Then it helps to understand TikTok’s recommendation engine.
The TikTok algorithm is looking for:
- Engagement (full views, likes, comments)
- A back catalog of videos, so new fans can binge
- And… REPEAT VIEWS!
Nothing says “I love this video” more than someone watching it multiple times. If you get people to watch again, you’re proving to TikTok you can keep viewers ON the platform. Which of course is their main objective.
By helping TikTok retain viewers, they’ll reciprocate and share your video to a wider audience. That’s why creating videos that warrant multiple views can be the key to unlocking exponential growth on TikTok.
How to make TikTok videos that drive repeat views
At the 2022 DIY Musician Conference I spoke with Jeremy Carter-Gordon of Windborne. This acapella vocal group has gone viral on TikTok multiple times. During our conversation Jeremey broke down his TikTok strategy, and his theories behind that success.
He gave so much great advice (I hope you’ll watch the whole video above), but one of the standout segments was about driving repeat views. Jeremy has used the following techniques across multiple videos to successfully get viewers watching again and again.
1. The “meta narrative”
This is Jeremy’s term for the story on top of the story, often displayed in text/captions onscreen, so there are multiple threads to follow throughout the video. This could mean the lyrics are happening at the same time as a caption about the song’s origins, musicological information about the genre, the history of the venue, etc.
2. Dense text
Crowd the screen with information that couldn’t possibly be consumed in one go-around. By including a meta-narrative, you’ll often achieve this crowding automatically, because there’s multiple stories or lessons to consume. We have to watch a second or third time to grasp it all.
3. Text bursts
Flash something important on screen that quickly disappears. If people want to make sure they got it, they’ll have to watch again.
4. Audience prompts
Challenge your audience to join the conversation, add a hot take, or recommend something. Even better, crowd the screen with multiple prompts! You might start four separate conversations in the comments section.
5. Teach them something
People love to learn things on TikTok, and viewers may tend to lean into educational content more than general entertainment content. It’s not enough to watch and enjoy; they’re invested in themselves and want to integrate the info into their lives. And so pairing education with the other techniques above can really increase repeat views.
6. The abrupt cutoff
Ever seen those videos where the final note of a song or the final word of the dialog is clipped off? It’s jarring. And something about the unresolved nature of that ending makes viewers want to loop around again. Brains are weird.
7. The seamless loop
This is perhaps the oldest “get them to watch again” trick on TikTok, but it’s still really effective. If you can create a video where people don’t even notice it’s on repeat, gold! Because by the time they DO notice, they’ll probably watch a third or fourth time simply because they’re wowed. They’ll want to see the point at which you fooled them.
Success on TikTok is about more than just repeat views
Of course focusing on repeat views is worthless if you can’t get them to watch in the first place.
Jeremey has some great tips on capturing initial attention on TikTok. And he offers a healthy take on how to approach the platform to make sure it’s working for you, and not the other way ’round. Check it out above!
And thanks to Jeremy for sharing his experience and advice.