BH Cosmetics considers itself more than just a cosmetics company, and developing engaging website content and a dynamic social presence has helped establish the brand as a hub for beauty and lifestyle conversation.

Earlier this year, Duane Forrester, senior product manager for Bing’s Webmaster program, urged SEO and content marketers to participate in web conversations related to their industries.

“If you’re involved, you can influence the direction of the conversation,” Forrester wrote. “If you’re involved, you can respond as needed, helping build your community.”

Developing website content and sharing insight on social media help brands become more than just vendors. Each channel offers people a chance to learn about the value behind a brand’s products, and presents marketers an opportunity to build relationships with their customers. Irene Shin, marketing and social media manager for BH Cosmetics, applies these principles to her company’s web presence. A content-driven social media marketing strategy establishes BH Cosmetics as a brand that helps makeup users shape their personal styles and identities.

“It isn’t enough just to sell. You have to provide valuable and engaging information to customers. A lot of our content is celebrity-focused, very pop culture, and it’s a strong way to relate to our customers, but we have to make it valuable by providing beauty advice and tips,” – Irene Shin, Marketing and Social Media Manager, BH Cosmetics

“We want to be recognized as more than just a cosmetics company,” Shin said in an interview with Brafton. “We want to be a beauty and lifestyle brand. Our website has to be a hub for information and ideas. We offer different kinds of content, and we’re active in social media. We want to inspire makeup users with our content, and we want them to read for the fun of it.”

BH Cosmetics’ cross-channel marketing strategy includes web content discussing the latest trends and celebrity styles. The company’s site also offers video tutorials and informational pieces with advice for visitors. Sharing this content across social platforms and guiding conversations helps the company create an active presence that cements its position as a hub for lifestyle news and information.

Like Forrester said, it’s not enough to create website content and hope for a lift in search. Consumers want to engage with brands, and they remain loyal to those offering them relevant insight on top of high-quality products and services. SEO is a part of BH Cosmetics’ strategy, but Shin said search can’t be the sole focus to reach the dynamic, modern consumer. BH Cosmetics’ target audience skews toward younger women – a demographic especially active in accessing web content. Offering this audience content that informs and entertains keeps customers returning to a brand’s site and social pages.

“Especially for brands in the beauty or fashion industry, it isn’t enough just to sell,” Shin said. “You have to provide valuable and engaging information to customers. A lot of our content is celebrity-focused, very pop culture, and it’s a strong way to relate to our customers, but we have to make it valuable by providing beauty advice and tips.”

The majority of BH Cosmetics’ customers and site users are female, but a series of 2012 studies show males also maintain a strong interest in brands offering relevant site and social content. Brafton highlighted a report from Mintel earlier this year that found 25 percent of men want to improve their personal style and fashion, and they look for guidance on the web.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.