Where consumers turn their attention, brands need a presence. And consumer attention is firmly fixed on social media.

Research from App Annie shows that consumers are now spending, on average, 4 hours and 48 minutes of every day on mobile apps. Of that time, 70% is spent on social, photo and video apps.

But social media isn’t the preserve of younger generations.
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According to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 45% of US adults aged 65 and older said they used social media. And uptake is on an upward trajectory, with usage quadrupling from 2010.

Such data shows that a strong social media presence is non-negotiable for brands. But what does a successful presence look like and how can beauty brands, specifically, make the most of these digital channels?

Let’s take a closer look and find out.

What is the goal of social media?

Social media allows brands to fulfil a range of objectives.

They can use social media to share product information with consumers and promote new releases as well as special promotions and events.

Brands can also use social channels to engage existing customers and establish brand advocates. For instance, this could be through influencer-led campaigns that position influencers as brand ambassadors and use the personal relationship they’ve developed with their followers to positively increase brand (and product) perception.

This links to another way social media benefits brands: boosting brand awareness and brand equity. The messaging brands put out on social media will shape the way consumers think about them as a whole, and can be used to correct misconceptions. For example, this could be demonstrating that a brand commonly associated with an older audience has something to excite younger audiences too. 

 

What is a brand’s goal with social media?

Though social media can be used to achieve a number of goals, the ultimate goal of any social media strategy is to drive conversions.

A campaign promoting a special discount and a campaign designed to increase brand awareness will drive conversions at different speeds. But both are geared towards increasing sales and this is where brands will see ROI on their social media marketing. If they don’t, something’s going wrong.

 

Ways beauty brands can convert with social media

Fortunately, there are steps brands and agencies can take to encourage conversions.

 

Personalised marketing

In the fight for consumer attention, it’s brands serving consumers personalised marketing that will win out.

Rather than showing consumers generic content that has nothing to do with their needs or priorities, brands need to make sure they’re presenting customers with tailored content that’s specific to them.

Take, for example, a customer who experiences dry skin. Being bombarded with content for products addressing oily skin won’t increase the chance they’ll convert, as it’s not right for them. And they might never know that a beauty brand has a product especially designed to address dry skin issues.

Targeted marketing resolves this problem by making sure dry skin content is shown to this individual. This drives conversions as the right products are being presented to the right people but it also strengthens the relationship between brand and consumer. It establishes a brand as one who truly cares about the unique concerns and priorities of each customer, boosting brand perception and leading to more sales in the long run.

Research backs this up. McKinsey’s Next in Personlisation 2021 Report found that 76% of consumers are more likely to consider purchasing from brands that personalise and 78% are more likely to make repeat purchases.

But how does a brand know that a customer has dry skin and would want to find out more about those products? The answer - data collection.

Key to tailored marketing is the (ethical and accurate) collection of data. This can be through consumer behaviour on social media or CRM data, for example, but a crucial way to deeply learn about consumers is through zero-party data.

Zero-party data is information that consumers consciously choose to share with brands, such as through an online quiz. For instance, a beauty brand may run a campaign on social media that shows consumers a quiz asking about their skincare preferences. To encourage customers to complete the quiz, brands may offer an incentive such as a free product sample.

Once the data is collected, it needs to be properly segmented and centralised in order to be effective. This means it can then be fed into future marketing campaigns to ensure the correct content is being shown to consumers.

 

Product sampling campaigns

We briefly touched on samples above but product sampling is a brilliant way for brands to drive conversions.

It’s especially effective for beauty brands, whose products will be physically applied. Fragrance, texture, experience of applying and result all play a part in a consumer’s decision to buy a product and sampling allows them to test it out, before parting with their money. This increases conversions as a customer may be reluctant to risk their money trying something new. But if they can experience it for themselves, and enjoy this experience, they’ll be encouraged to make that purchase.

There’s also the ‘reciprocity instinct’ at play in product sampling that helps drive sales. This is the human instinct to reward someone who gives us something or does something positive for us - in this case, rewarding the brand for the free sample by buying a product.

 

Dive deeper into the world of sampling with Odore’s Definitive Guide to Product Sampling Campaigns.

Product sampling campaigns can be launched through an array of channels but a very effective tactic is to use social media. Brands can even collaborate with influencers to promote a sampling campaign and doubly benefit from increased brand perception as well as driving sample claims.

 

With product sampling solutions like Odore, brands can also conduct A/B testing to finetune their campaigns and discover which elements perform best with their audiences. 

 

End-to-end experiences and delivering on promises

When crafting a campaign, brands must ensure they’re creating end-to-end experiences for consumers and deliver on the promises they make - such as their promotions. The way a sampling campaign is run is as important as the sample itself, and is a chance for brands to build goodwill, trust and long-term connections with consumers.

 

Setting your sampling campaign apart

Not all campaigns are equal. Here’s how to set your sampling apart.

 

Choosing the packaging

Packaging shouldn’t be an afterthought - it’s a key way brands can differentiate themselves.

As our collective focus on sustainability increases, smart brands are making eco-friendly decisions and this includes choosing sustainable packaging for their sampling campaigns. It’s not just a case of doing the right thing: consumers are increasingly expecting brands to step up and play their part in tackling the climate crisis.

Then there’s the packaging design. A memorable design can help create a culture of desire around a product and an aesthetic or unusual design can prompt consumers to share it on social media. If so, that’s free marketing for your brand.

 

Choosing products

Brands can also vary the types of products they are sampling and promoting.

For instance, they could be choosing between promoting a mini size of a product, or delivering a promotion for a larger product at retail.

Brands could also consider creating a beta range of small samples to strengthen their brand and encourage repeat business.

If a brand is known for their makeup, they could create a mini kit in a branded makeup case with a couple of mini or travel size versions of their product. Or if they are a high-end fragrance company, they could consider offering a limited edition travel size product.

 

Closing the deal

The story doesn’t end when a customer receives their sample. They can be further encouraged to buy from your brand if they are given a discount or financial incentive to purchase a product. 

A brand could even invite them to visit a nearby store to receive an additional product sample. This would introduce a customer to a new product as well as allow them to spend more time physically pursuing a brand’s products in-store - increasing the chance of a sale.

It’s this follow-up engagement with consumers that makes all the difference in product sampling.

 

Product sampling with Odore

Odore makes it easy to run successful social media campaigns and establish a strong social presence.

Hyper-targeted marketing is our forte and our platform allows brands to seamlessly collect and utilise data. Through Odore, brands can launch questionnaires to collect zero-party data, as well as pull information from other areas of their business (such as a brand’s CRM). With all this data in one place, brands can then use our tools to hyper-target customers, at scale, and ensure their campaigns perform exceptionally.

And we’re world experts at product sampling.

Our platform enables brands to launch sophisticated sampling campaigns across multiple digital channels, including social media. With our drag and drop campaign builder, you can design, edit, launch and monitor campaigns in a matter of clicks - and let Odore handle sample delivery with our international network of fulfilment centres.

We’re also fully committed to the sustainability movement. We offer sustainable and 100% recyclable packaging and printing to brands and the packaging we use in our fulfilment centres is also sustainable and recyclable. Additionally, we offer batch processing so samples can be shipped in bulk to minimise packaging and emissions and we’ve eradicated our electronic waste. And we work with ON A MISSION to offset our carbon footprint and actively support reforestation.

 

Discover how Odore can strengthen your social media marketing. Book an introductory call here.

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