In recent years, countless beauty brands have used social media as an irreplaceable marketing tool for gaining exposure and connecting with consumers. While the platform preference depends on the nature of each brand, modern beauty brands lean toward Instagram for two obvious reasons — it’s highly visual and interactive.

Skincare, beauty, and wellness companies actively use Instagram to launch their brand, build their audience and customer base, and attract new demographics. Social media has become a crucial element of every beauty brand’s marketing strategy, and, according to Influencer Marketing Hub, has helped the sector evolve to become a $5.5 trillion industry.

Read on to explore some of Instagram’s most popular beauty brands that are focused on creating a meaningful connection with their respective audiences through visual on-brand content.

TULA is a clean, effective skincare and wellness brand offering innovative products powered by probiotics and superfoods to “help you feel confident in the skin you’re in.” This beauty brand has gained an impressive Instagram following with consistent and distinctive content (@tula).

“As a digitally native brand, social media is a top priority for us to acquire new customers and engage with our community — in fact, 75 percent of our customers first learn about TULA through influencers and on Instagram specifically, so it’s a powerful growth engine,” says CEO Savannah Sachs.

2. Glossier
Glossier’s success story on Instagram is an example of how brands can leverage the platform to rise in popularity. Glossier’s impressive growth on social media offers insights into what works and what doesn’t for beauty brands on Instagram. According to Social Media Today, “A huge part of Glossier’s success comes back to one of the buzz terms of the moment — ‘brand authenticity.’” The company strategically produces content and posts that are easily identifiable and align with its theme and what resonates most with its customer base. While its content might seem simple, it is thoughtfully tailored to fit its customers’ preferences. “The approach highlights the importance of knowing your audience, picturing what their day-to-day social feed looks like, and working to conceptually and aesthetically blend in,” Social Media Today writes about Glossier.

3. Youth To The People
This vegan, superfood skincare made from purposeful and clean ingredients launched in 2015 and has since gained a notable following of consumers looking for sustainable skincare with few ingredients. The brand’s simple and minimalistic designs do well amongst inspirational and educational posts in earthy tones on their feed (@youthtothepeople). Early on, the company used micro and macro social media influencers to gain increased exposure. Their products are now available at Sephora stores around the world.

4. Glow Recipe
Glow Recipe is a brand of cruelty-free, clean, fruit-powered skincare designed to help bring out one’s inner glow. Launched in 2014 by Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, the Glow Recipe Instagram account boasts almost 600,000 followers, a blue checkmark denoting its ‘official’ presence on the platform, and a thoughtfully curated feed with pastel images, studio product shots, and splashes of millennial pink — very “on brand” with the aesthetic of the company. According to Business Insider, this Korean beauty and skincare brand racked up $30 million in sales in just four years in the crowded beauty market.

5. Versed
Versed is another brand of clean, cruelty-free, and vegan skincare that is hugely popular on Instagram. Recently launched by the team behind Who What Wear, Versed affordable skincare is already available at Target, Revolve, and Dermstore. Its Instagram posts in muted pastels receive impressive engagement from its 63,000 followers, while the bio encourages users to reach out via text message for urgent skin questions — way to connect with one’s customer base!

Instagram is making the brand-customer connection more direct as it introduces tools that allow brands to showcase their products and consumers to shop them within the app. A strong social media presence can bring not only more exposure but increased sales.

“What’s working well for us is Instagram content in our stories versus static posts, across both organic and paid, since the ‘swipe up’ to purchase feature offers the customer a seamless path to purchase,” Sachs of TULA says.

Instagram’s stories feature also helps forge a closer connection between the brand and its customers as consumers tend to feel closer to the brand if they can participate in polls, ask questions, or vote on the stories. Brands that make a conscious effort to respond to story mentions, repost tagged posts, and directly interact with their customer base in a friendly and approachable way are more likely to succeed on the platform.

Because Instagram is a highly visual experience, maintaining a consistent aesthetic and color scheme are key tools that beauty brands such as TULA, Youth To The People, Farmacy Beauty, Herbivore Botanicals, Supergoop!, Glow Recipe, Versed, and many others use to make their pages stand out. A clean, memorable visual presence and consistent, friendly interaction with customers on Instagram are core components that help determine a beauty brand’s recognition and success on Instagram.

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