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How to Go Viral on Social Media — With Original Content Horizontal
Social Media Marketing Blog

How to Go Viral on Social Media — With Original Content

Updated on January 27, 2023
7 minute read

Because trends aren't the only option.

Published January 27, 2023

Our social media advice for 2023? Be yourself (no, really). 

While short-form video content with lip syncing, pointing, and dancing trends can increase reach on Instagram and TikTok, they're not the only strategy.

Why? Because solely following trends limits your creativity and makes it harder to stand out from other creators and brands. 

This is where original content comes into play. 

So, stretch those creative muscles and take a seat at our brainstorming table as we break down how you can go viral on TikTok and Reels — without trends. 

And if video is more your style, check out this short video:

Never Miss a Trend AgainJoin over 1 million marketers to get social news, trends, and tips right to your inbox!Email Address

What is Original Content?

To most marketers, original content is content that is unique and has never been published before.

Straight from the brain of the creator, it may introduce a new idea or POV, and can take on many forms. 

But while original content is unique, you don’t have to completely reinvent the wheel. 

It can be as simple as a tutorial, video essay, or the way you edit your content — with your own spin on it.

And if you still want to leverage the reach of a trending audio, you can use it as background noise — just don't make it the main focus.

With Later, you can schedule your original content for Instagram and TikTok for free. Join over 4M businesses, creators, and social media managers now and create an account:

Why Should You Post Original Content on TikTok and Reels?

Trends can be entertaining (and are still an effective growth tactic) — but they don’t always allow for a deeper connection with your audience. 

Plus, if everyone is doing the same trend, it can make for a dull (and repetitive) scroll. 

With original content, you can stand out from the crowd. 

“We’re feeling fatigued from being served a lot of ‘suggested content' that isn’t relevant to us,” says Later's Social Content Lead, Lindsay Ashcraft.

“A lot of us are more online than we ever have been, and we’re looking to find more meaningful, niche topics to connect with.”

Original content allows you to be more strategic — so you can lean into creating evergreen videos that embody your brand and don’t become out of date so quickly. 

In other words, original content lets you turn viral moments into lasting engagement.

6 Viral-worthy Original Content Ideas for TikTok and Reels

Need help coming up with original content ideas?

Here are six ways you can create scroll-stopping Reels and TikToks that don’t require the latest trends.

And bonus — you can come back to these again, and again:

  1. Vlog Your Day

  2. Talk to the Camera

  3. Start a Series

  4. Share a How-to or Tutorial

  5. Let Text Be The Star

  6. Start Your Own Trend

Idea #1: Vlog Your Day

Hitting the town? Take us with you!

Vlogs are as comforting and relaxing as they are interesting to watch, and there are so many ways you can get creative. 

Take your community behind the scenes by sharing a specific period of time.

Simply document your day (or days) with short video clips, and use a variety of angles.  

Draw inspo from content creator Kay’s Costa Rica trip recap: 

Couple it with an audio that reflects the vibe of your video, and your vlog is bound to be chef’s kiss. 

TIP: Always capture more than you need and opt for 5-10 second clips, so you have options when editing. 

Idea #2: Talk to the Camera

One of the best ways to leverage TikToks and Reels is by having a conversation with your audience.

Getting candid gives a more personal feel to your content and can keep viewers engaged.

Our suggestion? Tell a story, share your thoughts about a topic, or let your community get to know you a bit better.

See how TikTok creator zizzysizzle emulates the feeling of a FaceTime call with your bestie in this storytime GRWM:

The takeaway? Sometimes letting your personality shine is all you need for a viral moment. ✨

Idea #3: Start a Series

Just like a binge-worthy Netflix show, your audience is bound to stay engaged and keep coming back for more when you create a multiple-part series.

Plus, users get a sense of comfort in knowing what to expect from their favorite creators (and brands). 

On Instagram, Danielle Brown has a series featuring different vegan salad recipes:

And over on TikTok, Axel Tanner shares underrated tracks to add to your playlist:

Moral of the story? You don’t have to do something new every time to go viral. Consistency is truly key. 

TIP: Pop your TikTok series in a playlist to keep all your videos in one easy-to-watch place.

Plan and schedule your series content in advance with Later — the ultimate social media management platform. Create an account today:

Idea #4: Share a How-to or Tutorial

Don’t keep your hidden talent a secret, because it could land you a top spot on the For You page or the Reels Explore Feed.

Exhibit A: Recipe videos tend to go viral (and for good reason). See how this jollof rice recipe by food creator RG landed him 2M+ views: 

But it’s not just food creators and brands that this tactic works well for — a good how-to is appreciated across all niches. 

Exhibit B: Check out this TikTok of NYC designer Anna Molinari as she walks her audience through a shirt-cropping hack:

Remember: gatekeeping doesn’t make friends (or viral videos). 

Idea #5: Let Text Be The Star 

This idea really is as easy as it sounds — and it has the power to pull great numbers. 

Have an inspiring quote or a hot take to share? You technically don’t have to say it out loud. 

Simply plop your text on top of any video that fits the vibe and watch those numbers roll in. 

Get inspired with this raw and real one from Melanie Laurene:

The more relatable, the better (proof: check out the engagement in Melanie’s comment section). 

Idea #6: Start Your Own Trend

Why participate in a trend when you can start your own?

We’ve seen brands and creators post original content that makes both their video and audio go viral. 

And while the best trends happen by accident, an intentional funny clip can take you places too. 

A superstar example is this one from Mahdi Woodard:

The video was funny enough on its own, landing 2.6M views. 

But his audio is also being used by creators and brands of all niches to share their Reels. It’s been in over 155K Reels (and counting):  

Screenshot of "here's your reel" audio page by Mahdi Woodard.

The takeaway? Low-lift original content has the potential to get you more than one viral moment, all with one video. 

And there you have it — all the proof, tips, and tricks you need to go viral on TikTok and Reels with original content. 

Let this be your reminder to experiment and let your personality shine — you never know whose screen it could land you.

Put your effort into creating scroll-stopping original content and leave the rest to us. Sign up for Later to schedule your social media content in advance — create an account for free!

Never Miss a Trend AgainJoin over 1 million marketers to get social news, trends, and tips right to your inbox!Email Address

Plan, schedule, and automatically publish your social media posts with Later.

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