Advertising is many things, but it’s certainly never boring. With new ad units and social media channels popping up daily, it can be tough to choose the right marketing mix for your brand that will achieve all of your business goals.
At Base Beauty Creative Agency, our beauty, wellness and personal care clients look to us to help them innovate their marketing strategies. And since we only work in these industries, it's easy for us to know where our customers are ready to receive brand messages.
Here are five ideas, thought-starters and channels to consider, for SMBs and larger brands alike, in any industry, whether you’re looking to spend your remaining budget in full or working on 2022 allocations.
1. TikTok. Of course. It's the buzziest social channel right now, and with good reason. TikTok users now spend more time watching content than YouTube users (on Android, at least), and TikTok is continuing to roll out even more sophisticated ad products to prioritize e-commerce. Tap into its Shopify partnership to add a shopping tab to your brand's profile and create a mini storefront, or run a Reach and Frequency campaign to generate awareness among new audiences.
Don't have enough budget (or bandwidth) to create ads suitable for TikTok's discerning audience? As a starting point, we advise our clients to make use of TikTok's Spark Ads, which can turn any TikTok video into an ad. Partnering with TikTok creators is the best way to dip a toe into the TikTok waters.
Social shopping options on the rise
2. Shopify. Shopify’s recent partnership with Roku is also something to consider, especially for SMBs that may not have ever considered TV advertising. Roku is the first streaming app in the Shopify app store, allowing Shopify users to create connected TV (CTV) ad campaigns using a self-service tool.
Just select your audience, campaign budget, timing and duration, and then upload your creative. Ads from Shopify's merchants can be 15 or 30 seconds in length, and will appear within premium content. The Roku app could be a game changer for our clients who use Shopify—especially as consumers continue to become accustomed to less-produced, not-so-slick television spots and video ads—and it's launching just in time for the holiday season.
3. Instagram. When it comes to social shopping, Instagram is continuing to launch new features to compete with the likes of Amazon and Google. Not only does it now offer ads for products within the Shop tab, it also recently hosted a "10+ Days of Live Shopping” event with a variety of consumer brands to increase discoverability and adoption.
Additionally, the Shopping tab now includes a "Live” section that showcases streams that are currently live and those that were broadcasted within the last few days. If you're considering investing in Shopping ads or an Instagram-exclusive Drop, we always advise our clients to include a creator partnership as part of the promotion. Having a trusted third party can greatly increase authenticity and, ultimately, conversion.
Let influencers and live outreach work for you
4. Affiliate marketing. While it might not be the sexiest ad tactic, affiliate marketing is one of the workhorses of the marketing mix, especially in our e-commerce-driven climate. The benefit is that brands and advertisers can work with dozens, if not hundreds, of affiliates in a more automated way through the affiliate system operator.
As influencer niches become even more targeted and consumer internet searches use even more specific keywords, you may not get a massive uptick in web traffic, but the increased traffic you do receive can be eminently more qualified through smart affiliate tactics.
Another consideration? In our pitching and PR efforts, we've found that publications often won't include products in their gift guides without an affiliate link. So if you're a consumer brand you could be missing out on tons of traffic from trusted publications.
5. IRL events. Although we're not yet in a post-pandemic world, there has certainly been an uptick of “in real life” (IRL) events and gatherings compared to this time last year. Creative pop-ups and out-of-home activations can be beneficial, not just for creating buzz and awareness in a specific location but also as content engines for your email and social media marketing.
Consider how American Express converted traditional billboards and bench ads into remote workstations in a few major U.S. cities. This was especially strategic given how remote working is still the norm for millions of people. But large brands and SMBs alike should think outside of the major coastal cities, even getting as hyper-localized as sponsoring a youth sports team or a road race in a mid-size or smaller city.
Our client, EltaMD, partnered with the Skin Cancer Foundation for a roadshow across America that offered free skin screenings and checks. We used the opportunity to further the brand's mission of bringing sun safety to underserved communities, and created content that was shared across social. And getting hyper-local could be a game-changer right now when travel is still down compared with pre-pandemic numbers.
For more ideas, check out our case studies and agency offerings at www.basebeauty.com.