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Over the last six years, Nykaa has grown to become one of India’s largest omnichannel beauty players, offering the widest selection of brands to its customers across the country. Beauty advice vis-à-vis ‘Beauty Book’ and its various off-shoots has been one of the six pillars that Nykaa rests on and is very much part of this e-commerce brand’s DNA. But unlike other editorial teams that might function in creative silos, Beauty Book doesn’t just create content for the sake of content — it creates it as part of the carefully choreographed dance of digital selling.

As one of the five essential strands of Nykaa’s DNA, the creation and consumption of content isn’t the end game and a much more challenging affair; not only does it need to complement the brand’s commercial interests, but also provide its customers with a brand-agnostic, educational experience of beauty.

Beauty Book — The who, what and why

The persona

When Beauty Book started five years ago, it was a relatively unknown entity — it provided reviews, round-ups and look tutorials, supplemental to the main business of selling. Over time, it has grown to develop its own independent identity as a digital magazine — with a voice, look and feel that isn’t a chance by-product of the Nykaa brand, but quintessentially Beauty Book.

Today, Beauty Book is a one-stop-shop for all things beauty, spanning the spectrum from makeup and skincare to nutrition and wellness. Nykaa curates the best in the biz from industry trends, brands launches and product reviews to celebrity interviews, expert advice and tutorials.

One might think that a magazine borne from an e-commerce business is focused solely on profit, but the brand remains agnostic and attuned to their readers' needs. In fact, some of most successful issues have been focused around things like Broke Girl Beauty, or brands that aren't even listed on the website — angles that some might think are in direct conflict to the business of e-commerce. This commitment to putting the reader first has, in fact, earned us the credibility and engagement that converts a casual content browser to a loyal subscriber and active consumer, with a tonality that’s expert-driven but not preachy; conversational but not fickle.

The immersive experience

Given the diversity of digital audiences and their attention spans, it was important to provide information and entertainment in various avatars that would cater to the consumption preferences of each subset.

Web articles

To this end, Nykaa provides several different article types — from reviews, tutorials, guest columns and op-eds to news pieces, native content and interviews. All these pieces prescribe to careful rules that alternate word counts for SEO and audience, keeping in mind both the short- and long-form reader and the desktop and mobile consumer.

Videos

The brand also renders content in the form of multimedia, from live tutorials that stream on the app to co-branded films, web series and other video formats. The popular ‘BB Masterclass’ series hosted on Nykaa TV (Nykaa’s YouTube channel) and the app provides the audience access to exclusive tutorials by Beauty Book’s large panel of celebrity makeup artists, skin specialists, fitness experts and influencers.

Aside from tutorials, Beauty Book also creates native content in collaboration with various brands — from tutorial-style videos to stop-motion films. Other than educational content, Nykaa also created innovative comedy-format videos, including a makeup challenge with comedian Rohan Joshi to the ‘Tinderella’ web series with Sumukhi Suresh about a young, beauty-obsessed millennial trying to navigate the world of dating and self-love.

TV-on-demand

To accommodate the brand’s older readers who might not be comfortable finding and consuming content on YouTube or on the web, Nykaa is also working towards a watch-and-shop format. This has involved creating original content as an extension of BB's multimedia properties.

The vital stats

 

Distribution and amplification

It’s important to reach audiences no matter where they live (online on IRL), what language they speak, and what their consumption behaviours may be. To this Nykaa has started translating its content in Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali and Kannada and disseminating it through Grihshobha, India’s largest Hindi language publication.   

(i) Multi-platform presence

Given the wide variety of sub-categories Nykaa covers within beauty, it can segregate and distribute content as per the lifestyle and format preferences of its readers on different platforms. For FB, Nykaa uses infographics, lives, short how-to videos to recruit regular readers/viewers and amplify timely or trendy content; for Instagram, it uses content that appeals to the millennial readers and captures the visual and aspirational aspects of beauty; on LinkedIn, the target is working professionals with content about wellness, work-life balance, multitasking products and time-saving beauty routines.  For tier 2 and tier 3 readers, it redirects content on budget beauty and DIY treatments through the Nykaa Network, which is a 500,000 strong online beauty community.

(ii) Content affiliates

Content creation is only one aspect of what Nykaa does; dissemination of this content is equally vital to reach audiences beyond the Nykaa universe, audiences that have many synergies with the customers that visit our site. Therefore, to capture specialised niches, for the last six months the brand has entered multiple content barter arrangements with synergistic sites, besides providing guest columns /sections to various other digital publications that are beauty-intersectional.

