According to an in-depth study of the beauty and personal care market compiled in 2018, the seven leading cosmetics firms—from L’Oréal to Coty—are home to more than 180 brands.
McKinsey values the entire market at an annual $500 billion. What’s more, the industry is legitimately labelled recession-proof. In times of crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and the global economic downturn that predated it,consumers still like to look and feel their best.
Yet, this doesn’t mean life is simple for the sector’s iconic brands or the long list of smaller names challenging for market share. First, competition is fierce. And secondly, the sheer number of products these umbrella brands own makes marketing strategy a mammoth task—not least because of the diverse customer groups they target.
So, how can beauty and personal care brands juggle the very different requirements in engaging a vast array of customers? There are multiple moving parts to successfully structuring your content for a winning blend that makes sense to all of your audiences. These span consumer insight, content management, customer journeys and product sets.
Let’s consider each area in turn.
Freshen Up Your Insight
It’s crucial to stay on top of your customers’ wants and needs as their attitudes and behaviors shift. For example: who’s a stickler for the same brand, and who wants something new?
Ensuring your owned platforms—your brand website or social media feeds—are set up to help you profile your users is a central plank of this strategy. This isn’t as “Big Brother” as it sounds. Using analytics to understand which content people interact with, and deciphering what pushes them through the purchase funnel, benefits the customer, too, by driving slicker customer experiences.
Better still, implement feedback loops that allow you to take note of people’s ideas, desires and dismay so that you can monitor and optimise the customer journey.
Another smart option is to provide your users with tools to personalize the experience, reflecting their specific needs. In a complex market, this will help them find the right product based on content that matches needs and benefits. Make sure content is discoverable through search and it addresses specific queries and trends.
Finally, building review and rating options into your online service is an ideal way to capture sentiment that can be fed back into your content marketing strategy.
Add Gloss to Your CMS
All too often, having siloed teams for individual brands results in content that can appear to be very different between products, despite the fact they are owned by the same company.
That’s why it makes sense to replatform all of your different beauty and personal care brand websites using the same content management system (CMS).
Unifying websites via a single CMS enables you to:
- Manage all sites on one platform, bringing economies of scale when updating and deploying new functionality across a group of brands.
- Roll out optimized user journeys and other critical marketing updates across a suite of websites quickly and effectively; allowing you to gather insight at scale, and make user experience (UX) improvements across multiple brands.
- Use the same content components within a shared design framework, which doesn’t have to mean presenting consumers with a homogenized brand experience; content can still seem completely different between websites when deployed within different brands.
Nail Customer Experience
Another key consideration is the use of social listening tools, which can improve your customers’ experience of your brand online,ultimately boosting conversion rates.
Social listening gives you unrivalled insight into consumer sentiment about your brand— both positive and negative so that you can better respond to their needs. This essential feedback can be deployed across all of your marketing and sales channels, not just online.
Because you’re acting on direct customer thoughts, implementing their insights automatically narrows the gap between what they expect and what your brand delivers.
Social posts can also alert you when users encounter roadblocks in their online journey so you can quickly fix UX. Pixels are a further way to learn about audiences. They help marketers to segment users based on their behavior on your site; track conversions, and understand more about customer conversion lifecycle.
A further benefit of social listening is the opportunity it affords you to analyze conversations about rival brands,meaning you can absorb their successes into your strategy while avoiding mistakes they might have made. Utilizing all of this insight and giving customers solutions for their needs, can deliver a competitive advantage.
Slim Down Customers’ Choices
If there’s one thing that consumers demand, it’s the convenience of finding the right product as efficiently as possible.
Providing them with on-site diagnostic tools is a cutting-edge method of cutting down their research time. Using such services helps narrow down a product set based on the needs of the individual consumer.
Diagnostic tools have other benefits, too:
- The user can be provided with a personalized, interactive experience.
- They increase on-site dwell time and the number of pages consumers engage with while also boosting conversion.
- You can create a feedback loop, reviews or ratings function for the tool itself to drive improvements and validate the experience for other users.
Meanwhile, personalized content is a major consideration that can reap rewards by driving conversion. Diagnostic tools are central to this as they provide consumer profiles that can determine what content to serve at subsequent stages of the purchase journey, whether on your site, or in other formats such as retargeted ads and email marketing.
Content that provides a mix of product information and lifestyle tips provokes an emotional response and builds relationships with users, who are then likely to offer more personal information. In other words,you can point them toward other content you think they’ll like; it’s a virtuous circle.
While marketing multiple cosmetics and personal care brands can be complex, you can cultivate content management strategies to build healthy, glowing relationships with your customers. Start simple, test and learn to develop personalized, engaging content,and your digital presence can be a thing of beauty.