B2C

5 Beauty Brands Publishing Content That Looks So Damn Good

By Darcy Coulter April 30th, 2015

The Internet loves beauty tips and tricks, and increasingly, the best beauty content is coming straight from the source. While fashion brands like ASOS and Net-a-Porter have been leading the commerce / content publishing revolution, beauty brands are now beginning to roll out impressive efforts of their own.

Beauty brands know that nobody is born knowing how to flawlessly contour—and they’re chomping at the bit to be the first one to teach you. Here are five who have been strutting their stuff.

Sephora

Sephora goes big with its content marketing. The upscale French brand pushes beauty tutorials through videos, blog posts, and social media updates. There’s even a recently launched app all about how to contour, which lets users upload a photo of themselves in order to determine how best to emphasize their face shape. The beauty board on the Sephora website, set up like a shoppable Pinterest page, gives makeup addicts the chance to post their own photos and show off their favorite looks, getting the users invested in the brand. For Sephora, it’s all about creating a personalized experience.

Birchbox

Birchbox, a monthly beauty sample subscription service, has a magazine that’s been a crucial part of its business plan since its early days. Content director Mollie Chen explained the magazine’s importance to Contently co-founder Shane Snow in 2011: “Content is the best way to differentiate your business and to create value,” she said.

There are even some box-specific posts, which offer sneak peeks into the upcoming month’s box and help subscribers personalize the products they’re about to receive.

Maybelline New York

Content marketing isn’t just for high-end brands. Maybelline New York, a drugstore cosmetics brand, is doing a great job engaging its customers, judging by its 912,000 followers on Instagram. Over on Maybelline.com, the video section stands out; it’s mostly commercials and behind-the-scenes clips, but there’s also some innovative partner videos. The drugstore brand gets its name out there by partnering with popular beauty vloggers and having them post makeup tutorials. For many, such as MakeupbyAmarie, the partnership is a “dream come true.” Considering that YouTube stars are more influential among teens than celebrities, it’s a savvy move by Maybelline.

L’Oréal

L’Oréal is another drugstore cosmetics brand that is killing it with content. Makeup.com, the brand’s content website, is a full-fledged beauty mag. To L’Oréal’s credit, it doesn’t just push the brand’s products, with posts generally featuring a diverse selection of high-end and drugstore hair and makeup brands. Similarly, its Instagram account could belong to any number of beauty bloggers, and the Pinterest account for the site, packed with tutorials, has 129,000 followers.

We ship lipstick.

A photo posted by @makeupdotcom on

Smashbox

Smashbox, a beauty brand born from Smashbox photo studios, is all about the social experience. In fact, its website has a Social Shop that allows customers to connect to their social media profiles and see the Smashbox products their friends like. Even without connecting social accounts, users can see popular comments and leave comments about their favorites.

The site also ties to Facebook and Instagram, where 200,000 followers can keep tabs on the Studio Pic of the Day.

(Full disclosure: Smashbox is a Contently client.)

While all of these brands have different strategies, they all emphasize great content for their readers, which, in the world of beauty, means tutorials, inspirational photos, and visually enticing social content. Now, customers aren’t just buying products from brands—they get the added bonus of learning how to use them.

Editor’s note: For a deep look at the content strategy behind maybe the best beauty brand publisher at all, check out last month’s profile of Bevel.

Image by Conrado
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