TikTok-ing Your Way to CPG Success on Social Media

Sarah Boll
Post by Sarah Boll
April 26, 2023
TikTok-ing Your Way to CPG Success on Social Media

It’s obvious why social commerce has become a standard & necessary marketing strategy for consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands. Last year, GlobalWebIndex reported that 76% of global internet users ages 16-64 use social media to research brands and products before purchasing. Social media platforms have proven to be powerful tools for reaching younger, digitally-savvy consumers. With TikTok's massive user base and highly-engaged community, it presents a unique opportunity for CPG brands to tap into a new audience and drive sales through targeted advertising. 

Let’s talk about how CPG brands can benefit from social commerce and why they should advertise on TikTok. And as a Gen Z-er, I’ll show you some of my favorite TikTok ads that might just convince you to jump on the bandwagon.

Why CPG Brands Love Social Commerce:

Reduces purchase friction: Brands lose 20-30% of consumers each click before purchasing. CPG brands that adopt the platform technologies allow their consumers to shop with convenience, flexibility, and ease, making them more likely to see improved conversion rates & ROI.

Amplifies impact of word-of-mouth: According to Forbes, 81% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by the recommendations & posts of family and friends.

Massive revenue opportunity: In 2021, Shopify reported that social media drove 25% of traffic to their merchant websites, and social commerce represented 7% of all sales on their platform. By 2025, social commerce is expected to be $1.2 trillion globally.

Why TikTok advertising is Awesome for CPG Brands:

Broad Reach: TikTok has over one billion active users worldwide, making it a massive platform for reaching a large audience. It's trendy among younger demographics, with 60% of its user base under 30.
Engaging Content: TikTok's unique format of short-form videos allows for creative and exciting content that can effectively capture viewers' attention, leading to new customer acquisition.

Viral Potential: TikTok's unique algorithm prioritizes content that is likely to go viral, which means that even small businesses and new advertisers to the platform have the potential to reach a large audience quickly.

Targeted Advertising: TikTok allows advertisers to target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, which can improve the relevance and effectiveness of their ads.

Cost-Effective: With the platform’s highly engaged user base and its advanced targeting options for advertising, ads on TikTok can be more cost-effective than other social media platforms, especially for smaller businesses with limited budgets.

This CPG Brand is Showing Us How It’s Done

E.L.F. Beauty is currently killing it on TikTok. They are reaping the success of their brand, repositioning from the once “cheapest cosmetic brand in your neighborhood drugstore.” 

The secret to their success is modifying their formulas for new products and leveraging their innovation with what Gen Z calls “dupe culture” on TikTok. While it was once looked down upon to purchase cheap “knock-offs,” it is now seen as a smart move by consumers to find items of similar quality that provide the same desired effect at a less-expensive cost than higher-end brands in the beauty category. 

Below are a few of my favorite examples of ads from E.L.F. on TikTok to demonstrate how CPG brands can use the platform to connect deeper with their audience and increase conversion rates to drive sales.



Holiday seasons & essential tent poles are an excellent way for CPG brands to shake up their feed with new and timely creative. In this example, E.L.F. used spring break season to promote their recent product drop, Whoa Glow Sunscreen. 

@elfyeah @target fr saved me today 🙏 watch part 2 @omgiaaa to see the full look #elfcosmetics #springbreak #targethaul #targetbeauty ♬ original sound - e.l.f. Cosmetics


Viral Trend Participation

Certain sound bytes become trends on the platform once they have gone viral. Like users, brands can participate in these trends by posting their own version/interpretation – it may not seem like “conventional” brand promotion for those unfamiliar with the platform, but participating in trends as a CPG brand can be an amazing way to engage with your consumers. Here is an example of E.L.F. participating in a viral trend, while making a humble brag of how many new products they’ve launched in 2023.

@elfyeah I said what I said 🤪💞 We're dropping five new brushes at midnight! #elfbrushes #drdave #elfcosmetics ♬ Pass or Smash - 💜The Simple Touches💜


Tips & Tricks

The tips & tricks category of videos can be really beneficial for CPG brands, as they demonstrate how products are used by consumers. These kinds of videos can be especially useful in winning over new customers in the beauty space because they allow for viewers to see how the formulas apply and appear when the achieved look is finished. In this example, E.L.F. shows how their Camo Color Correctors can be used to hide blemishes & imperfections.



Using influencers & user generated content (UGC) can be an additional way to diversify your feed. Here is an example of E.L.F. repurposing content from an influencer to promote their product on their own profile: influencer Lexi Hidalgo (2.5 M followers on TikTok) packs the new Whoa Glow Sunscreen with her for a day at the beach.

@elfyeah @lexxhidalgo love for glowy skin at the beach is real ☀️🌊 #beachessentials #elfwhoaglow #elfcosmetics ♬ just a waste - jaz 🎸


As you can see, there are many different ways to create entertaining and engaging content as a CPG brand on TikTok. While TikTok is a newer and more unconventional platform than others we are familiar with, it is simple, lighthearted and fun. As a brand on this platform, you become down-to-earth to consumers showing you have a sense of humor. Gen Z values transparency and authenticity from the brands they choose to support. They are more likely to choose brands that are genuine and honest in their messaging, and that align with their personal values.

TikTok can be a great platform for CPG brands to connect with Gen Z. However, it's crucial for brands to use it the right way and create truly engaging content:

Take the time to understand the platform's unique features and tailor content to fit the often unconventional platform's lighthearted and fun tone.

Create content that feels authentic and valuable.

Approach the platform with a creative mindset and a willingness to experiment to find what resonates with your audience.

Take it from this Gen Z-er – With the right strategy, TikTok can be a powerful tool for building brand awareness and driving purchase among younger consumers.

Ready to start your journey on social? Contact us.


Sarah Boll
Post by Sarah Boll
April 26, 2023
Sarah is an Account Executive on our Solutions team.