Brands and retailers tap user-generated content to showcase real-life use-cases for their products and services. And with 92% of consumers saying they trust earned media over all other forms of advertising, as Nielsen indicates, social media feedback, peer reviews, photos and even videos, are effective channels for driving engagement and sales.
NYX Cosmetics sees user-generated content as an integral part of all marketing campaigns and tactics. With a forte in digital marketing and social media, the brand focuses on generating relationships with consumers across a variety of channels.
“We really haven’t done much in the area of traditional marketing — it has all been very digitally and socially focused,” said Mehdi Mehdi, Director of Online Operations for NYX Cosmetics, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We’re a brand that really likes to stay ahead of the curve. For example, we have really strong presence on Instagram so we try to feature different makeup artists who are using our products and build relationships within that community.”
Rather than promoting a company hash tag and hoping consumers use it to upload photos, NYX Cosmetics gets involved in a series of different online communities where people talk about cosmetics.
“We’re out there, reaching out to people using the communities where they spend their time,” Mehdi added. This encourages consumers to come back to the e-Commerce site and post content. “We try to keep a really strong connection between us and all those other communities.”
Once consumers upload photos and feedback from Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, NYX manages, curates and publishes that content using Olapic, a visual commerce platform that makes customer photos and videos shoppable.
From The Digital Screen To Real Life
Although a “shop the look” feature is self-explanatory and overall easy to execute for apparel and accessory brands, it is a bit more complex for a cosmetic company, Medhi explained. “When you see someone wearing a piece of clothing, you automatically know what it looks like. With beauty, you get a mixture of products, and you can’t exactly tell the exact shade of lipstick they’re wearing, for example.”
NYX established a structure with Olapic for viewing, moderating and tagging images with the correct product pages. Now, when consumers browse items, click on a page, they not only see brand images and content, they also see user-generated content. Consumers also can access a “Get The Look” feature on the e-Commerce site to access all customer images in a central location.
Beauty enthusiasts can submit their cosmetic creations to the brand using the #NYXCosmetics hash tag. However, the brand also generates unique hash tags for specific sub-campaigns.
The Olapic tool enables NYX Cosmetics to sift through and publish user-generated content quickly and seamlessly. This not only makes product marketing easier for the brand, but also incents consumers to submit their own looks. “The Olapic tool is causing people to use our hash tag more frequently,” Mehdi said. “They’re fond of getting featured on the web site. We’re seeing a lot of really talented artists using our hash tags in order to get their pages and photos seen, which opens up a lot of opportunities for them.”
As of January 2014, NYX has seen “a big uptick across the board in terms of how many pages people are viewing and how much time they’re spending on the site,” Mehdi said. “For us, Olapic and user-generated content in general has become an integral part to our e-Commerce experience — almost as much as the product shots themselves.” Mehdi added that overall, a high number of people who convert actually interact with user-generated content at some point during the shopping process.
Due to the success of Olapic, NYX will be integrating more video into the content experience. Although the brand already publishes 15-second videos from Instagram, adding more videos to the experience is going to be the next step. “We’re able to showcase 15-second tutorials and product reviews,” Mehdi said, “but we have all this great video content sitting there, waiting for us to use it.”