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How beauty brands can leverage TikTok to drive growth

Sophie Smith
16 May 2024

Social media platform TikTok has published a new handbook on how small to medium sized beauty businesses can better connect with consumers on the app.

The SMB Beauty Playbook is a 27-page guide offering advice for beauty brands using the platform, including trends, how to create engaging content, when to post videos and how to leverage its commerce solutions, amongst other tips.

It comes as 52% of users have gone on to make a purchase after interacting with SMB content on TikTok, further highlighting the opportunity for beauty businesses on the app.

So, how can beauty businesses achieve success on TikTok?

Tap into trends

Beauty trends typically flourish on TikTok, thanks to the viral nature of the platform. From #FauxFreckles and #GlassSkin to #GlitterNails and #Hairstyling, users can easily access inspiration and education on the app, with six in 10 consumers saying that tutorials and trending videos act as important forms of content in their product discovery journeys.

"TikTok is where beauty trends start, and the sheer volume of trends on TikTok means no one singular trend can dominate the aesthetic for very long," the platform revealed.

With festival season, the European leg of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour and summer sales fast approaching, TikTok is encouraging beauty brands to utilise different trends and popular hashtags to increase brand awareness and sales opportunities.

It comes as TikTok users say they try products more often because they are trendy or popular, with 74% agreeing that content on the platform has transformed their beauty game.

Master your storytelling

The beauty playbook emphasises the importance of understanding what resonates with your audience on an emotional level, as well as connecting with them in new ways to make products and services more relatable and engaging.

To achieve this, TikTok suggests that beauty businesses find their hook, whether it's educating their audience, highlighting the benefits of their product or service, or increasing awareness about their audience's problems and offering solutions.

Following the hook, SMBs should then drive trust by delivering their primary message in a "clear and memorable way" whilst keeping it simple. "Every business has a lot to say but try not to overwhelm your audience with information," it said.

It is also important to end with a clear, compelling call to action to encourage viewers to take the next step, such as finishing with memorable closing remarks that the brand wants their viewers to remember through text, voice-over, and/or graphics.

Know when to post

According to the handbook, the average posting frequency of verified business accounts on TikTok is 2.8 posts per week, with the top 100 brands with the highest engagement rates posting an average of 4.2 posts per week. This suggests beauty businesses should post frequently and vary their content for better reach.

The content suggestions within the guide include behind-the-scenes previews, vlogs, product reviews, founder POVs, challenges, teasers, and more. Businesses should also encourage users to interact with their brand by responding to comments, asking questions, and commenting on other videos.

Selling on the app

The guide suggests that businesses should create shoppable videos, formerly known as video shopping ads (VSAs). One example provided by TikTok was image catalogues, which allow potential customers to swipe and browse across multiple product images to improve CTR and click-through conversions.

It said that businesses opting for the carousel format should ensure there are at least four products chosen for their promoted catalogue, paired with music and high-quality images.

Beauty brands should also drive traffic to livestreams and amplify product discovery, viewership, purchase intent and transactions. As part of this, businesses can drive tactical promotions with limited-time offers and exclusive products.

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