The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

6 Brilliant Examples of Content Marketing from Beauty and Skincare Brands

In a world of TikTok and YouTube, digital techniques have become a key part of successful marketing in the beauty industry. Whilst it’s still a relatively unutilised yet powerful tool, brands who have recognised its potential have really reaped the benefits.

From their position in search results to trending topics and encouraging user-generated content, we’ve compiled a list of six truly great beauty marketing campaigns, sharing why they’ve been successful, from a marketing perspective.

1. Inclusivity And Instagram: Fenty’s 50 Shades For Everyone

Instagram and beauty brands go hand in hand, as a visual platform brands can enjoy significant exposure. So, when one of the world’s biggest pop stars launched a beauty brand, it was always going to do well. 

Rihanna decided to run the campaign her way and focused solely on social media marketing, using Instagram and Twitter to build interest in her new products with teaser imagery. In February 2017, Rihanna used a simple teaser image of her wearing a pink lipstick on an account called FentyBeautyCosmetics which was unverified at the time and had a very small following- including the global superstar herself, letting the buzz quickly gather online.

The brand: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

The campaign: Fenty’s foundation shades for everyone. Launching over 40 shades of foundation with the message that Fenty is for everyone, Fenty’s first launch was entirely digital and used a mix of social media and influencer marketing. 

The measure of success:  Gaining 1.4 million followers in just four days.

Since then, Fenty has gained another 9.4 million followers on Instagram alone, and regularly uses influencer marketing. Diversity within the beauty and skincare industry has traditionally been limited, so Rihanna’s approach to create products for everyone and market it using a visual app like Instagram is very effective.

Fenty’s first-ever campaign was significant as a solely digital campaign in 2016 when most other beauty brands were still shying away from using it. Not only did this give their campaign a competitive edge, but their revolutionary take on social media pushed it miles ahead of any competition. 

This campaign was brave and it paid off, as Rihanna knew her audiences well and where they spend most of their time when looking for make-up and beauty advice. Not only was it a huge hit, Rihanna’s name was enough to really attract and engage audiences quickly, proving she knew what would work best for her audiences.

Source: Instagram/fentybeauty

2. Utilising User-generated Content: Glossier Body Hero

The brand: Glossier

The campaign: Trendy brand Glossier used five ‘regular’ women from the US for a 10 day campaign promoting their ‘Body Hero’ duo of oil cleanser and body lotion. 

The measure of success: Over 3,000 images of user-generated content (UGC) were shared across Instagram and over 5,000 across all social platforms using the #BodyHero hashtag. This makes it one of the most popular user-generated campaigns for a new product launch. 

Across social channels Twitter and Instagram, Glossier published content that was a blend of its own marketing imagery and retweets and shares from customers who were eager to share their own pictures with the products.

Source: Glossier

According to AlistDaily, Glossier earned $33,000 in the first week of launching the Body Hero campaign, with the majority of that being from online sales driven by social media.

Inclusivity is a big driver for user-generated content, it’s a simple yet effective way to gain brand exposure across multiple channels which feeds into the high demand for peer feedback or reviews on products from consumers. All of this creates a complementary cycle brands can really capitalise on.

Glossier are no strangers to listening closely to what their customers want online, and they often use their social media following to help shape their product lines. So, when launching their Body Hero duo, it made sense that the brand turned to its own customers to help the campaign succeed.

3. Moving Up The Search Results Pages: Spectrum

The brand: Spectrum 

The campaign: Beauty brush company Spectrum collaborated with influencer Katie Jane Huges to launch a collection in February 2021. 

Katie already had a substantial reputation as a makeup artist for the stars, and since moving to the US her status has continued to grow within the industry. It made sense for indie brand Spectrum to collaborate with an influencer for brand exposure and the results confirm the campaign really paid off!

The measure of success: Ranking #2 in organic search for ‘makeup brushes’…

… Plus a 188% increase in organic transactions.

