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Is Your Digital Marketing A Turn-on?

By: Sarah Chung and Tina Hedges
Posted: July 6, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Although the importance of the online channel is undeniable, beauty brands, for the most part, have not figured out how to galvanize online consumers, particularly in the newer digital mediums. Time spent on social networks surpassed that of e-mail for the first time in February 2009, according to Nielsen. However, Internet beauty traffic from social networking actually declined 17% in 2009 from the previous year and represented only a third of the traffic generated by e-mail. Search engines still generated the most Internet beauty traffic at 34.83%, increasing 3% over the prior year.

Beauty brands are still limiting their marketing efforts to search and e-mail when consumers are shifting their attention and time to other online activities.

It’s clear that online is an important channel to engage consumers and generate sales. But how do brands stand out in this cluttered space and create loyal brand advocates?

Be Authentic

How have former cab driver and housewife Lauren Luke’s tutorials inspired 202,000 followers while Clinique’s makeup tutorials, featuring its experienced professionals, have a mere 315 subscribers? The assumption is that women relate to Lauren’s engaging and straightforward manner of applying makeup—she resonates in her naked authenticity, showcasing herself and her makeup skills similarly to how women actually “look” or “do” in their homes.

In social media, sometimes a pulpit makes the preacher, as evidenced by the introduction of Lauren’s own makeup line. Her believability is appealing, endowing her with the power to become an expert and a brand, for a mesmerized cyber audience.