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The Latest Look: The Rise of Accessibility in Beauty

Accessibility is a concept that’s growing in the beauty industry. For brands, improving accessibility allows them to broaden their customer base, which is always attractive. But improving accessibility goes beyond commercial reasoning – it’s simply the right thing to do. 

Google Trends: Searches for Accessibility between 30th June 2016 – 30th June 2022

With the goal of cohesive representation and inclusivity, accessibility acts as a shift towards a landscape that caters to everyone.

Alongside our recent whitepaper on inclusivity, we’ve taken a look back at the rise of accessibility in the beauty industry, showcasing a few brands that are doing it right.

What is Accessible Marketing?

In marketing, the term ‘accessible’ is often used to describe the actions of a brand that embraces the diversity of its customer base. This could be anything from having a website that can be used by those who are visually impaired, to having a product portfolio that doesn’t discriminate against certain members of society.

Generally, accessibility forms a part of a wider corporate social responsibility model, removing conscious and unconscious bias and ensuring opportunities are inclusive to everyone.

Keeping Up with Demand

According to Global Web Index, we see that 57% of adults believe beauty products are needed for people with mobility challenges. Coupling this with the additional spending power of those with disabilities, this opens up a major opportunity for upcoming and existing beauty brands to adopt into their own marketing efforts.

So, how exactly can they keep up with the demand?

1. Deep Customer Research

When you’ve been working in an industry for many years, it can be easy to get swept up in your own knowledge and make assumptions. It’s a tricky scenario, and the first step to solving it is to relinquish this judgement.

The journey to becoming a more accessible beauty brand starts when you give up your preconceived notions and biases about society. This can only begin following some deep market research that allows you to understand who your customers are, what challenges they face, and what they expect from you.

2. Ask Your Customers

Of course, research can only get us so far. To truly make an impact on your brand, the best people to ask would be your audience. Feedback forms and customer support emails are invaluable to any business, especially one trying to be more accessible.

Ensuring that you’re asking the right customers is essential too. Getting a wide variety of perspectives across genders, cultures and abilities makes it more likely that you don’t follow through on biases you and your team may have.

With this information, you’ll be able to diagnose specific problems your customers have identified while navigating your shop floor or website; placing you in a much more prepared position to make changes.

3. Make Adjustments

Now that you have seen the error in your ways, you’ll be in a much better position to reflect and introduce some much-needed changes.

If there’s a particular aspect of your products that your customers struggle with (or can’t find), now would be the time to rectify it. People with colour vision deficiency may find it hard to tell your products apart due to the contrast ratio setup, or perhaps your website is hard to navigate for other users with visual impairments.

Responsibilities for making these changes will fall across the business, not just the marketing department. For instance, we’ve previously been asked to ensure that a client shows as ‘Wheelchair Friendly’ on Google My Business, when actually that is something that can only be listed once independent accessibility experts have verified the building as such.

Does Accessibility Affect SEO?

For a more tailored response, I had a chat with our Senior Technical SEO Specialist, Beth Barnham. She said:

“Accessibility isn’t a tick box exercise for SEO. It won’t increase the rankings (especially as it’s not currently a ranking factor) but it will make your website accessible to users with disabilities. There are 14.6 million people with a disability in the UK (Scope), more than 2 million have a visual impairment (NHS). This leaves a massive market with a lot of spending power, being almost completely ignored.”

But visual aids aren’t the only things that can make websites more accessible, Beth adds:

“There are other use cases too including those users who are neurodivergent, users who have dyslexia and more who may benefit from accessing your site in a different way. Ensuring that all images have alt text to describe the image itself is one easy way to start making your site more accessible. Other ways include ensuring that all headers are correctly tagged up as such and are sequential.”

How to Spot Website Accessibility Problems

The best way to test if your website is accessible is by trying to navigate through every page using just your keyboard. Pressing in tab and moving around with arrow keys should allow you to highlight links and headings; click-through to other pages; and, if possible, complete a purchase.

Of course, some accessibility issues are a little more complex, and can only be uncovered through a full site audit. One of our favourite tools for checking accessibility issues is the WAVE plug-in for Google Chrome.

