As the second most downloaded free app in 2019 with around 800 million active users, TikTok is becoming an increasingly important app for travel bloggers and content creators. The app allows you to record, edit and share short form videos, and these 5 TikTok tips for travel bloggers and content creators will hopefully help you navigate the app before you take the plunge as a creator. I’ve developed these tips from being a consumer of the app for several months and analysing what existing creators are doing on the app successfully.
1. A strong start is key
As a short form video app it’s important to engage from the outset, within the first second ideally. Many people may discover your video scrolling through their feed or within a hashtag, so you only have a very short window of time to grab their attention and stop them from scrolling onto the next video.
A good way to do this as a travel blogger is to pose a question using onscreen text or voice over, such as; “Did you know about this mysterious place in…?”, or teasers like “5 cities where you can…” as it immediately arouses curiosity and hooks you in to the story.
Update (July 2021): Using TikTok’s voice over function by typing out text, pressing on it and selecting “Text-to-speech” is a very useful feature if you don’t wish to record your own voice overs and from my experience was a game changer for increasing engagement.
2. Repurpose existing content | TikTok Tips for Travel Bloggers
For me, a good way to introduce myself to the app as a creator rather than a consumer was to use some of my own existing videos and photos from blog posts.
Do you have any interesting images you could create a montage with? Do you have a travel blog containing some interesting and quirky facts? Building a short story between 15 and 60 seconds from a substantial blog post requires you to cherry pick all the best bits – an editing process that’ll be good practice for when it comes to making fresh TikTok content in the future.
3. How to format TikTok travel videos
Listicles, tutorials and how-to’s are particularly popular formats for travel TikTok videos. Listicles provide information in an easy to digest format and providing a number could help people stick around until the end as they know how much time they’re committing to the TikTok video from the outset.
Using an uptempo, poppy track will also help set the pace for each point – and editing to the beat gives it a professional edge. You can explore TikTok’s playlists for trending songs that may help further boost your reach for people scrolling through content that uses a popular song.
Related: 6 of Tallinn’s magical photo spots
Successful tutorials and how-to videos on TikTok educate the viewers in a fun and creative way. Showing before and after edits of your travel photography, cool transitions, landmark reflections and cityscape reveals are some ideas used by creators on the app – as well as speed-up edits that often have you rewatching it several times to absorb the information fully.
TikToker @brandon_baum regularly posts tutorials of how he made his previous TikTok edit, many of which achieve significantly higher views than the original video.
4. Explore popular tags and challenges | TikTok Tips for Travel Bloggers
Looking up what’s trending and the discover page on TikTok (often contains the latest viral trend in the form of a hashtag) may help inform your content creation and grow your following. Challenges often require building content from scratch, but if you spend the time and come up with something that really resonates with viewers your reach could soar overnight. Sometimes it can be the most simple and relatable ideas that perform the best!
I see the challenges as the heart of TikTok, it’s like an extension of meme culture, communicating those quirky and amusing things in life we can all relate to and delivering it in a way that’s unique to you. You can record videos in the app or import them later, there’s lots of effects and styles you can apply to your videos within the app – many of which may crop up for viral challenges.
5. Follow travel bloggers and content creators on TikTok
And perhaps the most simple but effective tip is to see what your peers are doing on the app already. By being a consumer of TikTok for a few weeks or months you’ll find out what works well on the platform and learn how travellers edit their content, interact with their audience and utilise hashtags and challenges.
When you’re ready to start creating travel themed TikTok content remember to bring your own personality and style to the platform too as it will make your profile stand out amongst the tried and tested formats mentioned above.
Here’s a list of 10 travel bloggers or content creators on TikTok that I’ve been following in no particular order:
- Follow Me Away
- Jon Miksis
- Hand Luggage Only
- Cat Thomson
- The Curious Pixie
- UNILAD Adventure
- Beautiful Destinations
- … and check out my TikTok too if you like! Explore With Ed
I hope you found the TikTok tips for travel bloggers useful! Are there any other travel content creators we should all be following on TikTok? Let me know!