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The Art of Online Beauty Advertising

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: August 27, 2012, from the September 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Women live in an emotional world. Emotions drive many of their decisions, and where beauty is concerned, women are seeking a deep emotional connection with their favorite brands and products or, alternately, already have one. Accordingly, a great advertisement reaches out and creates a powerful connection with women on levels that transcend the product. Calgon’s “Take Me Away” ads did more than just promise a pampering bath experience, they promised to transport the tired mom or stressed executive away and make her feel pampered, peaceful and relaxed again and again.

With the extremely fast pace of online media, it’s even more critical that your ad give consumers an emotional reason to keep connecting with your brand repeatedly and without necessarily being reminded to do so. Whether they’re re-pinning from your Pinterest boards, subscribing to your Facebook feed or simply browsing and shopping your website regularly to see what’s new, every connection your brand forges that keeps you on your target consumers’ minds (and their lips) helps create a strong brand story that will translate time and time again.

Concise Storytelling

It’s been said consumers decide if they are going to purchase a product within three seconds or less, which we can all agree is not a lot of time. And it’s even less time when you consider that online ads have a lot of unique competition. Facebook routinely peppers user’s walls with multiple ads, and a Twitter feed can bury an update in one second let alone three, so how does an ad stand out? By creating that immediate emotional connection point that speaks to consumers and is true to your brand—something a consumer can instantly believe in and feel she can trust.

What are you trying to sell? What do you want consumers to do with the information you are telling them? What story are you sharing, and will it connect with your brand’s personality when people finally make it to your website and, hopefully, checkout? Forget complicated ingredient explanations or extended, drawn-out brand stories. To truly capture consumers while they’re online, your advertisement needs to create a snapshot that speaks in a bold, concise way and uses images that instantly capture interest and compel a click-through. Consumers simply must know more about your brand. Once they’re on your website or Facebook page, you can roll out a longer story or detail your proprietary ingredients, but until then, give them a reason to believe in your brand that only takes moments to draw them in.

What It Takes to Win

To win with beauty consumers today, advertisers need to start by understanding what women want to see in advertisements and knowing what it really means. Help them eliminate stress and feel relaxed, give them images they can aspire to and connect with as relevant to their lives, and be everywhere they are shopping, browsing and socializing online. Women love to look and feel beautiful, and with a carefully crafted advertisement, your brand will be their first choice—and second and third—to achieve these goals.

Alisa Marie Beyer is the founder and creative director of The Beauty Company (TBC), a global beauty consulting firm offering business, strategy, consumer intelligence and branding. Serving its clients at every stage of development (from start-ups to 13 of the top 15 global beauty companies), TBC intimately understands the industry, the consumer and the market, and becomes an integral part of each client or project team. alisa@thebeautycompany.co; thebeautycompany.co