The tool checks for things that are not immediately apparent to the untrained eye. For example, if images have alt tags or any structural elements severely impacting your website’s pagination. While these things might seem small, combined, they add up to a sizable impact.

Accessible Marketing Examples

Here are a few of our favourite examples of accessible marketing in the beauty industry:

1. Fenty Beauty

It would be remiss for us to not mention this expertly achieved feat of accessibility by Fenty Beauty. Launched in 2017, Fenty Beauty is a line of beauty products owned by Rihanna that is aimed solely at marginalised members of society such as black women.

What makes Fenty so great is its simplicity; Rihanna spotted a problem and solved it. The problem being that for many years, the beauty industry catered mainly for fairer-skinned individuals, with only specialised products being available for black women.

Fenty Beauty acted as a major starting point for further conversations around inclusive beauty.

2. Grace Beauty

Grace Beauty is an up and coming makeup brand with products that are designed solely for those with physical disabilities who find it hard to use traditional products.

Grace Beauty identified that there were a vast amount of people with physical disabilities who were unable to hold and properly use beauty products – and who weren’t being catered for by mainstream suppliers. The company then solved it elegantly via intuitive additions to existing products such as rings for fingers and rubberised grips.

3. Kohl Kreatives

Of course, accessibility doesn’t start and finish with products. Nowadays, even company websites can make some quick changes to improve their navigational ability for those who are visually impaired.

Take Kohl Kreatives for example. Not only do Kohl produce beauty products designed with ergonomics in mind, but it has also come out as one of the most accessible sites we’ve come across in various testing suites. Our findings show only 11 issues, which, compared to the usual 100+ issues found on regular sites, is impressive.  

Is Your Accessibility Lacking?

Could it be time to up your accessibility ratings? While tests are one way of checking things, sometimes you need to call in the experts. If your website is suffering, make sure you partner with an agency that specialises in SEO for beauty brands to keep your products looking both great, and accessible. For some further reading, consider checking out our recent white paper: Beauty for All: The Makings of an Inclusive Industry.

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The Latest Look: The Beauty of NFTs

Alongside the meteoric rise in cryptocurrencies over the past few years, there comes a new form of digital possession in the guise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Despite being nothing more than a virtual asset, NFTs have garnered much interest in mainstream media due to their inherent complexity and user popularity.

Naturally, businesses and celebrities have been quick to tap into this new phenomenon with their own takes on NFTs, just like they have with cryptocurrency.

With this in mind, we wonder: is there potential for NFTs in the beauty industry?

Join us as we question the validity of NFTs, while looking at brands that have already began to dabble in the subject.

What is an NFT?

NFT stands for ‘non-fungible token’. The name derives from an economic term used to describe something unique that can’t be replicated. As part of the Ethereum blockchain network, NFTs are digital assets that can be bought and traded in return for cryptocurrency.

In the beginning, NFTs were thought to be the next big thing for artists looking to sell unique copies of their work online. Since this time, NFTs have had upwards of hundreds of millions of pounds poured into them by both buyers and creators looking to get a piece of the action.

Due to their unique nature, NFTs create a sense of exclusivity wherein buyers can rest assured knowing they own something that no one else does. This scarcity has driven the value of NFTs tenfold, with some art collections being sold for upwards of $91.8m.

Although NFTs are primarily intended to be new and unique, some pieces of internet history have been turned into NFTs and sold at impressive markups. For instance, the ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ video that went viral on YouTube in 2009 recently sold for £500,000 to an anonymous bidder after being converted to an NFT. As a result, the original YouTube video has been unpublished from the platform by request of the new owner, which at one point had amassed 878m views.

How are NFTs Created?

Given the technological roots of NFTs, the process of creating one these days is relatively straightforward.

Much like forging a coin and placing it into circulation, the creation of an NFT is called ‘minting’ and follows a four-step process:

  1. Choose a blockchain marketplace and gain access
  2. Upload a high-quality representation of your NFT and give it a name
  3. Pay the listing/gas fees
  4. Wait for your NFT to be created

What Makes an NFT Valuable?

