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The fight for the beauty audience in the GCC: Reels vs Tik Tok

November 22, 2021

The 2.0 digital and social audience are highly informed. Beauty consumers explore not only brands (fame), product ranges and price; nowadays, with the help of social and digital tutorials, reaction videos, critiques and beauty moguls sharing the inner workings of product development; consumers are demanding a lot more from beauty brands. From ingredients to political correctness.

This is especially true in this region and makes for a very powerful and informed consumer. Before even stepping foot in your store, customers have already covered much of the groundwork and know what they want to buy. It’s therefore important for brands to be part of this online conversation, using the space to help consumers in the research process.

A fragmented social beauty audience in the GCC

As one of the fastest-growing markets for beauty in the world, what are the GCC trends driving this surge in beauty content and engagement beyond branded beauty advertisements?

We look at the impact of Reels and Tik Tok on the beauty social audience in the GCC. In this rapidly growing and powerful category, a brands’ attention to audience movement is imperative for survival and relevance.

Beauty engagement Instagram

We can see a steadily increasing number of posts on Instagram over the past 3 years which is no surprise given the region’s over-indexing growth within the beauty category.

What is surprising however is the (also) steady decline in video views (the most significant signifier of IG beauty engagement). It is slight and seasonal, but the trend line is prevalent.

However, when we overlay Reels from early 2001, the Instagram beauty conversation changes. With a sharp uptake of the new format, video ‘plays’ (we do not refer to them as views) content engagement, or at least viewership surpasses that of the previous years. And although is now declining potentially as a correction, we could also be witnessing a fad, that is indicating a fragmentation of the audience rather than growth.

Tik Tok beauty posts & views.

Beauty engagement Tik Tok

Tik Tok, still in its infancy, has gained viewership numbers to rival that of Reels at the beginning of 2021, which interestingly is when Reels entered the market. Although slower in uptake, the new channel is driving significantly more engagement (or reach) on far less content.

The question now posed to beauty brands is; is less more on the right channels, or, is attention simply divided?

For a more in-depth understanding of how the changing metrics for video content is affecting planning for marketers, see Instagram Reels: when a view is not a 👀

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