TikTok Creators On Popular Beauty Posts, Brand Partnerships And Dancing For Views

When even Prince Charles is possibly frittering away quarantine minutes watching frivolous TikTok posts, it’s pretty clear the social media platform has turned into a global pop culture craze.

The Duke of Cornwall may have been one of 113 million users installing the short-form video app on his phone in February, when it was the most downloaded app in the world. In total, it’s been installed nearly 2 billion times. It’s not only royalty that’s glued to TikTok. In the past three months, beauty influencers’ mentions of TikTok on other social media networks such as Instagram and YouTube has shot up 99%, thanks to the fact that its content is easily shareable across feeds, according to influencer marketing management specialist Traackr.

Traackr CEO Pierre-Loïc Assayag attributes surging interest in TikTok to its primarily lighthearted posts—think group dance routines and lip synch videos paired with trendy music and special effects—that’s a break from the never-ending flow of bad news during the pandemic. “TikTok is incredibly accessible in that it does not require creators to shoot glossy content in exciting places like Instagram, but instead is built for the type of content that is real, joyful and can be done from the comfort of home in tie dyed sweatpants,” he says.  Currently, the best-performing beauty influencer content on TikTok features makeup tutorials and look reveals, while makeup challenges top created content by brands. E.l.f. Cosmetics began an #eyeslipsface challenge in early October, and it now has over 5 billion views. Urban Decay has seen success with its #allnighterlegend challenge campaign.

Lockdowns have provided impetus for brands to hop on TikTok because so many eyes are on it, and they’re seeking creative and cost-effective methods to engage with audiences. However, brands just shouldn’t slap any content on the platform, especially amid the current crisis. People can be turned off by conspicuous product pushes and highly critical of messages that seem tone-deaf. For indie beauty brands that get TikTok right, though, it has the potential to be particularly advantageous because reach and engagement on the network has less to do with follower counts than the virality of content.

It’s important to start small and test material before scaling up. Given that challenges are popular on TikTok, Assayag suggests brands try challenge campaigns. He recommends brands imagine challenges that are creative and fun for their fans, and identify a few influencers that have relatively minor audiences, but high engagement and the potential to garner broader reach to take part in the challenge.

Micro-influencers may be willing to work with brands on a gift exchange basis, and brands can request they post TikTok content to Instagram. Brands that overly control content can cause campaigns to fall flat. Assayag says, “Content does best on TikTok when it incorporates humor and personality. The more creative a post is, the more likely users will respond to it.” To find out about what works on TikTok, we talked to three influencers about their buzziest posts, what they’re putting effort into on the platform and advice for brands jumping into the TikTok fray.

Julie Kyles @SoPrimp

TikTok start date: December 2019

Followers: 155K

Likes: 5 Million

Specialty: Beauty and skincare

Brand partners: Makeup Revolution, Truly, Tony Moly, I Dew Care

Why did you decide to join the platform?

One of my friends from Instagram suggested I give it a try. I wanted to share my love of makeup and skincare and a good time doing it. It is also an opportunity to bring awareness to my online makeup store.

Why do you think audiences are shifting from Instagram to TikTok?

I think TikTok is a more fun and engaging form of social media. The fact that you can go live and speak to people and use music freely is a big plus. Also, the algorithm on Instagram has changed and made it more difficult to reach as many followers. It is easier to go viral on TikTok.

How would you describe the type of content you create on TikTok?

 I bring a sense of humor to reviewing products I like. The products are serious, but I don’t take myself seriously.

What’s your best-performing piece of content on the platform?

The blur stick by Makeup Revolution that has 8 million views is my best performing content. It is a product that really worked for me, and I think viewers trust my opinion. I mean, it sold out all over the country after my TikTok review went viral.

Are you encouraging brands that you have relationships with to get into TikTok?

Yes, definitely. TikTok is a great social media tool to get your brand name out into the world. Brands have 15 to 60 seconds to show what they have to offer and, with effort and a little magic, they have the opportunity to create a viral hit that can reach millions of viewers.

Do you have tips for indie brands on ways to get involved and be successful on the platform?

I love to review indie brands because, even though they might not be well-known, oftentimes their products are on par with or better than many of the major well-known brands. My advice would be to partner with an influencer who can create content that aligns with the brand’s mission statement or culture. Unique and humorous content tends to capture attention the best, and that’s what I try to convey when reviewing indie products.