Without getting too far into the specifics, there are four main factors that influence the value of an NFT:

  • Potential value
  • Perceived value
  • Market values
  • Underlying value

Having said this, the value of an NFT is ultimately determined by its rarity. Sure, some are decided upon aesthetics and predicted value by market watchers, but largely, the rarer the NFT; the higher its value.

The Brands Successfully Using NFTs

Unsurprisingly, a few beauty brands have already started jumping on the NFT bandwagon. Here are a few examples:

Valdé Beauty

Luxury, refillable makeup brand Valdé Beauty is one of the first brands to hone in on the success of NFTs. In January of 2021, the brand launched its Divine collection of NFT artworks starting at $1,200. The NFTs feature deepfake-inspired digital characters donning outfits inspired by precious minerals.

Owners of these pieces are granted exclusive admission to upcoming Valdé events, perks and access to a:

“Thriving community supporting women beauty entrepreneurs and artists.” – Soraya Alcalá, Estilos Media

Clinique

Global beauty brand Clinique has gone totally brand-centric for its first foray into the NFT hype.

Rather than selling for profit, Clinique has decided to give NFTs away to shoppers that have signed up to an awards scheme granting subscribers ten years of free beauty products. There are three NFTs available, all of which are based on Clinique’s most popular ranges of all time.

NARS

NARS Cosmetics has taken a similar route to Valdé beauty for its NFT, with a slight differentiation that makes these offerings feel more like a piece of art rather than a community-based movement.

NARS commissioned three artists (Nina Kraviz, Sara Shakeel, and Azéde Jean-Pierre) to create their own interpretation of an NFT based on the brand’s most successful product line. The first of these NFTs was offered for free in order to break down the barrier to entry for NARS fans, with the remaining two being sold for $50 and $500 respectively.

What Can Beauty Brands Learn From NFTs?

All three of the aforementioned brands have gone in different directions with their NFT efforts, each of which provides us with a few learnings to take forward:

They Build Communities

The first and perhaps most important factor about NFTs revolves around the sense of community that they create. The biggest example of this is the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). Hailed as the world’s most successful NFT collection, the BAYC comprises thousands of individually generated, unique designs of cartoon apes wearing different styles of clothing.

Owners of bored apes are granted access to an exclusive online community. Rather than explaining it ourselves, we find this excerpt taken from the BAYC website does it perfectly:

When you buy a Bored Ape, you’re not simply buying an avatar or a provably-rare piece of art. You are gaining membership access to a club whose benefits and offerings will increase over time. Your Bored Ape can serve as your digital identity, and open digital doors for you.

boredapeyachtclub.com

Ring any bells? Community is a major factor for beauty brands, and we know this through the many theories formulated around tribal marketing practice. Could NFTs hold even more untapped potential in this regard?

They’re Still New

As the saying goes, if you’re not first, you’re last. NFTs are still fresh in everyone’s minds, with news articles coming out on the subject seemingly every day. The result of this being that many of us are still trying to comprehend the full potential of NFTs, something that is likely to continue for some time.

What this does mean is that there are no rules around NFTs yet. Creators are free to try whatever they wish to appeal to the minds (and wallets) of crypto-fans. Who’s to say the next big thing couldn’t be from a beauty brand?

They Encourage Brand Representation

Due to the high costs involved with NFTs, you can be sure that anyone who owns one is seriously devoted to the collection and/or artist behind them. Let’s face it; other than the satisfaction of ownership, NFTs contribute little value to an individual’s life. So, when someone decides to buy one, it’s a sign of brand affinity like no other.

In March of 2022, Twitter famously unveiled a new feature allowing its users to

brandish their NFTs on their profile pages. We see this as paving the way for NFT owners to express their devotion to brands in a very public way.

They’re Profitable

In a very selfish manner, NFTs are financially intertwined. For very little money, beauty brands can repurpose legacy product photography, shades of makeup and a smattering of other types of imagery in return for profit.

This money can then be used for seemingly anything. We see many socially-aware campaigns resulting from this through charitable donations, but also even more companies taking a similar route as Clinique through incentivised data collection.

Will NFTs Be Here to Stay?

At the moment, it’s hard to gauge the level of success that NFTs will have in the content marketing side of the beauty industry. One thing’s for certain: like any new frontier, a lot of trial and error will take place before we truly begin to realise the potential of such an exciting development.

