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How beauty brands can use TikTok to reach Gen Z, BIPOC, and more consumers

As one of the most popular communities on TikTok (42 billion views and growing), #beautytok reaches across generations, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities.

We highlight three #beautytok demographics and the key factors that marketers can use to reach them on the platform.

For Gen Z: Be authentic

In 2020, Charlotte Tilbury worked with influencer Abby Roberts to create a video series featuring three of the beauty brand’s “10 Iconic Makeup Looks.” Roberts said what made the partnership successful was having full creative control, allowing her to create authentic content that resonates with Gen Z.

“The influencer, 100%, knows their audience better than anyone else does,” she told Retail Bum. “Gen Z does not like being advertised to, whatsoever. A lot of times, we’ll find that a brand comes across and gives us a really specific brief, and it just doesn’t work. It’s not flexible enough—the audience knows that it’s an advert and doesn’t respond well to that.”

For male consumers: Keep it simple

Men’s cosmetic company Stryx found the best TikTok strategy to engage men is keeping the message clear and direct.

“Guys want the instant fix,” co-founder and CMO Jon Shanahan told Retail Brew. “They want to know that it’s made for them, they want to know that it’s easy.”

Shanahan said it’s important that content explains the products in terms men will understand, especially as some are new consumers in this retail category.

“Guys want to be spoken to on their level,” he said “You can put this stuff on the shelf, but when it’s explained to guys, that’s really powerful.”

For Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) consumers: Prioritize representation

The beauty industry lacks diversity, in both the office and in store aisles. But retailers and brands are trying to be more inclusive.

Social media platforms have been a catalyst of inclusivity in the beauty industry by amplifying voices of underrepresented and marginalized groups, said Clare Hennigan, senior beauty analyst at Mintel.

“Brands seeking to expand and improve DEI efforts, both in terms of advertisements and product development, can partner with influencers who are members of the community they are targeting to ensure efforts resonate,” she said.


This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.