Artists Are Going Viral on TikTok With This Strategy

We’re constantly astounded at the power of TikTok, a platform most of you know as the powerhouse behind viral videos at the moment. The way content is generated on the platform has permeated across the social media landscape; the new format being quickly adopted by other platforms.  

I’d like to say I spend a lot of time on TikTok in order to research ideas for our clients, but shamefully the platform has a hold on me as well.  

Recently I’ve come across a slew of narrative driven TikTok that have helped propel artists.

Let’s take a look at my favorite, and likely the most successful, example:  


This could change her life... Help me help her 🥺🔥

♬ original sound - Ylane Duparc

This group is called Skandra and they posted this TikTok in August. At that time, their account didn’t have a single song over 1,000 streams.

Less than a month after posting, that song hit over a million streams.  

In fact, it’s a strategy that many artists have started using to great effect.  

I want to break down the strategy and why I believe this was a success. For the sake of this article, I’m going to assume filming and editing this is a skillset all you amazing talented people already have.  

  1. The TikTok ecosystem: First of all, let's recognize how this is only possible with TikTok. There’s a really important thing to understand about TikTok that allows content like this to go viral, it’s democratized on both the creator and consumers end. This means that not only can users have a say in which content is successful, they can also build the content straight on the platform; making it easier to create and share. This system is unlike anything that currently exists (we’ll see how Instagram Reels plays out). You don’t have to rely on building followers in order for your content to be seen.
  1. A disruptive start: You probably noticed, but there’s a pretty strong hook right from the start, “I really fucked up”.  As a platform, the next piece of content is a swipe away, so it’s integral that you hook your audience right away. This part of the equation can seem deceptively easy to create but finding a hook that will effectively disrupt someone from swiping can be difficult since it also has to pull your whole narrative together.
  2. A clear and concise narrative: “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter”, a quote often misattributed to Mark Twain applies perfectly when constructing a narrative in this format. The story in this TikTok actually has quite a bit of information in it which is not an easy thing format into 60 seconds, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they sat down and wrote a treatment for it; which is exactly what you should do. Here’s how to approach the treatment.  
  3. Paint the broad strokes of your narrative.
  4. What’s your true-life story?
  5. What challenges are you facing?
  6. Anything unique about your situation?  
  7. In chronological order, bullet point your narrative from start to finish.
  8. Get rid of all the fluff that drags your story down.
  9. Find your hook to pull it all together.
  10. Make sure you include a call to action.

Now let’s take a look at a few more examples:


this is the moment for independent artists

♬ original sound - Ethan

@giorgioaustin If you’re in bed right now, I made this for you #foryou #trending ♬ original sound - Austin Giorgio

Finally, there’s a really important factor here that we can’t forget: once you have some traction, follow up and foster community. Skandra didn’t just let that video do its thing and that’s it. They actually did a live stream of their Spotify count for a week straight. They even did a follow up video:

@ylaneduparc You’re changing our lives. Stream « Rivers » by @skand.ra ♬ original sound - Ylane Duparc

These efforts created a level of engagement with their new fans to solidify them as believers and this is the most important part. If you want to make fans, you can’t just make passive content and hope for the best. You have to engage those listeners and make them feel a part of the growth they helped you achieve.  

Follow up, follow up. Foster a community.

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