6 Min Read |

Consumers are more sensitive than ever due to the effects of COVID-19. It is not necessarily a time to cut costs for all industries, but it is certainly a time to be mindful that advertisements won’t always be welcomed as they might have been before. This means some tweaks to existing promotional messaging is likely required. 

Particularly when it comes to social media, beauty brands should be careful in how they promote their business. After all, the world is relying on social media to enrich their relationships, maintain and build a sense of community and gain a sense of reassurance from peers. 

Whether you are a beauty salon looking to increase your customer base, or a manufacturer of a product or range, the market is swamped, and brands need to listen and leverage the voice and feelings of their consumer at this moment in time. Now is the time to use trustworthy content to speak to the audience and it just so happens that for most brands, this trustworthy content is already out there on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other channels, just waiting for marketers to leverage it.

These social media channels are where customers share their experiences of a product or service and can offer brand owners valuable insight into their products and how they are rated by the customer. Social media content generated by consumers (known as consumer generated content or CGC) can be utilised for authentic brand communications. By leveraging CGC, beauty businesses can put the consumer front and centre of the brand – building trust, increasing visibility and engaging viewers in greater depth.

What Can Brands Do To Find Their Own Consumer Generated Content?

There are now intuitive platforms that help marketers facilitate the discovery, licensing and distribution of valuable CGC content. Discovery involves aggregating content from a number of different sources including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more. The best platforms also facilitate the direct upload of first party content to the brand. 

Once content has been identified, a number of AI rules and moderation features can then be applied to a selection of the best content for the particular campaign. Due to GDPR rules, brands then need to get consent to use the content from the creators. Luckily for marketers, these CGC platforms also allow brands to speak directly with content creators and provide relevant terms and conditions. By getting consent, brands are able to open a dialogue with passionate fans on social media and reward them by giving them acknowledgement. At the same time the marketer is creating a bank of authentic CGC assets. 

Marketers can then blend owned and earned content to weave a great visual story that will lead to higher levels of audience engagement and increased conversions. Brands can prioritise their most valuable assets, moderate posts individually and turn on AI filters to make bulk curation fast and accurate.

All CGC is unique to the brand and it is influential. By using this content, marketers are able to better understand their client base and each beauty product’s selling points, enabling their marketing campaigns to speak directly to their demographic and highlight the real advantages of the product.

Why Does CGC Work So Well In Beauty Marketing Campaigns?

CGC works as people trust reviews and reading or watching another person give feedback on their positive experience, especially in the beauty world, is a brilliant way of attracting more people to try out that product or treatment.

For some it may be the deciding factor to proceed with a purchase. According to a study by Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust organic, user generated content more than they trust traditional advertising; by engaging with content creators and gaining permission to use images, video or comments in the marketing of a product, CGC has the ability to completely transform content, making it more relatable and trustworthy.

It also brings a ‘realness’ to the brand. No longer is the brand trying to sell the consumer something, but the consumer is hearing about the product from the actual people who use it. This completely changes the dialogue and the consumer is automatically more inclined to listen.  

Success Stories

According to Emily Weiss, CEO of Glossier, one of the most successful beauty brands currently, “The brands of the future are going to be co-created”. She believes Glossier’s success has come from the involvement of their consumers in their own marketing. 2018 marked Glossier’s fourth consecutive year of achieving triple-digit revenue growth and it is showing no signs of slowing down, exceeding $100 million in annual revenue in 2018. Glossier celebrates the content created by its consumers by featuring hundreds of beauty routines, customer stories and reviews from their followers. Frank Body is another example of a brand that has created its success from leveraging the visual stories from their own consumers.  Their unique CGC that features happy customers covered by their coffee scrub has helped reinforce the brand identity on social media.

Next Steps

For brands wanting to implement the use of CGC in their marketing campaigns, first they will need to find a software platform that fits with the needs of their brand, product or service. The platform should allow the brand to collect, license and distribute the content from one platform for a seamless workflow. Once you have identified the platform, brands should then understand where and how all the relevant CGC is being posted and organise this content in the dashboard accordingly. 

The final step is to make the customers the stars and empower them by leveraging their content in any marketing communications. Reposting these authentic moments on social channels and integrating them into paid campaigns, in a relevant way, will help engage more potential customers. 

Brands utilising CGC can roll out compelling marketing campaigns and enjoy a better understanding of their product’s selling points and understand their demographic from a new perspective – this in the crowded beauty industry is undoubtedly an invaluable tool.

Consumer-generated content is what your audience will listen to and take reassurance from in a time of uncertainty. After all we trust regular reviews over anything a brand will say to us. 

About The Author: Toby Britton, the co-founder & CMO of Miappi, has been involved in the creative and communications industries since the mid-nineties when he started working for independent TV production companies in the production of documentary films. In 2001, he transferred his film making skills in marketing and advertising before starting to focus on digital projects. It was these agency-side projects that led Toby to start the business that would evolve into Miappi. Today, Toby oversees the design, development and marketing of Miappi, a SaaS marketing platform powered by consumer-generated content.

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