Authors: Sydney Danson and Minenhle Khumalo
We’ve all heard the saying, “failure to plan is planning to fail.” This is true for everything, including marketing your business online; hence the importance of a digital marketing strategy plan. Many believe that all you need to do is create a social media page, then sit back and watch the followers come in; however, digital success takes more work and planning than that.
A strategic digital marketing plan is a way to build and launch your company and your brand’s online presence. Using carefully selected online marketing channels, the marketing strategy details a series of actions and digital marketing tools that are vital in the success of your brand’s digital goals and objectives.
Let’s explore what a strategic digital marketing plan would look like for a cosmetics company. Using the example of a young South African brand, Vamp Me Cosmetics LTD, we will detail the essential elements when creating your strategic digital marketing plan, mainly:
- Knowing who you are and what you stand for – the brand’s target audience.
- Where to start – the current digital marketing strategy profile.
- Where you want to go – the goals and objectives of the company.
- What to do and how – creating and implementing the digital marketing strategy plan.
- Tracking your progress – the Key Performance Indicators for he marketing strategy.
KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU STAND FOR
The very first step to creating your digital marketing strategy is clearly defining who you are and your company’s mission, which will help you find your brand’s unique selling point. What do you stand for?
Vamp Me Cosmetics is a South African brand specializing in beauty products that are durable in the unforgiving African sun. Their mission is to produce cruelty-free, high-quality cosmetics at wallet-friendly prices.
Once you know your company’s mission, you then need to decide on your target audience. Who will benefit from your products and services?
There are a few points to think about when defining your target audience.
Who are your customers?
Think about who will be adorned by the palettes of eyeshadow you have created, who will benefit most from the trendy yet practical brushes you have chosen, and picture whose face will be embellished by your selection of lipsticks. As a cosmetics brand, your target audience can be as young as 13 years old. Makeup artists too will be at the top of your list.
Consider the geographical location of your customers. What do they do for a living? Which activities do they engage in during their free time? What are their values, ethnicity or even their gender? The world is moving in a free and expressive direction where more men are wearing makeup. Established brands, such as Chanel, have jumped onto the trend with their Boy De Chanel line.
Where do your customers spend their time?
Know where and how to reach your customers. In this information age, social media is the go-to platform for finding out where your customers spend their time, research consumer behaviors, and engage with your target audience.
You will gain insight into where you should roll out your marketing campaigns so they are most effective. Vamp Me Cosmetics LTD engages with their audience and industry influencers on Instagram, therefore creating videos and images related to the trend of the season.
How big is your market?
Now that you know who you wish to sell to, consider the market you are entering. There are quite a few beauty lines out there, but each one targets a specific clientele. If you’ve chosen to target the early 20’s woman who’s just entering the workforce and doesn’t have the money to spend on expensive products, then you need to find out which other brands have targeted the same customers.
Are early 20‘s professionals looking to switch brands and why? Is there an unmet need in the industry that you can fulfil? You will find that unmet needs represent leverage points for you as you enter the market. Doing a form of needs analysis for your target audience will help you find out what they need to buy, what captures their interest, and what triggers their buying decisions.
Which products do they buy?
Are they buying because they need beauty products or is it a lifestyle choice? This will help you classify your products and your brand. Are you selling essential cosmetics, such as skin cleansers, or luxury items such as eye shadows and lipstick? Find out which cosmetics products are most in-demand by your target audience and whether you have included these in your cosmetics line.
Another point to consider here is the factors affecting your target audience’s buying decisions, such as the latest trends in the industry. The beauty industry is rapidly changing, with new products coming out, each offering something different, whether it’s a smudge-free lipstick or a skin cleanser that will not strip off natural oils.
Where and how do they buy?
At the beginning and height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world quickly shifted to the digital space, which changed product consumption. Now that we are slowly gearing towards normalcy again, more and more people are getting back to the usual in-person shopping experience. You need to know where your target audience is spending their money.
If you’ve opted for a younger demographic or the extremely busy professional, then you will likely still find them buying online, opting for delivery rather than going into a store. Bring your products to where your audience is. Be as easy to access as possible.
Another buying decision that affects your target audience is your location. Consider whether you will be a local brand or nation, whether your target audience will require delivery or if they are close enough to visit your store.
Current Digital Marketing Strategy Summary
|Platform||Number of Followers||Posting Schedule||Engagement||Collaborations|
Website & SEO
|Google My Business||❌||none existent|
Company Goals & Objectives
- Grow following to 10K over a 6 Month Period
- Showcase how well products work
- Increase online sales by 30% in six months
- Advocate for cruelty-free products
The cosmetic industry has seen a rise in growth and exposure over the past five to six years and there is always a new brand looking to establish itself, making this one of the most competitive fields globally. In the United States, the beauty and cosmetics market reached $ 60 billion in 2016. A small or new cosmetic brand needs a well-thought-out digital marketing plan to tackle the competition and ensure sustainability. The following is an outline of the methods and tools we will be using to promote Vamp Me Cosmetics in an effort to aid them in achieving their goal and objectives.
