New Media Marketing Trend and Strategies for Cosmetics in China


The main sales channels for cosmetics in China include integrated e-commerce platforms, wholesale markets, supermarkets, department stores, dedicated counters, speciality chain stores, drugstores, beauty parlours, and direct selling. Integrated e-commerce platforms, department stores, and speciality stores are now the top three sales channels.

New Media has become a significant player in e-commerce. It involves promoting products, brands, and services through myriad online media. An increasing number of people are starting to use online media platforms to make purchases, ask questions, hunt for coupon and promo codes, seek help with returns, shipping issues, etc.

This article presents the cosmetics market in China. It also presents cosmetics advertising investment on different media as well as the investment in different types of influencers and content. Additionally, it offers you helpful strategies for content marketing and live-streaming e-commerce to build your brand and boost sales.

I. Cosmetics Market in China

China is the world’s second‑largest consumer market for cosmetics, accounting for 17.3% of the global market in 2021, behind the US at 20%.  According to the statistics from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (Table 1), the Chinese cosmetic market was generally stable despite the challenge of Coivd-19, reaching a total amount of ¥426.5 billion from August 2021 to August 2022. In addition, there were two spikes in sales in November 2021 due to the 11.11 Shopping Festival and in June 2022 due to the 6.18 Shopping Festival. The estimated sale for the 11.11 Shopping Festival is even higher this year.

Table 1. Retail Sales of Cosmetics in China August 2021-August 2022

Source: China’s National Bureau of Statistics


II. Cosmetic Advertising Investment on New Media

The total advertising investment for cosmetics was ¥1.6 billion in August 2022. According to the data from Questmobile AD INSIGHT (Table 2), Douyin---Chinese version of Ticktock made up a lion's share, followed by WeChat Moments. Though RED seems inconspicuous, it is an important platform for the soft selling of products, where subtle language and non-aggressive techniques are applied to increase consumers’ desire to buy the products.

Table 2. Top 10 Media for Cosmetic Advertising Investment in China in August 2022

Source: QuestMobile AD INSIGHT

As reported by the Questmobile Truth Brand (Table 3), on the Douyin platform, the investment in Mega Influencers with over 10 million followers was less than 5%. Although they have strong clout to boost sales or brand images, they are highly selective in choosing products or brands. Therefore, most investments were in Macro-influencers with over half a million followers for cosmetics of European brands, American brands, Japanese brands, Korean Brands, and classic domestic brands. They are relatively financially sufficient. While for brands of domestic start-ups, over half of the investment was in Micro-influencers with less than half a million followers. The investing situation was quite similar in the RED platform, although the influencers have much fewer followers on this platform (Table 4).

With respect to the investment in content (Table 5 and Table 6), the main advertising form was the beauty routine. Other popular forms were cosmetics tests, comedy, fashion, life sharing, and outings/travelings.

Although investing in influencers is the main source of revenue for most brands on the Douyin Platform, some brands are gradually shifting their focus to live-streaming held by their own companies, intending to establish ties with consumers directly.

Table 3. Cosmetic Advertising Investment on Different Types of Influencers on Douyin in August 2022

Source: QuestMobile Truth Brand

Table 4. Cosmetic Advertising Investment on Different Content on Douyin in August 2022

Source: QuestMobile Truth Brand


Table 5. Cosmetics Advertising Investment on Different Types of Influencers on RED in August 2022

Source: QuestMobile Truth Brand


Table 6. Cosmetics Advertising Investment on Different Types of Content on RED in August 2022

Source: QuestMobile Truth Brand


III. Strategies for Content Marketing

Effective content marketing is pivotal to snatching a greater share of the market. It is likely to be achieved by creating trending products to increase exposure combined with the brand building to enhance consumer loyalty, as demonstrated in Table 7.

On the subject of creating trending products, it is essential to dynamically integrate brand uniqueness with consumers’ needs.

With respect to brand building, it can be achieved through the following four aspects.

  1. Product Marketing

When marketing products, it is recommended to target specific consumers in specific scenarios. With these clear portraits in mind, the design of content has a higher appeal to the targeted consumers. It is also worth noting that clean beauty and streamlined skincare are on the rise and see bright prospects in China.


  1. Brand Marketing

Brand activities, such as cross-brand collaboration, anniversary celebrations, social service, etc. have a high potential to craft a positive brand personality for consumers.


  1. Festival Marketing

It is advisable to utilize festivals to convert potential consumers into buyers by appealing discounts or other promotional activities.


  1. Membership Marketing

Promotional activities only available to members is an effective way to enhance consumer loyalty.


Table 7. Healthy Development of Product and Brand


IV. Strategies for Live-Streaming E-commerce

Live Streaming E-commerce enables consumers to purchase goods via a live stream without having to navigate away from the stream. On the live stream, influencers demonstrate products with real-time interactivity with the audience to increase their desire to purchase. The following are some useful strategies to increase sales in the live stream.

  1. Promote cosmetic sets to improve the total retail sale of products;
  2. Promote mini-size or travel-size cosmetics to lower the purchasing threshold;
  3. Increase the number of free samples to convert audiences into buyers;
  4. Cooperate with brands or companies in other fields to reach out to a wider audience;
  5. Leverage Chinese cultural IP to increase brand exposure or strengthen consumer loyalty, such as the Sanxingdui Ruins, Poetic Dance: The Journey of a Legendary Landscape Painting, and Night Banquet in Tang Dynasty Palace.


V. Regulations on Cosmetics Advertisement in China

To protect the rights and interests of consumers, cosmetics advertisements are under the supervision of the National Medical Products Administration(NMPA) in accordance with the Regulations on the Supervision and Administration of Cosmetics.

It is a trend that advertising on new media is eroding the dominance of traditional advertisement. Products with consistent quality and companies with branding advantages are set to snatch a greater share of the market in China. ZMUni is one of the leading compliance companies in China, facilitating your advertisements to comply with all regulations and maximize advertising profits.


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