Ananya Pathak

"We put over 10 videos every month on our YouTube channel": Madhavi Irani, Nykaa

A chat with Madhavi Irani, chief officer — content, Nykaa, to understand the brand’s online content strategy better.

The Mumbai-based multi-brand beauty retailer selling cosmetic and wellness products – Nykaa – has an ongoing four-day sale — 'Pink Friday Sale'. The brand is offering 40 per cent off across all brands, both online and offline, between November 29 to December 02. Earlier this month, the e-commerce website also released a film to announce the sale, featuring brand ambassador, Janhvi Kapoor. The film was conceptualised by full service agency – The Glitch.

The seven-year-old brand mainly targets urban Indian women in the ages of 18-35 years. Starting as an online retailer in April 2012, the brand opened its first physical retail store at Terminal 3, Indira Gandhi International Airport in November 2015. Currently the e-commerce website has close to 60 physical stores.

"We put over 10 videos every month on our YouTube channel": Madhavi Irani, Nykaa

We caught up with Madhavi Irani, chief officer — content, Nykaa, to understand the brand's online content strategy better. She tells us, the effort has been directed towards replicating the offline purchase journey online, through quick read articles, detailed product descriptions and solution centric responses to questions on product pages, and then through videos that cover the gamut of DIYs, how-tos, reviews and expert and blogger led master classes.

Madhavi Irani
Madhavi Irani

“Our regional push on Nykaa TV has seen us target online, beauty conscious, regional audiences. In addition we have a very active social media presence that reaches out to customers via FB and Instagram. Finally, we have created guided selling formats on the site vis-a-vis buying guides and stores that deep dive into categories on the site and create tightly curated listings,” she shares.

She goes on to say, “Our content also seeks to change buying habits in some ways. For instance, instead of buying a single quick fix product to solve a niggling skin or hair concern, we are taking customers to a regime based solution through our Routine Finder. After entering some basic information, customers are shown a personalised regime best suited to resolve a chronic problem.”

We asked her about the brand's offline vs online sale ratio to which she responds, “At present a larger slice of revenue comes from online sales.” She says the offline stores serve to offer the very valuable touch and feel, experiential aspect to beauty that the online model cannot achieve.

The brand until lately had been doing a lot of tutorial videos. With Kapoor coming on board as ambassador, the brand seems to have shifted to working more on TV commercials.

Irani says that's not entirely true. “We’ve leveraged the partnership with Janhvi to create exclusive branded content with her. However, our YouTube channel continues to create more than 10 videos every month with influencers, vloggers and experts.”

We asked her about consumer behaviour and how it has changes in recent times. She reveals that consumers on the beauty journey are willing to try and experiment with new product lines and brands. “A large chunk of our content marketing effort has been to reach out to the various personas we have identified and create avenues to cross sell and up-sell. Obviously, with greater awareness and exposure to international brands and beauty standards, the Indian customer has become more discerning and selective.”

“With the growing trend of consumer-led content becoming huge, Nykaa works with content creators to give them a place to be seen and heard. With user generated content becoming the norm, we have created Nykaa Network, an interactive beauty platform where brand loyalists become brand advocates, advise each other, participate in contests and interact with experts through ‘lives’ hosted on the platform. In just a year’s time, this community has organically grown to 1.3 million subscribers,” she adds.

We questioned her on the growing importance of content in the advertising world. “Advertising is what brands put out about themselves. Content, especially the brand agnostic and user generated, personalised variety, taps into what consumers are saying about brands and is definitely powerful. Research suggests that more than 70 per cent millennials rely on what fellow users, peer reviews and third party publications have to say about a brand than what the brand puts out about itself. Increasingly, content is being perceived as the only way to build a long term relationship with consumers. And for Nykaa, content has been intrinsic and interwoven into the very DNA of the brand, all the way from education and awareness through engagement to stickiness, compelling them to return to Nykaa.”

She opines advertising can bring people to a brand or, in our case, the site. It's rich content that keeps them engaged and helps drive sales. In fact today, nine out of 10 marketers rely on content marketing to drive growth and awareness, and almost 70 per cent of them acknowledge that content marketing gives higher ROI than traditional marketing channels.

We then moved the conversation towards Nykaa Man — Nykaa’s online portal catering to the menfolk. How differently do men shop when compared to women, we asked. Irani divulges that men are far more utilitarian on their approach to shopping, whether it is for clothes or grooming products. And therefore, communication and content has to be very concern-specific and direct. For women, beauty goes beyond the actual purchase of a product. It's the whole experience, how it makes them feel rather than just how it makes them look. “Having said that, men's grooming choices are also influenced by peers and influencers, and at Nykaa Man we strive to strike that balance through a mix of guided, concern-based selling and influencer-led content,” Irani signs off.

Have news to share? Write to us