6 Cosmetics Marketing Campaign Examples & Why The Ideas Work

If you’ve been stuck in a marketing slump and just can’t seem to find the right ways to stand out on social media, you might just need a bit of inspiration. The following can help you determine what kinds of marketing tactics might work for your cosmetics brand.

Take a page from the handbook of these top 10 cosmetic brands and use what they’re doing as inspiration for your own cosmetic brand marketing.

1. Fenty Beauty Marketing Campaign Idea

The Idea: Fenty Beauty, launched in 2017, is a company that has had a major impact on the cosmetics industry since inception. When it came time to launch the Rihanna-backed makeup company, Fenty Beauty used a ‘beauty for all’ concept and released foundation in 40 different shades using a 100% digital campaign, centered around Instagram and influencer content.

Why It Works: By combining the power of social media with Rihanna’s “Navy” of fans already on social media, the campaign drew in 1.4 million followers in just four days. Fenty Beauty continues to use the digital-only approach by using YouTube tutorials and other forms of content to increase engagement and “hype” each time a new product is launched.

Why Anyone Can Use It: Using the power of social media, any cosmetic brand can reach their target audience in unique and influential ways. All it takes is coming up with a distinctive message and promoting that message across multiple social channels.

Next Steps: Use YouTube to provide makeup tutorials and provide useful makeup application tips, or tips for finding the right shade. You can also leverage the power of Instagram and find ways to engage your audience. It helps if you already have a social following, but a digital-only campaign is definitely doable from the ground up.

2. CoverGirl Marketing Campaign Idea

The Idea: In 2018, CoverGirl announced it would feature a Texas model with vitiligo in its ads. But rather than using airbrushing or foundation to cover up her skin tone, the ad instead used TruBlend Foundation to bring out the differences in her skin tone in a beautiful and unique way. The ad read: “Amy’s skin happens to have variations in tone, and it’s equally as beautiful as the skin we’re used to seeing in beauty ads. It’s about flipping the script on the one-dimensional standard of beauty,” claimed the vice president of CoverGirl, Ukonwa Ojo.

Why It Works: Turning something seen as unsightly into something beautiful can certainly turn heads. Highlighting the beauty of those you don’t normally see in beauty advertisements not only draws attention but allows people to see that your brand can work for anyone. It sends a message that we can all be beautiful.

Why Anyone Can Use It: Any cosmetic brand can find a way to take someone’s so-called flaw and turn it into something beautiful, something to be celebrated.

Next Steps: Brainstorm a few ways you can replicate this formula by finding models whose so-called flaws you can accentuate with your cosmetics.

3. L’Oreal Marketing Campaign Idea

The Idea: In the last few years, L’Oreal has been shifting its attention to focus more on digital channels, purportedly allocating 30% of its budget to digital channels since 2016. But the development of its Beauty Squad is probably one of the biggest digital initiatives it’s ever undertaken. The campaign involves several influencers creating YouTube videos and articles on the latest beauty trends. These influencers were responsible for creating content for L’Oreal’s website, their own websites, as well as L’Oreal’s social channels. The campaign was highly successful and reached approximately 5.5 million people.

Why It Works: Providing something of value prior to purchase can help people understand your product better. This kind of marketing not only provides brand recognition to those who haven’t heard of you but makes you more familiar to those who have, which can increase engagement and conversions.

How It Applies Broadly to Cosmetic Brands: Any cosmetic brand can do the same by creating digital content in line with their brand and company goals and sharing that content across multiple social channels.

Next Steps: Think about ways you can create brief, engaging content that your target audience responds to. Consider creating YouTube videos and articles on the latest trends and sharing that content on your website, as well as on social media. Make sure your content is both relevant and useful to your target audience.

4. Rimmel London Marketing Campaign Idea

The Idea: Rimmel launched a marketing campaign called #LiveTheLondonLook that featured an online short movie starring several beauty influencers, including one male blogger. The message of the campaign was: Be bold, be you. The idea behind it is that everyone should aspire to their own unique look, rather than trying to copy someone else’s.

Why It Works: Inspiring others to be their best, beautiful unique self is one of the best approaches to cosmetics marketing because it tells your audience that it’s okay to be themselves. It’s okay to express who you are through makeup. Be free. That’s a great message that nearly anyone can relate to.

How It Applies Broadly to Cosmetic Brands: Any cosmetics brand can adopt this practice by creating a campaign with an empowering and distinctive message that speaks to their target audience and inspiring people to be themselves.

Next Steps: Do some research and come up with a few ideas that you think might resonate with your audience and represent your brand well. Think universally and inclusively.

5. Glossier Marketing Campaign Idea

The Idea: The New York-city based beauty brand used the power of social media and the concept of social proof to gain attention. By inviting people to join their community where users share beauty-related content, they’re building brand awareness and user engagement on their website. The company also used micro-influencers on social media to help boost engagement on social media sites like Instagram.

Why It Works: This campaign idea worked for them because not only did they already have a crisp, clean look to begin with that made it easier to attract cosmetics enthusiasts, but they also branched out and became more than just a place to watch tutorials or a collection of images. They created a community of like-minded individuals who can all share their experiences with the products and give their honest feedback.

How It Applies Broadly to Cosmetic Brands: Any cosmetics brand can use the power of social proof to win over prospective customers. Creating a community of like-minded individuals to share their experiences using your products can be a game changer. Just try to add something new to the mix when you replicate their efforts. Be creative. Be unique.

Next Steps: Come up with a list of ideas for your own marketing campaign using the power of social proof. Try to find new and innovative ways to connect with your brand using tools no one has used before, or use them in such a way that no one has.

6. Birchbox Marketing Campaign Idea

The Idea: Birchbox launched Birchbox Magazine, a digital publication providing content related to cosmetics and beauty, which draws traffic to their website, helping boost interest in their monthly subscriptions. The online content is free. However, the subscription unlocks five monthly, customized beauty gifts. Through this campaign, Birchbox can reach their potential customers via free blog shares on social media and get higher conversions by providing free valuable content before the purchase.

Why It Works: This campaign apparently worked well for the company because Forbes reported that Birchbox was one of the top five subscription sites in 2018. The company garnered more than a million subscribers and four million customers altogether.

How It Applies Broadly to Cosmetic Brands: This kind of campaign works well for cosmetics brands large and small because it’s almost like giving away a free trial so people know what to expect when they buy. It’s a compelling sell and it’s an easy way to draw in customers and drum up new business.

Next Steps: Find a way to provide your customers with a free trial of your products, whether it’s through a subscription-based business model or not. You have several options, such as free samples, free tutorials, a web tool that helps women choose the right shades, etc. If you’ve seen something done before, put your own spin on it. Give it a life of its own.

Final Thoughts

When creating a successful marketing campaign for your cosmetics brand, you’ll need to think outside the box. Use the above examples as inspiration to create your own unique marketing strategy. Take what worked from these companies and make it your own.

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