The brand saw a significant jump from the second page of results to the first, the most significant metric for Spectrum, bringing them much more organic traffic and exposure in search, since February 2021.

Spectrum’s domain grew to a DA score of 55, which is huge for an ‘indie’ brand. Off the back of the campaign with Katie, Spectrum also gained around 70 backlinks from sites including Who What Wear, Glamour and Byrdie.

The graph above shows the searches peak early this year (2021) for ‘Katie Jane Hughes’ more so than Spectrum, showing the power of influencer marketing. This collaboration benefitted from Katie’s reputation, as Spectrum was able to claim the traffic of those searches even though it wasn’t their brand name being searched. 

Off the back of this, Spectrum enjoyed a huge 436% increase in organic revenue and 188% increase of organic (non-paid media) transactions from search which for a smaller brand is a huge reward and really highlights the power of influencer marketing on social media.

This post has x3 times as many likes as the average post during that time frame

4. Banking On The Backlinks: Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty

Another solid example of a pop star successfully reading her audience well is Selena Gomez and her beauty brand Rare Beauty whose mission is to change the conversation on mental health and self-acceptance via beauty products.

The Brand: Rare Beauty 

The campaign: Rare Beauty launches via social media with dormant website

The measure of success:  The website gained a huge 8K backlinks even before products were available. Pre-launch in Feb 2020, there was already a lot of buzz on social media about Rare Beauty. Selena Gomez got a lot of press interest simply talking about it on her own social accounts which caused the spike in third-party sites creating content linking back to the new website.

Source: Instagram

Backlinks from online press are not only great for brand exposure, but they’re a win for search engine optimisation too. One of the known ranking factors on Google’s radar is backlinks, and if many other sites link to yours that is a strong signal that your website is favoured, signalling to Google that it is important and therefore should rank highly.

Interest for her beauty brand has continued to grow, with global search for the term ‘rare beauty’ rising significantly in June 2021 after the singer shared her products were ‘going international’.

Source: Google trends

5. Kylie Cosmetics Relaunch Crashes Out

The brand: Kylie Cosmetics (relaunch)

The Campaign: Kylie Cosmetics ran a relaunch campaign on YouTube in July 2021, introducing a new formula for all products as they’re now vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and paraben-free. 

The campaign began on 9th July, with the first in a three-part ‘insider’ video on YouTube featuring Kylie, Kris and even Stormi. The campaign tapped into the hugely popular and globally recognised ‘KUWTK’ (Keeping Up With The Kardashians) fanbase with an ‘insiders’ view of why Kylie has decided to take this route with her global enterprise beauty brand.

The measure of success:  In just 10 days, this video racked up over 4.7 million views and, when the launch went live on 15 July, the Kylie Cosmetics website crashed as so many people were trying to use it.

Source: YouTube

As if that wasn’t enough, the reality star’s website has also gained over 8.8k referring domains link to in just three months prior to the relaunch. The relaunch on YouTube has proven to be a big hit for search too, with a significant growth from June for Kylie Cosmetics.

Source: Google trends

6. Accidental User-Generated Content: DECIEM’S The Ordinary

The brand: The Ordinary

The Campaign: Not intentional from the brand at all, a TikToker called Kaelyn Whitee (@kaelynwhitee) shared her own experience of her skin complaints after using The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, in February 2020.

The measure of success: Kaelyn’s video has been viewed over 3.5 million times since she posted it. The video itself drove a huge 426% in organic sales for AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution in the 2 weeks that followed, which translated into over 100,000 product sales.

This is a prime example of just how powerful user-generated content can be for brands and using a fairly new social platform, TikTok, The Ordinary was accidentally able to reach a whole new potential audience for their products- without even trying!

The key part of the success of user-led content like this is the ‘real people’ story behind it and the results Kaelyn is sharing. Her ‘before and after’ approach is worth far more than any anonymous reviews from customers as TikTok users can see the results for themselves coupled with the authenticity of Kaelyn just simply sharing her own experience without being endorsed.

