Kylie Cosmetics Takes on Competing Makeup Brands Using Zero Social Ad Spend

Other competitors focused on Instagram and Facebook according to a new report by BrandTotal

BrandTotal, the competitive intelligence platform for marketers, released data about how the top brands in the cosmetics industry are spending across social media platforms to promote their latest products to target audiences.

BrandTotal’s latest report, “Social Marketing Snapshot: How Cosmetic Brands Use Paid Social,” shows how each brand is leveraging social media marketing, analyzing all paid and organic social campaigns from Kylie Cosmetics, Huda Beauty, Sephora, Maybelline New York, Urban Decay, Glossier, L’Oreal Paris and Estee Lauder over a 60 day period, from 6/10/19 – 8/8/19.

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Brands focused targeting on Facebook & Instagram, YouTube a close third 

The top cosmetic brands focused their ad strategies on the following social media channels, according to BrandTotal’s analysis:

Facebook YouTube Instagram Twitter
Maybelline New York 36% 3% 60% 1%
SEPHORA 36% 19% 43% 2%
Glossier 61% 22% 16% 1%
Estee Lauder 31% 22% 46% 1%
Urban Decay 22% 10% 67% 1%
Huda Beauty* 11% 10% 78% 1%
Kylie Cosmetics* 11% 1% 82% 6%
L’Oreal 1% 93% 5% 1%

[60 day analysis, 6.10.19 – 8.8.19, Source: BrandTotal]

 *No paid social media activity. 

Key Takeaways

Per BrandTotal data, Instagram was the clear leader in social media platform of choice for paid social campaigns among five cosmetic brands (Maybelline New York, SEPHORA, Glossier, Estee Lauder and Urban Decay), followed by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

  • Instagram – Urban Decay and Maybelline New York allocated the highest percentages of their digital media mix to Instagram compared to their peers with Urban Decay at 67% and Maybelline at 60% during the analysis period.
  • Facebook – The second most popular platform among cosmetic brands was used heavily by Glossier, with 61% of its media mix going to the social platform.
  • YouTube – L’Oreal has allocated the highest percentage of its digital media mix to YouTube compared to its peers, pushing 93% of their campaigns on the platform.
  • Twitter – Twitter is the least utilized paid social platform across all major cosmetic brands.

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“Instagram reigns supreme for paid campaigns among these four digital channels for top cosmetic brands,” said Alon Leibovich, co-founder & CEO, BrandTotal. “Given the younger demographics associated with these brands and the nature of Instagram as an inherently visual medium, it’s a no-brainer that makeup brands make Instagram their platform of choice when it comes to their social marketing strategies.”

Kylie isn’t Buying

During this analysis, Kylie Cosmetics and Huda Beauty, two cosmetic brands lead by prominent influencers with massive following, spent the least on social media advertising when compared to the rest of the industry, however they are leading the space in likes, comments, and shares, dominating the share of voice across the category.

Kylie Jenner’s success in the cosmetics space has generated a reported $900M in net worth for the 21 year old TV star.

“We’ve seen a similar ad strategy before with Tesla and the theory still holds true — strong brand names and associations with individuals who have a legacy of high organic reach, such as Kylie Jenner and Huda Kattan in this case, have the luxury of reaching an already built in user base without needing to spend. They know who their audiences are and how to convert engagement with them into sales,” said Leibovitch.

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