Stay up to date with the very latest trends in the beauty industry right here at Foundation. If you want to learn more about tech and beauty, have a read through our latest whitepaper: The Future Face Of Beauty: The Technology Transforming Us

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The Latest Look: What happened to the hunt for Beauty Advent Calendars in 2021?

Over the last few years, there’s been a growing trend of beauty and skincare brands launching beauty advent calendars, with the elaborate (think Liberty of London) and luxurious (The White Company) becoming more popular than ever with consumers. 

We were recently asked to share our data for the most searched beauty advent calendars for 2021 here revealing the most popular brands in the market. Using these insights we further explore why beauty calendars are proving so popular and who’s ahead in search volumes when it comes to luxury advent gifts.

The rise in self-gifting and why the beauty industry has benefited from this beauty advent trend

According to a survey by YouGov, 49% of British adults were due to receive an advent calendar in 2019, with women more likely to invest in an advent calendar at 33% compared to men at 16%. It would seem self-gifting an advent calendar has fast become one of the most successful trends from the beauty industry, with search volumes reaching an all-time high.

When it comes to beauty and skincare calendars, the first brand to create the buzz was Liberty of London, launching the first luxury beauty calendar in 2014. Despite costing £195, the calendar completely sold out of the 20,000 calendars they had in stock.

Since then, so many beauty and skincare brands have jumped on the bandwagon, creating one of the most successful trends in the industry. In 2018, UK department store Selfridges launched their own calendar, as did former high street shop Debenhams and cult beauty stockist Space NK. Fast-forward to 2021, there are so many brands launching beauty calendars or collaborating with some of the best in the market.

Household names such as Marks & Spencers, Charlotte Tilbury, Jo Malone, The White Company and Boots have all launched beauty advent calendars over the last few years with brands like Jo Malone increasing their stock levels over the years from just a few hundred in 2014 to over 10,000 calendars in 2018. 

So, what do all these brands have in common? 

Well, they’ve cleverly utilised their own products or stock and re-packaged it as a seasonal-appropriate gift, boosting sales and increasing brand awareness year after year. Savvy brands have quickly discovered that providing 25 mini samples of their products leads to increased sales throughout the year. 

The success of beauty advent calendars is only supported by the sheer number of brands who have since launched them too, with more than ever offering calendars in 2021.

Search trends and beauty advent calendars: who’s topping the results pages?

The search for beauty advent calendars is at an all-time high for 2021 at 33,000 compared to 21,000 in 2020.

The brand leading the way on trends is perhaps a surprise as, despite the huge search volumes for it, this year is their first-ever calendar. Reaching the top for the most searched beauty advent calendar for 2021 with almost 10,000 searches this month in the UK alone, MAC’s first beauty calendar was clearly a long time coming- with interest reaching new search volumes in summer 2018.

The interest in search has remained for the iconic Liberty advent calendar too, with volumes staying consistent over the last 5 years and compared to the other major brands such as Boots, Next and M&S releasing advent calendars, consumers remain loyal to the more high-end brands.

When it comes to actual search volumes, whilst MAC remains top with over 10,000 a month, The Body Shop is close behind and surprisingly the volumes for Liberty in 2021 aren’t as high as customers may expect.

Beauty brandsSearch volume 2021
The Body Shop advent calendar9,900
Jo Malone Advent Calendar8,600
Charlotte Tilbury’s Advent Calendar6,000 
boots advent calendar5,400
liberty advent calendar2,900
Next advent calendar1,900
M&S advent calendar1000
the white company advent calendar1000
  Data source: SEMrush Nov 2021

Beauty brands are happy to collaborate with industry competitors

One of the more surprising elements of the advent calendars is how many brands are actively promoting each other, working together to create attractive offerings for consumers.  Department store John Lewis feature a range of high-end skincare and beauty products from brands such as This Works, Diptyque and Neal’s Yard despite these brands having their own calendars out too. 

Likewise, ASOS and Look Fantastic showcase some of the most popular products from their skincare range with The Ordinary, MAC, Olaplex and Charlotte Tilbury all featuring- despite having their own calendars out too. 

