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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
As if that wasn’t enough, the reality star’s website has also gained over 8.8k referring domains link to kyliecosmetics.com 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.
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.
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.
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