Did you know that the oldest registered beauty brand is still running today? It’s called Yardley London Lavender Soap and it was started in 1770 by King Charles I when he granted one young man permission to supply all the soap for the City of London. There’s even a special species of lavender grown just for Yardley, and the Royal Family still enjoy their products today.
Back then Yardley didn’t have to market their products – they were the only people selling them! As new soap brands started to emerge a few years down the line, they had to learn about marketing for the first time. At first, they were lax about it, but by 1971 they were sponsoring a Formula 1 team to get their name out there.
But times have changed from the 1770s, and now beauty brands have a whole host of new challenges to face. Just one of which is how to market themselves in a digital world to a new audience, through a sea of other beauty brands trying to do exactly the same thing.
Digital Marketing for Beauty businesses
Building a digital marketing strategy for your beauty business might seem daunting, but in reality, it’s much like any other industry, and a lot can be achieved in just a few steps. The first and most important being…
Do Your Research
There are hundreds of different digital channels you can use to market your brand, and if you try to tackle them all, you’re going to stretch yourself too thin. Instead, we recommend doing some consumer research and understanding where your target customers are online. Find out what their habits are, what kind of media they consume, how they prefer to learn about and buy their products, and what sways them to choose one brand over another. This research is absolutely critical to your digital marketing strategy, and the answers will form the basis of everything you do. Make time to know everything about your target market, and then use that information to build your strategy.
Know Your USP
There are thousands of beauty brands on the market, from huge corporations to micro-businesses. To make yourself stand out from all of that digital noise you need a Unique Selling Point, or USP. Something that makes you unique and different. It could be that you’re a ‘clean’ brand using only natural ingredients, that a percentage of your profits go to a selected charity, or that you let customers choose the names of a new product every month. Whatever your USP, be clear on what it is and make sure it shines through in every part of your strategy.
Get On Social Media
There is absolutely no doubt that social media is the place to be for beauty brands big or small. The only real question is where you need to be on social media. Luckily, there is plenty of data to tell us this. According to recent surveys, beauty customers have some favourite social media channels to hang out on:
- Instagram (82%)
- Facebook (77%)
- YouTube (59%)
- Snapchat (39%)
- Twitter (31%)
- Pinterest (28%)
In other words, your brand needs to be on the most visual platforms showcasing all of your products in their best light. Which platforms specifically will depend on where your target market spends their time – which you will know from your market research.
Influencer marketing is something that has always been around in the beauty world, but in the last 5 years it has exploded in a big way. Social media influencers are the people who have gained a reputation for their knowledge in a specific area, and beauty is one of the biggest sources of influencer there is. Companies can partner with influencers to market their products in exchange for free products, discount codes or fees. In return, the influencer will share your product with their audience and encourage them to buy it – often putting your brand in front of thousands if not millions of new consumers. We talk a bit more about influencer marketing and how to choose the right influencer in this blog, so check it out if you want to go down this route.
And above all…
The beauty world is fast-paced and constantly changing, so it’s important not to get too bogged down in one approach. In a space, so at the whim of trends, being flexible and able to adapt with changing consumer demands is the only reason some brands have stayed in business as long as they have. So plan, plan and plan again, but be prepared to change gears at a moment’s notice if something changes.
Content Ideas To Get You Started
Knowing where to start with digital marketing can be a bit overwhelming with so many options to choose from! So if you’re just getting your head around digital marketing for your beauty brand, or you’re updating an old strategy, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Everyone loves a tutorial. In the beauty industry they are hands down the most-watched form of content, so if you do anything, do this. People who are researching your product want to see what it looks like, how it applies and the longevity, as well as any tips for application or use that will make their money go further. Even something as simple as lipstick can have a tutorial made around it, including a rundown about the product, best tips for application, improving wear, layering products and removal.
Create Content, And Lots Of It
Content marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies out there, especially for beauty brands. At its core content marketing is all about creating relevant, valuable and insightful content to attract and engage your target audience. Content comes in many shapes and sizes, and we recommend you create as much of it as you can. A few of our favourites include:
- Creating ‘how to’ tutorials (see above)
- Send our regular newsletters with special promotions and engaging content
- Write regular blogs sharing insights into the beauty industry, sharing tips and tricks
- Go live on social media and broadcast your message in real-time
- Survey your customers to get their feedback through fun interactive quizzes
- Run competitions and giveaways
- Interview people from the industry
- Build your own community pages on social media platforms
- Publish ‘before and after’ stories
- Collaborate with charities or an organisation that supports social causes. Did you know that 87% of consumers will choose to buy a product when the brand supports organisations or causes they care about?
- Go to beauty events, plan beauty events and immerse yourself in the beauty world.
Invest In AR
This might sound new and expensive, but bear with us. Thanks to the pandemic a demand was created for trying on beauty products ‘virtually’ in place of in shops. Buyers wanted to be able to shop for the right shade and buy it online, but a lot of it was guesswork. AR technology allows beauty brands to show customers what their products look like ‘on’ from their own devices. Brands like MAC, NARS and L’Oreal already offer AR ‘try on’ programmes on their website, while skincare brand Nutox has developed a skin analysis tool to help consumers identify their skin type and recommend products. These technologies are hugely beneficial to the brands using them and provide a great talking point for your marketing. So if you have the means to adopt it, AR can be a key part of your marketing strategy and USP.At Lion Spirit Media, we love beauty. Working with beauty brands to build and grow audiences and businesses through content marketing is so rewarding for us, and it’s something we’re incredibly passionate about. We also approach it in a different way, using a blend of content strategy, marketing, advertising and communications to not only spread awareness, but create raving fans who can’t stop talking about your products. For us, we want to help beauty, skincare and cosmetic companies find their ROAR. Need some help finding yours? Get in touch with the team today.