All businesses, whether they’re traditional brick and mortar stores or online companies, need to market their products and business effectively if they’re to maximise sales. Developing a successful skincare marketing strategy may sound challenging, but every beauty business is capable of doing so.
Here, we provide you with the tools you need to build a comprehensive marketing strategy for beauty products. In doing so, we’ll cover both online and offline marketing tactics, and reveal some of the most important techniques in the industry.
Things To Consider Before Getting Started
An effective cosmetics marketing strategy is essential if you want to grow your business and reach new customers. But to ensure that your strategy achieves the desired results, you need to consider a few things before getting started.
● Identify target audience: You need to know what demographic you’re targeting and which customers you’re trying to reach. You can learn more about this in our ‘Identifying Your Target Audience’ article.
● Determine your USP: What is it that sets your business apart? What’s your niche? Do you specialise in natural K-Beauty products, for example? Are you able to provide customers with the products they want without breaking the bank?
● Define your sales channels: How are you going to sell to your customers? Will you be selling your products online or offline? Or, will you be selling both online and in a traditional brick and mortar store?
● Establish an online presence: Even if you only sell via non-digital channels, you’ll still need an online presence. You’ll find out more about this below.
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, it’s time to get stuck into our top tips for marketing cosmetics to your target audience.
How To Promote Beauty Products Online
Regardless of whether you sell Korean cosmetics online or not, it’s important that your forge out some kind of digital presence. You can promote your products at no cost and with minimal effort – growing your beauty business along the way.
Below are some of the key ways in which small businesses can promote their beauty products online.
1: Make Your Products Stand Out
To make sales, you’ll need to ensure that your products stand out against the competition. You can utilise digital platforms to market your products, making them appear as desirable as possible. To do this, you’ll need to:
• Make sure your products are ‘must-haves’ (and communicate this).
• Make sure your products are easy to discover.
• Prove that your products meet the needs of your audience.
So, to start with, you’ll need to stock best-selling K-Beauty products, tapping into established and emerging trends to pique the interest of your audience. Here at UMMA, we make it easy for our partners to keep abreast of the most popular Korean beauty trends, by providing regional and global insights on the subject.
And, whether you’re selling via your own website or through a reseller platform such as Shopee, Lazada or Amazon, you’ll need to make your beauty products easy to find, and communicate their key features and benefits. One of easiest ways to do this, is to optimize your product listings. ‘Product optimization’ is a tactic that businesses can adopt to make their products more visible online, and give users the information they need to make a purchase.
When optimizing your products, consider the following:
● Product titles: These should be concise and, particularly when selling on a third-party platform, adhere to things like character limits. Product titles should improve the discoverability of your products – however you’re selling them – so make sure they’re relevant and contain important keywords covering the product type (e.g. ‘cleanser’) and brand name (e.g. ‘COSRX’).
● Product descriptions: These should be relevant and well-written, highlighting the features and benefits of your beauty products. Think about the questions customers might be asking: How do you apply the product? What ingredients does it contain? Does it tackle any specific skin concerns?
Product copy can have a big impact on sales. Done right, it gives consumers confidence in what they’re purchasing. It also reduces the likelihood of a customer not completing a transaction for lack of information, or returning a product because it doesn’t meet their needs.
You should also use high-quality product images to promote your products, and keep tabs on your reviews. Positive customer feedback can greatly improve your chances of making more sales in the future, whilst negative reviews could tarnish your reputation. You’ll need to actively work on trying to resolve issues by responding to any negative feedback in a professional and timely manner.
If you want to find out more about selling beauty products online, take a look at our article on the subject.
2: Start A Blog
To stand out against the competition, you need to establish your credentials as a K-Beauty expert, and communicate your distinct identity as a seller of Korean cosmetics. One of the best (and cheapest!) ways of doing this is by blogging. A blog provides you with a platform on which you can discuss the latest K-Beauty trends, engage with your customers and sell yourself via carefully-curated content.
Additionally, it’s a great way to really shout about specific products. Create articles on how customers should apply your beauty products, and use the blog as a space in which to talk about what makes your products special. Are they formulated with popular ingredients? Which brands do you stock, and what can you say about these?
3: Create A Store Page
Online marketplaces like Shopee, Lazada and Amazon present smaller businesses with an opportunity to sell directly to a network of existing customers, without the need to grow an audience from scratch.
When setting up an online store this way, you should create a store page that describes your business and provides information on what you sell. If you want to discover more about selling K-Beauty products through online marketplaces, take a look at our guide to get started.
4: Utilise Social Media
Today, social media cosmetics marketing is a must for any beauty business. While we have a more comprehensive guide to social selling for you to look through, we’ll go over a couple of the basics here.