Source: Google Trends

Since this unexpected viral success in February 2020, The Ordinary has been able to maintain the natural momentum in search trends, as the chart shows above. 

The tag #theordinary on TikTok alone has also since gained 377.9million views without any kind of paid endorsement or campaign pushing it! That’s the true power of user-generated content on visual social platforms like TikTok.

Make Consumers The Heart Of Your Campaigns

One of the main conclusive points from the campaigns above is that consumers should be at the heart of all marketing activity. Whether it’s via social media, influencer marketing, UGC or the press, each of the examples above share a common thread of inclusivity – using ‘regular’ people for product launches or showcasing the brand is paying close attention to a huge gap in the consumer market.

As more of our audiences consume content, shop, and discover new brands and products online, the need to invest time and money into digital touchpoints continues to grow. Whether it’s an ecommerce website, social platform, or instant messaging service, businesses need to harness the power of digital to reach their audience, and as more businesses join the race, the online space becomes competitive.

That’s where we step in.

The campaigns we’ve showcased aren’t a fluke, they’ve been created from cleverly considered strategies, likely put together by marketing professionals. 

As performance marketing experts, we can guide your digital marketing strategy so that you reap the benefits of digital. We’ll put you in front of your audience, help you gain key exposure in Google search and amplify your campaigns.

Let our team take away the stress of trying to navigate digital marketing and instead enjoy the many benefits of working with a team of pros who’ll do it for you. 

Take a look at our case studies, and get in touch to discover how we can help your brand compete with the likes in this round-up.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Wellbeing

How Instagram Influences – The Power Of The ‘Gram On Consumers

From finding the perfect lighting for your next selfie to downloading the latest filter, social media platform Instagram has had a huge impact on our daily lives since it was first launched in 2010. Since then, it’s become one of the most downloaded apps in the world with over 1 billion users globally logging on to scroll through their feed every day, making it one of the most influential platforms in the world. 

Over the last decade, social media has had a significant impact on shaping and influencing cultural movements, trends and even consumer behaviours but has the instant and almost addictive access to so much content been a positive change to younger generations? We explore the influence Instagram has over particular age groups, whether it does affect mental health and how an image-based app has shaped consumer behaviour- particularly through the lockdown.

Who Uses Instagram?

Instagram recently revealed that 71% of their users were under the age of 35, with ages 25-34 spending the longest amount on their app, compared to all other age groups. This age group known as Generation Z, clock up an average of 32 minutes a day scrolling through images and viewing stories with the majority of users identifying as female. This is significant when it comes to profiling audiences for brands looking to reach new groups of audiences on one of the most popular social platforms. Hashtags are another huge part of the platform too, with over 1 million users using the #meme every day in 2020. That’s a lot of memes!

But it’s not just the positive impact Instagram can have on our daily lives, as the more serious side of being constantly exposed to ‘picture-perfect’ lifestyles and filtered images of the ideal body also has a direct impact on users mental wellbeing. As a social media app, Instagram has truly evolved from the picture-only app that used to be all about avocado on toast and dog snaps to a space where the pressure to impress has surpassed any other social media platform trends.

Instagram in 2021 is much more about clever imagery, super-slick video editing, and capturing that seemingly envious perfect moment, and living up to these very high and impossible expectations have certainly taken its toll on younger audiences. It also actively promotes a certain type of lifestyle that appears ‘perfect’ and with over 1 million posts with the #instagramperfect tag, that strive to take a popular picture isn’t going away any time soon. Over the years, Instagram has become a platform that actively encourages people to share parts of their lives that they may not have previously thought of but with this striving for perfection comes unrealistic expectations for followers. With so many of us admitting to using Instagram every day, it can feel almost impossible to avoid its pulling power.

With the rise of Instagram, a new type of super-user, known as an ‘influencer’ has emerged too, sharing impossibly idealistic lives, careers, and homes with their eager following whilst making huge amounts of money from sponsored posts. Influencers have gained huge exposure on platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, sharing every intimate detail of their glamourized lives and creating an illusion of the ideal life. Many brands actively use influencers to increase their potential audience reach, sending out free products or gifting PR event tickets in return for exposure across the influencer’s account to their thousands of followers.

