Content Strategy

How Some of the Best Skincare Brands Are Dominating Social Video

By Linda Freund · October 29, 2019

How Some of the Best Skincare Brands Are Dominating Social Video

Just tell it like it is. This is precisely what social video viewers want from the best skincare brands around, according to engagement data.

Today’s breakthrough skin-treatment brands are heeding this call. They are steering away from the usual video bling, like special effects and airbrushed supermodels.

The winning brands are, instead, opting for more straightforward content, featuring everyday people, infomercial-style explanations, casual product testing, and crowdsourced testimonials.

They are also differentiating themselves by meeting a clear demand: young consumers want low-cost, easy, honest, and ethical beauty options.

So, what does this look like in social video feeds?

Feeling the glow? Read on for more on the latest video trends across some of the world’s best skincare brands.

The Best Skincare Brands Think Beauty Beyond the Skin

The skincare market is hot right now. In the U.S., skincare product sales increased by 13% in 2018, reaching $5.6 billion, according to data from The NPD Group.

Makeup sales, on the other hand, grew by only 1%. Now is the ideal time for top skincare brands (both established and emerging) to think beyond the single conversion and draw loyal, forever customers.

The Ordinary Focuses on Ordinary People

The Ordinary is an affordable skincare company that helps resolve skin issues from clogged pores to pigmentation. It’s targeted at people who don’t have the time, money, or know-how to get full-on Lady Gaga with their skincare regimen.

To this end, The Ordinary has a brand called The Abnormal Beauty Company and it offers a starter kit called The Daily Set, detailed in the brand’s most-engaged video in the past 90 days.

The skincare line is vegan and cruelty-free, and is quick to stress that it’s a science lab at its core. A video showing the lab coats behind-the-scenes made for the brand’s most-engaged video ever.

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Someone we don't know wrote that DECIEM is just another marketing company at the end. It really hurt to read it. Our growing company of more than 350 friendly people is a warm home to 19 chemists, but not a single one of us has "marketing" in their title. There are only 3 of us who do the beautiful work of telling media what we do which is what marketing is. Our lab is our kitchen. It's small and we are crammed in it, but we are moving soon to a much bigger lab that is under construction. All of us know deep down that what we will always miss after we move will be our cozy, crowded, messy but loving small lab today where so many beautiful memories will forever be a part of all of us. ❤️????

A post shared by The Ordinary, NIOD, & more. (@deciem) on

The Ordinary also routinely has its camera-shy lab team answer customer questions.

These videos scream transparency and authenticity. They show exactly how the skin treatments work and what’s in them (without the bells and whistles).

The brand is also very active on Instagram feeds in responding to questions, which further reflects their educational agenda and boosts engagements.

Customers feel listened to and the videos (featuring ordinary experts) become an extension of this ongoing conversation. This is how the best skincare brands should be operating.

Glowing Skin Starts from the Inside with Paula’s Choice

Paula’s Choice is a skincare brand that promotes healthy, sustainable ingredients and steers clear of animal testing. The brand turns to social feeds to demystify skincare.

Its video offerings, presented largely in series form, all give off the same vibe: unfiltered facts without the front.

Paula’s Choice is known for unique treatments like its water-infusing electrolyte moisturizer (think: a sports drink for your face). The brand’s innovative hydration treatments were addressed in a recent live episode of the brand’s weekly talk show In the Glow, which runs on Instagram and YouTube.

“Essentially, dry skin is lacking natural oils and lipids in skin,” said team members Shealeigh and Deb in one of the show’s most-engaged videos. “I know people who have a ton of water and still have dry skin.”

The brand’s most-viewed video in the past 90 days is an explanation of its C15 super booster product. The video contains multiple close-ups of faces with sober claims about the products and ingredients.

Its most-engaged videos include a regular segment in which founder Paula Begoun fields customer questions. Begoun’s videos have the feel and pulse of a radio show (with the bonus of eye-contact).

It’s this type of direct engagement that clearly solidifies customer trust. Are the best skincare brands in the world paying attention yet?

Other regular segments include “Bryan’s Skin Care Chat,” a casual mobile video broadcast wherein Bryan dishes on such topics as exfoliants and why they’re critical.

