Lessons in Branded Content to Deliver Beauty for All: The L’Oreal Experience
I attended Day 2 of Ad:Tech Sydney where one of the sessions involved the Head of Digital at L’Oreal sharing their Australian and New Zealand content marketing strategy. I wrote up the presentation below on their strategy and some of the key learnings.
Christophe Eymery, the Head of Digital at L’Oreal started his presentation with a brief introduction of his company in Australia and New Zealand. L’Oreal operates 27 brands in Australia and New Zealand across 4 different product divisions. The biggest two are Maybelline and L’Oreal Paris.
Digital is the 4th pillar within the L’Oreal business. In Australia, there are 6 people working in digital, responsible for all 20 websites (within this there are 3 e-commerce sites.)
Every year, L’Oreal launches 70 digital campaigns to support their suite of products.
- L’Oreal’s ambition: Beauty for All
- Challenge: Make a complete product solution simple for everyone
- Opportunities: Education at scale via our digital channels
L’Oreal have 1 million customers and they want to double this by 2020.
“Beauty has the power to change lives”. Beauty is diverse and universal.
L’Oreal started to create content destinations that were not product based but instead, beauty based. They wanted to provide content that consumers are looking for to understand beauty. There are two ways L’Oreal are doing this:
1. Get the Look
The Get the Look campaign was launched in December 2013. It is part of the Global Initiative campaign. There are 20 journalists, one based in Melbourne who is writing up to 12 articles a week about beauty and fashion.
This has launched in eight countries worldwide and so far has brought in 40,000 visitors. L’Oreal’s goal is to bring up to 80,000 visitors which is the figure seen for product L’Oreal sites. L’Oreal also want to bring the link between the live events and the products (for example one of their journalists was live blogging at Melbourne Fashion Week). L’Oreal place great emphasis on their brand ambassadors and Eva Longoria has been the brand ambassador for many years. The brand is supporting brand ambassadors to help create the connection between them and the mass audience, allowing consumers to look as good as the celebrities.
2. Maybelline – Local campaign
L’Oreal wanted to build a new unique destination for Australian women. Isobar (part of Aegis Media) built the website, M:Edition to be the go to destination for beauty tips. It had to be delivered across desktop, mobile and tablet. The content was then amplified through Twitter and Outbrain.
The aim of M:Edition was to bring the catwalk to the sidewalk. It was to create step by step looks on creating local content about local beauty. In its first month, there were 30,000 + visitors to the site. There was 15 minutes of engagement per article which was 30% higher than industry average, 2,500 new sign ups in first few weeks.
This campaign was a local initiative that worked so well that it is now being rolled out for APAC.
It also led L’Oreal to further develop this initiative and look beyond the content destinations. Beauty destinations play a strong role in the research phases. However, customers also need guidance at point of purchase.
The next step for L’Oreal was to build an application called Switch the Look. This allowed customers to have make up trends at their fingertips. It is now live across 13 countries. Customers can see what the product looks like on models and then buy it online or in the store. This app created a lot of brand awareness. Bring in education at Point of Sale. Traditionally the beauty advisors have been the ones to give advice and educate the consumers on the best foundation, lipstick etc, but L’Oreal cannot afford to have beauty advisors in all retail stores and pharmacies.
This app has helped consumers make informed decisions. It is as if customers have personal advisors in their pocket. At the same time, L’Oreal is building content destinations for consumers and is helping them at POS (point of sale).
The next phase once the content is written, is to amplify it. One of the ways Christophe mentioned is through Outbrain, but the most common is through social media. L’Oreal have a presence across 16 different social media pages. They are working on brining the advice (in the content) to their consumers through their social media channels.
This was an interesting presentation given by the Head of Digital at L’Oreal and shows how a large brand can implement not just strategies at a global level but at a local level as well. It also proves that if local campaigns work, big brands can roll this out to regional and even global. L’Oreal have invested a lot of marketing budget into creating unique and dynamic content even blogging at the Melbourne Fashion Week. Christophe’s presentation clearly demonstrates how big brands can embrace content marketing by providing up to date content where consumers need it most – at point of sale (POS), which is when they are about the make a purchase.