How Does Instagram Affect Mental Health?

The aimless scrolling and anonymous approval many users crave from their followers engaging and interacting with posts have been compared to similar feelings of addiction, triggering more negative emotions for users and creating a feeling they’re missing out on something better. It’s, therefore, no surprise Instagram has often been referred to as the worst social app for having a detrimental impact on mental health. With the average person in the UK checking in 28 times a day, the repetition of ideal imagery and ‘perfect’ lives has had a huge impact on self-esteem, anxieties and in particular, body image. 

A study by The UK’s Royal Society for Public Health looked at younger users and their social media habits, and the results were probably not too surprising. The consultants found that Instagram and other social platforms were directly associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying and even “FOMO.” The study also concluded that social media can also foster a negative body image and poor sleep habits in younger people, and with such a heavy focus on aesthetics on Instagram, it’s really no surprise people feel pressure to look a certain way. Whilst there’s no denying the negative impact social media has on users of all ages, there are some positive movements growing in trends that appear too.  

The Influence On Body Image From Social Media

In terms of aesthetics, there’s no getting away from the fact that ‘perfection thrives’ on a platform like Instagram, that actively encourages people to add filters, enhance their pictures and even gain more exposure the more engagement their posts make. Creating completely fake and unachievable ‘body goals’ has had a huge impact on youngers users, who are often replicating what they’re seeing on their feeds into their own lives. Around the world, psychologists have conducted a number of studies on people who regularly use social media sites and have a negative perception of their own body with the general mix being equal between men and women feeling bad about their appearances as a result.

Whilst there’s no denying the negative impact social media has on users of all ages, there are some positive movements growing in trends that appear too. With over 15 million hashtags using #bodypositive too, it’s clear has been a shift in how users feel about seeing just one type of body type on the platform. 

Having direct access to such huge, impressionable consumers who are continuously hooked to scrolling, there’s no surprise that so many brands have recognised the huge selling power that Instagram has, using influencers to help build on a reputation and share results of using a certain product or wearing a certain item of clothing. With influencers profiting from #spon posts that appear to have ‘transformed’ or helped them achieve a certain weight loss or physical appearances making it hard to escape the sky-high expectations. Whilst there is still a long way to go to help younger generations from being so directly impacted by their social feeds, there is a wave of ‘body positive’ influencers who share unfiltered and natural images of themselves. 

As well as sharing selfies, the 500,000-strong influencers are also actively advertising products for companies who have recognised the pulling power Instagram has for selling too.

So, how do brands fit into this new age of consumerism, and how can they harness just a bit of the power and influence Instagram commands daily from over 1 billion users?

How Beauty Brands Can Harness The Power 

As the 6th most visited website in the world, encouraging users to click through posts to related websites is hugely significant for brands looking to invest in their consumer journeys. Some skincare and beauty brands have launched their entire stock solely on Instagram, (see Kylie Jenner’s beauty line that has the biggest following on Instagram ) relying on visual reels and videos of people using and talking about their products as well as targeting the younger generations. Utilising the power of appealing to generation Z has undoubtedly paid for the digitally-savvy brands using active trends to showcase their own products.  Skincare and beauty brands have really benefitted from the ‘selfie’ phase on Instagram and coupled with the emphasis on wellness and self-care throughout the 2020 lockdowns, the industry has grown exponentially.

In 2019, a study revealed beauty brands performed best on the platform, generating more engagement per post on Instagram compared to other social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In fact, there are over 80% of users actively searching for products across Instagram and over 130 million people clicking directly through shopping posts, it’s clear there’s huge potential for brands old and emerging to get their products in front of potential new audiences. Brands can position their products in front of a huge global audience, choosing ‘influencers’ to sponsor posts and generally brag about how good their products are- ideal for skincare and beauty brands who always want to demonstrate how good their collections are but may be restricted by the presence, the lockdown or lack of physical stores.