Boots have also spotted the opportunity for a men’s alternative to their popular beauty calendar too, launching their first calendar with products for men which completely sold out. Gone are the days of the beer calendar alternative, as we’ve previously explored, men’s skincare is one of the fastest-growing areas in the industry.

Whilst it may not be too surprising to beauty consumers that 25 gifts from their favourite brands are a treat too good to pass up. Brands are happy to share the space in the market with each other, despite typically being seen as competitors at any other point in the year.

Exploring consumer insights in depth is in our nature, using the latest in market tools to recognise trends, understand search volumes and make sense of the data from the market. If you’re interested in learning more about how we use consumer trends or want to get to know your audiences better, why not get in touch with us today.
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The Latest Look: Unearth Your Eco Credentials

Sustainability is here to stay, otherwise we may not be, and many brands are recognising this and going green, but do their target audiences know? 

According to research by Deloitte, 34% of people blame a lack of information for stopping them from choosing brands that have ethical practices or values. So, if you’re the beauty industry’s best kept sustainable secret, it may be time to shout a little louder about your eco-credentials.

That’s where we can help. 

From eco advertising to green marketing strategies, read on to discover our top tips for promoting your sustainable mission. 

Before we get started…

Know the difference between ‘sustainable’, ‘organic’, ‘green’ and more

Over recent years, many businesses have been called out for ‘greenwashing’ – making vague sustainability claims in order to appear more forward-thinking and desirable – therefore, educating yourself on terminology can save you a lot of bother. 

This is a topic we have touched upon in our blog post ‘The Balance of Being Sustainable: The Battle to Create Ethical Products Consumers Wantand you can learn more in our whitepaper Sustainability in Beauty: Where Are We Now?’.

Know Your Target Audience 

A consumer who prefers to purchase green or sustainable products (even if they’re more expensive than their less environmentally friendly alternatives) are categorised under LOHAS: Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. 

Environmental issues have not always received the attention many people believe they deserve. Therefore, this group is often vocal about what they believe in and the products that help them achieve a more eco-friendly lifestyle. LOHAS have a strong sense of social responsibility, are active supporters of environmental movements, and want to leave as little physical impact on the earth as possible. 

Now, get the word out there!

So, you’ve nailed down the jargon and have familiarised yourself with your target audience. It’s now time to spread the word. Here are a few ideas of how to do this:

  1. Dedicate a page to your efforts

Adding this new sustainable USP to your home page and product copy is obvious, but you may also want to consider creating a page dedicated to your eco-efforts where you can provide greater detail. 

Burt’s Bees is a great inspiration. Its values page breaks down the product’s ingredients and packaging materials, and what these ‘better’ choices mean for the world. 

Whereas its standards page uses logos to show off its certifications and ongoing initiatives. All of which is linked from the home page. 

Make sure to do keyword research and to optimise this page for longtail terms, such as:

  • sustainable beauty – 390/mo
  • sustainable makeup – 260/mo
  • sustainable makeup brands – 170/mo
  • sustainable beauty products – 170/mo
  • ethical beauty – 140/mo
  • sustainable skincare brands – 110/mo
  • sustainable cosmetics – 90/mo
  • sustainable cosmetics brands – 30/mo
  1. Share an annual report 

So, your brand is sustainable, you have made a page outlining this, but what’s next? Keeping momentum going and reporting on changes made is important. 

One simple way of sharing these happenings is to produce an annual sustainability report and publishing it on your website. This can outline your mission, actions taken to date and their effect, as well as future plans. 

  1. Send your report to the press

Whether launching a new initiative or tweaking your current green processes, sharing a press release update can secure you great online coverage and spread the word. You could even announce the release of your annual sustainability report! 

  1. Update your social bios

Where do you learn about the latest travel hotspots, must-visit restaurants, and innovative products? Yes, like many of us, you probably use Instagram or other social channels. So, it would make sense to promote your message on these platforms. Wouldn’t it?

A social post now and then, or a story here and there are great, but one element is constant… your bio! So, make sure your eco-credentials are proudly displayed here. 

Take inspiration from the likes of Wild natural deodorant, The Body Shop, Pixi Beauty and more.

