The beauty industry – whether targeting females or males, has a distinct advantage when it comes to marketing. That’s because, unlike say a law firm or a medical supplies manufacturer, it offers consumers the “feel good factor”, often at little cost.
During the UK recession, sales of chocolate actually rose, even whilst grocery sales fell. Why? Simply because when we’re down, we seek easy, fast solutions to make ourselves feel good again. Presuming we didn’t drown our sorrows in a vat of Sauvignon Blanc or Stella (which would have been too expensive anyway), we as a nation turned to the ultimate comfort food.
The beauty industry works in much the same way. We may wake up in the morning with a face full of spots, greasy hair and/or facial lines deeper than the San Andreas fault, but we are consoled by the fact that a mere hour later, we will emerge looking a million dollars again (or at least human). Such is the power of the beauty product.
Pick up any tabloid newspaper on any given weekday. Chances are, it’ll include features on which celeb has had what done, which celeb needs it done and how you can look just as fabulous. From wrinkle-free skin to carefully crafted eyebrows, contoured cheekbones to plump lips, we’re always looking for ways to slow down the ageing process and continue to turn heads (in a good way).
So marketing your beauty products or services should be easy, right? Not necessarily. This multi billion pound industry is in some areas, saturated. In my small home town alone, population around 6000, I’m aware of at least half a dozen make-up artists and salons offering treatments.
It takes effort therefore, to stand out and it’s important to create a brand that will relay a simple message. Before you undertake any marketing activity, be very clear about what your USP and brand message is. Only then can you communicate it effectively to your target audience.
Social media lends itself perfectly to the business of beauty, which relies so much on visual impact. Take a look at some of the biggest and best brands and professionals out there on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. If they have a considerable social media following, note the type of posts which attract the most engagement. Are they before and after shots? Tips to try at home or perhaps offers? How often do they post and is there a trend in engagement, depending on the time of day or day of the week?
Also, don’t forget the impact that YouTube and Periscope can have. Ideal for “real time” makeup demonstrations and customer interviews, these free tools can help to show current and potential customers that you really do know your stuff. Why not schedule the release of a short clip on Friday evening, explaining how to do contouring or flicked eyeliner, so that women can go out the next day and buy the products, ready for their Saturday night out with the girls? Humour is also a powerful tool so be sure to inject your own personality into your posts, which will encourage readers or viewers to engage and share, turning a simple social media post into a viral campaign. What about some of these eye-catching titles for example?
“Make-up for the over 50s: more Helen Mirren & less Amy Winehouse, please!”
“Contouring: cheekbones so sharp they could cut like a knife”
“Struggling with the eyeliner flick? How to ditch the “Cleopatra” look”
“Fake tan: summer glow, not coffee table brown”
“Get plump, kissable lips without the need for needles”
So have fun with your posts and you’ll find that others want to join in. There are only two points to remember:
Firstly, you’re not there to sell. Social media is all about building relationships and developing trust. “Look at me” posts stand out a mile and are about as popular as Katie Hopkins.
Secondly, post consistently, not sporadically. Whilst Kate Bush can get away with touring once every 40 years, your social media following will undoubtedly suffer if there’s no new content for weeks at a time.