Monday, July 22, 2024

The Key to Dominating the Beauty Metaverse in Pakistan: Building Content & Virtual Communities!

The Beauty Metaverse though making milestone advances internationally is still in its nascent stages in Pakistan. Research indicates that there were 87.35 million internet users in Pakistan at the start of 2023, with an internet penetration rate of 36.7%. Of this, 71.70 million were social media users (with 53.20 million aged 18 and above), which equates to 30.1% of Pakistan’s total population and 82.1% of Pakistanis total internet user base. 28% of these are female, one of the predominant customers in the Beauty category. This indicates a huge blue ocean opportunity for businesses in the Beauty space looking to expand and capture the Gen Z and millennial audience.

However, capturing this market is not as simple as investing in heavy digital ad spend. Key is to be ‘creative,’ build ‘content’, and create virtual ‘communities’. Strategically, targeting virtual communities or building them from scratch, followed by engaging them with catchy visuals, superior execution and depth-based content that is both educational and entertaining will be the secret sauce for business success.

In this article, I will dive deeper into the benefits of a ‘virtual first’ approach, explore some of the most effective ways to build communities online, and offer some tips on how to stay ahead of the curve in Pakistan’s fast-paced beauty metaverse. Here is a deep dive into the ‘virtual first’ approach to winning the consumer journey.

The Content Game and its Core Strategic Components

While graphics with promotional offers, boosted through heavy ad spend was a common denominator for most beauty brands, national and multinational alike, the strategy falls flat in the current virtual scenario resulting in low returns on investment. The online Beauty audience has advanced and refined to the point of requiring a lot more when it comes to brand engagement and conversions.

“We are living in an age of minimal attention spans and lots of content competing for that attention. While content is the brand’s way to interact with their potential audience and keep them hooked, they need to hit the right mix when it comes to their Content Strategy. The secret mix is to provide content that is engaging, educational and has a component of “feels” all at the same time.” –Sahr Said

Key is to understand consumer psychology; and make sure that each interaction with the potential consumer is meaningful (engaging), that leaves them with something to takeaway (educational) and delights them (feels) at the same time. Once this mix is mastered, Brands are on their way to cracking the Beauty Metaverse and competing in ways that are unparalleled.

That said, it is also very important to ensure that the online content experience that the brand creates is seamless across all brand touchpoints, and connected in how the consumer “feels” while interacting with the brand or its content whether it is online, in store, or even over the phone. The “feel,” which is the most important component of the content strategy mix, is what your content needs to build, and what your content in return does to build your brand.

The Rise of the Beauty Metaverse in Pakistan: Virtual Communities

The innovative trend that is poised to transform the world of Pakistan’s Beauty metaverse: a ‘content first’ approach coupled with community building. It’s not just about flashy technology – at the heart of this trend is a focus on community building. By fostering a sense of belonging and creating a space for customers to connect and share their experiences, beauty brands can build a loyal following and tap into the power of social proof.

Previously, the content game was simply to engage and entertain, advancing to levels of creating fun experiences with a gamification component. However, now there is a shift in the user journey as users say that they have acted the moment they saw a product mentioned on their Instagram or Facebook community. The focus should be towards building interest-based communities within the brands core space. Key here is to find out what your audience likes talking about online.

“In the beauty tech space, women love talking about their beauty problems and trying to source community based solutions. They also like engaging and interacting with one another and bonding over connecting concerns.” -Sahr Said

In such a space, brands need to crack the code of how they can bring these experiences together and give women a common, safe and credible virtual space to come together. While previously forums, facebook pages and groups were where these communities were found, now the shift seems to be seen across influencer platforms as they become the common interest connector for their audience.

“Its really very simple: Beauty is a word-of-mouth industry, and tech enables the word-of-mouth faster than it was ever achieved in the past. Putting an audience together in one virtual space and giving them a reason to talk, not only amongst each other virtually, but also taking the conversation online to offline is a powerful snowball phenomenon that only a set few can master.”- Sahr Said

There is power in social proof. With so many options available online, consumers often rely on social proof to make purchasing decisions. Beauty brands that can strategically position themselves at the core of an interest-based community are able to leverage user-generated content and positive reviews faster than others. They are then more likely to build trust with their customers and drive sales.

For Points for Brand Decision Makers:

For decision makers within organizations, it is important to remember that while building communities and generating exceptional content is the key to winning the Metaverse, it is important to understand that money invested in content projects would not instantly generate sales. Therefore, it is imperative to set both sales and non-sales (recruiting new customers, brand awareness, engaging customers etc.) KPIs, with a focus on the “non-sales” ones first followed by the “sales” KPIs second. Here experimentation is key. You need to test and learn what kind of content and content creators your target audience is galvanizing towards. Once the mix is apparent, invest in digital marketing spend to maximize reach.

About the Author:

Sahr Said

Is the CEO & Founder of BeautyHooked.com, a creative content agency and digital hub for content marketing initiates for Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Brands.

As a tech-entrepreneur, IVY League MBA, and the founder of BeautyHooked.com, Sahr Said has a deep passion for the beauty industry and a keen eye for emerging tech-based business trends. With years of experience building online communities, offering innovative virtual experiences and providing digital content strategy services to large brands, she is a leading expert in Pakistan’s digital landscape. By staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and digital trends, and prioritizing authenticity, she is helping to shape the future of virtual beauty, content marketing, and brand growth for generations to come.

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