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Chaotic creators: Chatty GRWM videos and unfiltered storytime posts are a goldmine for brands

Posted by Caroline Edwards in Analysis

4 months ago

If there’s one word to describe social media in 2024, it would be “mess”. Just think of the viral Willy Wonka experience in Glasgow – the memes surrounding the fiasco were nothing short of chaotic and entertaining.

Forget the days of perfect, polished content – people want unfiltered and raw TikToks. Particularly, dramatic and juicy storytime “get ready with me” (GRWM) videos. US-based influencer Alix Earle gained more than 6.5 million followers on TikTok by being a self-titled “hot mess”.

Then there’s Alexa Losey. Seen as a big sister figure and “internet bestie” who shares vlogs and GRWM content,  she went viral in March when she revealed her favourite influencer – who remained anonymous – has started dating her ex. The initial video has more than 1.8 million views while her update received more than 4.6 million views. The saga was candid and juicy, filled with twists and turns (including her ex wanting to send her a cease and desist). The TikTok where she prepares to meet the influencer for coffee has more than 760,000 views.

The GRWM format is successful because not only is it chatty and fun, but these videos often include personal details, including everything from dating stories to frenzied life updates. These videos feel like listening to a voice note from a best friend – they’re rushed, disorganised and filled with secrets.

In the UK, think of Flossie Clegg, Madeline Argy or Max Balegde’s unpolished and chaotic TikTok content, or Jacq (Jacqupot)’s riveting storytimes and Emily Brogan’s dating life updates. Beauty creator Maggie Anne is known for her chatty videos, from exposing shady things brands have said to her to sharing how she nearly got fired from Harrods and the “crazy stuff” she witnessed while working in retail. Then there’s Grace Scott who posts “am I in the wrong?” content where she asks if she has been a bad person in a situation. Her video from March queried if she was in the wrong for following someone else’s boyfriend on Instagram and has had more than 890,000 views.

@maggieanne.n

Replying to @Katie G btw guys i just want to make clear that im so very grateful for any brands that work with me and allow me to have this job! But with anything theres always downsides and these are just some of them🫶 #shadybrands #shadybranddeals

♬ original sound – MaggieA

Companies should take note of the candid storytime trend – CORQ’s data analysis revealed organic #GRWM content on Instagram had an average engagement rate of 20.3% and 2.2% for campaigns. These videos typically feature beauty products and can be beneficial for brands if the TikTok goes viral. Just see Australian TikToker Indy Clinton’s video (more than 1.7 million views) where she “accidentally” leaked tbh Skincare’s unreleased product. Whether it was intentional or a mishap, the beauty brand was able to create more than ten TikToks off the back of the reveal and gained a new audience.

@indyclinton

besides the fact I’m officially a swiftie, do you ever leave your makeup on cause you think it’ll be fresh the next day but instead you wake up looking like a crusty panda

♬ original sound – indyclinton

Brands can’t control whether a storytime video will dominate people’s For You Pages, but they can jump on a trend and ride the wave of a creator’s success. In February, US-based creator Reesa Teesa’s 50-part video series Who TF Did I Marry? went viral as she explained how she met, married and divorced a man. Liftlab in London capitalised on Teesa’s success by streaming a section of her candid storytime on its front window display and filmed strangers’ reactions. Their TikTok has more than 1.9 million views and the brand told CORQ they had seen an uplift in followers.

@liftlab.beauty

✨ Just London things ✨😂 @ReesaTeesa #reesateesa #whotfdidimarry #reesaineurope #londonbeautysalon #portobelloroad

♬ original sound – ReesaTeesa

If this trend teaches brands anything, it’s that people want dramatic, chatty content from creators who feel genuine. People even love hearing creators such as beauty influencer Tatty Lomas reveal scenarios that aren’t even theirs – she regularly receives high viewership on TikTok by reading Reddit stories. Don’t overlook the GRWM format and look to partner with natural storytellers who regularly capture their followers’ attention.

By Caroline Edwards, news and features writer for CORQ. Picture credit: Alexa Losey via Instagram.