What is the secret to achieving success on TikTok?

The platform for short videos is becoming increasingly lucrative, but competition is fierce. In this case study, you will find out which elements attract and engage the audience.

It is no news for marketers that TikTok is on the rise and has become one of the main content creation and advertising platforms. The app was the most downloaded in the world in the first quarter of 2022, surpassing big established apps with more than 3.5 billion all-time downloads and being the first app outside of the Meta conglomerate to achieve this landmark.

And if you think that TikTok is only relevant if your audience is part of generation Z, think twice. The app might have started with dancing routines, memes, and lip-syncing, but now has different generations watching content about science, education, parenting, cooking, and so much more. Food, by the way, is a big part of the platform, which has more than 25.2 billion views on the hashtag #TikTokFood and big names like Emily Mariko and Ahmad Alzahabi accumulating millions of followers.

But what is their secret to reaching and retaining the audience on TikTok?

That is the question the researcher and student Lea Fedora Ruddigkeit asked herself in this case study. Using Oculid’s eye tracking solution, she came up with six rules for short cooking videos on TikTok. The rules were put to the test by TikTok creator Anton Behnke and the results show how measuring attention pays off. He gained 22,253 followers in three months and increased the number of likes by 240.5%, and shares by 393.8%.

To download the full case study, click here.

If you are curious to know how the research led to these impressive results, read the interview we did with Lea to find out the motivations and challenges that she came across in doing the research, and how eye tracking has helped her along the way.

Can you briefly explain what your research is about?

In my BA, I conducted an attentional analysis of short videos with cooking content. The analysis was possible with the help of Oculid's eye tracking technology. In the theoretical part of my BA, I set up six theses, which were then converted into rules for short videos with cooking content after analyzing and evaluating the results.

Why did you choose eye tracking as a method?

Since my work is about attention analysis, I found mobile eye-tracking to be the best method. The additional option of mini-surveys and star ratings further supported this process.

What are the main findings of the research?

My six rules for creating short videos with cooking content:

1. It is advisable to show the finished dish and the face of the cook in the first sequence for attracting attention at the beginning.

2. Since entertainment attracts more attention and interest, appropriate elements such as music, a humorous scene, or a tip should be added.

3. People who are interested in cooking and new recipes prefer dishes that they can cook themselves. Therefore, it is recommended to show simple and original recipes.

4. In order to keep the attention on the content, it is recommended to have a clear, simple, and clean background.

5. The majority of users prefer explanations in cooking videos. Therefore, a voice-over or commenting on the recipe is recommended.

6. When it comes to product placement, the image of a sequence without a face and little other stimuli is the ideal implementation to highlight the product.

How did eye tracking affect the TikTok figures after the research?

With the help of the six rules, Anton and I revised our TikTok videos and applied my developed rules. As a result, we were able to gain more followers, more engagement, and more reach in a shorter time in comparison with the period before we implemented the rules.

Based on Ruddigkeit's discoveries using Oculid's platform, @antonbehnke improved his content creation. By applying the six rules to his videos, this is his results after three months.

What were the biggest challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

At the beginning of the analysis, collecting videos was a bit more difficult because I had to find suitable videos or creators for my theses. I had a few ideas beforehand, but the final decisions were difficult. And finally, the evaluation of the results, not because it was particularly difficult to understand, but a lengthy process of watching and evaluating.

To download the full case study, click here.


August 17, 2022

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