TikTok for Brands

August 8, 2022

Last update


08 MIN.

How to Write TikTok Video Descriptions

Publishing quality content is very important, as you know, but in order to be the creme de la creme your TikToks need a great description too.

Kristin Wendys

Kristin Wendys

How to Write TikTok Video Descriptions

A TikTok video description is like the icing on a cake.

It’s that extra thing that makes an awesome post even better.

The description serves a practical purpose and could be very useful for marketing. For example, you can announce a contest, get customer feedback with a question, engage viewers with a funny caption, and do many other things.

In this guide, we’re taking a look at 10 tips to write better TikTok video descriptions. I’m going to give enough ideas to create descriptions for your campaigns and engage more viewers with on-point and relevant texts.

If this sounds good, let’s dive right in.

These 9 tips will make your TikTok video descriptions more engaging and compelling.

Research your customers

A TikTok video description is a small piece of text. Tiny, really. But creating a good caption means doing some work.

The best source of information for excellent TikTok video descriptions is your customer research. It includes customer surveys, interviews, segmentation, and other market research data.

Speak to your marketing folks to find out:

  • Customer interests
  • Common issues they are having (and your product or service can help with)
  • Dreams or goals they might have
  • Tactics that worked in previous social media campaigns.

Any of these insights could give you ideas for viral TikTok video descriptions.

Be concise and meaningful

Well, folks, brevity isn’t an option here, but a must. There’s a 150-character limit for TikTok video descriptions (including hashtags), so plan yours beforehand. Making the description interesting and meaningful takes a bit of time.

In fact, try to keep your descriptions within 140 characters, just in case. This length allows for some unexpected last-minute revisions.

Tips to be concise and meaningful:

  • Place the most important information in the first part of the sentence. “According to our calendar, these gifts can make you very happy” can become “These gifts can make you very happy.”
  • Edit your caption at least a few times to remove fluff. “Share your thoughts on your favorite gifts this holiday season” sounds great but could be cut to “What are your favorite gifts this season?”

TikTok’s character limit makes being concise very easy, right? So keep in mind our goal: give only the most important information.

Use real-life, relatable situations

A relatable TikTok video that becomes viral is often one with a character overcoming a real-life obstacle. This is where your customer research will come in handy.

As you analyze that customer information your marketing folks readily gave you, you’ll find some situations where your product might help.

The situations could be different and depend on your brand.

Take this video for example–

Avery Cyrus, a TikTok influencer, shows a situation where she has a hard time deciding what to wear to a gym. That’s relatable to many customers of the brand.

In the process, she showcases a bunch of Under Armour’s products. Take a look at this TikTok video description.

Use real-life, relatable situations

Source: TikTok

The caption beautifully captures the essence of the situation. It’s easy to understand what Avery is trying to show her viewers, and she does so in a non-pushy, fun way.

Here’s why the TikTok video description is done well:

  • It “speaks” to the viewer. The caption uses “you’re” to encourage the reader to imagine themselves in a similar situation
  • It’s easy to read. There are no long or complex words – the caption is written in a natural, conversational language.

Follow these tips to write simple and engaging video descriptions for your TikTok videos. They’re your best bet to describe real-life situations and make the description give a clear context for the video.

Make an “inside joke”

An inside joke isn’t a joke that only accountants or marketers would understand. It’s a joke shared by your target customers, so it could be a great way to engage and delight them.

Here’s an example.

Xbox Canada’s video about “The Headset Dent” is something that their target customers, gamers, will definitely understand and, most importantly, appreciate.

The description offers nice support for the video. It says that “the dent” is accomplished “with hours of hard work.”

Make an inside joke

Source: TikTok

The joke is relatable, relevant, and engaging for a specific audience, so it’ll definitely resonate with them.

If you’re using similar tactics in your TikTok marketing, consider these tips:

  • Leave the viewers guessing. Use the XBox’s strategy: identify “something” but don’t give enough details (this is what the video is for)
  • Give a hint about who could appreciate the joke. “Only true athletes will understand this…”  

Put some extra thought into your jokes, too. What might seem funny to some isn’t even amusing to others. So, run your joke options through your marketing team to find the best option that will generate millions of views.

Ask an influencer to help

Creative content is one of the major reasons why brands decide to use TikTok influencer marketing.

Those young people can usually generate many nice content ideas, so creating an appropriate TikTok video description is something they can do, too.

Besides, if an influencer makes a video about your brand, they’re the best person to caption it since the creative part is often their job. Many marketers recommend this option.

“Absolutely ask your influencer if they could help you with writing descriptions,” says Christine Rowe, a social media marketing expert from Subjecto. “Tell them what you know about your customers – and many influencers will be happy to write a few ideas.”

The final approval of the caption should be on you, of course. But an influencer is definitely an excellent source of ideas to write that little but important bit of text.

Ask a question

Would you choose to have more hours in a day or more days in a week?

If a day was 40 hours long, what would you be doing more?

Asking questions within marketing content is a legit tactic to increase customer engagement. If a brand asks the right kind of questions, the engagement rate could be higher compared to posts without questions.

