Makeup Lovers Marketing Makeup

FYI: Makeup Alley is a social networking site popular amongst makeup lovers. It was established in 1999 and has since grown into one of the largest websites for the beauty community.

What’s in the Alley?: Makeup Alley is mostly used for skincare and cosmetic product reviews. According to this website there are over 1 million users, and over 2 million product reviews of over 100,000 different products. Because Makeup Alley was so popular, they began regularly posting on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Google+. They promote the latest trending beauty products and sometimes reveal sneak peeks of cosmetic collections. Their Facebook page features #MUADupeDay which shows inexpensive duplicates for high-end makeup products. They also post DIYs and How-Tos, and polls on their Facebook page.

Why Is This So Important?: This is free advertising beauty companies. If a makeup lover and avid Makeup Alley user gets her hands on a great product, then they will give it an amazing review online. Consumers are more likely to trust other consumers rather than marketing directly from a company. Instead of trusting beauty gurus who accept money and free products from makeup companies, Makeup Alley users are spending their own money on these products, and posting unbiased reviews. This sense of relatability and trust makes consumers more likely to buy makeup they saw endorsed by an average makeup user, just like trusting a sister, best friend, or neighbor’s opinion. This is uncontrolled marketing though, and bad products are relentlessly ripped apart in reviews on Makeup Alley.


Heard It Through The (Grape)Vine

FYI: Vine is one of the most recent popular social media websites. It allows users to film 6 seconds of video that will loop continuously. Started in 2012, Vine now has 40 million active users. According to this website, Vine is the fastest growing application ever. Vines can be shared on Vine (re-vined), or shared through Facebook and Twitter. Some Vine users also upload Vines to YouTube.

 Who is on Vine?: There have been a lot of companies that have realized the potential marketing opportunity in Vine. McDonalds, Xbox, Taco Bell, and General Electric are all companies that have used Vine for their marketing.

So Trendy: Fashion is one of the top 5 industries that use Vine as part of their marketing strategy. Clothing brand French Connection has become popular on Vine for their stop-motion videos of outfits and accessories. Now makeup brands are using Vine to market their products. According to this website, Burberry uses Vine to give consumers sneak peeks into backstage at runways and photoshoots. Rebecca Minkoff has used Vine to share a how-to video of an Essie nail polish look. Tory Burch used Vine during New York Fashion Week to share quick makeup tutorials on their runway models, and even used the hashtag #NYFW for users to easily find videos.

Vine Tips:

Use hashtags- Use preexisting hashtags popular within the beauty industry like #ManiMonday or #OOTD, or make up your own hashtags for users to follow.

Create how-to videos- Six second how-to videos are perfect for this generation’s short attention span and can easily show consumers how to use the company’s product.

Be creative- The more creative and funny Vines are to to get re-vined, shared, and talked about: Great word-of-mouth marketing.

Promote Vine across all social media channels- Vines don’t have to stay just within the app. Share Vines on Twitter and Facebook too!

Update frequently, especially on the weekend- Weekends are when the most people share Vines

Create seamless loops- Seamless loops have users watching Vines over and over again.

Keep it simple- Don’t try to cram too much into a six second video. Simple yet creative Vines are more successful.

Fun Fact: A branded Vine is 4 times more likely to be seen and shared than a branded video. So keep on Vining!

Three Second Marketing

FYI: Snapchat is an app where users can share photos or videos for up to ten seconds. After the photo or video is viewed once, it disappears and cannot be seen again. One loophole is screen-shots of the photos, but the sender is notified if the receiver screen-shots the photo. Snapchat now has over 100 million active users who send over 400 million photos daily. Roughly 70% of Snapchat users are women according to this website, and 33% of the US’s 18-34 year olds are Snapchat users. Only 1% of companies are using Snapchat for marketing purposes, which shows a great room for growth.

Who’s Using It?: Some companies have begun to see the marketing potential in Snapchat, including Taco Bell and Karmaloop. High-end makeup company NARS cosmetics has recently turned to Snapchat to create a big buzz on their latest collection from Guy Bourdin. NARS announced on their Twitter page “Follow @NARSissist on Snapchat to peep the upcoming NARS Guy Bourdin collection at 12PM EST today.”

Why Snapchat?: Snapchat content is easy, quick, and cheap to produce. Because the media will only be seen on a small phone screen, or possibly an ipad, the quality doesn’t have to be perfect. Snapchat can also feel exclusive, because only the users who follow NARS on Snapchat can ever see their content.

