How to Market your Beauty Brand on Popular Chinese Social Media Douyin?

In China, social media are the best way to increase your visibility and build your audience. You can share qualitative content about your brand, information about your product, and build a trustworthy relationship with your followers. Among the most used social media, the short video platform Douyin (the Chinese name for the TikTok app) is one of the most performant. Thanks to its numerous features, you can increase your beauty brand visibility on Douyin… and even sell! Discover how you can market your cosmetics or pharmaceutical brand in 3 easy steps!

The Worldwide Success of Douyin / TikTok

Created in 2016 by ByteDance, Douyin is a short-form video platform. Have you ever heard about ByteDance? This giant owns Toutiao, Douyin, and TikTok. Then, you may wonder why we differentiate Douyin from TikTok. In a word, TikTok is the international name for Douyin. They have almost the same features but they are not the same platforms. ByteDance hosted one platform in China and one on the international internet. If you want a quick comparison, it is like with Weixin / WeChat: the Chinese and the international versions are not exactly the same.

For the Chinese version, ByteDance chose the name Douyin 抖音, which literally means “shaking sound”. This social media has a huge audience mainly amongst the Millennials and Generation Z. At the beginning of 2021, Douyin reached 600 million daily active users.

The Addictive Viewing of Beauty Short Videos

The social media app Douyin offers short videos with music in the background and advanced video editing features. The app is based on UGC (User Generated Content) mainly. To put it simply, random people create fun and attractive videos to feed the platform. Why is it addictive then? Because the algorithm used in Douyin / TikTok is one of the most performant among social media. The app will always recommend videos depending on what you previously liked, shared, and watched longer. And they will not only propose content but they will also “force” you to watch it by automatically switching to the next video in your feed.

Thanks to the impressive algorithm, people can spend hours on the app. On average, Chinese users spend 45 minutes per day on Douyin. This is a never-ending source of joy and fun. People love to watch and discover new videos every time. In only 2 years, the number of daily users increased by +200%!

In China, the users will not only watch fun videos but also look for original stuff to buy. Especially for beauty brands, there is a lot of content featuring impressive makeups or daily skincare routines.

Douyin Store: Turn Viewers into Cosmetics Buyers

In general, social media are the best tool to increase brand awareness and visibility. With Douyin, you can also increase your conversion rate by incorporating a store into your official account. Indeed, Douyin decided to switch to an e-commerce platform. Before, you needed to have 8K followers on your account to open a Douyin store. Since 2018, you only need to have posted 10 videos to have the possibility to create a store.

What are the different options to sell your beauty products on Douyin?

  1. Online shop: You can create a store on Douyin to sell directly within the platform
  2. Live streaming: You can host a live streaming session on your account or through a KOL to sell
  3. Short video selling: You can like your brand page from any e-commerce website

The 3 Steps to Market Your Beauty Brand on Douyin

#1 BRANDING – Build your Brand Image and your E-reputation

In China, branding is everything. You need to create your online reputation thanks to qualitative videos, positive comments, and KOLs endorsement. If you want to start on Douyin, you will need to create an official account for your beauty brand. For your account, you will have to create PGC (Professional Generated Content) with videos or pictures of your products and campaigns. You need to know the Chinese standards on how to make your content relevant on Douyin. Chinese netizens want to see aesthetic and qualitative content, and they want to create an intimate relationship with your brand.

You can boost your brand awareness thanks to Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs). As we were talking about relevant content for Chinese netizens, you should know that they prefer to watch casual lifestyles they can easily relate to. For instance, if you want to display your makeup products, you should choose a kind of “girl next door” influencer rather than a celebrity going only to fancy parties and fashion shows. The most popular videos are KOLs coming out from the airport or getting prepared before the day.

In the meantime, a KOL will help you to drive traffic. They often link their own Taobao stores to the Douyin short videos.

#2 LIVESTREAMING – Boost your Audience and Consumers’ Engagement

Live streaming is the hottest solution to sell in China today. Still today, 80% of live streaming sessions are hosted on Taobao. The most performant KOLs and influencers still see a coming opportunity in Douyin now and decided to host some live streaming sessions on Douyin. Do you need a KOL to do live streaming in China? Not necessarily. Especially on Douyin, you can totally create your own live streaming session and present your products to Chinese users.

How can you host your own live streaming? First, you need to enter the live streaming room and launch a session. Then, Douyin will inform your followers you are currently doing live streaming. Above all, Douyin will increase your traffic by recommending your session in short video promotions in targeted users’ feeds. This is a great way to reach a new audience and increase your brand awareness.

The objective of live streaming in China is “See Now, Buy Now“. It means you need to insert links so that your viewers can immediately purchase what you are showing or talking about. On Douyin, you will have the possibility to insert links to Taobao, Tmall, and Viewers will have the possibility to be redirected towards these e-commerce platforms while watching your show. Is it effective? Totally. For instance, Li Jiaqi also called Lipstick King is the leader of live streaming sales in China. He owns the record of selling 15K lipsticks in only 5 minutes.

Discover more about the top 10 live streaming platforms in China

#3 DOUYIN STORE – Generate Sales Directly on The Platform

Finally, you can create a store directly on Douyin. This is a great strategy to reach a higher conversion rate because your followers will not leave the platform and you will avoid a too important bounce rate.

What is the process to create a Douyin store? You need different requirements to have the possibility to sell on Douyin. First, you have to send the corresponding materials requested by the app like your ID and authentication. Then, you need to pay a deposit and get your account verified by Douyin. When all these steps are successfully closed, you will have the chance to sell your products. Warning: The moment you obtain the certification to open your store, you have 12 days to add the first product. Then, you have to upload 2 videos and link these videos with your products in the Douyin store within those 12 days.

How can a user enter the store?

  • By clicking on the e-commerce link provided during the video
  • By clicking on the large banner that appears after rewatching the video a second time

The store could be linked to other apps created by Bytedance such as Toutiao, Huoshan Video, or Xigua Video. In a word, there are plenty of features you can use to boost your sales on Douyin. Regarding the limitation of 12 days before creating and linking your beauty products, you need to be prepared with a launch plan and strategy before starting this process.

Read also: Douyin Flagship Store: what is it?

Find a local agency to perform on Douyin

In the Gentlemen Marketing Agency (GMA), we are 70+ digital experts passionate about social media in China. We love to build impactful strategies and content to reach Chinese on WeChat, Little Red Book, Douyin, Weibo, and many more. If you have a specific project in China, you should include social media wisely. You should start with branding before moving to e-commerce. You can contact us to find the most suitable option for your project in China.

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