BLOG POST BY: Rowan Byers
December 4, 2023

4 Skincare Brands Crushing it on TikTok and What You Can Learn

There are a myriad of skincare brands crushing it on TikTok. But there are also plenty of brands that are still missing the mark. How can you make your brand one of the former and avoid being one of the latter? We’re diving into the world of skincare on TikTok and what makes brands shine.

Not only has TikTok become one of the fastest-growing and most popular platforms for skincare and beauty, it has completely changed the game for their marketing strategies. 

With its 1 billion MAUs (Monthly Active Users) and over 3.5 billion downloads is a place for skincare brands to build bonds with their audiences, boost brand awareness, and connect with customers at all levels of the marketing funnel. 

TikTok has also evolved to be a perfect place for shopping inspiration when it comes to skincare. The “get ready with me” trend (GRWM) and show-and-tell style content championed by influencers has taken the platform by storm. Plus the rise of the skincare influencer is very much apparent. With authentic creative and actual reviews, who wouldn’t like to use the same products as their beloved creators?

But let’s be honest – the competition plays hard, and staying on top of your game consistently is even harder. So, how do you make your marketing strategies stand out? Get ready to take notes, and let’s take a look at the freshest and hottest skincare brands on TikTok.

While we’ve got you, why not check out our exclusive Goat report, analyzing 10 beauty brands and how they’ve effectively “hooked” and “held” their TikTok audience. 

The Hook And The Hold Whitepaper Front Cover

1. Nivea

With a whopping 1.2 million followers on TikTok, Nivea definitely understood the TikTok marketing assignment. The diversity they showcase is a triumph and they make sure their content is face first. Before you see any advertised products at all, you see people first. Most importantly, there is a ton of representation when it comes to skin types and ethnicities that speaks to a wide audience and makes them feel included.

Nivea puts a lot of emphasis on being your authentic self, so the beauty filters are kept at bay to present pimples, scars, and skin texture. The audience can truly see their products at work on real people.

What they did

With their Hashtag #howdoyounivea, they invite their community to showcase their favourite products, routines, and tips and tricks in the most creative ways. The most popular and innovative entries got the opportunity to be featured on their page..

Creators are adept at knowing what trends to jump on and how to make the right creative to turn heads. But where Nivea truly excels is stepping outside of the “usual” skincare influencers. Besides the loved “get ready with me” format, Nivea had dermatologists recommending which products to use and how to do so, as well as other kinds of influencers like lifestyle influencers and comedians. 

A prevalent trend is also using POVs. This hilarious impression by @tillyoddyblack, impersonating and exaggerating a make-up artist, ticks all the right boxes while promoting Nivea’s Luminous630 serum.

They also aren’t afraid to lean completely outside of the skincare niche and jump onto the super popular “is it cake?” trend, like this 1M follower celebration post.

Why it worked

Nivea truly understands the fast-changing environment of TikTok. Trends come and go, and you have to be on top of your game to jump on them at the right time, but also know when to hop over to the next. They keep their content diverse and work with influencers who operate way outside of what you would usually see in skincare on TikTok. This helps their content appeal to a broad audience and target consumers who are less aware. But most importantly, Niveaunder understands the value of community. 

They are active in interacting with their viewers on their own posts, responding to questions, critiques, and overall comments. It doesn’t stop there, as they are also heavily involved in creators’ content under their hashtags. 

Letting their community create content for them not only boosts their own community engagement but also shows that such a collaboration goes both ways.

2. Estée Lauder

It’s imperative for a brand’s social media to reflect who they are at their core. Estée Lauder’s TikTok page has an organized and elegant air about it that screams luxurious and professional. The production value and quality of their content feel elevated, just as they intend you to feel when using their products. Sophisticated without being intimidating, they offer the audience a myriad of different formats in which they proudly present their products – and they still manage to feel comforting and inviting.

The team truly leans into the “get ready with me” and tutorial-style formats, which is a great way of promoting their wares while also providing potential customers with what is essentially a manual. Not only do they feel encouraged to buy by the aesthetics, they are also encouraged to re-visit the video at a later date, boosting their views and likes in the process.

