COVID-19 has caused disruption to how consumers and media discover, experience and ultimately purchase their beauty products. While much of the world has been thrown into a tailspin, brands and publicists can still reach their core audiences and even build their brands with some strategic communications and a considerate approach to media outreach. Beauty publicist Lindsey Smolan shares advice on strategic beauty comms tactics during this time.
Roots Rose Radish, the beauty brand behind the all-natural and organic solid perfume in unique sea shells, supports a likeminded small business via Instagram
Embrace new forms of social media
As the pandemic keeps people inside, more and more consumers are turning to social media as a form of entertainment. While mainstays like Instagram and Facebook should be an integral part of any social media strategy, now is a great time for brands to start utilizing platforms they haven’t considered for building brand awareness, including TikTok. The beauty segment is booming on TikTok and even previously resistant brands are getting on board. The visual nature of the platform makes creating engaging beauty content a smart strategy for brands looking to engage with and grow their audience.
Create partnerships for lives/virtual desksides
As COVID has brought an abrupt halt to splashy events and intimate desksides to introduce products, brands and publicists have turned virtual. Many brands have been turning to virtual desksides to still get coveted facetime with editors, but be careful not to overdo the requests. Only book virtual desksides if you truly have something new or innovative to share (such as a new product launch) or can create an experience editors will want to participate in. Many editors have spoken about how they love virtual workouts brands offer - one fun idea would be to partner up with a fitness studio that aligns with your brand to create a beauty/fitness experience that makes sense for both companies.
Keep email communications direct and succinct
Even though the majority of editors are working from home, they have less time than ever between home schooling, endless Zoom meetings, writing and editing stories. Maintain brevity while pitching and if possible try to be even more straightforward than ever - direct, short pitches will resonate far greater during this time than a long-winded one. To that end, include everything an editor needs all in one go to minimize back-and-forth - create a DropBox or Google Drive with all hi res imagery and fact sheets for editors to peruse at their convenience.
Engage with nano and microinfluencers vs megainfluencers
Now is the time to double down on influencer outreach, but make sure that you are engaging with influencers that consumers find relatable. While megainfluencers and celebrities absolutely provide value for brands, many people are looking more toward the less polished and more accessible nano and microinfluencers, who provide a level of authenticity many are craving. Keep these influencers in your sights for seeding and sponsorship opportunities, as consumers are engaging even more with them and listening to their recommendations (which they consider trustworthy and reliable) more than ever.
Be authentic in all communications
It’s always vital to be human and provide authenticity in your communications with media and influencers – and especially now. Be mindful of the situation at hand so as not to come off tone deaf, while still honoring your brand voice and providing a form of escape. Don’t focus constantly on selling your brand, but on opening a dialogue with whomever you’re speaking to. Everyone is looking for authentic connection and ensure you are providing that in your communications - from email pitches to social media posts, leading with genuineness and compassion will take you far.