Digitalization has undoubtedly changed the way people, especially Millennials and Generation Z, communicate. With everything happening online, companies’ and brands’ social media presence can be seen as a crucial aspect of their marketing and communications strategy (Ryan, 2014). Social media allows for – and also requires – constant interaction between a brand and its users. With the pace of changing trends and preferences constantly speeding up, brands need to keep up with the newest innovations and vogues in order to be relevant, fresh and inspiring.
Cosmetics and beauty companies have definitely noted the situation. Every major beauty industry player is active on social media, and most popular brands post on channels such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter many times per day. Nowadays there are even beauty brands that have been built solely online with the help of social media and its influencers such as Youtube makeup artists, one example of such a company being Makeup Geek. Cosmetics brands have noticed that highly visual and easy-to-digest content is king, and that they need high quality content, storytelling, and very preferably social media famous brand ambassadors in order to stay in the game (WWD, 2016).
A great example of a cosmetics brand utilizing the power of social media and content created by others is Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH). The company’s Instagram feed is filled with first-rate pictures of makeup artists, beauty gurus and cosmetics enthusiasts wearing and using ABH’s products. The company is currently one of the most popular beauty brands on social media and people are constantly creating makeup looks and other social media content that showcase ABH products. Due to this, the brand rarely has to put out any content of their own as they are able to utilize high quality visuals that are usually created by makeup professionals and social media superstars. This is very beneficial for the company as the consumers get a more comprehensive picture of how different products look on different people, and can get inspiration from the various different makeup looks and how-to videos instead of just seeing impersonal and monotonous pictures of the product packaging.
Screenshot from Instagram
Some companies take brand ambassadorship to even greater lengths and truly understand the importance of lifestyle content to their social media savvy audience. U.S.-based Tarte Cosmetics recently sent a bunch of beauty gurus and video bloggers on two holiday trips to exotic destinations basically just to advertise the company’s new products. The participants were actively promoting the brand during the trip by showcasing all the goodies they were receiving and using the hashtag #trippinwithtarte in every social media channel they were posting to. Most of the beauty gurus and vloggers taking part in the trips have over a million followers on Instagram alone. Thus, it is clear that these trips massively boosted the cosmetic company’s social media visibility, and many people now associate Tarte with these brand ambassadors and feel that the brand has their approval.
Screenshot from Instagram
So what is the future of marketing and communications for beauty brands? Currently, social media is without a doubt the place to be active in for any Millennial-targeting brand and the customers rely on any big news airing there first. Cosmetics companies and beauty gurus have both been able to create strong customer and follower communities that often interlink with each other. But will we see a change in this in the near future and if yes, to which direction will it be? Let me know your predictions in the comments section down below!
Ryan, Damian (2014). Understanding Digital Marketing. 3rd edition. London: Kogan Page.
WWD (2016). Social Media in the Beauty Landscape. [online] Available at: http://wwd.com/beauty-industry-news/beauty-features/beauty-industry-social-media-10347599/ [Accessed 5.3.2016]