What they did

Estée Lauder understands the importance of finding long-term niches for their content. This takes a good deal of market research as well as the ability to predict what has the potential to remain a long-term trend or fizzle out before they can utilize it to its fullest.

ASMR, for one, is the kind of format and content that has been popular on other platforms for quite some time, as well as on TikTok. On one of the fastest-growing apps in the world, it’s now shot to the very top of the hashtag game with 949.9 billion views.

The team at Estée Lauder clearly saw that not only is it a safe long-term trend, but that it can seamlessly blend into their usual formats. To leverage it fully, they had the brilliant idea to promote their Advanced Night Repair serum ASMR-style. Many viewers use ASMR to relax and have it as an ingrained part of their night-time routine, so promoting a night serum in such a way is on-brand and creative.

Why it worked

Besides using ASMR for their own content, they also encouraged influencers to do it as well, as they did with the influencer @briann and his skincare routine TikTok. At its core, ASMR has little to do with actual skincare – however, it’s an incredibly broad niche with a hugely diverse audience. 

Experimenting with something outside your field can be a great way to attract potential customers from unexpected corners of the internet. Of course, it has to fit into your usual style and content, but thinking outside the box can definitely pay off. Influencers in the ASMR space have a particularly loyal fanbase with a strong desire to support their comfort-creators. This is exactly what you want to look for when implementing influencer marketing, as the goal is to promote your products and grow your own brand community. Don’t be afraid to look past the beauty community; there is untapped potential everywhere you look.

Phone Showing An Influencer Showing Off A Skincare Product On Tiktok

3. Olay

We had the pleasure of working together with Olay to widen their social media reach by using influencer marketing. They truly are a brand with a unique and approachable presence. With their fun, dynamic, and engaging content, you never know what you’ll get with their campaigns.

Similar to other brands, they understand that you cannot allow your brand image to become stagnant by doing the same things again and again. So they will present you with their normal product recommendation and GRWM (get ready with me) content but don’t shy away from sprinkling in something completely unexpected. 

Fun and creative campaigns with influencers, like this sunscreen promo with @dylanmulvaney, are super on-brand for them and show their preference for quirky content.

What they did

Their Skincare Swap Challenge really plays into their core values of delivering easy, affordable skincare to everyone. 

They lean into the format of on-street interviews, where they ask seemingly random pedestrians about their skincare – or lack thereof. This then leads to the interviewer challenging the passerby to undertake the swap challenge. The challenge is simple: use the products they provide you with for a week. The participants go on to record themselves doing their routine and give their opinion on Olay while doing so.

Why it worked

Marketing themselves as simple and affordable, Olay leaned into proving that you can swap out luxury products for theirs and get the same results without spending more money and time. Ultimately, they understand that encouraging people to buy into their brand means, first and foremost, showing them that skincare can be quick and effortless. By challenging someone to switch from their 10+ step routine to what they suggest, they speak to the part of the audience that might not be as passionate about it as others.

Apart from the obvious social proof this is providing, it still doesn’t feel cringe. The way they have executed these activations comes across as authentic in every way. Why? Because they keep the tone of the videos light and fun. They lean into humor that is relatable to the predominantly younger audience of TikTok. With social media, it’s important to not only understand the demographic of the channels you’re promoting but also what will get them listening. With Olay’s witty and to-the-point delivery of videos, it caters perfectly to the regular TikTok consumer.

4. CeraVe

With a staggering 1.4 million followers on TikTok, CeraVe is nailing it on socials.  How are they getting it right each time? They really embrace influencer marketing to the fullest. Their page sports a mostly clean and clinical look in the best way possible – a showcase of their brand values and benefits. They have leaned into professional advice with their feed brimming with helpful tips by professionals in skin care, as their hashtag #CleanseLikeaDerm suggests.

They don’t just have professionals on their own page either.  They collaborate with dermatologists, aestheticians, and other skin care professionals on TikTok to showcase their products on their feeds, too.

