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Which TikTok video formats for which uses?

Simon Lebrun
April 25, 2022
Last modified on
May 17, 2023
What video formats are on the TikTok application?

If the majority of brands have understood today that TikTok is a real marketing opportunity, it is not always easy to know what optimizations to put in place to perform on the platform.

However, there are simple and easy to apply rules to ensure that your content is favored by theTikTok algorithm, that it matches the "TikTok spirit" and generates engagement.

We share our tips for choosing the right TikTok format based on your target audience and goals.Β 

Perform on TikTok using the right formats

1. The best TikTok format: vertical video

TikTok is a mobile-only platform, which means that all your videos must be in vertical format.

Respecting this standard also means making your videos by thinking about all the elements that make up your content: writing, editing, shooting and the information that will be visible in the frame.

TikTok interface with a frame to optimise your visibility

According to several studies, we hold our phone vertically more than 90% of the time. That's why this type of format is more and more preferred.

Following this logic, TikTok was created so that content is consumed vertically. For example, all the buttons (like, share, comment) allowing to interact with the videos, are used vertically.

The horizontal format is therefore almost absent from the platform. It represents a consumption constraint for the user who has to change the position of his screen to watch this format of videos. And it becomes more difficult for users to interact on your publications . In the end, you risk alienating the algorithm.

However, the horizontal formatis not to be banned at all costs (only to be avoided). The social network offers you an alternative to upload or save a video in horizontal format with a video mode button that appears during the upload.

Putting a video in horizontal format on TikTok

Some content creators have also decided toexploit horizontality to attract their audience. This is the case of Thomas Golberg, for example, who launched a video format "Turn your phone around" where he encourages his audience to go into horizontal mode.

2. The length of the video: short formats should be preferred

On TikTok, you can create and produce videos from one second to three minutes. The formats offered are 15 seconds, 60 seconds, and a longer format of 3 minutes.

If you have selected 15 seconds, you will not be able to exceed this time. The recording will automatically cut off at the end of the 15 seconds.

However, the objective being to reach a maximum of your target, the video formats of about fifteen seconds are to be preferred. They allow you to get your message across in a brief and concise manner so that your audience will view your video in its entirety.

Viewing time and what is called rewatch are indeed essential to optimize your views on TikTok. We talk more about this in our article on how to make views on TikTok.

Therefore, we advise you to create video formats of 15 to 60 seconds maximum. This will encourage you to be efficient and will improve your WatchTime, since you will have to keep your audience's attention for less time.

You should also keep in mind that, as on any social network, your audience's attention span is very volatile . Therefore, the longer your video is, the harder it will be to maintain. That's why short videos often perform better. Not to mention that they are more likely to be viewed several times (the famous Rewatch), which can increase your visibility on the application .

The 3-minute format is the newest on TikTok and remains the least used. This is due to the fact that it is difficult to maintain the attention of users for such a long time (compared to the average video on the social network).

Nevertheless, if you manage to capture and maintain attention on longer formats, it is likely that the algorithm will reward this performance. But this is more difficult to do and to anticipate. Maybe TikTok will evolve in this direction in the future. But for the moment, the platform remains very influenced by the short formats that are the trademark of the social network since its creation.

3. Maximum size of a TikTok video file

On TikTok, the size of the file allowed for uploading varies depending on the type of device you are using. Indeed, the application is available on IOS and Android, (and you can even upload your videos from a computer).

With an Android device, you can download videos of up to 72 MB. In contrast, on IOS devices, the download capacity is 4 times greater than on Android, i.e. you can download videos of up to 287 MB.

4. What kind of advertising on TikTok?

Since the creation of TikTok, advertising content has become widely democratized. If at the beginning, advertisements on the networks were mainly accessible to big groups (who had a big budget) and mostly made under the supervision of TikTok itself, today, one can advertise for all budgets and in different ways, directly through TikTok Ads.

For example, we can produce a Splash Page ad: it appears as soon as the user opens the application and launches directly before opening on the feed as native content.

This ad format has the advantage of reaching the audience as soon as they open the application and of surprising them with its appearance.

There are also In-Feed ads, which appear as native content when the user scrolls through their #Shortoi feed. This TikTok format fits more naturally into the application, although a small "Advertisement" label at the bottom of the video indicates that it is not native content.

Both types of ads have their advantages and disadvantages. It all depends on your objective and the stakes you will define when setting up your advertising campaign on TikTok.

5. Attracting the attention of TikTok users

In order to keep the attention of your audience, it is essential that the first 3 seconds of your video capture their attention. It is therefore necessary to stand out from the other videos offered on TikTok and especially to indicate from the beginning the added value of your content.

For example, you can use a video with bright colours on the screen, add a catchy image or statement at the beginning, etc. You should not hesitate to indicate, in a written insert for example, the subject of the video and the added value that will be delivered.

More generally, the more innovative the content is, while remaining close to TikTok's production logic, the more likely it is to capture and maintain attention!

Don't cheat in the comments! (291 Rue Saint-Denis)

♬ original sound - Vito πŸŒπŸš΄β™‚οΈ

6. Center your TikTok content

As mentioned earlier, the buttons that allow users to interact with your content are located on the right side of the screen. The description of the video is also displayed at the bottom. That's why it's necessary to properly place the written content you add to the video.

Indeed, these "buttons" will be superimposed on the written content if they are badly positioned. All emojis, captions, and other written content that you add to your videos must therefore be positioned in a rectangle that excludes the bottom and the right of the screen .

To make it simple, you need to center the inserts. Especially since the dimensions and formats of smartphones vary and can have an impact on them.Β 

If you want to make sure they are well placed, you can preview your video. The application will allow you to preview it as it will be posted on the platform. When you write its description. Just click on the thumbnail of the video in the upper right corner.

7. Use music

On TikTok, you should not neglect the choice of music you use. Sound is a key ingredient on the platform. It's a "sound on"social network, which is difficult to consume without activating the volume.

We recommend that you both choose music that is related to your content AND that is already frequently used on the app.

8. Call to Action: Commitment

Finally, within your video, you can ask your TikTok community to interact with your content by using Call To Action (CTA).

For example, you can invite users to like, comment or share the video, or even subscribe to your account. With this call to action, you'll be able to both measure your community's engagement with your content and allow it to be shared more widely (thanks to users sharing the video, and thanks to the platform's algorithm that will highlight your videos if they generate engagement and interaction).

All in all, TikTok can be a growth driver for your brand if you manage to leverage the right formats.

However, keep in mind that your goal is to maintain long-term growth, not to share a single viral video. You need to be consistent in publishing your content. And for that, you need to design a good content strategy.

If you want to implement a content marketing strategy on TikTok, feel free to contact our team via this form . πŸ‘‡

We'll support you in creating content and setting up effective campaigns on TikTok, ensuring that our actions are in line with your marketing objectives

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