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“Maybe it’s Maybelline” is an iconic tagline for Maybelline, the popular makeup brand. Its catchy jingle was everywhere, cementing the brand in the minds of a generation.
Apparently, they have Maybelline where he comes from too. That’s incredible.
What sort of marketing strategy did the makeup brand use to distinguish itself from all its competitors?
One way Maybelline’s managed to pull ahead is through its use of word-of-mouth marketing, with its incredibly cost-effective returns. Let’s take a look at some of Maybelline’s methods through the years.
1. Embracing social media early in the game, even running a campaign on MySpace in 2006
Maybelline was founded in 1915, but it’s no newbie on social media. Maybelline recognized social media's power early, and hasn’t been afraid to use is.
Maybelline’s record of working with social media stretches way back. When MySpace surpassed Google as the most visited website in the US, Maybelline launched the 2006 campaign for Maybelline Pure on MySpace, using attention-catching quiz questions before it was cool.
Clearly, people don’t really use MySpace today. But Maybelline didn’t simply rest on its laurels– they actively hunted for the busiest social networking sites.
Pink Monday photo contests on Facebook and Instagram got people snapping photos and sharing them with their friends. In Canada alone, Facebook videos and giveaways welcomed an incredible 15,000 new fans and 10,000 contest registrations.
Digital Manager Larry Chan highlights the key role of word-of-mouth in social media campaigns, and their ability to turn those who have never interacted with the brand into loyal customers.
2. They used influencers to help reach out to new audiences, getting over 1.4 million clicks through a YouTube campaign
Social media outreach - like Instagram photos - can be wildly effective as a marketing strategy. It’s all about networks that spread your message for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
But one way to maximise that reach is through influencers. Influencers have pre-existing followers or networks. By incentivising a few influencers to share your message with their friends, the message can be quickly seen by a massive audience.
In 2014, Maybelline collaborated with 13 influential YouTube beauty vloggers to promote the Nudes Palette. Combined with strategic video ad placement, these influencers helped to rack up over 1.4 million clicks.
Not convinced yet? Maybelline’s #DareToNeon campaign got just three Malaysian Instagram “cliques”, and relied on their extensive follower base. From just that, they “surpassed brand expectations” by snagging a staggering reach of 250 thousand - per clique.
3. Using video content to spread its message and differentiate itself as a make-up brand, getting over 15,000,000 impressions
Another way Maybelline keeps its relevance is through the use of videos. Sharing video content is now easier - and more effective - than ever. A single Maybelline Youtube campaign in mid-2014 garnered 15 million impressions.
But more than just using the medium, Maybelline used video as a powerful tool to reach out to customers, providing them unique services that couldn’t be found through other mediums.
For example, using Snapchat, Maybelline ran 5- and 10-second ads during 2015’s New York Fashion Week. This gave customers short glimpses of real experiences with Maybelline products.
Their #NoMaybes video campaign struck a chord with people struggling with confidence. The message, beautifully presented in video, drew an incredible 10 million views.
In the end, what distinguished Maybelline was their foray into video advertising, and also the excellent way they used it to convey their messages.
- Embrace social media. Don’t miss out on this rich social network.
- Use influencers. They give you greater reach per advertising dollar.
- Video ads can be effective. Especially if they have a unique edge.
In a world full of brands competing for attention, it’s difficult to shine. But we’ve found a great cost-effective way to get the word out to many people - it’s the clever use of word-of-mouth.