We chat to Joel Maloney, Managing Director of The Defectors through the heartland of digital/social media and finds out what some of the priorities are – where to ‘play’ and why…according to Joel.
When did The Defectors start and what do you specialise in?
We began in 2007 and have always specialised in social media marketing, digital marketing (e.g. websites) and search marketing.
The Defectors have worked with many different beauty brands, can you tell us some of them?
We have recently worked with some beauty heavy weights such as Nutrimetics, Trimex, St.Tropez, Lanolips, Sanctuary Spa and some up-and-coming super stars like The Soak Life who produce fabulous bath soaks and Mine Tan Body Skin who have an amazing colour and hydrate self tan range.
What are the latest trends in web design for beauty brands?
Keep it clean and simple. Web design is less and less about making a visual statement and more about delivering content easily across any device with clean design that loads fast and is easy to navigate. It does not mean it has to be boring. Designers often say that great design exists when it goes unnoticed. Poor user experience (UX) design will infuriate us but good design will pass you by as expected.
What are some of the mistakes brands make when choosing a company to build their website?
They focus on price and do not value experience. If you think the cost of good design is expensive it pales in comparison compared to bad design. Bad design will cost you sales every minute.
Choose an agency based on their reputation to deliver on time and look at their most recent projects to assess their current creative and skill level. Ask for a reference from two or three of their recent clients.
Avoid using software licensed to you by an agency, it ties you to them and this limits your business if they do not deliver. They often tend to not update the software once built so you end up using a very antiquated product that is overpriced.
What questions should you ask when looking at a company to build your new website?
The number one question I would ask is, who is actually doing the work? If the agency is outsourcing some of the work you need to get a good understanding of how they plan to control the delivery. Contractors often get overbooked and this leads to project delays for example.
The number two question is how many projects are they currently working on? I am surprised no one asks me this. Most clients assume their job is the current one we are all working on but in reality there are up to 10 projects at any one time. Make them aware of your deliverable dates and have an open conversion about their ability to deliver is best. Your awareness of this issue will bring about an honest conversation.
What should a beauty brand expect to pay for a new website?
Prices for websites vary from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. The trick is to not assume the most expensive price is the best and the cheapest is the worst. I would advise people to get a minimum of three quotes from comparable agencies. That means don’t get a quote from your mate up the road and another from an award winning agency.
Always negotiate on price and make them work for your money. Ask them why they deserve your project over their competitors, which should put them on the hook and motivate them to deliver should they win the project.
Does a beauty brand need an ecommerce site?
Not always. If they have a good distribution network it is not necessary. Showcasing the range and sending users to a stockists page is also effective in driving sales. Ecommerce requires a lot of infrastructure to effectively deliver a good customer experience. If this is not in place it can hurt your brand. It should be a considered decision and one that is reviewed by a digital strategist.
What are the best website platforms to build your new site on?
We recommend platforms that have a global user base in the millions. This means they have the infrastructure to continually support the software and 3rd party developers will create lots of plugins for them so you do not have to custom build things yourself.
Wordpress is ideal for custom designed websites and content management. It can also handle basic ecommerce. Wix.com and Squarespace.com are hosted platforms whereby you can build templates yourself without the need for a developer, but they are best suited to start ups and small business.
More advanced ecommerce platforms we recommend are Bigcommerce.com and Shopify.com. They are packed with features and have lots of 3rd party built apps that connect to systems such as the accounting software Xero, payment gateways and shipping systems.
Everyone seems to be launching an app, does a beauty brand really need an app?
Not really. The app market is crowded and more often than not people do not understand how expensive a true native app costs. The starting price is about $50k. There are alternatives now where you can build a mobile website and put it inside an app container which works on both Android and iOS platforms.
When it comes to digital marketing for beauty brands with a smaller budget, what are the essentials, the good-to-haves and don’t-bothers?
A good email marketing platform like Mailchimp is essential for marketing auto-mation. Facebook ads can be very effective to create brand awareness or drive sales with the right targeting and creative. A Google AdWords campaign might be a little harder but if you are comfortable with tech-nology then give these a go but be warned the budget can be used very quickly if your targeting is not done correctly.
Don’t bother with an agency to manage your social media if your budget is under $1000 a month. Save that money and try doing it yourself. Use that money on Facebook advertising.
For social media, is it best to use a digital marketing agency or do it in-house and which channels should they focus on?
If you have a few thousand dollars to spend each month I recommend an agency as they will have far more resources to produce a higher level of creative content and also be able to manage audience engagement for you.
Facebook and Instagram are the most powerful platforms for beauty brands.
What are some simple ways to drive traffic to your website?
Facebook Ads (including Instagram ads) and Google AdWords are the fastest and easiest way. Search engine optimisation is effective if you have 3 months minimum to wait before you see the positive effects.
Finally, how can The Defectors help beauty brands with their digital strategy?
The Defectors can help with free advice to begin with. Talking about what you want to achieve will lead us to how we can help based on your budget and the expertise we have to offer. We are marketing strategists first and foremost. We are practical and we focus on results.
For more advice on digital marketing, social media & web development, contact Joel Maloney at The Defectors.
02 9993 0450