by Fulya Uygun, co-founder of Bowery Boost
In today’s marketplace, it’s hard to get anywhere without harnessing the power of digital marketing and, more specifically, social media marketing for your brand. This is especially true with regard to beauty brands. You would be hard-pressed to find a beauty brand today that is not engaging with customers and potential customers online in some way, shape, or form.
Finding a balance with digital marketing approaches and social media use is key to any successful marketing campaign. Online shoppers are savvy — they can smell inauthenticity a mile away. With a crowded and highly-competitive market consistently pivoting from popular platform to popular platform, brands must find ways to stay ahead of the game and build their businesses effectively online.
Signal and Noise
E-commerce and online shopping have been around for some time. Most of us have purchased something online at one time or another. However, it is a marketplace that is constantly in flux. Innovations and platforms emerge all the time, and remaining up to date on the best options available — be it marketing ads on Instagram or growing a loyal consumer base on TikTok — when trying to run a business can be daunting.
Business owners interested in taking advantage of everything digital and social media marketing has to offer need to develop an intentional, well-thought-out approach and keep up with best practices if they intend to succeed. In the noisy digital landscape, brands may feel like they are shouting into the void, wondering if anyone hears their message. The truth is that it takes strategic moves and know-how to get your signal to rise above the noise.
Tackling Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing is an umbrella term that covers everything from your website to e-commerce sites to Facebook ads and blogging. In simple terms, any marketing you do online for your business can be considered digital marketing. With such a broad and open definition, it can be difficult to reign in your particular digital marketing strategy. What works for other brands may not work well for yours, especially in the beauty industry.
Today’s digital marketing landscape includes wildly-innovative approaches such as teleconsultations with beauty experts and virtual reality try-ons of products. Brands that can effectively engage users with these state-of-the-art approaches stand to outperform their competitors. Over the last few years, increasing numbers of consumers have been willing to forego in-person shopping experiences in favor of the technological advances of online shopping. They can get professional advice, try on products, and purchase items with a mere click of a mouse, all from the comfort of their homes. Brands looking to gain a standing in the market and build their following would benefit from seeing what new technologies may work for their businesses.
Today’s beauty brands need to get creative with their digital marketing to capture the attention of a discerning public. Garnering that attention requires a deep understanding of who their ideal client is and how that person is using the internet to shop and engage with their preferred brands.
The Social Media Monster
Social media marketing is its own beast. Falling under the umbrella of digital marketing, social media marketing is constantly pivoting. A platform will be the go-to place for brands to reach customers one day, and passé the next. Although staying abreast of current trends can be challenging, it nevertheless must remain at the forefront of a brand’s marketing strategy.
With beauty brands, platforms like Instagram that rely on visual content do very well. Thousands of beauty brands have leveraged the power of well-designed Instagram feeds, micro and major influencer promotions, and sponsored posts to get their products in front of the right audience. With Instagram introducing their Stories and Reels features in the last few years (followed by Facebook doing the same), beauty brands have even more tools to engage with consumers effectively. Makeup tutorials, video reviews of products, contests, and user-generated content have been just some of the ways beauty brands have used social media to their advantage.
TikTok is another social media platform that has proved to be a game-changer, especially for Generation Z and Millenial consumers. In 2021 alone, TikTok influencer posts about skincare and beauty products rose 16%. The platform’s short and sweet video format has appealed to influencers and brands alike. Brands can quickly gain awareness and massive followings from just one well-timed viral video. With older platforms like Instagram and Facebook becoming over-saturated or abandoned by younger generations, a move to TikTok could be an advisable pivot for many beauty brands hoping to reach a particular audience.
When initially wading into the murky waters of social media marketing, it benefits brands to do their research. See what other beauty brands are doing and where they are finding success. Likewise, what approaches may be failing miserably? Social media marketing is all about finding your perfect audience, engaging them, and then keeping them coming back for more, growing a loyal customer base throughout the process.
Balance is the Key
Finding balance within your digital marketing strategy can seem overwhelming. You may want to try a “throw everything at the wall” approach to see if something sticks, but this could be ineffective. Instead, brands must balance combining technical and analytical data with a creative and personal approach.
Here are a few ways to best accomplish this:
1. Know the Technology.
Whether you are tech-savvy or get someone to help you navigate the world of websites, SEO, Reels, video edits, and prime posting times, you must have some sense of the tech behind digital marketing to make it worthwhile.
2. Analytics and Metrics.
Part of that technology is analytics and metrics. Most social media and e-commerce websites have ways of tracking metrics such as customers’ visits, engagement, and the popularity of posts vs. other posts. Brands should use this information to see what’s working and what isn’t and to inform their next moves.
3. Creative Approaches.
The balance comes in when a brand melds technical know-how with creativity. The more innovative and creative a marketing approach is, the more apt it will be to attract attention.
4. Authentic Engagement.
Along with creativity comes engagement with followers and consumers. Consumers like brands that are responsive and feel personal to them, their wants, and their needs. Brands shouldn’t just throw content out into the ether and expect meaningful engagement. These days, digital and social media marketing needs to be authentic to stick.
There is a lot of balanced duality that goes into developing a great digital and social media marketing strategy. Brands that can tackle the tech, the creative, and the personal side of this are the ones that ultimately succeed. Understanding the goals for your brand and developing actionable strategies to tackle those goals online is crucial for growing your brand through digital marketing.
Digital and social media marketing could be considered tailor-made for beauty brands. They are visually appealing by nature, and the opportunities for video and photographic marketing creativity are endless. Digital and social media marketing have become essential tools in the business owner’s toolbelt. Learning to balance your approach will point your business toward success.
Bowery Boost co-founder Fulya Uygun is a digital marketing expert with 15 years of experience. Throughout her career, she has scaled brands through seed funding to Series B in addition to working as lead digital for corporate companies. She is also a member of the Female Founders Fund, The 10th House, and the venture firm The Helm, all dedicated to investing in and supporting women and minority entrepreneurs.