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TikTok in the new frontier of beauty marketing

Mac Cosmetics, Sephora and Fenty Beauty are all studying new specific strategies for the Chinese social media app

TikTok in the new frontier of beauty marketing Mac Cosmetics, Sephora and Fenty Beauty are all studying new specific strategies for the Chinese social media app

Though the reasons for the success of TikTok are still a mystery, there are no more doubts that its correct use represents an important new opportunity for commercial purposes. It's no surprise, then, if the future of marketing is slowly moving towards the social media advertising - of which and TikTok is just the latest frontier.

Next to Douyin (its version for the Chinese market, produced by the same Chinese start-up ByteDanceTikTok is the most downloaded app in the world. Many brands are starting to study new marketing strategies ad hoc for this new platform (just think of the initiatives of Ralph LaurenGuessUniqlo or Burberry that we analyzed in here). Today, it's the turn for the beauty & make-up market to move its first (and lucrative) steps. Recently, some exciting reviews by @kaelynwhitee - a popular muser of TikTok - on the skincare brand The Ordinary has managed to sell more than 52.000 units of a face peeling serum in just two weeks

Raised from the ashes of the app musical.ly, according to Comscore, in the past few months TikTok registered an exponential growth: just in Italy, users increased from 2,1 in September to more than 6,4 million in November 2019 (+202%). If just a few months ago the total of the subscribed users was around 500 million (41% of which in their 16-24), now ByteDance is estimated to 75 billions of dollars (the highest in the world) and TikTok reached 1 billion users in 3 years (it took 9 years to Facebook to be at the same spot).

It's a hard blow for those who thought that TikTok was just a bad surrogate of a social for teenage lip-syncs and stupid choreographies. Looking at these numbers - and considering that the Chinese social media is capturing the interest of people between 25-34 and over 35 - it's normal that this phenomenon caught the attention of many international brands.

Back in December, we already pointed out that the TikTok format is more fluid and adapts very well with the likes of a new generation of users, who prefer to live their social media in a more genuine way, having no need in mediating reality through the lens of many deforming filters (as the precedent generations). This trend is confirmed by the poor success of the more traditional "old school" stars when they landed on TikTok, as Chiara Ferragni (who uses it just to re-link at her most prominent social media like Instagram). It's clear that TikTok is an entirely new world. The only star that is able to manage this new platform is (once again) Rihanna with her make up line Fenty Beauty.

Beauty is not new to this world, a world that since the first moment was perfect to inherit the long traditions of make-up tutorials that went viral on YouTube. The key is the so-called user-generated contents, a kind of content that inspired industry, too. Mac Cosmetics was among the first ones to bet on this new opportunity: for the New York SS2020 Fashion Week, it launched on TikTok the #YouOwnIt challenge, a challenge that generated more than 700.000 videos in just 6 days and almost 2 billions of views. Right before Mac, Marc Anthony True Professional promoted a product for curly hairs with the hashtag #strictlycurls. 

Sephora is currently working on social media to use it as a window to promote its brands, via promotional videos and easy tutorials (there's always the limit of 15 seconds a video). Though it's Fenty Beauty who's leading this revolution: Rihanna recently inaugurated the Fenty Beauty House, a real apartment with pool, mirrors and natural light to promote the creation of branded contents on TikTok (in collaboration with some influencer as MakaylaEmmy Combs e Savannah). Its strategy consists of fan-based contents, as well as the sharing of some behind-the-scenes from an ordinary day at the office, with its employees challenging themselves with lip-syncs and POVs.

Despite this success, only time will tell if TikTok will be the real future of beauty marketing. For now, we only know that a young passionate about beauty convinced more than 50.000 fans to buy a product just talking about it on her profile. Considering that, it's normal that many more are thinking about investing in the Video Marketing: on one hand because Gen Z has become the most solid slice of the market; on the other hand, because these contents are perfectly adaptable to any other social media - and that's a warranty, in the eventuality that TikTok will be just a passing fad.