- Content marketing
The last few months have put a spotlight on digital content. Here’s how you can make it work for you.
Taking control of your own narrative is important at the best of times but especially so during this kind of global upheaval. Here are 5 reasons why you should be embracing content creation right now...
1. Great content establishes you as an authority
Millennials and Gen Z beauty customers are passionate about ingredients and absolutely savvy to what goes into the products they are using and the purpose of those ingredients. If they’re buying a hyaluronic acid serum they want to know that it’s the right formulation for their skin, when and how to use it within their existing skincare routine and they have a good appreciation of what results to expect. As ingredient-led brands like The Ordinary and The INKEY List become more popular, and as the more traditional brands start leaning towards this ‘ingredients first’ model, creating the right space for content on your websites and social channels allows you to communicate with your customer on your terms and demonstrate the usefulness of your products
The skin care brand Paula’s Choice does this so well and, in this instance, the content came before the product. The landing page for each product carries a link to a piece of editorial under their ‘Expert Advice’ vertical that tells you what the key ingredients are best used for. There are links to clinical studies and, crucially, simple, practical and useful advice for who should use it and how it should be used. Long-gone are the days when you could give your product a fancy anti-ageing name and expect people to use it. Now, customers want to know what it is and why they should buy it. You are the best outlet for that advice.
2. The right content will show your audience you’re listening
Beauty buyers are becoming increasingly demanding of the brands and retailers they buy from. The global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have shown customers to be outspoken and unbending in what they expect from the brands they interact with and now social media call-outs for transparency around diversity and working conditions are questions Community Managers are encountering every single day.
Brands now use their social channels to put out statements but you can do so much more than that with the right content. Social media has become a place where shortcomings are exposed but it is also a wonderful means of showing the world what you’re getting right and embracing your community of followers and existing and potential customers. Using a platform like Instagram and its IGTV and Lives, will allow your audience to interact with your staff and ambassadors, it can show them life behind the scenes where your products are designed, formulated, packaged and even distributed. This kind of content directly addresses what your customers are most concerned about right now.
3. Great content = positive engagement
Put simply, engagement of any kind is invaluable consumer insight. Consumer habits are normally slow to shift but that all changed this year; customers are thinking differently and, ultimately, shopping differently. Putting out content - whether it’s on your own website in the form of a deep-dive into a specific ingredient, or a real-time Instagram Live - is the very best kind insight into your customer. It allows you to instantly see what people are interested in and what they’re not.
Glossier - the ultimate beauty disruptor - have built their entire business model around engagement. They famously came up with the idea of their Milky Jelly Cleanser after noticing their social followers never included a cleanser in their ‘Top Shelfie’ posts, whereby Glossier fans share a snap of the inside of their bathroom cabinets amongst the larger audience. Glossier concluded that there was an opportunity to create a cleanser people would be happy to see on their grid and so that’s what they did. Genius, really.
4. Clever content exposes other avenues for sales
When cult US brand Il Makiage looked forward to their UK launch it is unlikely they thought they would be doing it in the middle of a pandemic with all of their potential customers confined to their homes and unable to visit the shops. Some might say a pandemic is probably the worst time to introduce a brand to a new market. Not to be deterred, however, Il Makiage pivoted and launched their brand alongside its PowerMatch makeup quiz for its Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation. The quiz takes you through a series of questions and then matches you to one of its 50-shades. The brand claims that the quiz gets it right 90 percent of the time but if you do happen to receive a mis-match, they will allow you to return it or swap it for another shade. Retailers and brands have traditionally found it difficult to sell foundation onlines because it is one of those products you want to try in store, on your own skin, in a mirror; it’s not a product women typically take a gamble on. What Il Makiage have demonstrated with their ‘flawless’ UK launch is that clever interactive content is a great add-on, or even substitute, for the in-store experience.
5. Ambassador content gives your brand personality
Recent events have shown us that you can’t always rely on your in-store ambassadors to do the selling for you but there’s no reason why those same ambassadors can’t do what they do best via a different medium. Ambassadors - whether they are your on-staff makeup artists, hair stylists or skin care experts - serve an invaluable purpose; they give your brand a ‘face’, they make you appear relatable and approachable and they generate desire for your products. Don’t fall into the trap of using them in only a limited way. Even if, for example, your makeup artists can’t demonstrate your products on your customer’s skin, they can still build buzz and whip your customers into excitement with live beauty tutorials, Q&As or even private, one-on-one virtual consultations. The recent lock down has shifted your customer online and, truth be told, they’re likely to stay there but, this isn’t a roadblock, it’s an exciting opportunity to get creative with the content you produce with your ambassadors.
Talk to the digital marketing specialists
We know these are daunting times for a beauty brand, especially when the existing ways of doing things no longer work. We understand it’s hard to know where to start. Let us help you. Get in touch with our Managing Editor Suzanne Scott for a chat.