When beauty brands walk into the digital world PART 1

A recent article from Business of Fashion detailed how a lot of beauty brands are moving away from traditional advertising and increasingly adopting more modern techniques. In beauty and cosmetics sector, the physical in-store interaction is always the critical decision moment for purchase. Yet, in recent years, the digital landscape has offered equally important touchpoints which is greatly shaping customer decisions especially for the Millennial. Digital platforms give excellence in exposure of products, maintain interaction and drive social discussion.

According to a marketing research from L2 in 2015, the top 3 beauty brands with excellent digital utilization in China are Lancome, L’Oreal Paris and Estee Lauder with digital IQ of 159, 158 and 150 respectively. By endorsing multiple celebrities and a broad network of influencers in a series of social campaigns, Lancome expanded its Sina Weibo fan base in 2015. Lancome also leads on the more popular WeChat, accounting for half of the top 10 posts by Beauty brands in 2015. Yet, it faced serious criticism upon a PR crisis with cancelling Denise Ho concert due to her political stance in 2016. For L’Oreal Paris, it differentiates itself by loyalty programme – users can redeem points on the brand site as well as by SMS and on the brand’s WeChat account upon online or offline purchase. For Estee Lauder, it has active Weibo account. Giveaways are held from time to time. For instance, on 5 Dec 2016, Lipsticks Envy with Tiffany Tang’s signature were used for a giveaway for a Weibo post generating 380,696 comments.

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Use of social media
More and more beauty brands are paying high effort in social media promotion, with its relative low cost and wide exposure to teenagers.

Common platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Snapchat for Hong Kong, Weibo, Wechat, Youku  for China, Kakao for Korea and Line for Japan and Taiwan. 

Facebook
With the support of multimedia and various functions, Facebook is a good platform to support discussion with wide presence.

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Instagram
This platform is famous for its picture-heavy feature, which is exactly a perfect-match with makeup brands. Many brands utilize their visual posts to demonstrate most updated styles.

Youtube
Many brands would upload tutorials of using their products, from time to time featuring professional makeup artists or celebrities as models. In general, brands under Estee Lauder Companies perform better than those from Loreal Companies in terms of subscribers and video views. The brand Bobbi Brown has invited their Founder Bobbi Brown herself to do makeup tutorials.

Youtube channels for brands under Loreal companies

Youtube channels for brands under Estee Lauder companies

In the next article, I will go on to show examples of social media posts in China. Together with the case of a brand – NYX that heavily engage in social media.

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