L’Oréal is an undisputed giant when it comes to social reach. With over 27 Million followers on Facebook alone, we can safely say the brand is doing something right. Actually, L’Oréal is doing a few things right, from smart segmentation to working with up-and-coming influencers. Most brands already understand the value of working with influencers to advertise their products online, but L’Oréal goes one step further. By putting the most emphasis on authenticity, L’Oréal has been able to engage on a global level and within various segments of the beauty market. Let’s take a look at the different aspects of L’Oréal’s strategy to find out what’s working for them.
Going Global: Sometimes More is Better
Many brands attempt to focus their social reach by narrowing their output into just a few online properties. L’Oréal has 61 different properties in 39 countries. Although it may initially seem like L’Oréal is spreading itself too thin online, this strategy is working incredibly well for this type of beauty brand. For one thing, L’Oréal offers a very wide variety of products ranging from hair to skin care. People want to be able to see videos for the exact type of beauty product they’re looking for.
There are different beauty trends in different parts of the world and L’Oréal’s country-dedicated pages see a lot of action. For example, L’Oréal’s India property had over 8 Million views on Facebook and YouTube in March while L’Oréal Spain had almost 4.3 Million views in the same month. The most viewed video in the last 90 days for L’Oréal Taiwan focused on skin care, while the most viewed video in the last 90 days for L’Oréal Indonesia was for long-lasting makeup (see below). Yes, for brands that sell primarily in the U.S. or for smaller brands that haven’t been around as long, you may not want a specific property in every country, but for an established international brand trying to market via online video, it might be a good idea to dedicate some space to various markets that are interested in different aspects of the beauty industry.
L’Oreal: An Influencer for Every Audience
As a major brand, L’Oréal was a relatively early adapter in working with micro-influencers to market their products, launching their “#beautysquad” in late 2016. Rather than reaching out to one major beauty influencer with a massive following, L’Oréal partnered with 5 U.K.-based beauty bloggers of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds with slightly smaller followings (squad member Victoria Magrath of IntheFrow has over a Million followers, but she’s a micro-influencer when compared to Zoe Sugg of Zoella who has over 17.9 followers).
Reaching out to multiple influencers with unique audiences was likely a cost-effective move for L’Oréal, but the brand’s approach in working with these influencers was also incredibly unrestrictive. L’Oréal allowed these women to review products from other brands and even critique L’Oréal products they weren’t happy with. Multiple studies have shown that a major reason micro-influencers generate engagement is because people believe they are genuine; they’re not just celebrities hawking products. Therefore, someone might be more likely to believe that an influencer truly loves a brand’s product if that influencer is honest when they don’t love something.
The other great thing about partnering with more than one influencer is that each of these 5 bloggers focuses on a different aspect of their beauty regime at a given time. Patricia Bright might be trying to dye her hair the right shade of honey brown while Ruth Crilly of AModelRecommends is all about her skin routine. So at any time, the L’Oréal #beautysquad could be covering a range of the brands’ products, each from an original perspective.
Understanding the diversity of the online audience
Ultimately, L’Oréal understands that their brand is global and they’re online audience is extremely diverse. In January of 2017, L’Oréal launched its campaign for their True Match foundation makeup both online and via mainstream media (the first TV ad for this campaign rolled out during the Golden Globes). The online campaign for True Match often used the hashtag #YoursTruly and the ad featuring celebrities and models both of different races, genders and ethnicities received over 1.5 Million views on YouTube:
The ad also featured L’Oréal’s updated slogan, changing “Because I’m worth it” to the more universal “Because we’re all worth it.” L’Oréal, through its various online properties and brand ambassadors sends a message of authenticity and confidence. What makes L’Oréal so successful in social video campaigns is that the brand understands itself. This is a global brand with a wide range of products that a lot of very different people are going to use. What works in advertising for this brand is segmentation of product, region, and influencer partners. This just may work for your brand, too!