  1. Revise your paid ad messaging

Whether it’s search or display, social or native advertising, make sure to include your sustainability credentials in your paid ads. It doesn’t have to take up many characters but including this USP in your copy could greatly improve click-throughs among eco-conscious audiences. 

  1. Work with influencers

Now, we won’t insult your intelligence by explaining the benefits of working with influencers. However, we will remind you to only consider influencers whose values align with your own. After all, it doesn’t look great if you’re trying to promote sustainability and they have a history of working with fast fashion brands, for example. 

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  1. Discuss sustainability on your blog

Last but not least, make blogging a part of your sustainability marketing strategy. With strong internal linking and social media distribution, regular blog content can support your dedicated landing page and annual report, providing more evergreen content. 

Longtail keyword research will reveal the types of questions your target audience are asking Google and you can answer these through blog content. Here is a hint at some terms that could inspire blog content:

  • why is sustainability important – 1,000/mo
  • sustainability influencers – 260/mo
  • how to become more sustainable – 70/mo
  • eco friendly symbols and meanings – 10/mo

Need a little help?

If you want a sustainable marketing strategy that boosts your organic traffic and optimises paid activity, build a foundation with our digital experts. We can help you implement the above tips and more. Get in touch and let’s discuss your green marketing!

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The Latest Look: Our Winning Organic Marketing Strategy

Digital strategy for beauty brands – it’s what we do. As well as excellent paid promotions, we know the value of organic performance for growth.

What do we mean by ‘organic’ though, and what’s our approach exactly? In this Latest Look article, we find out by reviewing a recent client case study, in which we grew organic revenue by 100%

What Is Organic Marketing?

The most simple definition of organic marketing is: any marketing activity that doesn’t involve paid ads or promotions.

When you first consider organic marketing, you might think about content – blogs for instance, or social media. In fact, organic marketing covers a much larger range of channels and activities than you might think.

Here are some of the organic marketing services we offer our clients:

SEO

There are a wide range of ways you can optimise your on-site content to improve the user experience, encourage customers to spend more time on your website, and ultimately make a purchase. We’ll often spend time re-writing meta titles and meta descriptions, adding relevant copy to product and category pages, and addressing broken links. These organic SEO activities will be centred around the keywords we’ve recommended you target, based on thorough market research and consumer insights. This activity ultimately helps improve your presence in search engine results pages (SERPs) and the user experience on your site.

Digital PR

By curating interesting stories for the press, we exchange your company’s insight and creative spark for valuable backlinks and media coverage.

Digital PR is an important tool for building your online presence and authority, and boosting trust in your brand.

Social Media

Social media platforms aren’t simply advertising spaces – they exist to build communities and connections. Organic social media content is an important tool we use to help shout about brand values, give insight into your company and establish relationships with your audience.

Blog Writing

Well-written blog content performs an important function by helping your website organically gain visibility and attract more traffic. By tapping into popular topics and providing answers to the questions your audience are asking, you become a go-to source for insight and inspiration – without paid ads.

Our Approach to Organic Marketing

pink and blue brushes in a fan shape with flowers

For each of the beauty brands we work with, we create a unique digital marketing strategy based on a number of factors. including: the market, the brand’s audience, and their unique selling points. Ultimately, the strategy is tailored to their individual growth goals.

For vibrant brush and makeup brand Spectrum Collections, our case study clearly shows the value of  a strong organic marketing strategy – which resulted in a 100% increase in organic revenue.

Technical Improvements

First, we conducted a thorough website audit to identify any technical issues.

Technical improvements are sometimes an overlooked organic marketing activity, but is something that can have a noticeable and lasting impact.

Combined, all these factors make a significant difference to the usability of a website, as well as impacting how well it’s likely to rank in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Top-Performing Pages

Not all organic marketing activities involve creating entirely new content. One of our key priorities for Spectrum was monitoring pages that were already performing well, so we could maintain and build on this success.

Data heavily influences our decisions, and so by diving into Spectrum’s analytics we were able to identify top-performing pages and optimise them for greater organic success.

Continued Optimisation

E-commerce websites can have a number of reoccurring issues that benefit from ongoing optimisation, and this was a key focus area in our Spectrum strategy.

