The beauty industry has transformed in the last two years and brands are finding that they need to employ top marketing strategies to succeed in this crowded market. Big beauty corporations and startups alike have been forced to adjust as customer attitudes, and expectations change. As a result of the COVID-19 disaster, in-store retail sales plummeted. As a result, industry executives took action to safeguard the survival of their businesses. We’re still emerging from the crisis and adjusting to the new reality of a declining economy. In the midst of these challenges, beauty companies and brands have had to confront significant challenges in terms of eCommerce and digital marketing strategies.
They also have to grapple with the changes in consumer behavior following the pandemic and in the face of an impending recession. This article will look at strategies you can use to market your beauty brand effectively. Before that, let us look at the state of the beauty industry in 2023. We’ll also talk about some digital marketing trends that continue to be essential for the industry.
The state of the beauty industry in 2023
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a poor economy
The COVID pandemic drove beauty salons worldwide to shut down and business went down as people self-isolated at home. Just as people started to go back to their favourite salons, we found ourselves in the middle of a worsening economic climate. Despite the effects of these challenges on disposable income, customers still have the innate desire to look good. After all, looking good helps us feel good. As a result, consumers are still purchasing cosmetics. That isn’t going to change. However, what did change were the types of things individuals purchased and the key reasons for their purchases.
Hygiene products such as body wash, soap, lotion, nail care, hair care, men’s grooming, and skincare experienced the highest sales growth. These goods go beyond cosmetics and boost the user’s sense of well-being. As the world became more uncertain, consumers suddenly had a lot more time on their hands. They turned their attention to their own physical and mental health.
How the lipstick effect comes into play
The phenomenon we’re witnessing is similar to the lipstick effect. The lipstick effect is the documented increase in cosmetics sales during periods of economic uncertainty. When more expensive luxury items, such as jewelry and technology, are out of reach, people turn to makeup and other little luxury items to look and feel good without wreaking havoc on their budget. The idea that beauty and cosmetics are for everyone is another of this year’s top beauty industry trends. The beauty vertical is second only to fashion as the vertical with the most social media engagement.
The “It Girl” days are long gone; today, social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok allow anyone to upload content and become an influencer. Instagram is an excellent platform for prospecting and remarketing. Working with influencers and using their following massive networks is a great way for brands to get involved in the user-generated content revolution.
An upsurge in inclusivity
The third trend that we are seeing in beauty marketing is inclusivity. Beauty for all goes beyond having access to beauty content. It means that people of different ethnicities, body shapes, genders, and skin tones produce beauty content and demand items tailored to their needs. The Fenty Cosmetics launch in 2017 signaled the start of a new era in the beauty industry: the era of inclusivity. The rising men’s beauty and skincare market, a broader demographic age range (beauty is now for everyone, from tweens to older adults), and products for all skin hues and kinds are hallmarks of this era.
This period also marks the end of the one-size-fits-all marketing approach. Consumers expect commercials and other marketing efforts to be as varied as possible, including tailored recommendations and experiences. So, how is the beauty industry adapting to this change? By implementing personalisation.
Cosmetics buyers seek customisation. Creating anticipation can be thought of as a form of personalization. Consider this scenario: you purchase a bronzing moisturizer designed exclusively for delicate skin. The next time you go to the website where you bought it, you’ll see recommendations for other sensitive-skin-friendly goods. The website recognizes you and, as a good friend, and understands just what to recommend. Personalisation is no longer a surprise to today’s shoppers; they expect it. It’s realistic to expect your brand to understand your customers’ habits, requirements, routines, and preferences in a world where they’re asked to construct a personal profile for almost everything they do online.
Digital marketing trends for the beauty industry
1) Curated content on social media
At the moment, having enticing and engaging content on social platforms is a given. According to research, this content must cover more than information about the price of products and possible promotions that go along with it. Consumers also want convenience, the ability to buy products online regularly, and inspiration for makeovers and beauty ideas. For this reason, social media platforms are an excellent source of inspiration. Beauty brands should tap into their existing client base to create curated content for their channel, allowing followers to provide photos of how they use their products. Product placement can be used by brands by publishing photographs of their customers wearing their products.
In the beauty sector, phygital features – the marriage of physical and digital – can be applied. Beauty firms could use these social media platforms to persuade clients to visit their stores. For example, customers at L’Oréal-owned brand, NYX, were encouraged to use their phones in-store to scan barcodes for product descriptions. This made it easy for the brand to see how customers had used their products via Instagram using their hashtag. As a result, in 2016, NYX doubled its global store count.
2) Virtual experiences
Websites must be better equipped to manage doubts and issues traditionally handled in-store for people who can’t make the trip to purchase a product in-store. Do you want to see how a particular lipstick hue will appear on you? Are you looking for the perfect eyeshadow? This is now possible because the virtual experience elements on beauty brand websites are continually being improved. As an example, Sephora’s Virtual Artist is a fun, and simple application that allows customers to virtually try on several colors from their desktop or mobile device. It’s true that this isn’t quite as realistic as trying on makeup in person. However, Sephora is offering an interactive experience, and these days it’s all about curating an experience to attract clients.