As of 2020, Kylie Cosmetics was ranked as the most popular beauty brand on Instagram with 24.2 million followers, with MAC Cosmetics coming second with 23.66 million, which is a huge achievement for a beauty company with no reputation or physical shop. Arguably, Kylie benefitted from using her own following of 201 million to help boost the success of the beauty products but it was a tactic that clearly paid off as she surpassed all other beauty brands and gained the largest following to date. 

There’s no denying Instagram is a powerful social network that enables brands to connect with digital audiences, and beauty and skincare brands have the huge advantage of being visually focused- from packaging to makeover results, consumers are able to see the products in use. It could be down to the power of influencing so many people via just one platform, or perhaps the bare-all approach so many users take when sharing their favourite skincare and beauty products? Whatever the key ingredient is, as of 2019 there were 3.7 billion brand-sponsored posts and that figure is set to grow over 6 billion after 2020. Instagram really is a dynamic tool for visually marketing all kinds of products, reaching far more audiences than most other traditional methods have.

Conclusion: With more users shifting from ‘picture perfect’ to real-life, brands need to be conscious of their target audiences and how their content will affect them. Skincare and beauty brands have really benefitted from the ‘selfie’ phase on Instagram and coupled with the emphasis on wellness and self-care throughout the 2020 lockdowns, the industry has grown exponentially. For brands recognising the opportunity influencer marketing can have for reaching new audiences, Instagram is an integral part of their overall marketing strategy and is undeniably delivering results for skincare and beauty brands globally. Consumers on Instagram are searching for authentic and high-performing products, approved by their favourite influencers, and this is the huge demand skincare and beauty brands need to make.

Whilst there’s no denying the negative impact platforms such as Instagram has on younger audiences, creating a lot more pressure to look a certain way or live certain lifestyles thanks to the glamorised images but things are starting to change. Filters and photoshop still play a part in a lot of the content that’s shared, however, users are starting to demand more authenticity from their feeds which means brands need to be more considered with their content too.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Beauty stockists; The Winners and Losers of 2020

As lockdown began in March 2020, the UK beauty industry saw a significant increase in consumers shopping for beauty and skincare products online, with multi-brand retailers emerging as some of the firm favourites for beauty customers of all ages. As restrictions prevented us from physically shopping in department stores, buying and shopping for beauty and skincare moved online, with ecommerce beauty stockists emerging as winners from a global pandemic. 

From a huge range of stock, custom discount offers and monthly subscription models, beauty stockists have directly responded to a shift in consumer behaviours and buying habits, offering consumers a wide range of brands in one place. We’ve compared some of the largest online non-pharma beauty stockists in the UK; Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty and Look Fantastic, and analysed some key digital marketing metrics to identify how well they fared throughout 2020.

Beauty Bay Lose Out 

Before 2020, UK-based stockist Beauty Bay was dominating searches and enjoying a relatively quieter market for their share of the online beauty market. The brand maintained a consistent lead for search compared to other beauty stockists, until the start of 2020 where their winning streak started to nose dive.

Created in 1999 in Manchester by David Gabbe, Beauty Bay rapidly gained a solid reputation for having a huge range of over 10,000 products at competitive prices. Coupled with a solid social media marketing approach, the brand went from strength to strength partnering with YouTube star Jeffree Star, sending the brand global and maintaining interest reflected in search trends.

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However, fast-forward to March 2020 and the search trends tell a different story, with other beauty retailers creeping onto the scene. As 2020 progressed, brands Look Fantastic, Cult Beauty and Feel Unique began to overtake the once dominant beauty retailer. One of the USP’s for Beauty Bay was the selection of products- boasting over 10,000 in one place, but as the UK plunged into lockdown Look Fantastic, made a huge leap to overcome to become the most in-demand stockist online. 

Offering consumers more than double the products Beauty Bay can, Look Fantastic experienced a 200% year-on-year increase in search in 2020, whilst Beauty Bay experienced a 33% decrease in search volume for their brand name. 

