in your posting schedule. The best way to be consistent is to batch-create content and use TikTok's scheduling tool to schedule your videos ahead of time. Try using one day a week to plan a week’s worth of videos, another day to film, and another day to edit. 

Post at the right time.

Finding the best time to post on TikTok isn't easy. One option is to look at your best-performing videos and see what time you posted them. Otherwise, try to post your videos at a time when most people in your audience are awake and will likely see and engage with your videos. Even if you find the perfect time, it could change. TikTok users are fickle! Still, posting at 10 p.m. might be less effective in reaching the right people than posting at lunchtime. 

Engage with your audience.

How your audience interacts with your video determines whether the algorithm will show it to more people. You can encourage more commenting by asking questions in the captions of your videos or creating an engaged community that will always comment on and like your videos. Once your videos are gaining a bit of traction, chat with your audience. Answer questions, like comments, and appreciate people for engaging with you. This shows them that you care.

Pay attention to lighting, audio, and editing.

TikTok is an app where you can get away with being scrappy, but quality still counts: your audio needs to be clear, lighting needs to be intentional, and editing needs to be captivating. Make sure to use the correct audio levels for the platform and that no background noise or music overpowers your voice. You should also use good lighting. That can be anything from natural light from a window to studio-quality lighting, as long as you know how it serves the purpose of your video. Finally, practice editing. Most viral videos that keep you captivated follow basic editing principles that you can easily learn.  

The best TikTok video ideas show your authentic self while sharing valuable information. When considering what video ideas to try, always consider your audience's preferences, why they follow you, your niche, and the message you want to convey. Ask yourself what you can do to make your videos stand out, and always focus on creating quality content.

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