● Repost cool content, especially when you’re tagged in it. As customers expect your social media to be regularly updated, you’re going to need a lot of content. Fortunately, it doesn’t all need to be original. Reposting content is a great way to keep your followers engaged without having to create something new every time you post. Just remember to ‘@’ whoever it is you’ve taken content from. Not only is this the courteous thing to do; it’s an easy way to engage new audiences and increase your following too.
● Use ‘live’ features. ‘Live’ features – like Instagram Stories or Facebook Live – allow you to directly and authentically connect with your followers. This element of social media marketing is especially useful if you want to make a business announcement, or shout about things like social media giveaways or competitions.
● Work alongside beauty influencers. Collaborating with influencers can be a great way to expand your audience and attract new customers. This is especially pertinent when it comes to beauty; users want to see products ‘in action,’ and reaching out to respected micro-influencers in your industry is a great way to broaden your reach, and promote specific products or product ranges.
● Regularly engage with your customers. The beauty of social media is that it allows two-way discussions to take place, and gives customers the opportunity to engage with businesses directly. Use this to your advantage; make your customers feel as though they know you, by being authentic and easy to approach online. If your followers have questions about one or more of your products, make sure you answer them; if they want to know more about how you source stock, don’t be shy. Be honest and open with your audience, and they’ll reward you with sales.
● Make intelligent use of hashtags. Hashtags are one of the key ways that people will discover your content and, by extension, your business. To broaden your reach, incorporate popular hashtags into your posts. If there’s a rising beauty trend that can be captured with a hashtag, for example, use it in a relevant post. You can also rely on brand loyalty to increase your following and promote branded products, by using brand-specific hashtags, such as #Innisfree or #romand.
● Run campaigns and giveaways. This kind of engagement is a great way to introduce customers to your products and get them to warm to your brand. ‘Like and/or comment to win’ or ‘tag a friend’ competitions are ideal for small businesses, since they require little effort and can really improve engagement. Put together a ‘beauty bundle’ of top-selling products, and ask your followers to like and/or comment, or tag someone for a chance to win. Then choose a winner at random, send them a direct message with the good news and post their prize. It’s that simple!
How To Market Beauty Products Offline
1: Create Branded Assets
Branded merchandise boasts several valuable benefits:
● It provides exposure: Get your business’ name out there by ensuring it’s all over the items people use on a daily basis.
● It provides an inventive advertising opportunity: If you’re willing to get inventive, you can come up with some really cool merch that will help you stand out from your competitors.
● It rewards repeat buying: Sometimes, it pays to give loyal customers a little freebie to say thank you. It strengthens their bond with the brand, without breaking the bank.
● It’s relatively inexpensive: Branded merchandise is typically pretty cheap to manufacture, but it can have a big impact on customers. This means the cost-benefit ratio for this type of advertising is definitely in your favour.
2: Offer Samples
Samples have always been used as a way to introduce customers to products. Though the success of this strategy depends on you selling products that people recognise as high-quality when they try them, that’s not a problem if you’re stocking via UMMA! It’s also a fantastic way to strike up a conversation, allowing you to build a rapport with new customers.
If you’re considering distributing samples, there are several ways of doing so. Many businesses successfully reach new customers through digital promotions and face-to-face to meetings in shopping centres or at pop-up events.
3: Create Visual Aids In Store
While many experts disagree over exactly how visual aids affect shoppers, they all agree on one thing: visual aids definitely have a big effect on consumer behaviour. How your store looks will often determine a consumer’s attitude towards your business. From something as basic as your chosen colourway to how well a particular product stands out in a display, it’s important that your business represents itself and pushes products in the best possible way.
Though getting all the details right will require some work (and perhaps even the assistance of a visual marketer), there are some things you can do to appeal to customers visually.
● Flyers: A well-designed flyer allows you to get your advertising material in the hands of potential customers. While they’re most effective when used in or near your store, leaflets benefit from not being limited by geography – they work anywhere! Even if your store isn’t in a street with the biggest footfall, you can still head on over to the high street and hand out flyers there.
● Catalogues: Catalogues give your customers the opportunity to browse your product range at their leisure. This means that they can make purchasing decisions at home or away from the store, without time constraints.
● In-store displays: In-store displays are key to good sales figures. They’re the reason the term ‘window shopping’ exists. A display that’s been carefully put together can drastically increase the number of customers entering the store, while a messy or confusing display will keep them away.
● Pop-in/Pop-up stores: Pop-up stores are a cost-effective means of establishing a temporary or semi-permanent shop, without having to commit to the long-term costs associated with property leasing. With a little imagination, these stores look fantastic and offer consumers an entirely new shopping experience.
If you’re looking to grow your business, there’s nothing more important than developing a strong marketing strategy. In this article, we’ve explored the different ways you can build a strategy using both online and offline channels to generate interest in your products – however you sell them.
And remember, when it comes to learning about the business of K-Beauty, no-one can provide as much insight, expertise and assistance as UMMA.