15 Min Read |
The last eighteen months have been a redefining year for the beauty industry. As consumer values and expectations shifted, big beauty corporates and startups alike have been forced to adapt.
Shocked by the COVID-19 crisis, instore retail sales collapsed, many brands switched to manufacturing hand sanitizers and cleaning agents, and some offered free beauty services for frontline response workers. At the same time, the industry’s leaders stepped up to ensure that their companies survive.
As we begin to exit the crisis, beauty businesses and brands are facing extraordinary challenges, not just in ecommerce and with their digital marketing strategies, but with the lasting changes to consumer behaviour the pandemic has brought.
Regardless, the crisis has consumers more connected than ever, and through the advancement of technology and it’s rapid adoption, it’s become significantly easier to communicate with customers globally through various types of content, channels and platforms. If you build awareness and drive sales for your beauty brand, start implementing these digital marketing strategies now:
Build Brand Advocacy With Communities
The most popular beauty trends of today reflect what consumers want out of cosmetic products and services, as well as how they expect beauty brands to represent the world they live in. To stay relevant, beauty brands have to change the way they develop and market their products.
Beauty brands need to create environments in which they can learn from consumers, and simultaneously provide product education. They need mutually beneficial spaces where consumers can express themselves, be heard, learn, and feel supported; and where the brands themselves can also express themselves, engage on a personal level with consumers, and soak up on-the-ground inspiration and insight to help them develop relevant products and campaigns.
A digital community is a way to build brand advocacy and engagement by giving consumers the opportunity to participate in dialogue with one another, and even contribute content or product development. The conversations that happen between beauty fans can be shared on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook or YouTube for increased reach, while also being more affordable than traditional advertising methods. A digital community will help build brand advocacy, which will in turn generate more sales.
Use Social Media Marketing
Beauty brands have embraced social media, using it to increase brand awareness of their business and ultimately generate revenue and sales.
A digital marketing strategy for your beauty business should include building a social media presence on channels such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest. By capitalizing on the social aspect of discovering, buying, and using beauty products, smart brands connect with the beauty community.
Social media and other online forums provide a fun, convenient way for beauty brands to increase recognition by sharing company updates, customer testimonials, and product reviews. By remaining engaged in these conversations, savvy businesses stay deeply informed about their consumers’ needs.
Take for instance Drunk Elephant, a skincare site that engages users on social media as part of a lifestyle community. With sweet pastels, happy posts and funny memes, this is a skincare brand that relates to social media users.
Drunk Elephant created the #barewithus Instagram movement. This is a compilation of bare-faced selfies that record the journeys of people who have found results from not only healthier skin but more importantly, healthier self-confidence by using the brands products.
They share stories, user curated content and feel-good posts on this brand’s Instagram account. Relatable posts are also evident throughout there social media accounts.
Glossier are at the forefront of the digital branding revolution, and has their marketing tactics have frequently been discussed. A considerable seventy percent of Glossier’s online sales come from peer referrals.
During 2020, people turned to hiking and nature to escape the crowds. So Glossier adapted it’s content to relate to fans stuck at home also. The brand is highly active on Pinterest and uses the platform to focus on product photo-shoots that are carefully styled to show off the skincare brand’s signature beauty products.
🟣 Fostering a community that appreciated beards and their upkeep
🟡 Sharing advice-based content on Youtube
⚪️ Building a group of brand ambassadors
🔵 Using FAQs as a form of objection handling
Use Testimonials On Your Product Pages
One of the best ways to gain trust and prove the validity of your brand is customer testimonials. Testimonials take the attention away from the seller, and place it on the customer. Providing testimonials on your product pages will help to connect with customers and build trust, instilling a sense of security that the customer is not being sold anything they don’t want.
Testimonials are also perfect as part of a digital marketing strategy for beauty brands to collect feedback on their products, and then use that feedback in future campaigns.
Charlotte Tilbury is one brand that does this exceptionally well. The British makeup artist has created a digital community of beauty lovers who share her passion for beauty with one another. The brand provides testimonials on product pages, and then uses these reviews to create content that speaks directly to what the customer needs most.
Utilise The Press
Your website is an opportunity for you to showcase your beauty brand, so make sure all the details about your business are available for customers, stakeholders and media. Create an online press page where you can easily publish all company news and mentions, including interviews and reviews.
Leverage social proof to create that much-needed credibility in your beauty business. Take a look at how Youth To The People share independent news features about their brand.
Make it easier for the media to write about your brand and story by creating an online media kit with downloadable assets like your logo, brand guidelines and product imagery for journalists, bloggers and influencers. This way, those who are covering your brand can access the valuable information they require when writing about your company’s story.
Become A Content Driven Brand
Good content is one thing, but great online content that supports your brand and drives conversions is another. Previously we looked at 9 examples that show just how creative and strategic marketers can be when developing the best digital marketing strategies and raising awareness for their brands.
Whether you’re a DTC beauty brand, cosmetics wholesaler or fragrance manufacturer, the pressure to come up with regular fresh content can be exhausting.