3) Using new channels & collaborations with influencers
Being active on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, among others, is a requirement nowadays. However, to stay relevant in the beauty market, it’s necessary to go a step further and collaborate with influencers on these newer platforms, through #InstaStories, YouTube Vlogger videos, and TikTok content. Collaboration with influencers who video review your items or perform cosmetic tips feels more genuine than traditional advertising.
Digital marketing strategies for beauty brands
Let us now dive into some digital marketing strategies to build awareness and drive sales for your beauty brand.
1) Create brand advocacy
Beauty brands must establish an environment where they can learn from customers while also educating them about their products. They need mutually beneficial spaces for consumers to express themselves, be heard, and learn. By creating spaces where they can express themselves and engage with customers on a personal level, brands can absorb on-the-ground ideas and perspectives to help them create relevant products and advertising.
A digital community is a means to increase brand advocacy and engagement by allowing customers to interact with one another and even contribute to content or product development. Conversations among beauty enthusiasts can be shared on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for a wider reach and at a lower cost than traditional advertising tactics. A digital community will help build brand advocacy, which will lead to increased sales.
2) Be a content-driven brand
It’s one thing to have good content, but it’s a completely different thing to have excellent online content that promotes your brand and drives conversions. The pressure to regularly come up with new material, whether you’re a DTC beauty company, a cosmetics distributor or a fragrance maker may be exhausting. By increasing your content generation efforts, you may improve your digital marketing strategy. In turn, this will increase brand awareness and drive conversions for your company.
Make sure your digital strategy includes a content plan that will help you consistently produce high-quality digital material and, as a result, create leads and revenue. Let’s take a bit more time to understand content marketing for beauty brands. It goes far beyond just product page descriptions and paid ads. The entire process is supposed to target audiences throughout the buyer’s journey. So, how exactly can you do this?
Create SEO-friendly content
At every point of the buying process, more and more customers are going to Google. You may learn more about what your audience cares about and is looking for online by conducting keyword research. While optimizing eCommerce product pages is a big part of it, there’s a lot more to it. Consider developing quality content based on informational and educational keywords that clients search for during the awareness and research stages of the buying process. Then, to interact with customers at the top, middle, and bottom of the buying funnel, employ optimized content. You can even improve the reach and engagement of your video content.
Beyond product-specific keywords, this sort of SEO encompasses non-branded searches. This will assist you in attracting more people who haven’t made up their minds about a product or brand. Additionally, developing SEO-friendly content is an efficient strategy to reach the right audience at the right time when they’re most open to your message.
Create long-form content
When it comes to organic search, long-form content outperforms short-form content. However, the length of a piece of content is no longer the only ranking criterion for Google. So don’t just add filler to make the material longer. Instead, use high-quality information to cover a topic as thoroughly as possible. Google favors content that fully satisfies the searcher’s goal, so they don’t have to visit many websites to find what they’re looking for. Long-form information meets this criterion since it answers many of a person’s queries about a subject. Furthermore, long-form content allows you to rank for a variety of long-tail keywords with each piece of content, increasing your reach and the ability of your digital assets to attract new clients.
Choose the right distribution channels
Multiple distribution channels are used in effective beauty content marketing. These could include the following:
- An eCommerce website
- A blog
- Third-party sites and beauty blogs
- Social media platforms
- Sponsored content and collaborations
The behavior of your target audience at various stages of the customer journey should be reflected in your marketing channels. To cut through the noise and remain a significant voice in your sector, combine this with PR, social media, and influencer marketing initiatives. You could, for example, employ search engine optimization (SEO) to drive visitors to your site, then retarget them across social media platforms. You may utilize video to increase your brand engagement. Once someone joins your mailing list, you can keep sending them information to strengthen and deepen your relationship. You can cultivate the relationship over time to the point where they become a paying customer by generating content across media platforms.
Use user-generated content & reviews
User-generated content (UGC) and online reviews are excellent ways to earn your audience’s trust. This is a lot more authentic because the content is provided by actual customers rather than your brand. People may not trust everything you say about your company, but they will believe what your customers say about it. User-generated content (UGC) and reviews are effective forms of social proof. They show individuals using and appreciating your items, which helps to reinforce your digital marketing strategy. Emphasize user-generated content (UGC) and reviews whenever possible. Put it on your website as a showcase. Make a social media post about it. Make use of it in PPC ads. The more you can showcase genuine people who profit from your products, the more you’ll establish your brand as credible.
Increase engagement with interactive content
We touched on this previously, but interactive content that educates consumers and helps them to make purchasing decisions is becoming increasingly beneficial. This is especially true in the beauty industry, where there is a significant visual component to purchasing products. Ulta’s Glam Lab tool is a beautiful representation of this. At the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, millions of people virtually used this tool to evaluate many products. With more and more people shifting their purchases to digital platforms, the tool is still popular. It enables users to see how they would look with various types of makeup, hair colors, and eyelashes.
Beauty marketers can get more mileage out of content they’ve already developed by repurposing it in new formats. Instead of generating something brand new, you take an existing piece of information and adapt it into a new format. This strategy enables you to distribute more material across more platforms, allowing you to reach a larger audience.