So, what happened to Beauty Bay?

One suggestion could be the choice; as Look Fantastic brings a huge 22,000 products to consumers. Many of these are new product launches and emerging brands like GLOSSYBOX attracting new customers as well as pleasing their existing ones. The retailer also spends a lot of time and effort on their promotional offers and general digital marketing activity, developing a solid presence across social media channels, creating customised discount emails and daily offers for their customers. Like Beauty Bay, their entire business is modelled on only having an ecommerce presence, but they maintain intrigue and interest among skincare fans by featuring emerging brands and products before other retailers. Could this be one of the main attractions for continuing to appeal to new customers too? 

And it’s not just Look Fantastic enjoying a winning streak throughout 2020 with search trends, as Cult Beauty’s year-on-year brand name increased by 82% and Feel Unique by 22%. There is clearly appetite within the beauty industry for a multiple brand platform that offers variety, discounts and new brands.

Look Fantastic Winning In SERPs

It’s not just in search trends that highlights the real winners and losers of beauty, as we delve into keyword ranking for the leaving beauty stockists. Keeping up their winning streak, Look Fantastic dominates organic search results too, appearing in the top 6 results for huge brands such as ‘la roche posay’, ‘cerave’ and ‘urban decay’. They’ve combined a clear onpage keyword strategy from URL down, capturing the brand clearly on it’s own dedicated landing page and featuring around 150 word intro for each- a winning combination for search.

This solid presence in search results will be generating a substantial amount of organic traffic to the Look Fantastic site, potentially even pulling users away from the brands own sites as the appeal of discounts lure them in. 

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Whilst Beauty Bay held its own at #1 throughout 2020, many of the keywords they’ve conquered in search results are more generic and less brand based. There’s also evidence on this dashboard of declines in website traffic overall and “lost” keywords too. Digging a little deeper, it’s clear Beauty Bay have dropped keyword positions throughout their 50K ranking keywords, but could this be down to a new marketing strategy? 

From our research, there is evidence to suggest that Beauty Bay may be shifting their strategy away from super generic terms like ‘foundation’- a keyword that was lost- to target brand and product searches instead. Their on-page focus isn’t as slick as Look Fantastic either, with merged URLs and no clear keyword layout. Most of the landing pages have no blurb or intro content either making them thin.

They’re also focusing more on retailer-led searches such as ‘Jeffree Star’, ‘mario badescu’ and ‘revolution makeup’, which suggests Beauty Bay are wanting to capture consumers at the top of the funnel as they research new brands and products.

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Nobody saw a global pandemic coming, so it’d have been impossible to create a robust marketing strategy but what is clear from our research is:

  • Brands who were proactive with all of their digital assets really benefited- combining solid on-page optimisation with consistent email marketing
  • At a time when consumers are most likely to be price-sensitive, pushing promos and discount codes really impacted consumer buying

Known for their endless offers and discounts outside of a pandemic, Look Fantastic were the clear go-to online beauty stockists during a difficult year. As well as benefiting from increased visibility in search and well-optimised landing pages, the retailer also increased the level of discounts available to customers. Championing their ‘20% off your first order’, free shipping and many other promotions scattered throughout the website, Look Fantastic continued to entice a variety of consumers to spend their money despite living through economically difficult time.

Whilst conducting our research, we also looked into each retailer’s response to the pandemic, with all beauty stockists openly supporting and celebrating key workers. Look Fantastic dedicated 22% discount for NHS key workers whilst Beauty Bay offered a 10% discount. One of the ‘losing’ retailers for referring to the pandemic was Cult Beauty, who had clearly decided against offering key workers discounts.