Why Not Snapchat?: Content must be filmed from a device that can run the Snapchat app, it cannot be uploaded from the camera roll. This means no professional quality of an expensive camera. Content also must be filmed in one take, so it cannot be edited together. The content also cannot be shared after it disappears, so it loses the possibility of viral marketing. There is no pass-it-on element to Snapchat, but it can still create some word-of-mouth marketing. One big downside of the Snapchat app is that there is no “select all” option to send out content. This means some poor employee has to check every single user that follows NARS to send out the content.

Success: NARS seemed to have created a big buzz for their new makeup collection just by marketing through Snapchat. One NARS consumer said that the NARS Snapchat sneak-peak was “the best 3 seconds of the day.”

Who Says You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

FYI: Estée Lauder is a high-end makeup company that was founded in 1946. Starting with just four products in 1946, the company significantly grew into the billion-dollar company that it is today in 2014. Estée Lauder also has created the Clinique brand, acquired Smashbox Cosmetics, and is in the works of developing a Tory Burch Fragrance. Estée Lauder also owns many more brands including Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble, and M.A.C cosmetics.

The Old Dog: The 68 year-old cosmetic brand targets 35-55 year old women. With subtle color palettes and simple ads, Estée Lauder isn’t the most exciting brand in the makeup industry. But with their latest use of social media platforms, Estée Lauder is showing customers their new fresh face.

The New Tricks: Estée has been stepping up in the social media game to attract their target market of older women, as well as younger consumers. They have been very active on all popular social media platforms attempting to revitalize their image.

In 2009, Estée Lauder provided free makeovers to women (and men) who wanted to improve their profile pictures on social media websites. After the makeover were complete, a professional photographer took photos of the women to post online to vamp up their social media presence. The makeup artists used different palettes to suit the social media platform: conservative for LinkedIn, casual for Facebook, and more colorful for dating websites. The backdrop for these photos has the Estée Lauder name on it which was great free marketing for the brand.

Estée Lauder used to seem like a bland brand with simple and subdued color palettes and packaging, but has recently been showing off its playful side. Estée has changed its simple packing to a bold, yet sophisticated look that they are showing off on Instagram daily. They have seemed to perfect their social media game by posting daily on Instagram. An Estée Lauder representative said that photos with more props and products do better on Instagram. Their instragram frequently uses hashtags to attract more users. They use pre-existing popular hashtags like #OOTD and #ManiMonday, as well as making their own hashtags like #TomsTipTuesday, which features tips from Tom Pecheux, a professional makeup artist. Estée also uses #FanFriday, where fans post their own photos of their Estée Lauder products, and the best photos are featured on Estée Lauder’s Instagram.

Along with posting daily on Instragram, they also have been frequently updating their Facebook. Lauder also posts daily photos on Facebook, these photos feature less props and products than their Instagam posts. Facebook appeals more to the company’s age range than Instagram does, with an increasing number of 30-50 year olds joining the Facebook community.

Estée Lauder has also been moving into the YouTube community by creating sponsorships with famous YouTubers. Their latest partnership is with Chriselle Lim, a 26 year-old fashion blogger and makeup guru on YouTube. Chriselle has a fresh, yet sophisticated style that perfectly represents Estée’s polished and prim reputation.

So who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Estée Lauder is a great example of a more mature company that is successfully moving into the next era of social media marketing.

From Facebook to Consumer’s Faces

FYI: Facebook is a social media website used by over 600 million people around the world, and Facebook membership numbers are still rapidly growing. Makeup companies are now using Facebook to market their products and create an online community for their consumers.

What Can Facebook Do For You?: There are many ways to use Facebook to market a company. A company’s page can show what a company has been developing, and give consumers a “sneak peak” of the inner workings of the company. Facebook is great for advertising new campaigns and products. It is also easy to share content on Facebook, such as videos, pictures, and links to other websites. Makeup brands can utilize this content-sharing by creating their own content and sharing user-generated content that shows their products. Companies can also create events on the website, which can be used as reminders for a big company event, such as a product launch party, or a sales event.

Benefits for Benefit Cosmetics: One company that has successfully utilized Facebook in their marketing strategy is Benefit Cosmetics. Benefit, just like E.L.F. Cosmetics mentioned in an earlier blog post, does not have a traditional media budget and instead does most of their marketing with social media. Benefit Cosmetics has over 1,600,000 likes on their Facebook page, and was named one of the “top ten luxury brands with the highest Facebook IQ,” according to this article. Their Facebook page is filled with bright pictures that not only show products, but the brand’s identity as well. Benefit uploads content once a day and the content isn’t exclusive to marketing their products. Benefit’s Facebook has cute inspiring quotes or drawings, or celebrating events such as “National Dessert Day.” While it may seem out of place for a company to post things like that, they help build a brand identity for Benefit Cosmetics. Cosmetics Business comments on how the brand is highly engaged with their customers who comment on posts to share their shopping experiences, reviews, and questions. Benefit Cosmetics also writes back on many of the comments on their Facebook page which creates a great company-consumer relationship. Facebook speeds up their customer service process, and Benefit listens to their Facebook community to improve their company. Benefit Cosmetics has fully embraced Facebook and has learned that interacting with their consumers online is key.