Develop an integrated omnichannel experience
Your customers will transition between different channels as they progress through the buying process. They may begin by reading a blog article, then watch a video on YouTube or TikTok. They may then return to your website in search of precise solutions to their problems. Your marketing channels should be connected to give clients the greatest experience possible. You want people to have the same experience interacting with your brand regardless of their channel. This doesn’t mean you should copy and paste your beauty marketing materials and messaging from one platform to the next. On the contrary, you should personalise each one.
Perform analytics for your content
Make sure to measure and review your results regularly to make your content marketing efforts more effective. It would be best to evaluate what is working, what isn’t, and what changes must be made. The content itself will determine the measures you employ to evaluate your content’s effectiveness. You could track how much organic search traffic a blog article receives, how long visitors stay on the page, and whether they click through to any product sites. You can also track the number of views, average viewing time, and the percentage of viewers who watched past a certain point for a video. If a piece of content does exceptionally well, try to figure out why so you can replicate the approach in the future. If your content isn’t working well, make the required changes and test until you find what works best.
3) Use testimonials
Customer testimonials are one of the most effective strategies to earn consumer trust and establish the legitimacy of your brand. Testimonials shift the focus away from the seller and toward the customer. Including customer testimonials on your product pages will help you connect with customers, create trust, and provide them with the peace of mind that they aren’t being sold anything they don’t want.
Testimonials are also an excellent way for beauty brands to collect feedback on their goods and use it in future campaigns as part of a digital marketing plan. Charlotte Tilbury is one of the brands that excel at this. The British makeup artist has built a digital community of beauty enthusiasts who share her love of the industry. The brand includes client testimonials on product sites. These testimonials are subsequently used to develop content that speaks directly to the consumer’s needs.
4) Create a newsroom
Make sure all of the data about your business are available for clients, stakeholders, and the media on your website. Create an online press page where you can simply share all of your company’s news, mentions, interviews, and reviews. It is an opportunity for you to display your beauty brand. Use social proof to establish your beauty business’s much-needed reputation.
Create an online media kit containing downloadable assets like your logo, brand guidelines, and product pictures for journalists, bloggers, and influencers. This content will make it easy for media professionals to write about your brand and story. Those covering your brand will be able to get the information they need while writing about your company’s story this way.
How Pressfarm can help with this content creation
Do you need help creating memorable content for your beauty brand? Pressfarm is a PR agency that helps startups and established companies create memorable content to capture attention in the media as well as among their target audience. Their PR experts and writers work with companies to help them understand what it takes to stand out in their niche and create quality content that makes heads turn. With a professional press release, some compelling feature articles, and a creative media kit from Pressfarm, your brand can make a splash in your industry.
By submitting your brand to the right media outlets and startup directories, Pressfarm can boost your online presence, ensuring you rank in relevant search results. With a custom media list as well as a database of 1 million+ bloggers, journalists, and influencers, you can connect with the best storytellers and thought leaders in your niche. One of Pressfarm’s affordable PR packages could be exactly what you need to take your brand to the next level.
5) Complement your earned media with paid advertising
Paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram should also be part of your brand’s digital marketing plan. This kind of advertising allows beauty firms to reach customers much more quickly than organic posts. With targeted ads, your marketing efforts are actively reaching out to only those people who could be interested in your cosmetic product or service. Why spend money advertising to existing consumers if you aim to reach a new audience with a unique offer? Why would you want to target consumers in the United Kingdom if your company is exclusively situated in the United States?
Targeting specific audiences with special offers that they might be interested in can lead to more sales and conversions. Compared to other methods, one key advantage of ad targeting is that it helps reduce unwanted clicks and enhances ROI. If your marketing strategy is to pay the platform for each click, it’s critical to ensure that each click leads to a conversion. You’re paying for a lost cause if you choose the incorrect audience. You must be able to adjust the ad content and targeting to have tight control over which visitors click on your advertising.
6) Utilize social media listening
Beauty brands can use social listening to track, evaluate, and respond to conversations about them on social media. In fact, this is an integral part of your audience research and digital marketing strategy. Social listening involves more than just looking at the numbers; it also considers the mood or feeling that underpins those numbers. It’s critical for beauty brands to know what their customers think about them and their competition. This might help you figure out how your product or service is perceived in the market.
You must do more than merely keep track of how often your brand is mentioned. This “online mood” is often referred to as “social media sentiment.” Beauty brands can utilize social media listening tools like Social Mention and Hootsuite to track consumer sentiment and respond appropriately. Understanding how people feel about your beauty brand can help you stay on track with your marketing and product development. It also allows you to respond to favorable or unfavorable comments immediately.
The beauty industry has come a long way from merely makeup and hair products due to technology and the shift in the norm. While there will constantly be new challenges and new territory to explore in terms of marketing, using the strategies listed above is a sure way to come out on top. There are already quite a few brands in the beauty industry that are excelling in digital marketing. Consequently, to stand out from the crowd, you need to embrace digital marketing strategies. However, when in doubt, it is advisable to look what at other brands out there are doing.