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Engaging bloggers means hard work, but dividends are high

By Simon Pitman , 21-Sep-2010
Last updated on 21-Sep-2010 at 13:06 GMT2010-09-21T13:06:35Z

Beauty companies are increasingly working closely with bloggers and even recruiting them as a means of developing products that really hit the mark.

Adopting a strategy to harness the benefits of blogging and social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook is now a given for any company that wants to stay on top of the trends-driven beauty segment.

But that strategy has to be focused and targeted if it is going to be effective, and a key part of this should be actually engaging bloggers, suggests Tiphaine Dumartinet, masters student at the Toulouse Business school and author of a Masters paper on beauty blogging.

The fact beauty companies are gravitating towards social media is now well documented and was underlined in another article based on Dumartinet’s research that was published last week on CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.

Blogger influence on brands

Further to this, Dumartinet stresses that “blogs can influence both brand’s communication and upstream strategic directions and decisions”, that can ultimately lead to product modifications that lend added consumer appeal.

However, before reaching this stage a lot of hard work has to be put in developing a clear and dedicated strategy aimed at achieving engagement with bloggers.

In an effort to do this, companies are recruiting the right kind of bloggers, the type that will give them constructive feedback and criticism aimed at helping in the development of more targeted finished beauty products.

“Companies are trying to build up a kind of association with these real, value-adding bloggers,” Dumartinet notes.

Blogging tends to be a feminine past time

The research also identifies the fact that blogging has tended towards being a feminine past time, with the majority of blogs centering on subjects such as fashion, cooking, art, motherhood, and, of course, every type of aspect of beauty.

Beauty blogs focus on subjects such as make-up application, hair care and styling, natural cosmetics, fragrances, many of which engage consumers to interact and contribute to the website contents through blog contributions, often sharing ideas about new beauty product launches.

And it is these bloggers that beauty companies have been targeting, to varying degrees.

Dumartinet points out that one of the most successful attempts at harnessing the potential of the blogging community has come from an initiative by L’Oreal’s Lancôme brand.

Lancôme hits the spot

The launch of the maginifique-woman.com website, which is sponsored by Lancôme, provides what Dumartinet describes as ‘first class treatment’ for bloggers’, while also identifying these individuals as being highly influential internet users.

“Lancôme undertook vital work to identify the most influential female individuals already running blogs in France, before getting in contact with them and building a relationship,” said Dumartinet.

In undertaking this, the Lancôme marketing team built up a working relationship with the bloggers based on exchanging, sharing and trust – efforts that have now been rewarded with one of the highest rates of blogger engagement of any European beauty brand.