Halloween How-To’s Could Mean Big Bucks

FYI: YouTube is not only a place for cute kitties and viral videos anymore. Many people turn to YouTube to teach themselves skills from the comfort of their own home. One big YouTube category is “How-To & Style,” which includes style, beauty, and makeup. Anyone from tween girls to professional makeup artists can post makeup tutorials online, and these users are called “Beauty Gurus.” YouTube statistics claim to attract over 1 billion users per month, and reach more U.S. citizens ages 18-34 than any cable network. With its huge amount of users, companies have began to use YouTube to market their products. Sometimes traditional marketing on YouTube, like uploading their advertisements, just doesn’t work. Tech-savvy companies have been successful in reaching their audience by creating an interactive environment for their users, such as creating YouTube channels showing how to use their products. Other companies have begun to sponsor videos or send YouTubers like Beauty Gurus free products to review and promote in their videos.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: With Halloween fast approaching, people everywhere are scrambling to find the perfect Halloween costume. Beauty Gurus are rolling out their most popular videos for this time of the year, which are Halloween makeup tutorials. And with these popular makeup videos, makeup companies should learn how to capitalize on this big holiday.

Good Job, NYX: Makeup brand NYX has identified the opportunity at hand with Halloween makeup videos on YouTube by hosting a Halloween makeup contest. Users created Halloween makeup looks using NYX’s products. NYX did a great job at engaging their customers, and had users generate their own content instead of NYX making their own content to promote the brand. One entry titled “NYX Face Awards entry 2014 Creepy Doll Make-up Tutorial Look Halloween Makeup” currently has almost 500,000 views.

More Strategies: With so many Halloween makeup tutorials on YouTube, it is surprising that there are not more makeup companies utilizing YouTube for their social media marketing. The author of this article suggests that beauty brands create Halloween playlists that mention or use their brand within the video. Brands should also create their own YouTube channels to create their own Halloween makeup looks using their brand’s products. By creating their own content and interacting with Beauty Gurus online, makeup companies can create a makeup community to better use social media to market their products.

From Photo Shoots to Social Media Selfies

FYI: MAKE UP FOR EVER is a makeup company geared towards professional makeup artists. The founder of the company, Dany Sanz, creates makeup products that solve common issues for makeup artists. For example; a completely waterproof Aqua line developed for the French Synchronized Swimming team. Dany’s latest focus for MAKE UP FOR EVER is makeup that appears flawless on camera for TV and movies.

The Latest Trend: Most makeup companies within the past few years have introduced “camera-ready” makeup lines. Camera-ready makeup is makeup that will appear well in photographs. Common ingredients in SPF are Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide, which are both made up of small white particles. Camera-ready foundation doesn’t have these ingredients because the white particles are reflected in the flash and give the subject a washed-out or shiny look. Camera-ready foundation is full coverage to give models a flawless look, but also has finely milled particles so the skin’s texture looks natural instead of cakey. Smashbox has a Photo Finish line, MAKE UP FOR EVER has a HD line, and Revlon’s is called Photoready.

“Let Me Take a Selfie”: It seems as if makeup companies are creating these lines for professional makeup artists to use for photo-shoots, but the reality is that these lines are appealing more to heavy social media users who constantly post photos on themselves online. According to this article from The New York Times, product development for Revlon’s Photoready line began before social media seemed to be a constant presence in people’s lives. These new camera-ready makeup lines have been very successful, especially when marketed towards social media users. MAKE UP FOR EVER has been using social media to help market products in an innovative way. In one of their ads for their HD Foundation, the company showed a young woman taking a ‘selfie,’ showing how their HD Foundation isn’t just for the professionals, but also appeals to everyday users. Julia Golden, CMO of Revlon, says “It’s not really about the stars anymore.”

Dove’s Dazzling Campaigns

FYI: Dove, a subset of Unilever, is a personal care brand that sells toiletries such as shampoo, body wash, and lotion. While normally marketing to women, Dove has recently branched out with their Dove Men+Care line marketed specifically to men.

Dove Who?: While Dove was a solid company with a solid reputation, it seemed to be losing its grasp on the personal care market a few years ago. Dove’s marketing team needed to find a way to make Dove relevant again.

Let’s Start From the Beginning: In 2004, Dove produced the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty to revamp their brand’s image. They created billboards that featured real women, asking questions like “flawed or flawless?” and “withered or wonderful?” These billboards attracted over 1.5 million viewers to the Campaign for Real Beauty’s website.

