Nowadays, more and more companies use social media as a tool to expand the consumer base and motivate customers to buy their products. Some of the most important aspects of social marketing are content and content marketing.
Content is a unit that plays a significant role in a social community since the audience is attracted to the content that is created by the social media accounts. The more creative and visually pleasing the content is, the more attention it can draw. Therefore, content marketing is concerned with creating and distributing content that can bring the audience and create a loyal customer base.
In recent years, social media has become more integrated into marketing, because of its efficiency. Social media provides a connection with the customer, thus, creates more means to monitor and plan the marketing strategy.
Social media are web-based communication tools that enable people to interact with each other by both sharing and consuming information. Since likes, comments and shares are considered to be the indicators of public attention, social media marketing is focused on growing them.
The most notable advantage of social media is that they provide two-way communication with the customer, they encourage the consumer to give feedback. Both parties play the roles of senders and receivers.
Several researchers conducted studies on the effectiveness of social media. For example, Dwiwedi Kapoor, and Chen (2015, p. 26) note that “employing SMM and maintaining an active social presence that is capable of drawing in constant benefits for the entity/business being marketed is entirely a game of tact”.
The most popular social media sites are Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube; therefore, the specialists of social marketing use these platforms to interact with customers and promote products. However, some researchers argue that it is not about promotion only. According to Sajid (2016, p. 2), “it is a strategic and methodical process to establish the company’s impact, reputation and item within areas of potential clients, visitors or supporters.”
Moreover, even though the presence of social media is apparent, the marketing strategy should not include only social media promotion. Therefore, to ensure that the consumer finds out about the product and will be interested in it, the use of social media must be included in the more general strategy.
Colourpop is one of the most popular brands that has become popular because of social media. It was founded in 2014 in Los Angeles, California and at the beginning the company sold its products only online. This brand is famous not only for high-quality and affordable makeup, but also for its successful marketing strategy.
Since its foundation, the company has relied on social media to promote its products. Colourpop has applied several successful methods that helped to attract the audience and create a community around makeup. Colourpop focused on creating content on Instagram and Twitter, which helped them to raise brand awareness: since 2014 the company quickly gained millions of followers.
The question is, aside from price range, how is ColourPop any different from other makeup brands, like Kylie Cosmetics, Tart or Urban Decay? How do they attract the attention of consumers and spark their interest in their products?
First of all, they understand their target audience, which are Millennials and Generation Z. Unlike other generations, they use social media the most. Moreover, the company pays attention to feedback and therefore, they know what the audience wants.
Social media monitoring includes keeping up with trends since any industry has them. In addition, despite the fact that nowadays trends are quick to appear and die out, they strongly influence customers’ purchasing decisions nonetheless. Colorpop has proved to be successful in making sure that their products stay relevant, which increases sales and attracts more customers that are interested in trends. Furthermore, the company also succeeds in managing their social media accounts that spread the word about their new products. If there is a new eyeshadow palette or a lip product, the firm daily posts about it on Instagram and Twitter.
However, the never-ending posts on social media are not the only key to their success. Since the foundation, Colourpop has also used influencer marketing, which proved to be an effective tactic. They understand that their target audience values the opinion of their idols, therefore, they place a big amount of stock in collaborating with famous people.
Moreover, Colourpop understands the moral values of their audience, thus, the company has created an image of a cruelty-free brand that does not use animals for testing.
Finally, one of the most important secrets of success is engaging with followers. Both profiles on Twitter and Instagram of ColourPop’s are filled with pictures that were created by customers. Those who use their makeup port content and tag the official Colourpop’s account. Then the company posts the photo, while also crediting the original creator. In such a way they provide a two-level communication, where consumers promote the product for their followers in exchange for being featured on the official company’s website. This marketing strategy also makes the customer feel like they are a part of something and motivates them to purchase the products so that they could be promoted on Colourpop’s platform. Such a tactic is sure to increase not only social engagement levels, but sales as well.