Organic marketing isn’t a ‘one and done’ project – instead, continually assessing your site allows you to stay ahead. We spot problems as they arise and implement quick fixes to maintain your site’s health.

Build, and Grow

While it’s important to keep an eye on your existing content, spotting new opportunities for growth is another key area of organic marketing, and an area we specialise in.

Here at Foundation, we recommend maintaining a schedule of in-depth analysis – of your competitors, of high-ranking content, and the SERPs. By gaining insight into trending topics and rising subjects of interest, we’re able to keep our finger on the pulse and quickly create content that has a high ranking potential.

Why Invest in Organic Marketing?

Organic marketing will never not be beneficial. It’s a method of digital marketing that puts brands in front of relevant audiences at various stages of the purchasing funnel, without paying for every click or impression.

What’s more, organic marketing is never finished. Just like time, optimising for organic traffic and purchases never ends. Algorithms change, trends fluctuate, new keywords are introduced. So, you need to work with an agile marketing partner who can support your brand through constant change.

We’re firm believers of using organic marketing for business growth.

From our Spectrum case study, you can see how valuable organic marketing can be.

percentages

However, the benefits of organic marketing stretch beyond revenue. With a solid organic marketing strategy, you can also:

  • Increase brand trust and authority.
  • Engage better with your audience.
  • Grow and diversify audiences.
  • Drive on-site traffic.
  • Enjoy better visability and brand recognition.

Do you have an organic strategy in place? Would you like a hand in creating one?

Let’s Talk

Want to get the ball rolling with a flawless organic marketing strategy? We can help. Here at Foundation, we specialise in digital marketing for the beauty industry. So, if you’re looking for a partner to help take things to the next level, contact our team today.

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The Balance Of Being Sustainable: The Battle To Create Ethical Products The Consumers Want.

Recycled packaging, refillable products and sustainable ingredients- the beauty industry has started to reflect the growing expectations from consumers for their favourite brands to take a more sustainable approach. 

Corporate social responsibility from skincare and beauty brands of all sizes has started to change their marketing messaging as a direct response, but is it possible for brands to change their entire businesses to meet these expectations?

We explore whether it’s possible to create sustainable packaging for our favourite products, the use of sustainable buzzwords and what they really mean, as well as sustainability and ingredients.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Packaging

From measuring the Co2 emissions created from making packaging, to the air miles behind sourcing ingredients, more brands than ever are making sustainable changes to their businesses to meet consumer expectations. 

Reducing the amount of packaging is one of the main demands from consumers, as recycling rates have drastically increased every year since 2005 and in 2020 45% of UK households recycled their waste. 

However, whilst the appetite for recycling as much as we can is there, what about the emissions it takes to make packaging recyclable in the first place?

Using widely recyclable packaging such as aluminium to replace single-use plastics may sound more sustainable, but making it creates a huge amount of CO2. Whilst other materials such as ceramics and cotton are considered reusable or recyclable, making them has a significant impact on emissions which companies need to take into consideration when changing packaging longer term.

In January 2021, our team joined the Beauty Trends conference which covered the kinds of changes we can expect to see in packaging and brand commitments to sustainability. One of the images supplied by skincare brand L’Occitane highlights the amount of CO2 generated from the main materials skincare and beauty brands use for products.

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We still have a long way to go to improve creating sustainable alternatives but brands like The Body Shop are beginning to explore refillable options, and empty swap schemes, as seen by the new brand Function of Beauty, are becoming more popular. Global beauty brand, L’Oreal, recently announced their ‘bottle of the future’ made of entirely recycled plastic. 

Source: L’oreal

This kind of innovative move might seem like an industry break-through for all beauty brands but, unfortunately, it won’t be available until at least 2025. Whilst it provides a wider solution for brands outside of L’Oreal, this kind of innovation takes a lot longer to be adopted by both consumers and companies around the world.

Currently, all of these innovations from the industry are in a trial stage, coming with higher costs for staffing, postage and retail space, compared to simply using single-use plastics. It’s great to see significant changes but the industry has been slower to respond to creating more sustainable alternatives.

The Beauty Industry Is Aiming To Remove Cello Wrap

There is another fear within the industry that removing single-use cello wrap or plastic bottles can be a risk for brands, particularly higher-end or traditional brands whose consumers may expect the additional packaging. Their concern is that their consumers have expectations about how products are packaged. 