Turning up your content production efforts can play such an important part in your digital marketing strategy by building your brand awareness and driving conversions for your business. Make sure your digital strategy includes a content plan, which will help you to generate quality digital content, and ultimately generate leads and sales, on an ongoing basis.
In our experience, organizations that invest the time and resources into creating high-quality content, and in some cases high volume, can really increase their online visibility and website traffic.
Consider these content marketing ideas:
– Create digital content that is informative, entertaining and educational
– Produce product tutorials on your YouTube channel to help consumers learn more about your products. This will also increase brand awareness if you link back to your website
– Build a newsletter subscriber list, and use it to send out promotions and offers to encourage sales
– Ask for feedback from customers via surveys or social media posts in order to gather insight and inspiration about what they need most
– Leverage the power of user generated content by allowing consumers to freely share their own pictures and videos across social media platforms
– Host online webinars or other events that engage with your digital community and/or prospects
– Interview people from your digital community to get their thoughts and opinions about your brand, or the industry
– Offer exclusive content in the form of demos or free trial products. This will introduce consumers to your product range without them having to purchase anything upfront initially
Platforms like Jarvis.ai can help you write proven, high converting copy for greater brand awareness and increased conversions. With the help of AI, Jarvis allows business owners and marketers to generate high-quality copy for ads, emails, websites, listings, and blogs.
Focus on Paid Advertsing
A digital marketing strategy for your brand should also include paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram, as they offer beauty brands an opportunity to reach customers at a much faster rate than organic posts.
With targeted ads, you are actively reaching out to only those people who might be interested in your cosmetic product or service with your marketing efforts. If you have business that’s based only in USA, why would you want to target people in United Kingdom? If you are trying to target a new audience with a special offer than why spend money advertising to existing customers? It doesn’t make sense. With ad targeting, you can control your geographical location and target audience to ensure your ads are only being shown to whom you want and no one else. This increases the likelihood of getting more clicks-through.
This is a great way to specifically target audiences with promotional offers that the customer may be interested in, which can then lead to increased sales and conversions.
One significant advantage that ad targeting offers when compared to other methods is that it helps reduce unnecessary clicks, and increases ROI. If your marketing model is that you pay the platform for each click, it’s important to ensure every click is an opportunity for a conversion. Picking the wrong audience means you are paying for a lost cause. To have a tight control over which visitors click on your ads, you need to be able to tailor the ad content and targeting.
When executed correctly ad targeting is a win-win for all.
Develop An SEO Strategy
Top search engine rankings are one of the key pillars of a successful digital marketing strategy. Yet, when it comes to search engine optimisation, trying to compete with larger yet well-established beauty brands – is no easy task.
Established brands like Glossier, Charlotte Tilbury and Sephora already know a thing or two about search engine optimization (SEO), digital marketing in general, and the essentials of building a successful brand online.
So, understanding SEO is crucial to significantly increase your traffic and brand awareness.
In fact, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. That’s why SEO is vital to the success of your business. The truth is, it takes resourcefulness, dedication, persistence, and creativity. This is especially true because of the constantly-changing nature of Google’s algorithm.
Every day, people use Google to conduct over 3.5 billion searches. In the U.S., 78% of people use the web to research products and services before making a purchasing decision.
Getting to page one of the search results is vital. 75% of people will never scroll past the first page on a Google search! Causing you to lose hundreds or even thousands of potential clients.
And, the first three organic search results get 60% of all traffic. Therefore, staying on top of SEO takes a lot of time, research and experimentation. Google’s algorithms are constantly updated, so it’s important to stay tuned into the latest changes.
As your website begins to rank on the first pages of Google’s search results, you’ll get more visibility. Which means more traffic, more conversions, and eventually, increased revenue.
When you become a more advanced practitioner, you can learn to dominate search engine rankings with a SEO techniques similar to Sephora and their strategy of seeking to rank for “the best ______.”
Use Popular Beauty Influencers
The influencers who are popular right now are a reflection of the industry in general. There’s an inextricable relationship between influencers and the trends and movements of the moment, and of course the beauty products and services that are popular at any given moment.
There’s no denying the power that digital influencers wield over their followers and there is an opportunity for you as well. Beauty influencers have a big impact on the purchase decisions of their followers, which can translate into increased sales for your brand.
Your digital marketing strategy should include a plan to work with beauty influencers, by identifying those who align with your brand and are truly popular in the digital space.
Nurture digital relationships with influencers by collaborating on content together, which can include: a guest post, featuring a story or video. Be sure to keep them in the loop about what you’re up to and be responsive when they reach out so that your relationship stays strong.
There is also a growing number of brands that are tapping into the power of content creators across a vast range of niches to help them connect with a broader audience. The partnership between Function of Beauty and van-life YouTubers Eamon and Bec is just one of many examples of collaborations between cosmetics brands and non-beauty influencers.
