If you have been even a teeny weenie bit curious about the growth and impact that social media marketing is having on the beauty and esthetics industry, then you may find an article published earlier this week in Cosmetics Design.com USA to be particularly fascinating…
Remember how costly it was (and still is) to purchase pages of advertising in major beauty books, to support product launches and re-launches? Even today, radio and television spots remain out of reach for many smaller beauty companies or young skin care start-ups.
As a corporate marketer or company executive, have you ever dreamed about abandoning all of your traditional advertising in favor of a robust social media strategy? If so–read on!
In the publication’s recent article: “Social Media Marketing Allows For A New Generation Of Sales Strategy “, author Emily Dobell states that “social media has turned advertising budgets on their heads”. Ms. Dobell serves up an interesting case study… the cosmetics brand Swedish Skin who used social media for 100 percent of its marketing in support of a product launch early in 2010. In the article, Dobell implies that the reduced marketing investment not only saved the company money and reduced associated financial risks, but also provided the company with what we marketers would consider to be a strong ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ (USP) to market to its target audience.
“Since the launch,” Dobell writes,”the brand has continued to focus its marketing strategy solely online, and has heralded a ‘new era of more affordable skin care’ through social media marketing”. The article goes on to explain that the company’s social media marketing strategy, as described by CEO William Byrd, was simply “to pay skincare gurus to talk about— and show— their products on You Tube”. Result? A high percent of viewers viewed and then excitedly clicked their way over to the company’s website for online shopping.
Remember the saying ‘a picture provides a thousand words’? As an experienced beauty industry B2C marketer, I would suggest that we all take that concept and embellish it’s meaning exponentially when referring to the visual power of a beauty ‘vlog’ (or, a video blog). There is no doubt that honest, verbal testimonials about beauty products, known as ‘beauty vlogs’–which are created by end-users and posted to a medium such as You Tube, have created an enormously influential “beauty vlogosphere”. As the brand Swedish Skin discovered, this influential and lucrative vlogosphere can become a skincare marketer’s wonderland, especially for brands perceived to be authentically valued, technologically exceptional and über affordable by social media enthusiasts.
Which takes us back to the case study of Swedish Skin. Company executives told author Dobell that their users’ product reviews were posted in video format on YouTube and viewed collectively over 115,420 times. As you might imagine, the impact on the company’s e commerce sales was astronomical. The article cites one example where one user’s review boosted sales “by 2000 percent” during the it’s first week of posting. And, of course, reviews made their way to Facebook and Twitter, expanding the company’s social media campaign bandwidth, and validating their belief that “social media may well put an end to ‘expensive TV and print advertising campaigns”.
Or, to put it another way, we may be witnessing the eclipse of the century.
Have you executed a product launch that was 100 percent social media driven? If so, what were your results and key learnings? Please comment or share your thought in my Linked In Groups: “Beauty Lab M” and/or “BEAϋTY News Wire”.
Judith H. Sikora, October 2010