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What does 2021 have in store for the Beauty Industry?

Suzanne Scott
18th January 2021

The beauty industry has faced some challenges of late and there are more to come.

  • The brands that have shied away from digital content in the past have no choice but to embrace it wholeheartedly now, which is where the content marketing agency really comes into its own.

  • Newsletters are enjoying a renaissance and they present a huge opportunity to forge a deeper connection with your existing and potential customers.

  • Consumers want to feel there is value in the content they consume online which is why the people of influence will be those who have expert knowledge to impart.

In light of the last 12-months, it could be fairly foolish to predict future trends with any kind of certainty, however, from a content marketing agency perspective we are able to see a direction of sorts. With life taking longer to return to some kind of normalcy than we had once hoped, meaningful digital connections and finding and satisfying your tribe remain more important than ever. Perhaps this goes without saying but this new weird and unpredictable world is one that’s firmly rooted in digital experiences. Even if things were to return to normal overnight (if only) it’s unlikely that consumers will ever go back to their old habits entirely and digital interactions will be how they will maintain their contact with beauty brands. We’ve been saying it for a long time, but think ‘Digital First’. The brands that have shied away from this messaging in the past have no choice but to embrace it wholeheartedly now. With this in mind, what can we reasonably expect in 2021?

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The newsletter bandwagon

Newsletters are nothing new but they are enjoying a renaissance of sorts. Between TV, podcasts, online and social media, we have an unlimited number of choices for where we obtain information; whether we’re talking about something like politics, news, recipes or skincare advice. We are literally drowning in choice. The marvellous thing about a newsletter is it’s simplicity; you don’t have to go out and actively discover the information in a newsletter, it just miraculously appears in your inbox at the same time every day/week/month. Your level of participation is low, all you have to do is enjoy its content (preferably with a cuppa).

Over the last year newsletters have become the norm for news outlets like The New York Times and Buzzfeed, plus cooks like Alison Roman and journalists such as Dolly Alderton. The beauty industry has been slower on the uptake but there is a huge opportunity here to forge a deeper connection with your existing and potential customers. It’s an opportunity to display your brand’s values and personality, while addressing matters your customers are actually interested in, establishing your brand as an authority and valuable service. But, don’t fall into the trap of using your newsletter as a bulletin for products and content, it is so much more than that. Taking the time to format and write it in a way that best brings your brand’s views to life will affect how well it is received and whether your audience continues to open and actually read it.

From a performance perspective - with open rates, clickthrough, forward and conversation data at your fingertips - newsletters serve as an excellent tool for measuring success and ROI, and a barometer of your audience’s interests.

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Taking on TikTok

According to Mintel, more than a third of online shoppers in the UK have purchased products after seeing them advertised on social media in the past year. Instagram remains a safe bet but it’s TikTok that is really energising a younger audience with money to burn.

Downloaded over 2.6 billion times and available in 154 countries, TikTok is a social juggernaut and should not be underestimated. Content creators can gather millions of followers and rack up millions-upon-millions of views per video. Engagement is difficult to gauge but the same content posted to TikTok and Instagram has been shown to perform infinitely better in the newer medium. Walloroo Media, cites an example of Jennifer Lopez who posted the same video on Instagram to her 45 million followers, and TikTok to her 5 million followers. Despite her TikTok follower count being the smaller of the two, she amassed 71 millions views there compared to just two million on Instagram.

It’s not surprising that beauty, in its every guise, is popular on TikTok, but it’s skincare that’s proving to be particularly provoking. Unlike Instagram which has become synonymous with heavy makeup looks, TikTok is mostly about rawness and skin positivity. Hence by The Ordinary reported a 426% surge in sales for its AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution after the product was picked up by teens on the app.

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The ‘new’ social influencer

The role of the influencer has changed over the last year and will likely continue to do so. As stores shut their doors as local and national restrictions came in, brands took their ambassadors from the shop floor to social media so that the invaluable advice beauty consumers would normally receive face-to-face wouldn’t be lost.

Consumers want to feel there is value in the content they consume online which is why the people of influence will be those who have expert knowledge to impart. More and more customers are looking for scientific experts, skincare authorities and beauty and grooming experts, and are less interested in social media personalities where they have difficulty trusting their advice.

This is excellent news for brands when it comes to influencer partnerships because it allows you to properly convey the merits of your products. This is something our client Amway does so well. Michelle D'allaird is a skin health educator and a seasoned expert in all things skin which is why she’s popular with Amway customers and Business Owners. She speaks from a place of authority and understands the products inside-out. Her regular Instagram lives with Amway Europe Beauty Brand Manager, Muna Mohsin, are always a huge success because it allows the audience access to an expert that would traditionally be out of reach.

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 and we know that establishing a point of difference, a tone of voice and a credible and relatable identity in an already saturated industry can feel like an almost impossible task. Why not sign up for one of our free workshops and let us help you make an impact. Whether your focus is honing your brand purpose or getting to grips with social media, we’d love to help. Head to our website or get in touch with our Managing Editor Suzanne Scott for a chat.

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