Proposed Digital Marketing Strategy
The following channels will be used to achieve the company goals:
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Paid Advertising: CPC/CPM
Social media marketing
Proposed Social media Platforms:
We propose adding Youtube to the Vamp Me Cosmetics Social platforms. In 2017 there were 88 billion beauty-related video views on YouTube, growing from “only” 55 billion in 2016 ( Statista).
One of the main reasons for this is that cosmetics customers crave benefits, not fantasies, this means clients prefer to receive information from someone who has real experience of using the products and they appreciate reviews that incorporate both the positive and negative sides.
Reasons for Adding a Youtube Chanel:
- Improve brand SEO
- Increase overall sales
- Increase brand awareness
Now that we have our platforms in order, to stay above competitors it is important to create content for the Vamp Me clients to keep them up to date on the latest trends and products. The type of content being produced will be reviewed and updated periodically. To ensure that the company remains on target,
|Website copy||Website||x2 week||1-month advance||N/A||TBD|
|Blog posts||Beauty Blogs||x2/month||2-monthsadvance||Yes||TBD|
|Social media posts||x1/day||2-weeksadvance||Partially||TBD|
|Social media posts||x2/daily (plus reel)||2-weeksadvance||Partially||TBD|
|Social media posts||Youtube||x3/month||1-month advance||Partially||TBD|
Vamp Me Cosmetics will only be paying every time someone clicks on the ads or per one thousand impressions, depending on the platform. Charges are also based on, video views, and other metrics. We will only be using CPC/CPM for Facebook and Instagram and Google ads.
|Social Network||CPC||CPM (cost per thousand impressions)|
|Google Display Ads||$0.67||$3.12|
|Google Search Network||$1.00 to $2.00||$38.40|
Steps for CPC/CMP
- Determine ad campaign
- Construct Ad Group with highly related keywords
- Target a set of relevant keywords or key terms
- Set up a landing page
SEO strategy is important because it helps us create content that people are searching for, Instead of just creating what we think people are looking for.
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
The moment of truth: were your marketing efforts and investments effective or do they need to be adjusted? Key performance indicators are how you measure the success or failure of your digital marketing strategy. For Vamp Me Cosmetics, we would measure the amount of followers gained in the short and long term as set in the strategy goals, test consumer knowledge of how to use the products, evaluate the over all sales in the last 6 months.
There are a few ways you can do this, including the following:
Unique visitors per day/month
Returning visitors are important, but for the sake of the marketing strategy, you really want to focus on your unique visitors. These are individuals who are brand new to your website or social media pages. Evaluate the number of unique visitors per day and per month to measure the popularity of your company and your cosmetics brand.
For Vamp Me Cosmetics, we would also evaluate unique visitors over all at the end of the 6 months implementation period. These are visitors who clicked on the website, liked the Facebook page, subscribed on YouTube and followed on Instagram.
Pages per visit
Not only should you check how may people visited your website, but you should also look into which pages they visited. This help you see which items your new and potential consumers are interested in, as well as help measure the bounce rate.
The bounce rate, or user engagement, relates to the percentage of single-page site visits. This can be caused by a number of things, such as the website taking too long to load, too many pop-up ads or simply irrelevant content. A high bounce rate means that you are not converting any new leads or making sales.
If users visit vampmecosmetics.com but go no further than the landing page, it means they haven’t seen any of the product offerings and no one is buying.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) per day/month
Marketing qualified leads refer to a consumer who shows interest in your products, making them a potential buyer, based on your marketing efforts. We would measure how many customers clicked on the YouTube and Facebook product advertisements, rendering them potential sales.
Click Through Rate (CRT)
The click through rate measures the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page.
If you find that you have made little to no progress in your digital marketing and online brand awareness, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Figure out what didn’t work and what did. Was the strategy successfully throughout all the media platforms you chose to implement it or only a few? Was your success linked to a particular campaign, trend or purely based on product promotion?
Your digital marketing strategy plan can be adjusted and customized as your cosmetics business grows and your business goals shift.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Sydney Danson is a Digital Marketing Analyst Intern at the International Institute of Digital Marketing™. Sydney Danson holds an AA from the University of South Florida and specializes in media studies and content design.
Minenhle Khumalo is a Digital Marketing Analyst Intern with the International Institution of Digital Marketing ™. She is a Communications graduate from the University of South Africa with a love for literature and Psychology. You can follow Minenhle on Twitter @Minokhumalo or LinkedIn. To find out more about the International Institution of Digital Marketing™, you can click here.