Tips to Guide Beauty Industry Merchants through the Holidays

More shoppers say they plan to buy beauty products this holiday season than last. One sector leader is Estée Lauder, which has increased sales by giving more attention to online marketing, and to millennials in particular. In order to drive skin-care sales Estée has focused on selfie culture and social media, which have fueled the company’s success with makeup, and the company hopes it has the same impact on instant-gratification skin care products.

Another ongoing strategy for the company is forging partnerships with digital influencers. One such influencer, Victoria Beckham, parlayed her twelve million Instagram followers into big sales numbers for the company, which also utilizes lesser-known influencers on a smaller, more local scale.

Now, just because you can’t afford to partner with Victoria Beckham doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be going after your share of the holiday beauty pie. The business is out there to be won, and today I am going to share some of the best holiday marketing ideas for winning it.

Email Holiday Campaigns 2016

Email campaigns remain among eCommerce’s best holiday marketing campaigns. As always, message is key. Here are some examples I like.

Send out holiday make-up tips and trends

The Bellabox campaign shown below is a winner. It provides a guide on trending makeup and how women will wear makeup next year. Its message is simple: “What’s Trending in Beauty” followed by trends, tips, and tricks that any woman can take advantage of. They also use celebrities in their photos as a hook for inspiration. To see more examples like this, look here.

Keep your message and design simple

Look at how simple this Barney’s piece is. Their tagline is clean, concise, and to the point. There’s not much going on, which is a great way to capture interest because it teases the customer and tells her to come to the site to find out more. Also, the main message is a holiday one: “Revitalize Post-Holiday Skin.” Finally, the call-to-action button can’t be missed, dead center.

Best Holiday Social Media Campaigns

Social media works for beauty products because the beauty industry knows how to use it to build a following. Consumers love to discuss products that work for them and love to show off how those products make them look. Every time they share, they’re giving you free and highly trusted content, be it photos, reviews, or ratings that you can use to promote your products.

Because beauty is a visual business, visual social media like YouTube and Instagram are particularly effective in the beauty industry. Check out this Instagram page for ideas of how to use images to show off your brand. Also, hashtags are a great way to find out where the best cosmetics are and how to use them.

For some twitter tips, check out Twitter Tailored Audiences: Remarketing with Deeper Customer Insights.

Here’s another example, from American Eagle’s cosmetics division, Aerie. They posted this on New Year’s Day to show off their branding. See how it connects their customers on a personal level, celebrating the flaws that make them unique. Hashtags (#aeriereal) are also present in the text and the photo.

This sort of personal connection is great for harvesting user-generated content UGC when people share this photo across all her social media channels. You can use retargeting tools to focus on specific demographic and psychographic segments as well. If you’re using Facebook for retargeting here are some pointers.

Go Mobile

Facebook execs held their first beauty summit a few months ago in Los Angeles. Their message: Beauty commerce is shifting to mobile, and if you’re not onboard, you’re going to miss out. So, be sure your brand is mobile ready, especially for social media purposes.

Many beauty industry leaders simultaneously use every form of marketing, so when they post on Instagram, there is a link directly to their site that’s mobile ready. The graphic below illustrates the mobile and beauty connection.

Source: Facebook IQ

Personalization is Crucial Part of Holiday Marketing Ideas

As the graphic below illustrates, from inspiration gathering to inspiration setting, shoppers seek out others for beauty advice: 50% of customers find beauty products on Facebook, and 64% find beauty inspiration on Instagram. They use these highly curated and personal environments for finding new products, impulse buys, and sharing new looks. To retarget these shoppers, use personalized messaging to increase views and conversions.

Source: Facebook IQ

Use Celebrity Endorsements

Celebrities inspire behavior in their fans. eCommerce merchants can use this inspiration to promote their own products. Celebs are particularly valuable because often their fanbase itself represents an extreme form of target segmenting. Some of the best holiday retail campaigns involve celebrities.

Building relationships with celebrities can be mutually beneficial. Not only are you building your brand but also helping another build his/hers. Working with other brands is a great opportunity to build each other’s following and also build a valuable long term relationship. This Essence/Bieber campaign generated 263 million brand impressions, 83K brand expressions, and 35% of on-site activation through social.

Be Creative

Run interesting promotions. Think of innovative ways that will grab customers’ attention. Interactive shopping is a fun way to increase viewership to your products and gives shoppers a reason to check out your brand.

Urban Decay built the Pinterest social campaign below. Users were encouraged to post the top makeup styles they had seen at music festivals, and Urban Decay gave away free festival tickets to Pinterest users who created the best boards of festival style. This was a great way to generate buzz around their makeup.

If you use Pinterest retargeting campaigns to pinpoint your audience, learn How to Make Pinterest Customer Targeting Campaigns More Efficient.

Beauty products sell prodigiously during the holidays, and eCommerce provides the tools to effectively market these products. This sounds like a holiday win/win. If you follow the tips I’ve discussed here, you’ll increase your chances of having a great holiday season.

For additional holiday tips, check out our Holiday shopping section.

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