Shortly after the success of their first billboards, Dove introduced another billboard campaign that showed a group of women, diverse in body type, race, age, etc. Yet again, this campaign was a success.

In 2006, Dove created a video called “Evolution.” This video showed the process of hair, makeup, lighting, and photo editing for a typical ad. The video quickly went viral, and has over 17,000,000 YouTube views to this date. This launched Dove into the realm of social media and their video was spread across the internet.

According to The Harvard Business Review, these campaigns helped increase Dove’s worth by over 1.2 billion dollars from 2005 to 2007.

Dove recently came out with their latest viral social media campaign called “Real Beauty Sketches,” which was their most successful part of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Shared through Facebook, e-mail, and shown all over the internet, the video currently has over 64,000,000 views.

Most recently, Dove has been trying to push their line for men, and came out with a new video titled “Calls for Dad,” and uses the hashtag #RealDadMoments to connect with customers.

So What?: According to a survey conducted by Dove, 82% of women questioned answered that social media has a bigger impact on their perceptions of beauty, over print, film, or any other form of media. As Dove continues to create these ad campaigns, they create a stronger social media presence, increase their brand’s worth, and challenge our perceptions of beauty.

Keeping an Eye on E.L.F.

FYI: E.L.F. or Eyes Lips Face Cosmetics is a small, but up-and-coming cosmetics brand. The company was created in 2004, and have since grown to a multi-million dollar company, all while selling their products in the $1-$10 price range. They have recently started selling their products in big name stores like Target, Family Dollar, and Wal-Mart.

What’s Going On?: With an elf-sized budget, E.L.F Cosmetics embraces social media marketing. According to AdvertisingAge’s article, E.L.F. doesn’t have a traditional media budget, they instead focus their advertising online, mostly on social media. E.L.F.’s newest project is an online social network called SheSpeaks is an “engagement platform” that combines forums and surveys with a brand’s advertising content to create a whole new level of interaction between a brand and its consumers. This interaction between E.L.F. and its customers is also shown through the Chief Marketing Officer’s twitter activity. In an article from AdWeek, Ted Rubin, C.M.O. of E.L.F., explains that he has over 200,000 followers and responds to every tweet he gets. Rubin has also reached out to create relationships with 500 bloggers to test and review their products. The company doesn’t sponsor any of the bloggers, so their reviews are genuine and it doesn’t cost E.L.F. anything more than the free products they gave away.

Let’s Compare: In terms of web traffic, E.L.F. is ranked the 7,580th most visited website in the US. One of its competitors, Maybelline, is ranked at 19,338. E.L.F. uses non-traditional online advertising, whereas Maybelline uses traditional advertising such as TV and magazine ads. E.L.F claims that not using traditional media helps keep the cost of their products at very reasonable prices. When comparing the two companies, it seems that E.L.F.’s focus on non-traditional media is paying off.

Products from Pinterest

FYI: Pinterest is a visual-driven social media website where users can save, or “pin,” a picture to their own collection of pictures, called a “board.” They can pin their own findings, or “repin” from other users. These pins can contain links to other websites or videos. Users typically pin recipes, home décor inspiration, craft ideas, and makeup/fashion inspiration.

What’s the Big Deal?: Pinterest was the fastest growing social media in 2012. With a growing user population, business began to jump on the trend, and started to set up Pinterest accounts to advertise their brands. According to the Neilson report, the biggest demographic group for Pinterest users is women age 35-49, which entails that these women are likely to have spending money. According to The Harvard Business Review, 41% of sampled social media users now engage in what is called “reverse showrooming,” where they see a product online and go to the brick-and-mortar stores to buy it. In their study, 21% of Pinterest users had practiced reverse showrooming for an item they had seen on Pinterest.

Look Out!: One thing companies need to watch out for is “brand squatting.” Brand squatting on Pinterest is when someone not affiliated with the company registers the brand’s name for a Pinterest account. Companies that may have any interest in setting up a Pinterest account (or any social media account) should jump on their desired domain name as soon as possible, even if they may not use it.

Let’s Turn the Spotlight On: Sephora

Sephora is a great example of a company that is using Pinterest to drive sales. With 71 boards, 7,876 and 326,511 followers, Sephora is very active on Pinterest. The company has boards that contain “Beauty How-To’s” with pictures and links to their own products. They also use boards to highlight trends, like the “Fall Beauty Trends 2014” board, or “Halloween.” Sephora is even reaching out to the male population with a “Gifts For Him” and “Father’s Day” board. Sephora’s Pinterest effectively communicates its brand and provides a platform for customers to interact with the company.