Dominating TikTok with the Fastest Growing Skincare Brand

The INKEY List Case Study

When Campfire were approached by one of the UK’s fastest growing skincare brands,The INKEY List, to ignite their brand recognition, interaction and content on TikTok, we were excited to accept.

The Challenge

Campfire was challenged to build a brand and product presence on TikTok that would dominate the world of skincare, increasing brand awareness and purchase consideration. This would also increase footfall in the stores in which INKEY products were sold and drive site traffic to their global and (in particular US) retail partners, as well as their newly launched DTC site. It was time for INKEY to glow up on TikTok.

Initial Thought Process

The INKEY List believed that creating a community on TikTok was a way to achieve these targets as the platform was and remains an untapped market with incredible potential. The problem was, TikTok was and still is incredibly new to brands and advertising, meaning expertise on the platform in terms of brand communication was minimal. Few agencies understood the deeper mechanics of the platform to a point that enabled them to create consistent and entertaining branded content that would stop users from scrolling on. No one knew how to tell a succinct and authentic story about the brand. Despite this, The InkeyList wanted to empower and educate potential customers by initially sharing their insurmountable knowledge on skincare.

The INKEY List understands that knowledge is power, and strives to empower their customers by sharing their expertise and glowing passion for skincare. It was important that the strategy we proposed was one that was authentic to that message and on-brand rather than just hopping on TikTok trends as many other brands have tried to do. We wanted to offer audiences genuine value by educating and inspiring, building a strong community of The INKEY List fans on TikTok with content that felt as enriching and satisfying as INKEY products.

As we were formulating our approach, there were a few things we knew to be true:

  • TikTok is a platform that serves you content from complete strangers, and so it didn’t matter how many followers a creator had accumulated, as content is often shared across the platform to users other than immediate followers.
  • TikTok’s random content serving algorithm will push content based on the content’s level of engagement, testing this quality of engagement in thresholds. When an individual first publishes a piece of content on TikTok, this will be viewed by 100 users. Depending on how well it engages the users in that first group, the content will either be pushed into the next threshold where it would then be served to 1000 people, or it’ll slowly fizzle out. This insight suggested that INKEY didn’t even need their creators to have a big audience or go viral to be successful, they just needed to know how to create strong content.

These two key points would be the cornerstones of our strategy, that would make INKEY’s budget work harder to achieve incredible results.

Strategy

Our goal was to cement The INKEY List as the go-to brand for skin and hair care education and advice on TikTok. To achieve this goal, The INKEY List needed to strive to own the creation and dissemination of knowledge on the platform. Access to TikTok’s creator platform allowed us to browse creators, and view breakdowns of their audiences, as well as the content category they operate in. Campfire set out to look for and create content that provided a face/human view, given that this is the most potent and immediately intriguing form of content that users enjoy on TikTok.

We decided to split the content into three categories:

Glowing ‘Skinfluencers’

Growing a presence on the platform required consistency, as well as collaborations with preexisting creators in order to create the initial audience pull The INKEY List wanted. We felt that we needed to find ‘skinfluencers’ within the platform with genuine knowledge, expertise and care for skincare who would educate and enhance users' own knowledge of skincare and trust in the INKEY List brand. This differentiated the brand from competitors on the platform and gave the brand real authenticity.

An example of an influencer used for Inkey was @skincarebyhyram

Hyram is THE go-to authority for skincare on TikTok, and a genuine fan on The INKEY List sharing core values and beliefs of the brand. Our partnership with Hyram has cemented INKEY as one of the top 3 brands on the platform.

Natural mechanics and Mid Level Creators

By leveraging mid level creators on the platform, we gained the initial attention and social proofing required to generate an initial audience. We asked creators to make content using The INKEY List products, giving free reign to describe and display The INKEY List’s array of benefits in the best light possible. Our analysis showed that creating a hook on content is also popular on TikTok e.g. the creator asking users to follow before they release part 2. We used this natural mechanic, asking mid level creators to direct audiences to The INKEY List profile to see part 2 of the content created. This encouraged users to visit and interact with other pieces of content on the INKEY List Channel which informed users on the benefits of INKEY products in finer detail.

During the campaign, Campfire worked with 24 Licensed Dermatologists on the platform to create informative, educational and engaging content.

Coming Back For More

With influencers and UGC, getting content immediately in front of audiences created initial awareness - however, without ongoing, branded content creation,the audience would not stay on the INKEY page for long or have a reason to re-engage in the future. Campfire needed to generate interest and followers via branded content on The INKEY List’s TikTok home page.

Campfire used a combination of “INKEY ambassadors” and Tik Tok influencers to create a continuous supply of brand posted content. This gave users a reason to follow and keep coming back to the page. In addition, we also provided additional paid advertising from the INKEY channel via the new TikTok ads feature - the paid media part of the platform.

The channel’s main content mix involved partnering with several creators to:

  • Share skincare stories/ transformations.
  • Educate our audience about skin care do’s and don’ts.
  • Educate our audience on the effects and uses of INKEY List’s variety of products.
  • Share any skincare “hacks” people have used over the years.
  • Building INKEY products into night time routine videos.
  • Sharing content created using the INKEYLife hashtag.

All of which had to involve genuine people and their stories, delivered in fast paced, succinct and immediately engaging ways.

the results

Within one year of working with The INKEY List we gained over a quarter of a billion views associated with The INKEY List and their products, helping to sell out new product launches.

Working with over 356 creators on the platform we have grown INKEY's personal brand account by well over 317,000 followers, making it the biggest skincare brand on the platform as well as the go-to brand for skin and hair care advice on the TikTok social platform.

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