(iii) On-site positioning

Beauty Book likes to leave its readers to their own devices — in other words, it is rendered across app, desktop and mobile with most of the traffic coming from mobile. While one might assume the brand just migrate content from one to the other, this is actually a meticulously thought-out process that involves us designing article layouts that are optimised specifically for mobile.

Across all three mediums, Nykaa places a huge amount of importance on positioning across the website —  which means that fresh, timely content from the magazine is strategically placed on relevant category listing pages, buying guides and stores (for example, if you’re searching the site for red lipsticks, an article on the ‘Top 10 Red For Every Skin Tone’, or ‘Six Ways To Use  Red Lipstick’ will show up unobtrusively as you scroll through products).

Today, the monthly consumption of BB articles is at 2.2 million-page views.

(iii) Regional translations

Nykaa’s TG research has uncovered a huge, untapped market of consumers hungry for content in regional languages, promoting it to launch extensions in several regional languages, including the translation of articles for Hindi, Marathi and Bengali-speaking readers, as well as original Hindi videos and other tutorials dubbed in a variety of languages.

(iv) SEO optimisation

 Keeping abreast with industry trends has also helped Nykaa stay ahead of the game. Last year, when stats revealed that Google sent 17% more traffic to its publishers than FB, the brand upped its SEO game massively. While each of the articles was optimised to be easily crawled and searchable through Google, Nykaa also had them primed for Google Answer Box. In addition, a unique hero blog strategy made the reader experience more convenient by creating a web of relevant/related articles through a single gateway.

 

(vi) Mailers

 As part of Beauty Book’s many promotional plays, the brand sends out mailers to highly engaged shoppers, including Trending Mailers that offer a concise look at popular trends in the industry, while Issue Mailers give a sneak-peek at the top stories in the latest issue — both perform exceedingly well with the highest engagement rates as compared to all other mailers circulated by Nykaa. For example, a Beauty Book mailer has open rates of 20-22% on average as compared to brand / sale mailers that plateau at 8-10%.

(vii) Social media

The cornerstone of Nykaa’s social media strategy is ‘real girl beauty’ — that is, content created by real girls for real girls. It segregated the content into various categories. This two-pronged strategy is dictated by social media trends and original IPs such as #BBLabs where the brand tests various trends and products to discover hacks or simply decide if it’s worth your time and money or not. Another property, called #AskMeAnything, creates an important touchpoint with our followers, through a digital persona who’s young, fun, sassy and sage answering questions based on pre-decided topics.

BB Masterclasses with makeup, skin, hair and wellness internationally acclaimed experts also stream live on Facebook and IGTV, allowing viewers direct access and real-time advice from the industry’s heavyweights — sessions which bring in massive traction and engagement.

A winning strategy

Multi-platform + format-flexible: As a digitally native publication, it has been always important for Nykaa to remain format-flexible to meet the needs of all digital platforms. This allows to keep up with the ever-changing tides of media consumption and meet the readers at their first point of contact, wherever in the consumption funnel that may be.

While the brand renders content over app, desktop and mobile, it goes a step further by creating portable iterations for each content piece. This process of repurposing and repackaging content has provided Nykaa with an evergreen stream of content plays with very little added cost and zero compromise on quality.

Data-driven + feedback-led content plans: With various methods and sources of tracking consumer behaviours and demands — be it through buying patterns tracked on its e-comm site, questions asked during its Lives or on its social handles, or trending topics / real-time conversations on Nykaa Network — the brand has the opportunity to gain invaluable insights about its readers and create content tailored to their needs, thus speaking to, and not at readers.

Innovative IPs + tech implements

In the digital arena, if you snooze, you lose and Nykaa is constantly pushing the limits on content innovation through multi-platform IPs.

On the app, an industry-first tech implement called ‘Watch & Buy’ uses automated systems during to allow our users to purchase products used in a video tutorial while watching it.

Nykaa also uses AI machine learning to curate content, allowing a user to draw up content across formats and categories based on their searches or the page they’re browsing.

Disclaimer: The data related to the performance of the campaign has been claimed by brand/agency/platform/creator. BuzzInContent.com has not verified the authenticity of the data and hence is not responsible for any counter claim by any other party

How has your content initiative made a difference to the brand’s purpose? Have a case study to showcase your great work and get noticed? Write in to Tejal Parmar at tejal@bestmediainfo.com