As for strategies, it was already mentioned earlier that ColourPop often collaborates with famous people, whether it be beauty bloggers or celebrities. Some of the most famous internet influencers include Zoella, Safiya Nygaard, Ponysmakeup, etc. Moreover, the company also works together with other brands, for example, Disney and Naoko Takeuchi, who is the creator of a well-known show Sailor Moon. Such a strategy was proven to attract customers and increase sales since consumers not only value the opinion of influencers but are also familiar with Disney TV shows and Sailor Moon. It proves that Colourpop is aware of the customers’ needs and successfully appeals to them.
Moreover, they do not exclude their male audience, because Colourpop also often promotes male beauty-influencers, like James Charles. Finally, the company encourages people to follow them by doing regular giveaways of their products. To participate, customers must follow the social media account, leave a like or a comment (sometimes both), which increases the traffic.
As it can be seen on the screen, the company fills the Instagram profile with aesthetic pictures which include product photos, images of influencers, color swatches, etc. Creative and visually-pleasing social media account allows shoppers to refer to many different products, thus, promoting their sales. The importance of social media outlets was studied by Zhu, and Chen (2015, p. 9), who note that “it provides individuals with an outlet to showcase their creativity and receive recognition from fellow users”. Moreover, they argue that social media sites “provide pleasure and stimulation for viewers of those social media with multimedia content, especially pictures” (Zhu, & Chen, 2015, p. 9).
The visual aspect of content marketing is very important since the company mostly sells products effectively through the online website. In the online store customers do not have an opportunity to test or touch the product, therefore, before making a purchase they have to rely on visuals. For this reason, ColourPop pays attention to the design of social media profiles. Pictures that feature in the profiles are always vibrant, colorful and mostly warm-toned. In addition, the company also demonstrates the product on different skin tones, which also expands their range of target customers.
Moreover, it can be seen on the screen how ColourPop works with influential people to promote makeup. By posting pictures of celebrities who use their products, ColourPop not only gives them exposure, but also encourages other bloggers to cooperate with them. By connecting with influencers, the brand is sure to follow trends and understand the needs of the target audience. Moreover, such a system provides benefits for both the company and influencers, since they mutually promote each other.
As for Twitter, the company uses the same strategies, such as creating an aesthetic profile, displaying their products etc. However, ColourPop also employs other tactics, for example, making funny and somehow relatable posts that try to make followers engage in a conversation. While talking about difficulties in applying makeup and other everyday activities, the company generates a discussion. The topics are often connected with themes that the brand promotes. Such tweets provide more interaction with customers, which is valuable in an online community.
Moreover, one of the biggest and most effective strategies is making giveaways. At least once or twice a month ColourPop offers free eyeshadow palettes in exchange for feedback, which brings a large number of new followers and potential new customers.
To summarize all the information that was gathered, it is evident that ColourPop successfully uses social media as a platform for promoting products. The company understands the importance of proper social media use and creates content that is valuable among the consumer base. ColourPop has managed to not only gather a big social media following, but has also reached the goal of creating a beauty community, while also selling only online.
In other words, ColourPop has efficiently integrated social media into its marketing strategy. However, this type of marketing is relatively new in business, therefore, there can be some disadvantages. For example, the inability to touch the products may discourage customers from purchasing them. Therefore, it would be beneficial to open offline stores all over the world so the consumers could test the makeup. Moreover, perhaps the company can also actively use other means of marketing strategies, like paid advertisements.
Dwivedi, Y.K., Kapoor, K.K. and Chen, H., 2015. Social media marketing and advertising. The Marketing Review, 15(3), pp.289-309.
Sajid, S.I., 2016. Social media and its role in marketing.
Zhu, Y.Q. and Chen, H.G., 2015. Social media and human need satisfaction: Implications for social media marketing. Business horizons, 58(3), pp.335-345.