February’s earned media was grounded in messages of loving one’s skin, linked most obviously to Valentine’s Day. The month’s Top 10 most engaged brands saw success from digital influencers who touted luxurious spa-like experiences brought home, reported Tribe Dynamics. Detoxifying masks, overnight elixirs and infused body scrubs were among the favorites.

Top 10
1. Neutrogena – $3,297,015 EMV
2. Clinique – 1,354,363 EMV
3. Dove – 1,096,126 EMV
4. Clarins – 1,072,094 EMV
5. Soap & Glory – 1,014,310 EMV
6. Murad – 1,013,712 EMV
7. The Body Shop – 891,887 EMV
8. Olay – 880,447 EMV
9. GlamGlow – 756,422 EMV
10. Elizabeth Arden – 598,449 EMV

Neutrogena’s Influence on Instagram

Just this past November, Neutrogena benefited from an explo­sion of activity on Instagram thanks to its sponsorship of the Latin Grammy Awards 2014. Through a handful of partner influencers, the brand documented the event, giving followers of its brand a behind-the-scenes look at what it would have been like to walk the red carpet and party with the nominees.

Only a few months later, Neutrogena took advantage of the 86th Academy Awards, once again calling upon influencers to represent its brand at the star-studded affair. The strategy was largely the same: use the Instagram account of an influenc­er, follow her through each stage of her experience at the event beginning in the dressing room with makeup and skin care provid­ed by Neutrogena to the red carpet and following celebrations.

Although Neutrogena clearly had a hand in its earned media suc­cess with the strategy, the brand’s involvement did not ex­tend past providing the means for the influencer’s experience: free product, a makeup artist and dressing room, and of course, entree to the event. Neutrogena could have created/published the same content itself, but it was the elevation of “girl-next-door” influencer, Dulce Candy, that motivated followers to interact with the content. Eight of the brand’s 10 most valuable Instagram posts for February came from Dulce Candy, each photo part of a story that kept followers glued to their feeds, waiting in anticipation for the next peek at the blogger’s night. “Storytelling” is often thrown around in conversations concerning digital marketing and engagement of social audiences. Neutro­gena’s strategy at the Oscars was a literal interpretation of the principle.

High-fashion experts at Harper’s Bazaar also fueled the mass-market brand’s re-branding as luxury, tagging the brand and including its #behindtheglow in an Instagram post gushing over Kerry Wash­ington’s “effortless beauty look” on the red carpet. For a brand sold in drugstores and Target, these associations drew connec­tions in the minds of consumers between its brand and style, so­phistication and elegance.

Clinique Shows Versatility On YouTube
In February, Clinique excelled on YouTube with videos that outline beauty regimens. The brand’s perceived versatility as both a skin care and makeup brand was evident by the range of products included in these videos. The common thread across this high-engagement content was the apparent emotional attachment vloggers had to their favorite Clinique products – irreplaceable essentials within their daily makeup/ skin care routines. The format also provided direct, shoppable links to product pages.

Murad Drives Excitement Through Instagram

Murad benefited from content creation during NYFW thanks to its inclu­sion in BCBG Max Azria’s giveaway contest, offering 10 lucky followers the chance to win their very own “NYFW Survival Bags.” The bags in­cluded a variety of beauty, skin care, and hair care products, in addition to a Red Bull energy drink, Luna energy bar and S’well bottle. Murad’s inclusion in the gift bag was a signal of its perceived trendiness and reliability. The multiple high-engagement posts published for the giveaway meant that Murad’s valuable association with BCBG reached a large audience of potential consumers.

Face Mask Selfies Drive Excitement

Meet the next viral social phenomenon taking the industry by storm, the face mask selfie, appearing on the Instagram feeds of top influencers.

The trend highlights shifting dynamics between brands and consumers based on the latter’s changing interests, expectations and needs. So what does this new class of face mask, overnight treatment and other products say about the average beauty/skin care consumer? To start, for as much value as she may place in the indulgent part of any skin care treat­ment, her active lifestyle necessitates convenience and efficiency, which play a significant role in product choices. Those that interfere with her daily routine are no longer of interest. Marketing campaigns for brands pivot around ease and flexibility – treatments that work wonders while you’re watching a favorite show or sleeping.

To access Tribe Dynamics’ full report, please click here.