As a veteran in the UK beauty retailer space, it would appear Beauty Bay were perhaps focusing on a new marketing approach, as their visibility in search continued to decline throughout 2020. It may have been an increase in brand awareness for the other beauty retailers or perhaps due to their internal strategy change? What is clear is brands that were seen to react quickly and really observe the ‘feeling in the room’ benefited far more than those who perhaps sat back on their previous successes and didn’t adapt to the demands of a pandemic.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Black Friday 2020: The Best Beauty Campaigns

Like it or not, Black Friday is one of the biggest dates in the marketing calendar and, despite the disruption of Covid, Black Friday 2020 was no exception. The UK was predicted to spend a monumental £6 billion in the Black Friday sales this year, a figure even higher than 2019’s estimated £5.6 billion.

Black Friday for Beauty Brands: How Did the Industry Do?

When we look at 2020’s Black Friday statistics, the beauty industry really shines. Health and beauty was one of the top-performing sectors for the retail holiday this year, seeing a 22% revenue increase compared to Black Friday 2019. This trend sits in line with our analysis of the beauty industry throughout 2020, which has shown sustained higher search levels for beauty and skincare.

Not only did the beauty industry boom during the first Covid lockdown, but higher online search and purchase levels have remained as the months have worn on, proving the opportunity to increase profits in the beauty industry is ripe for the taking.

Read more: ‘Is Skincare Still Booming?’

However, the tide is turning when it comes to how beauty and lifestyle brands mark Black Friday, and it’s no longer just about profit. Black Friday marketing strategy has changed and now, more than ever, brands are choosing less sales-focused campaigns. From embracing the idea of ‘Green Friday’ with climate-positive campaigns, to launching charitable intiatives and running giveaways, the Black Friday landscape is diversifying.

So, which beauty brands really stood out when it came to Black Friday 2020? With the discount weekend now behind us, we’ve gathered together our favourite creative Black Friday campaigns. Who knows – they may inspire you for 2021.

3. Kohl’s – Giftcard Giveaway

For Kohl’s, Black Friday social media campaigns are the main event. As well as offering the usual discounts, Kohl’s typically also runs giftcard giveaways and shareable promotions across its social channels, offering prizes in exchange for engagement and follows. This year, the giftcard giveaway took centre stage on Cyber Monday.

Offering low-value prizes like this is a great strategy for growing your audience, at least in the short term. The task of holding onto the boosted audience numbers is more of a challenge. However, maintaining a strong social media plan and consistently posting high-quality content is a solid strategy and can really pay dividends.

2. Spectrum – Black Friday in Colour

Vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand Spectrum did as their name suggests and added a spectrum of colour to Black Friday this year. Starting with ‘Pink Wednesday’ on Wednesday 25 November, Spectrum’s week-long event featured colourful discounts on a range of brand new beauty bundles, launched specifically for the event. While there was still a focus on discounts, the main draw of Spectrum’s Black Friday campaign was the product launch element. Spectrum paired their on-site activity with social media giveaways, which helped build a buzz around the brand.

1. Deciem: KNOWvember

Deciem, the parent company of cult makeup brand The Ordinary, opted for a month-long event instead of the frantic weekend we’re used to. Dubbed “KNOWvember”, the campaign aimed to highlight the importance of conscious consumption, with the idea that “skincare purchases should be based on education over impulse”.

Deciem created a mix of educational resources throughout November, from skincare routines for different skin types to Q&As with product experts. All of these resources are still available on the Deciem website, so the content could potentially attract good traffic long after the Black Friday buzz has gone.

How Will Black Friday 2021 Look?

Since the US holiday was adopted in the UK, Black Friday has been dominated by brands out-competing each other to offer the biggest discounts. However, the campaigns above prove that showstopping sales are no longer the only Black Friday marketing strategy.

As consumers become more conscious of the ethical and environmental impacts of their purchases, it’s likely that ‘anti Black Friday’ campaigns, charitable initiatives and cause marketing will become more common – and personally we think that’s pretty wonderful.

And, while you may not opt for a a fully anti Black Friday campaign (like Patagonia’s newsworthy decision to donate 100% of its Black Friday profits), switching up your Black Friday marketing strategy could keep you ahead of the curve, and give you some newsworthy content to share in the process.

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