Social media’s marketing potential is an industry fact. Sustainable skincare brand Juno & Co. for example, achieved over 200 million views across TikTok and Instagram, with a 300% growth rate between 2020 and 2021, thanks to a TikTok influencer campaign targeted to its 70% Gen Z customer base. But while Gen Z and the aforementioned platforms may seem like the hot ticket, other brands are finding success in more targeted approaches for often overlooked consumer demographics
Nulastin, a range of personal care products harnessing ethically sourced elastin and keratin proteins to encourage lash, brow, and hair growth, positioned its marketing strategy at Gen X women on Facebook. Founder and CEO Leah Garcia sat down with BeautyMattter to explain why meticulousness beats mass and the power of knowing your audience.
What made you decide on the targeted Facebook ads marketing strategy?
Leah Garcia: After making the strategic business decision to focus on Generation X women, as well as those starting to look into anti-aging products, we developed a marketing strategy that met our target consumers where they already were (Facebook, email, retargeting, etc.), which resulted in massive success in just six years of business.
Nulastin’s cult-like following was developed over time due to our impressive efficacy, strong customer return rate, and the power of our online community. Many of our most loyal and satisfied customers share their powerful stories on Facebook and encourage others to try Nulastin themselves. In an industry saturated by companies making claims they cannot follow through on, the elastin replenishment from Nulastin does exactly what we say it will do, which is something that’s not just disruptive, but novel.
What advantages has it offered versus traditional marketing methods?
Facebook ads are interactive and engaging. Videos, GIFs, and compelling images tell a visual story. The ad copy amplifies the benefits for those who want more information, and the headline creates urgency. It’s a beautiful way to communicate to the consumer. When you add comments to the mix, you get a story that is peer to peer and not just one-dimensional (company to consumer). This is probably the most powerful part of why Facebook ads work so well. Savvy viewers can spot when the comments are disingenuous or canned, which is what sets Nulastin apart. We literally answer each thread with a personal note, because at the end of the day, we care about the people engaging.
Couple this ability to generate compelling ads with a personal touch with the fact that Gen X has a historically high presence on Facebook, and leveraging this platform to speak to our target audience just makes good business sense.
What are your thoughts on the increasing cost of online advertising?
With the iOS 14 update, we have seen a profound impact on our business. User permission has been a wake-up call for those of us who have relied heavily on Facebook and Instagram. Year over year, our CPMs (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) have increased 52%, CPCs (Cost Per Click) went up 49% and CPP (Cost Per Purchase) soared 56%.
Even though we have aimed to nurture our customers on a variety of platforms, the reality is, Gen X customers are heavily engaged on Facebook. There are several direct and indirect actions we are taking to cope, correct, and/or offset this reality; however, these steps will not remedy increased costs overnight.
To overcome the rising online advertising costs, e-commerce companies need to expand and diversify initiatives, and be constantly researching and exploring new platforms.
What numbers can you disclose about the growth of your audience and revenue as a result of these advertisements?
With a strong internal team, we have sought to better understand our customer, respond to their needs, and ensure we are driving revenue not just from new customer acquisition, but from repeat purchases. Our subscription program continues to grow substantially and has shown indications of a Lifetime Value (LTV) far outperforming industry standards. In 2021, Nulastin was at 154% growth over this period in 2020 and subscriptions (recurring orders) were up 511%. Subscription customers are proving to be the highest and best LTV customers, which enables us to create better scale and sustainable profit. Facebook continues to be one of the best driving forces behind our revenue which we have increased 2.5x year over year for the last five years, primarily due to the high presence of our target demographic being on this platform.
Why do you think Gen Xers are overlooked by the industry?
In today’s world of viral TikTok beauty trends, and beauty products that value Instagram-worthy packaging over results, brands have become hyper-focused on marketing solely to audiences that are digital natives. Over time, this has created a beauty industry that excludes Generation X consumers, those of us who value quality and integrity over sparkly trends. Gen X is known as the “forgotten generation.” Yet, Generation Xers are in their peak earning years and fiercely loyal to brands that serve them well. We saw an opportunity to engage with an audience that we felt we could add value to.
What are your thoughts on the concept of a post-demographic future for marketing?
The criticism of demographics as a way to categorize a group of people for marketing is primarily driven by making assumptions about groups of people based on age. It is imperfect as it makes assumptions of large groups of people born in a certain era that doesn't take into account experiences and backgrounds. By minimizing the importance of the era in which you were born and treating it as just one small element of numerous considerations marketers look at, we can overcome the reality of some of these downfalls of demographic marketing.
Notwithstanding, certain products like ours address specific needs of people that arise during different stages of aging. There is no question that as you age you lose hair and elasticity in your skin. So as a company, it would be difficult to forgo age as part of targeting since age is a main component driving the problem we are attempting to solve.
What is your advice for any brand founder looking to optimize their online marketing strategy?
Most brands today are more focused on younger groups of consumers, even though the space is significantly more cluttered and it's harder to break through. Brands that are honest about who their core value propositions speak to can better align with a key audience that will help them efficiently reach marketing goals.
Brands need to remember that Generation X makes up a huge portion of the market and they should not be ignored. In order to reach new audiences, brands need to diversify the way they choose to advertise themselves (which includes the models chosen, copywriting, highlighted products, etc.). In addition to creating products that live up to their claims, brands should ensure the overall consumer experience reflects the desires of their customers.
What has been the biggest challenge and success of growing your company?
Nulastin’s biggest challenge associated with growing the company in the last six years has been cutting through the ever-growing clutter and noise within the beauty industry on a bootstrap budget. We are self-funded and had no outside investments to fall back on. Every dollar spent was aimed at making the user experience better and gaining loyalty. That’s why we offered a lifetime performance guarantee. In an industry saturated by companies spending boatloads of money and making claims they cannot follow through on, it’s difficult to relay to consumers that the elastin replenishment in Nulastin actually does what it says it is going to do. That said, the cream rises to the top, and once we can get product into people’s hands, they gain firsthand experience with breathtaking results, and that’s when the challenge shifts to a moment of contentment.
The biggest success Nulastin has experienced throughout its growth since its formation in 2016 has been witnessing more and more customers see results. At Nulastin, our goal is to make elastin replenishment part of everyday life. The quality of our products speak for itself, creating lifelong customers who are the walking proof of our effectiveness. Their loyalty, stellar reviews, and encouragement of others to try us out is an amazing thing to witness and has resulted in sizable year-over-year growth, with a 250% increase demonstrated in 2021.
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