By simplifying packaging and getting rid of cello wrap and replacing it with recycled cardboard, you can save money and meet more sustainable expectations, as the image above shares.

The industry is currently on target globally to stop using cello wrap by 2022 with France going a step further to ban the ‘compostable’ claim on packaging. The country is cracking down on the misleading use of the word ‘compostable’ on items that can’t be composted at home. This is a great start within the industry but with so many brands using sustainable buzzwords in their new messaging, it can be hard as a consumer to know what they actually mean.

The Importance Of Transparency

There are plenty of phrases such as ‘clean’ and ‘eco-friendly’ that brands can use that are considered misleading as they aren’t specific but can be used freely in messaging. 

Claims like ‘cruelty-free’ for example, allows brands to create the impression their product is vegan (free of any animal derivatives) when in fact it just means the ingredients haven’t been tested on animals. However, a lot of skincare and beauty products are naturally vegan as they’re largely man-made products.

There’s also an ongoing dispute within the industry too with the buzzword ‘clean’ and what brands mean when using it. The industry is divided by the ongoing ‘clean’ debate as consumer demands for skincare and beauty items that are seemingly natural or ‘clean’ in both packaging and physical products. Brands are using the ‘clean claim’ as an umbrella buzzword to cover both sustainability and ‘non-toxic’ products which reach two main priorities for consumers.

Read: Brace Yourself For The Emerging Trend: ‘Clean Beauty’ now.

Using jargon phrases when it comes to ingredients is also a growing trend within the industry, with consumers becoming more educated on what’s in their skincare and looking for alternatives. 

Our latest whitepaper discusses using ingredient-focused longtail keywords in search and the mixed success both traditional and emerging brands have targeting ingredient-led buzzwords online.

Beauty and skincare brands need to recognise their own sustainability challenges and make transparent commitments to consumers to change them instead of changing their marketing messaging to suit the current narrative. 

And it’s not just packaging brands should review. The ingredients in our favourite products can also have a negative impact on the environment.

Sustainability And Active Ingredients- Can They Work Together?

There are plenty of brands that have always had a focus on using natural materials with no ‘active’ ingredients, as they often use emissions to create. 

Brands like Kiehl’s and Neal’s Yard don’t feature key active ingredients in their products due to the carbon footprints they create. Speaking at the beauty conference earlier in 2021, the Neal’s Yard team shared their passion about being an organic beauty company using 92% of ingredients that are certified organic. They also champion refill schemes from their stores in the UK and have never used microbeads or other single-use plastics.

Another brand sharing its own sustainable journey, The INKEY List, has been transparent about where it can’t be as sustainable as its team would like as the demand for ‘active ingredients’ from the brand is too high. 

This is another debate that continues within the industry as active ingredients are synthetic or man-made and this impacts sustainability for businesses too.

Reaching Carbon Neutral For The Beauty Industry

In an ideal world, brands should be avoiding packaging altogether, using refill schemes or solid toothpaste and shampoos. However, to get to that truly ‘sustainable’ position, brands would need to fundamentally change their businesses and how they function.

It’s key for brands to be transparent and honest with their consumers about their sustainability efforts, and during the process avoid ‘greenwashing’. This happens when brands use jargon buzzwords to stay relevant without actually making sustainable changes to their business. 

Reaching a carbon-neutral state might not be an ideal change for more established brands, but it needs to be a consideration for everyone within the industry. By making smaller commitments like sourcing ingredients from the same country to keep airmiles down and replacing single-use packaging with refill options, brands have the potential to make significant and irreversible changes to their carbon footprint.

Consumers are more likely to adopt sustainable behaviours at the early stages of engaging with brands and if the brand is new, like British make-up brand Spectrum, it promotes the right sustainable changes from the beginning. 

Arguably, it’s far easier for smaller or indie brands to start up with a sustainable approach to their brand, compared to more established brands changing their whole business approach to reduce their carbon footprint.

There is a long way to go globally to reduce the carbon footprint from the beauty and skincare industry but with more brands of all sizes starting to review their own impact, it’s moving in the right direction.

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