If you want to analyze the potential influence, numbers, and engagement of any influencer on a social media platform, you can conveniently find all data at a website called Social Blade. Selecting the right influencer for your digital marketing campaign is easier than ever.
Leverage Social Media Listening
Social listening gives beauty brands an opportunity to track, analyze, and respond to conversations about them on social media. It’s a crucial component of audience research and of your digital marketing strategy.
Beyond looking at the numbers, social listening also extends to consideration of the mood, or sentiment, behind those numbers. It’s important for beauty brands to understand what people think about their business, and their competitors. This helps you understand things like how your product or service is perceived in the marketplace. You need to do more than simply count the number of times your brand is mentioned.
This “online mood” is also called social media sentiment. Social media listening platforms, like Social Mention and Hootsuite, enable beauty brands to track user sentiment and engage with them accordingly.
Understanding how people feel about your beauty brand helps you keep your marketing and product development efforts on track. It also allows you to respond right away to positive or negative posts.
Online Virtual Experiences
When customers refuse to walk into brick-and-mortar stores, websites must address issues that would normally be taken care of in the store. Want to find out how a particular moisturiser for your skin type? Trying to find the perfect concealer? Beauty brands are increasingly recognising the importance of an engaging with their target audience through interactive online virtual experiences.
Sephora’s Virtual Artist provides a convenient tool you can use from your laptop or mobile to digitally try on different shades. While this may not be the same as an instore experience, Sephora is providing an interactive digital alternative.
Leverage E-commerce Events
Shopping has changed a lot since the first lockdowns were implemented around the world. Everyone’s online, so beauty brand events need to be available to at-home audiences too. They allow brands to keep making meaningful, positive connections with their consumers through bespoke ecommerce events, and bring people in so that people feel they’re a part of something bigger. That sense of connectedness; of ownership, even; is incredibly instrumental in establishing customer loyalty and encouraging word-of-mouth marketing.
Strategies could include building a waiting list for event invites, so any event can be marketed to a pre-existing list of customers who are already anticipating brand interaction and deals. And different discount categories can be used for different purposes, like encouraging site visitors to browse different products or driving fast conversions. Amazon does this well — it offers deals designed to capture customer attention in different ways for its Prime Day event, including ‘Gold Box Deals’ which feature product ranges that have been restyled for the occasion, and are tooled to encourage browsing; and ‘Lightning Deals’ that create urgency around limited stock, and convert instant sales.
Beauty brands can run online events even on small budgets, and those with bigger marketing spend available can add depth to these virtual experiences by delivering physical products to attendees beforehand.
Build Your Personal Beauty Brand
Building a personal brand is for the most part developing a digital identity on social media to align with your business goals. This means frequently posting professional content and making sure to build an engaged audience of followers. It brings extra PR and adds another marketing tactic to your wider strategy. It allows you to share a more personal side to the business. You can try a variety of tactics like:
- Write articles or a blog post, and share updates on LinkedIn, or create relevant native content on your favorite social media platform.
- Video marketing in the form of vlogs is also a great way to engage followers. You can do it once per week, or even every day – but make sure the video is of quality so your following will be interested in watching. You could screen capture footage from your offline marketing activities for example!
- Share how you overcame challenges or took advantage of opportunities, and what future plans you have in store for your beauty brand. It will help you build authority within the beauty industry.
- Stay friendly with beauty journalists and publications by maintaining relationships. This will lead to positive feedback, media recognition, and hype for your brand.
Starting out, many beauty industry entrepreneurs began with a branded company name and then eventually ended up using their own personal brand name. A personal brand name may or may not be right for you. Having to re-name your business in the future can be expensive, and often it can create confusion for your existing community and potential customers.
We previously discussed in depth the pro’s and con’s of naming a business after yourself and if this is the right direction for your new business.
Content Ideas To Gain A Competitive Edge
- Build high converting landing pages to drive sales. While there is no exact formula to creating a perfect landing page, there are some common strategies to increase your chances of building a winning one. Here we look at how Glossier constructs the ideal landing page that helps them out-convert the competition.
- Use storytelling to increase sales by making people relate to your content. Brands that find alignment between their audience’s external and internal problems are those that are most successful at “storytelling”. They elevate concerns with the external problem, and the seduce the audience by highlighting the internal problem.
- Smart beauty brands know that answering buyer questions successfully is often the difference between gaining a new loyal customer or losing them to the competition. In this article we look at how Allure has built online authority, achieved millions of monthly visits in organic traffic and drives sales for their business by answering the awkward questions people are afraid to ask.
- Use a content distribution plan and go-to-market framework to accomplish your marketing objectives – be it through social media, organic search or paid advertising.
Although the beauty industry is a highly competitive environment and challenging place to carve a niche for yourself, as a beauty brand marketer or entrepreneur, you can build your brand by following the digital marketing strategies we have outlined above. The strategies discussed will help you better engage with your customers and distance yourself from outdated business practices. Think about incorporating a few of these digital marketing strategies at first and then moving towards adapting and utilizing them all.
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