Acknowledging that Gen Z remains stuck indoors with nothing to do besides attend Zoom classes at the moment, fashion influencers, makeup artists, and style and beauty brands have begun to up their content investments on the hugely popular video-sharing platform.
Ah, TikTok. The video-sharing platform that’s been absolutely dominating the teen market over the last year, it’s social media’s answer to shortened attention spans and the technology industry’s rapid growth. It’s also extremely popular amongst 16 to 24-year-olds and as a result, the world of style and beauty is flocking to the app to tap into its lucrative young market during the pandemic.
At a time in which sales are inevitably going to be lower than ever as people are unable to visit stores or salons to get their hands on the latest products or their hair coloured to look like an ‘e-girl,’ it makes sense that both industries would be thinking digitally. Adopting virtual solutions is undoubtedly the best way to connect with consumers while physical retail isn’t an option and with this in mind, brands looking to engage with a wide audience are definitely doing well to be on TikTok right now.
Beauty’s migration to TikTok has finally dawned, with hacks and 15-second makeup tutorials becoming as common on the For You Page as dance challenges and lip-syncing duets. During the quarantine period, the app has been downloaded over 1.5 million times (according to SensorTower) making it the best online location for MUAs, influencers, and cosmetics brands to be a part of.
Beauty content that goes viral has been generating some serious sales for the brands behind them. For example, Deciem’s The Ordinary recently saw a purchasing spike of 426% in its AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution as videos began circulating of acne-positive teens using the product and #TheOrdinary received over 50 million views.
What’s interesting, is that Deciem’s popularity didn’t originally come from paid influencers as is common with social media promotion, but was boosted completely organically, and this seems to be the case with a lot of other brands as well such as Milk, Lime Crime, and Nudestix. ‘It’s simply all about being funny, quirky, and real,’ says Nudestix founder Taylor Frankel. ‘We’re creating makeup content and tutorial content, but in a really quick, easy, fun, relatable way.’
With the Coronavirus lockdown accelerating their content production plans, brands are actively creating more and more, using their accounts to start sponsored hashtag challenges that contribute to TikTok’s new highlighted beauty section on the homepage. It’s this method that garners the most success, as these campaigns largely tend to reach a great deal more viewers than exclusive content might and even as brands scale back dramatically on their overall advertising spend, this focus on social media means they’re still able to stay afloat.
Additionally, although YouTube is (and always will be in my opinion) the O.G. for beauty content, it seems that the tried-and-true business strategy of launching a cosmetics line is now being embraced by the TikTok generation, just as it was in the early days by the likes of Huda Kattan and Jeffree Starr.
‘So much of the Gen Z audience is at home and on social,’ says Florence Adepoju, founder of cult beauty company MDMflow. ‘Because most of TikTok’s users consists of teens that would otherwise be in school, there’s just so much more attention to the platform making it the ideal place to be promoting new products for the time being.’