This tactic works because a question:

  • Makes people stop, reflect, and think about a possible answer
  • Slows down the pace of reading, so they engage with content in a more meaningful way
  • Gets people involved in content.

Many brands try questions to increase content engagement.

Like McDonald’s does in this post.

The influencer takes a bite of a McRib, after which the video shifts to a series of different experiences – from riding a skateboard to a rollercoaster. This is how one enjoys that delicious sandwich!

The caption asks viewers if this experience happened to any of them.

Ask a question

Source: TikTok

Any McDonald’s fans on TikTok out there would be glad to share their experiences. Those who are just going through videos could also stop to see what actually happens.

To make questions work for your content:

  • Try both close- and open-ended questions. The former could be answered with “yes” or “no,” while the latter require context. For example, “Has this ever happened to you?” is a close-ended question but “What would you do if this happened to you?” is an open-ended one
  • Ensure that the questions are relevant. Can’t stress this one enough – only relevant questions will generate engagement. This means talking about your target customers’ issues, interests, and goals.

Lifestyle bloggers also say that asking questions in the description has a nice bonus–

Not only does it increase TikTok user engagement, but it also helps to start a conversation with them.

It’s a tactic you can use for marketing campaigns.

For example, a business selling handmade gifts can ask these questions:

  • Would you rather give a gift or receive a gift?
  • Make a gift yourself or buy it?
  • Which is better: early gift or late gift?

The answers your audience gives in the comments are also important. They might help discover some new interests, preferences, or issues people might be struggling with.

Add relevant hashtags

TikTok is amazing at showing users content they might like. Their algorithm accesses content to get an idea of what it’s all about, and hashtags are how it learns.

Accurate, meaningful hashtags are a must to ensure that your content is shown to the right viewers. This will help get more TikTok followers and achieve your marketing goals.

To find the best hashtags:

  • Check out the latest TikTok trends. TikTok is all about new filters, sounds, dances, and they often come with new hashtags. Head over to the Discover page and see what videos are popular – there’s a good chance they have fresh trends
  • See what hashtags are popular among the best performers. Find the top TikTok influencers from your niche and look at the hashtags they’re using in their posts
  • Try seasonal hashtags. Starbucks, for example, is known for using hashtags like #PumpkinSpiceLatte, #PumpkinSeason, and #SweaterWeather during the “Pumpkin Spice Latte” season.  

When you find the hashtags, be careful about how many of them to use in a single post.

Some people make a mistake by stuffing the entire TikTok video description with them – this might make the post look like spam. The platform’s algorithm might also have problems understanding the content, as too many hashtags could be confusing.

Try no more than five hashtags for your TikTok video descriptions. It’s just enough to include all relevant information for the algorithm and leave some space for the description.

Use all caps to focus viewers’ attention

All caps often get a bad rap for a good reason, but they can make better TikTok video descriptions if used properly.

This tactic can help you focus the attention of users on a specific word/s.

In this post below, for example, Chipotle uses all caps to emphasize the words “Free Guac” and encourage participation in the rewards program.

Use all caps to focus viewers’ attention

Breaking down a sentence into parts is another way all caps can be useful.

Here’s an example–

In this post, Guess uses all caps to differentiate the words “Fitness tip” from the actual tip.

Guess uses all caps to differentiate the words Fitness tip from the actual tip

Feel free to try similar tactics for your TikTok video descriptions. This way, you’ll avoid the “screaming” effect of all caps and focus the attention of viewers on specific words.

Use TikTok analytics to evaluate performance of posts

TikTok analytics is a goldmine of data to improve your posts and get more views, interactions, and followers.

A deep dive into analytics shows:

  • How consistent you are with posting content
  • How many followers have you collected so far
  • How engaging your posts are
  • How many likes, comments, shares, and views your content collected
  • Hashtag performance metrics (which ones get more interactions).

These metrics indicate how successful your TikTok marketing strategy is, what’s working (and what’s not), and where you can improve.

Strong growth in followers and interactions within a specific period of time, for example, might indicate engaging content. Producing more similar content could be a good idea to keep those followers engaged.

Keep track of TikTok analytics metrics and build a smarter strategy.

Editing TikTok Video Descriptions After Posting

This one is tricky–

You can’t edit a TikTok video description after you published it. But still, there’s a way to do it.

To edit a TikTok video description after posting:

  • Download the video to your phone to save it
  • Delete the post where you’d like to change the description
  • Re-upload the video with the new description.

Keep all TikTok video descriptions in a social media content calendar (a document where you plan content). Your marketing team will be visiting it often – so they’ll be your protection against misspelled words and other mistakes.

TikTok Video Descriptions: Summary

A video caption on TikTok is an opportunity to be creative and increase viewer engagement. If you don’t have the slightest idea how to write one for a campaign, feel free to use these 10 tips you’ve just read.

Also, check out the best times to post on TikTok to get the most views and reactions. Your posts deserve millions of interactions, so let’s make sure that happens.

the writer
Kristin Wendys

Kristin Wendys

Contributor @Iconosquare

Contributor at Iconosquare


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