CeraVe actually went viral in the first place because @hyram, a massive creator in the space, started to include many of their products in his honest product recommendations. The keyword here is “honest”. CeraVe understood that the reason this kind of content worked so well, is because of the fearless authenticity that the creator provided. So now they ensure they aren’t doing what other brands often do. Micro-manage influencer content. 

Phone Showing A Cerave Influnecer Marketing Get Ready With Me Video

What they did

CeraVe has worked with influencers of all kinds to promote their products.  They have boosted brand awareness by collaborating with creators outside their niche as well as giving them the freedom to talk about their products in the way they want. 

CeraVe dramatically increases its reach by collaborating with influencers way outside the beauty community. Recently, they did a billboard with @charlidamelio, who is a TikTok star without roots in skincare. Her content blew up due to fun dances and lifestyle videos. She is the second most followed influencer on TikTok151.6 million followers and 11.5 billion likes on the platform. Of course working with mega influencers like this can up your reach by a truly jaw-dropping amount. But of course, mega influencers are not the only creators you should be collaborating with. 

Why it worked

If the goal is to reach a wider audience, collaborating with huge influencers in addition to the usual professionals has obvious benefits. But for CeraVe, the goal was to use a plethora of different kinds of influencers to reach audiences throughout the whole funnel. 

Promoting their collaboration with Charli Damelio in an equally dynamic and fun way on their own page served to invite Charli’s fanbase to go ahead and have a deeper dive through their account– driving huge views.  But what about engagement? Working with mega influencers might get you the reach you’re looking for, but choosing an array of creators with different followers will help you reach audiences at all stages of the funnel. CeraVe works with TikTok influencers with different followings and different demographics to create an influencer strategy that works. Don’t feel you always have to work with a certain type of influencer. Choose the right ones for your goals, and you’ll soon be winning. 

Let’s compare notes

Now that we’ve presented the facts let’s highlight our hottest tips on how to slay your TikTok game.

  1. Authenticity is everything

This goes for skincare brands more than for most others. People need to trust that they only put quality products on their skin, so they will always gravitate towards honest and real reviews. That means no micro-managing of influencer campaigns. You need influencers to put across their authentic selves. If they don’t, their audience will pick up on it.

  1. Think outside the box

Knowing how to work the audience in your own niche is only one part of the job. There is a sea of people out there who may not be looking at the skincare niche but still want help with their skin. The challenge is to find a way to appeal to them. Create content that jumps on the right trends and builds bonds with new audiences that way.

  1. Choose your champions

There are a myriad of influencers out there who could be your brand’s next superstar. Working with big influencers is good, but sometimes it’s the smaller creators that can truly bring your core values out. The best way is to find a balance between the two and find which ones are the best fit for your strategy.

  1. Brand community building

If you’re not building your community yet, you’re definitely missing out. Loyal customers are the foundation of any successful brand, and building your community base is the surest way to ensure people buy your product over and over again. Interact with consumers online through comment replies and chiming in on the conversation. If you make your brand feel personal and interactive, you’ll encourage more UGC and get followers to keep coming back.

  1. Know your trends

Understanding trends and that they quickly come and go is one of the most important ingredients to a successful campaign. TikTok moves fast, and the audience loses interest even faster, so being able to determine the best time to jump on a trend is a priceless talent. Moreover, understanding trends and knowing what works with your brand and your content can definitely make or break your platform presence.

Beauty in your content

With the beauty community on TikTok, it’s not just about the physical beauty. The content needs to aesthetically speak to the crowd. It needs to be engaging, authentic, and reflective of the brand at its core – trust us, people will know if you copy others. The secret recipe is to balance creative and attractive content with exciting collaborations that showcase beloved influencers as well as rising stars. But the secret ingredient to it all is remembering to make your community feel part of the brand.

Are you ready to get the right traction on TikTok? Let’s have a chat and see how we can help you build campaigns that will make your audience race to the shop in a heartbeat.

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Written by: Rowan Byers

Insights Executive at The Goat Agency