This video originally appeared on Total Retail's sister site, Women in Retail Leadership Circle.

e.l.f. Beauty's "Eyes, Lips, Face” TikTok campaign was one of the first beauty campaigns on the video-sharing social networking service, and also one of the beauty retailer's — and TikTok's — most successful campaigns to date. In fact, the TikTok video now boasts more than 10 billion views. What was the secret to its success? This was a key conversation topic for Gayitri Budhraja, vice president, brand, e.l.f. Beauty, and Ekta Chopra, chief digital officer, e.l.f. Beauty, during a session of January's Women in Retail and Total Retail Virtual Exchange.

"Our entry into TikTok was no accident," said Budhraja. "Staring in 2019, we had a very clear focus on wanting to galvanize Gen Z and wanting to be where they play. And we knew they absolutely played on TikTok."

On top of that, said Budhraja, e.l.f. Beauty saw a high level of organic conversations on TikTok happening around its brand, so it knew it should explore the platform more carefully. "We saw over 3 million organic posts [around] e.l.f. Cosmetics before we, as a brand, were driving any presence on that platform. So for us, it was a story from the beginning of following the data and using that to drive the direction we were going to take."

In addition, Budhraja noted that none of the success e.l.f. Beauty has enjoyed on TikTok would have happened if the retailer had not first established the foundation of what the brand stands for, launching the campaign with a laser-sharp focus on that. "Strategy may not sound sexy to many, but the only way we've been able to deliver on the ground-breaking campaigns we've had is because they're all completely rooted in strategy."

During the session, Chopra and Budhraja discussed multiple topics, including the original music compilation the brand has created, e.l.f. Beauty's renegade spirit and how it's not afraid to take risks, leading during the current crisis, getting more women involved in technology, and more.

To watch the full interview with Gayitri Budhraja and Ekta Chopra from the January Women in Retail and Total Retail Virtual Exchange, as well as interviews with other retail executives, click here.

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