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Glowing up: using Instagram to reach passionate beauty buyers

Glowing up: using Instagram to reach passionate beauty buyers

Instagram is where conversations about beauty happen – and where brands can connect and engage with APAC’s community of “empowered beauty shoppers,” 85% of whom have purchased beauty products they discovered on Instagram. Learn how your brand can use Instagram to reach this community, boost discovery, and increase conversions.

From spending hours in beauty store aisles to discovering, learning about, and purchasing products not only online, but with mobile and through social commerce—beauty shoppers in Asia have come a long way in a short time.

Though this shift began before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, consumer expectations and needs evolved further in the wake of the lockdowns, especially influencing discovery and the path to purchase.

With these changes in consumer behavior, it’s important for brands not only to understand where people are now shopping online but how best to engage them across the marketing funnel – and that is with Instagram.

Using Instagram to connect with community, creativity, and culture

A visual social media platform, Instagram offers an array of creative ways for brands to express their story and build awareness for their products by connecting with the billions of passionate people who use Instagram – 71% of whom believe Instagram helps them connect meaningfully with both brands and content creators.

What’s more, 68% of people agree that the content they see on Instagram is trendy, which attracts Gen Z and Millennials users to the app and lends credibility to the brands they discover in Stories and their Feed.

One community that is particularly engaged on Instagram is beauty buyers across Asia Pacific – a group of over 500 million people – who overwhelmingly use Instagram to discover and engage with new brands.

  • 83% of beauty buyers in APAC use Instagram at least monthly
  • 52% of beauty buyers prefer discovery via social media
  • 73% of Gen Z and Millennial beauty buyers in APAC discover and find out about brands on Instagram

Reaching the Empowered Beauty Buyer

This community of passionate skincare, makeup, and self-care enthusiasts not only use Instagram to discover products but to have in-depth conversations about beauty – both with brands and trusted content creators.

  • +180 index of highest skincare affinity conversations for 18–34-year-olds in Japan occur on Instagram
  • +140 index of highest cosmetics affinity conversations for 18–34-year-olds in Japan occur on Instagram

To reach the beauty community most effectively, it’s important to understand how their shopping needs are changing and how they enjoy engaging with brands on Instagram – through discovery, interactive engagement, authentic voices, information-forward content, and purchasing on their own terms.

Proactive discovery

Beauty shoppers on Instagram are digitally savvy, have embraced the power of discovery on Instagram, and demand to be talked to rather than talked at – which means engaging in dialogue is much more important than simply presenting a catalogue.

What’s more, Instagram users enjoy watching videos – 82% of people said they watch Instagram Stories weekly, and 78% said they watch videos in their Instagram Feed, making video ad formats a powerful way to connect with the beauty audience. This is especially true in APAC, where engaging with Stories and following brands is a top activity that continues to grow.

For example, Korean beauty brand dear, Klairs tested whether a mix of videos, including branded content, across Instagram Feed and Instagram Stories was more effective in driving sales than just video ads in Instagram Feed, and learned that multiple video formats and placements on Instagram boosts campaign performance. Chandana Sunder, who leads verticals marketing at Meta, APAC, says that Instagram is the most-watched video destination for beauty based on an IPSOS study across markets.

Engaging interactivity

More than discovering new brands and products, the APAC beauty community actively wants to interact with the brand as well as engage with content. Instagram Stories formats such as interactive polls and Q&As have helped brands achieve greater interactivity by giving them the ability to post creative quizzes, polls, and questions for users to interact with and answer. This gives shoppers the opportunity to share their opinions and inspire co-creation with brands they follow and enjoy.

  • 57% of Instagram users prefer polls and quizzes from brands
  • 54% of Instagram users prefer Q&A sessions with brands

But posting a quiz or posing a question to followers is just the first step – it’s also important for brands to engage in a dialogue with their Instagram followers by responding to the answers they submit and commenting on their posts or Stories.

Some brands are also finding success engaging and interacting with Instagram followers through Instagram Live, a live-streaming solution that allows brands to entertain and interact with shoppers in real-time.

As a Millennial woman in Japan put it, “I can participate in Instagram Lives which makes it more enjoyable for me, so I find it a good form of entertainment.”

Authenticity is key

An authentic voice is a must for the beauty community on Instagram. People seek out brands and content creators not just because they are entertaining, but because they feel they can trust them.

  • 64% of people in APAC believe Instagram allows them to form meaningful connections with brands
  • 57% of people in APAC think it’s important for brands to post unpolished content

One way brands can earn trust and prove their commitment to authenticity is through branded content partnerships with well-known creators on Instagram. Clinique Australia recently engaged local content creators to post honest reviews of a newly launched product and not only reached a wider audience but earned an 8.7X return on ad spend.

Self-designed path to purchase

With Instagram, brands are reaching people who are more inclined to take an interest in or purchase their products – in a recent survey, 59% of people said they believe the content about the brand and products they see on Instagram are curated to their interests.

Pradeep Ramarathnam, regional client partner at Meta, APAC, says that this type of personalisation can aid in the decision to purchase, and when paired with a seamless shopping experience, can help brands increase revenue. However, providing seamless shopping means giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase where they are most comfortable.

  • 85% of beauty buyers in APAC have purchased beauty products they discovered on Instagram
  • 50% of people surveyed believe the ability to shop on Instagram elevates their overall user experience

As eCommerce grows and evolves, shoppers have a variety of ways to make an online purchase, be it buying directly on a company’s website, visiting a marketplace app, purchasing through Instagram Shops, or engaging in social commerce through Instagram Live. Each person has their own preferences and providing seamless purchasing options across the marketing funnel helps people shop quickly, easily, and via their preferred channel.

By using the variety of Instagram tools and solutions, brands will be able to connect with the engaged and passionate APAC beauty community in creative and authentic ways that are geared toward discovery and activate shoppers toward making a purchase.

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