And newish series #theroutine covers skincare specialists curating the brand’s products into a short video that meets specific customer needs, like this one targeted at acne-prone skin.

Paula’s Choice has a simple message: beauty begins with truth. But the brand doesn’t stop at skincare facts (of which there are a ton!). Its videos also feature famous women (aka “sisters in truth”) as they speak their personal truths.

This is a perfect example of a brand mission that goes well beyond the product, but still retains the same connective tissue.

Top skincare brands refreshing their video strategies should keep their mission in mind. Here’s a simple tip to get you started. Don’t ask how you can convince your customers that you’re the best; instead ask, “What do we want our products and videos to uniquely inspire in our customers?

On a similar note: How Emerging Lingerie Companies Are Redefining Sexy 

Top Skincare Brands Surprise and Delight

So far, we’ve focused on content from emerging brands. These are players who are introducing both their brands and their vision simultaneously.

But what about the established industry leaders with names that roll off the tongue?

Customers are asking for straightforward content they can connect with. How do brands that are known for big-budget media campaigns and famous spokespeople meet this need and still connect with their consumers?

Procter & Gamble’s skincare brands SK-II and Olay are navigating this in two distinctly different ways:

  • SK-II by means of self-effacing humor and breaking down the fourth wall (informal)
  • Olay by activating “superiority marketing.” This brand turned professor is creating matter-of-fact videos asserting why its products are top-notch. (formal)

SKII Wants You to Forget What You Know About Beauty Videos

Skincare brand SKII has broken away from the standard beauty video formula. It’s turned to the most unconventional of protagonists to promote its skincare elixirs, none other than comedian James Corden.

The Late Late Show TV host helped SKII launch BareSkin Chat, a YouTube series where Corden leads celebrities, like actress Chloe Grace Moretz into unexpected situations to promote skincare line Pitera Essence.

We’re talking bubble facials, tap dancing, and their hilarious attempts at an ASMR video. The sheer shock of it all gives the videos a more authentic, personable feel.

The series performed strongly in Japan, where its episodes starred Japanese actress Kasumi Arimura and Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe who bared all on camera!

And this summer, Corden and Chinese actress Tang Wei released another content round called #PITERAmasterclass. In one segment, Corden “tactfully” disses Wei.

“As a new ambassador it does feel that all your posing is really a bit samey,” Corden said. He proceeds to show Wei how it’s done. The results are circus-friendly but the message is clear: we don’t have to pose all the time.

The aforementioned campaigns garnered millions of views and engagements. No surprise there. But they also brought authenticity to the brand advert by taking on an informal tone, something all of the best skincare brands should take note of.

“Over the years, beauty content has some become formulaic glamorous ads, tutorials, and how-to videos,” said Sandeep Seth, Vice President at Global SK-II, in a recent news interview.

“Consumers these days don’t like being pushed products or sold to. We have to behave less like a brand that is trying to sell but a brand that creates a human connection with consumers.”

Also check out: How Brave Bison Made Wildly Successful Campaigns for SKII

Olay Establishes Its Authority in the Skincare Space

In a recent video, Olay Regenerist compared its micro-sculpting cream to 100+ other products worldwide. This news-report style is part of a larger brand pivot towards “superiority marketing.”

Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard is pushing brands and agencies across his company to explore this trend, according to a recent report in The Drum. Namely, to use video to explain how one product outshines another.

How many of us have googled brands for a simple explanation of how it works or sizes up? There is a clear need for a virtual shopkeeper who offers sage advice. Perhaps this is the best next thing.

Will we see the return of the age-old infomercial heading into the holidays from top skincare brands? And if so, what will the modern-day version look like? The anticipation builds.

Takeaway: Just Keep it Real

Finding an effective beauty regimen can be life-changing. People turn to skincare videos for details that go well beyond entertainment.

From aging fears to acne, most want a solution to their skin woes. No matter how you slice it, consumers ultimately want this information from a trusted source.

So at day’s end the video mission is simple: just keep it real. The trust will follow.

More insights on beauty and authenticity in video marketing aren’t far behind!

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