While pandemic restrictions are coming to an end in the U.S., some beauty brands are ramping up their TikTok livestreaming.
For example, CBD brand Truly Beauty began livestreaming on TikTok at the start of the pandemic and has been increasing its activity ever since. It currently does two lives per week across all social channels, with plans to offer more regular programming.
“Our goal is to eventually go live every single day, five days a week, Monday through Friday” as the brand grows its team, said Tyler Moore, Truly Beauty social and marketing manager.
Now with 1.5 million TikTok followers, the brand’s livestreams are “always pretty crazy,” said Moore. “A lot of people are just participating, regardless of the content of the live. I think that’s just due to our overall brand presence on that channel.” It has found that noon works as the best time to go live, and it features both influencers and brand employees on the livestreams.
TikTok has been developing its livestreaming capabilities over the past year, rolling out livestream e-commerce with Walmart in a December pilot test, which was followed by a beauty shopping event in March. In addition to Truly Beauty, other beauty brands that have experimented with TikTok lives include Urban Decay, Tarte, E.l.f., Too Faced and Milk Makeup.
On TikTok livestreaming, certain types of content are more popular than on other platforms. “Most people actually are more tapped into an employee — somebody who actually works for Truly,” said Moore. He said that TikTok live viewers are “the most curious” about what it’s like to work at the brand and how the products are developed. The brand also holds Instagram, Facebook and YouTube lives, which Moore said are more focused on product recommendations and routines.
It also helps to incorporate surprises into livestreams to encourage views and engagements. “What we always try to do in the lives is have something going on during the live while we carry on the conversation.” For example, a livestream featuring an employee’s bunny had people “obsessed,” he said. It had thousands of views at a time, compared to the hundreds the brand usually gets.
Following Walmart’s early access, brands are eager to get on board with a wider rollout of shoppable TikTok livestreaming.
“We’re having that conversation soon, so I think we’ll be able to implement it in some way or fashion,” said Moore, of TikTok livestreaming commerce. The brand is currently unable to sell on Instagram, where in-app sales of CBD products are not allowed. “We’re hoping that maybe TikTok’s guidelines will be a little less strict,” when it comes to CBD, he said.
Currently, the brand uses TikTok livestreams to announce flash sales, offering exclusive discount codes with a one-hour time limit to purchase. “Those are always really fun, because it’s super engaging. And we actually do generate a lot of money from those,” said Moore. But he said the brand maintains balance in its content. “We don’t want to always be like we’re salesmen. Sometimes we just want to connect with people, so we’ll do Q&As,” he said.
Overall, TikTok is one of Truly Beauty’s top revenue drivers across paid and organic social, and has been a big source of brand awareness, said Moore. While the brand’s primary demographic is people ages 24-33, TikTok has helped it reach the 16-23 group.
Even as stores begin to open up, the brand expects livestreaming to have staying power.
“We’ve seen that purchasing power through live,” he said, noting the brand has observed the size of the livestream shopping market in China. “We are predicting the U.S. is going to be like this probably in the next 3-4 years. That’s why we’re wanting to get ahead of the game,” he said.