The importance of social media in the beauty industry
With every industry emerging on social media, that of beauty is not in the position to hold back. However, it has proved challenging to break in to. Beauty products are very personal items – very difficult to buy online as you can’t match up your skin colour /smell the latest perfume virtually! (One of the only disadvantages to digital marketing!)
Customers, therefore, like to read reviews and really understand the product before buying – stunting the brands growth and causing a long start-up period. Fake eye lashes, photo shopping and special effects make it hard for customers to trust that what they see is actually what they get!
Therefore, beauty brands have had to be clever about their marketing strategies –
Blogging – By promoting products through well-known beauty bloggers, a large customer base is reached of the desired target audience. Bloggers can post make-up tutorials on Instagram along with various other marketing techniques such as tweeting using the ‘hashtag’ to generate views. The pre-existing followers are likely to trust the bloggers opinion, therefore, building trust in the brand being advertised. It gives the sense of a real person, who haven’t been ‘photo shopped’ and therefore, they feel what they see is realistic to achieve. This can increase the website traffic and ultimately increase online sales.
Competitions can also be run through these bloggers to promote the products. For example, using a hashtag on Instagram to collate pictures of followers wearing a certain product. This gives incentive for them to go out and buy the product and allows anyone to view various tutorials – with the prize of a voucher, or more of the product itself!
Promoting the brand to be slightly different – By marketing the brand as ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘vegan’, it has something a little extra to offer the customer. Through buying this, a sense of satisfaction is achieved – making them feel a little less guilty about their splash out!
Birchbox – This beauty subscription service allows multi-channel communication. It combines different beauty brands to increase market reach and utilises Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. Customers trust this as they can sample various different beauty brands for only a small amount (allowing them to pick their favourite!) This makes it less risky to pay out for a full size product online when they haven’t tried it yet! An example of their marketing strategy is on Pinterest. A board is used for customers to show what they have recently received in their ‘Birchboxes!’ – These can be re-pinned over and over, increasing the customer reach.
Exclusive to social media – By making some promotions ‘exclusive’ to their followers, and giving them ‘behind the scenes’ pictures, it builds a relationship between the company and customer, again, increasing trust in the brand!
By using tactics such as these, the popularity of beauty on social media sites has rapidly increased. A report by Mintel shows that almost 4/10 Brits have visited beauty brands online and 34% of potential buyers use social media sites to research their beauty purchases before buying!