How are you using TikTok differently from Instagram and YouTube?

While I have a large Instagram following, I prefer to make fun videos and get hands-on. TikTok is easier to freely express your love for makeup as opposed to Instagram. The atmosphere is quite a bit different. You can be more creative without judgement or critique. People seem to be more open to having fun.

Why is TikTok important to your overall business strategy?

TikTok is important to me because I get to share products that I love with other people through a unique platform. While I have an online store selling makeup, most of the products I create content for are just products I love or I’m curious about. TikTok allows me to connect with people on a more personal level, and the feedback that I receive is really priceless in determining what ingredients go into making a video go viral. It also allows me to get my finger on the pulse of what products people really like or don’t care for that much. It is very rewarding creating content that resonates with fellow makeup lovers.

McKenna Wesley @TheBubblyBlondeLife

TikTok start date: March 2019

Followers: 196K

Likes: 144K

Specialty: Fashion and beauty

Brand partners: Revision Skincare, Omni Bioceutical.

Why did you decide to join the platform?

I decided to join TikTok because I heard it was a way to showcase what you feel or see specifically in a short video form.

Why do you think audiences are shifting from Instagram to TikTok?

I feel TikTok is more socially interactive.

What is your best performing piece of content on the platform? Why do you feel this specific piece did so well?

My best-performing videos have been about my beauty tips. I believe people like that kind of content because it’s interesting, and many of the items I showcase are easy to incorporate into their daily lives.

What type of beauty content tends to do well on the platform for you?

Hair tips always do very well for me. I really enjoy trying new hair products and showcasing how to use them. Some of my beauty tutorials views have surprised me like the video i just did for press-on nails. The nail salons are closed, and people still want to look good, so I decided to give press-on nails a try. My audience loved it.

Are you encouraging brands that you have relationships with to get into TikTok?

I have started including TikTok in my media kit and always let my customers know that it’s an option. I’ve noticed many of the brands I work with are creating TikTok accounts and have been asking me for Instagram and TikTok coverage.

What beauty brands have you created content for on TikTok?

All the beauty videos I have created include my own opinion and the only sponsored content I have had so far on TikTok has been from clothing brands. I always try products first so I’m familiar with them and can give an honest assessment. I feel this is important for my followers trust in me.

How are you using TikTok differently from Instagram and Youtube?

Videos on TikTok are quick, and you have about 15 seconds to get your point across. YouTube videos can be much longer and detailed. Whenever I create a video, I make one for each channel.

How has your TikTok content changed since the pandemic?

I have had a lot more time to test different products that have been sent to me. This has led to creating more videos on beauty tips along with lots of clothing try-on videos.

Nida La @nidalodean 

TikTok start date: July 2019

Followers: 196.6K

Likes: 2.9 million likes

Specialty: Beauty and lifestyle

Brand partners: Too Faced, ColourPop, Sugar Bear Hair

Why did you decide to join the platform?

My friends who were making content on TikTok encouraged me to join.

Why do you think audiences are shifting from Instagram to TikTok?

There is more engagement and active users. It’s an easy platform to create content.

What’s your best performing piece of content on the platform?

I have many videos that go viral on TikTok with millions of views. Most recently, a video that hit the “For You” page with over 5.5 million views was of me doing a trending dance in a grocery store. People like to see trending music in different settings, something that makes your video unique to you, but also still relatable to TikTok trends.

What type of beauty content tends to do well on the platform?

Both makeup and hair do well. It’s truly about how you present your content and make it unique to your brand.

Are you encouraging brands that you have relationships with to get into TikTok?

Yes, I consult for many brands on how they can monetize on TikTok and teach them [to use] the platform itself. There’s plenty of TikTok for all of us!

Do you have any suggestions for indie brands on ways to get involved and be successful on the platform?

I highly recommend setting budgets for social media. I say that because I’ve personally helped so many brands, established and non-established, grow from these platforms. It’s truly a huge tool that will help your business once you figure out how to utilize it.

How are you using TikTok differently from Instagram and Youtube?

I’m way more active on TikTok. I’m freely creative and always finding ways to engage with my followers. TikTok allows you to be more connected with your audience.

Why is TikTok important to your overall business strategy?

TikTok is a great social media platform [that’s] growing rapidly. Everyone that maintains a space on the platform for themselves is locking in potential work/money that maybe other platforms are not offering because of low engagement.