Show and tell: Beauty TikTok content by ‘real users’ more powerful than branded content

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Beauty brands need to work with trusted influencers and genuine product users to develop content that will convince TikTok users to checkout their carts. [Getty Images]
Beauty brands need to work with trusted influencers and genuine product users to develop content that will convince TikTok users to checkout their carts. [Getty Images]

Related tags Social media TikTok digital Marketing

Beauty brands need to work with trusted influencers and genuine product users to develop content that will convince TikTok users to checkout their carts, says an expert from South East Asia.

Beauty users are among one of the most engaged communities on TikTok, able to propel a niche trend or brand into the mainstream stratosphere in mere days.

“There is high engagement from beauty users on TikTok – 86% in Thailand, 71% in Malaysia – we’re seeing all these kinds of figures across countries. Beauty product users take action after watching beauty content on the platform – that’s 93% in Indonesia and more of less the same in Vietnam. In Malaysia, it’s 87% and in Singapore, its 77%,” ​said Pierre Faucher, chief executive of Flywheel Philippines; a digital commerce solutions partner headquartered in Singapore.

However, Faucher said consumers are becoming savvier about marketing on TikTok.

“60% of consumers declared not being in a buying state of mind after watching branded content and 34% declare being sceptical towards branded content.”

The company has worked with South Korean skin care brand CosRx to launch on TikTok Shop in the Philippines.

Some types of content that were extremely effective were those that showcased before-and-after results.

“When it’s showcased by real users of the products and influencers that people trust, its very powerful,”​ said Faucher.

The brand’s entry onto the platform generated a 20% increase in e-commerce GMV in three months.

According to TikTok, Shop Sellers using TikTok Shop Ads achieved a +112% higher median total GMV. With COSRX, we observed exactly that,” ​said Faucher, who led the project.

Furthermore, the efforts helped to push the brand up the rankings on TikTok, where it is now one of the top 10 skin care brands.

“We achieved this through a combination of high volume and high frequency of live streaming and short video content, with an attractive and often changed range of promotions, creating content based on trends and collaborating with local content creators; leveraging on affiliates to deliver authentic content and expand audiences and drive engagement,” ​explained Faucher.

However, it must be said that brands must approach TikTok knowing that they will need to be willing to spend, as CosRx was able to.

“The brand was committed to dedicating the necessary budget not only for live streaming and content development but also in advertising on the platform. That usually makes the difference between brands with high ambitions winning on TikTok and the rest of the pack,”​ said Faucher

TikTok troubles

The excitement for TikTok and TikTok Shop among marketers and shoppers can only be dampened by government efforts to regulate the platform.

Last year, Indonesia’s lawmakers called for the separation of social media and e-commerce, which resulted in a trade regulation banning the sale of goods on social media platforms.

“Social commerce is prohibited from facilitating payment transactions on its electronic system and can only offer and promote goods or services,” ​said Indonesia’s minister of trade Zulkifli Hassan, during a press conference.

This caused TikTok Indonesia to promptly shut down TikTok Shop on October 4, 2023.

However, it made a comeback in the form of a partnership with Indonesian e-commerce major Tokopedia – a partnership that seems to hold plenty of promise for consumers.

“I believe the two platforms coming together provides a great opportunity for consumers as it fosters competition between platforms, better prices and promotions,”​ said Faucher.

Furthermore, the combination of both platforms promises to offer an even more seamless experience for shoppers.
“The two platforms combined also satisfy another type of consumer, with a value-seeking behaviour met with high social media preference across the entire consumer journey, within the one ecosystem partnership is another step in the ongoing industry shift towards continuous commerce, where the bottom funnel ceases to exist. Instead, every touchpoint becomes shoppable for consumers,”​ Faucher elaborated.

The partnership could provide a more personalised and engaging consumer shopping experience, with features like live streaming, interactive product demonstrations, and personalised recommendations. Additionally, the combined entity has the potential to offer a broader range of products and services through the Tokopedia platform, benefiting both consumers and sellers.”

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