Scrub up your content strategy with lessons from Lush
We’re big fans of Lush in the Sookio office. And that’s not just thanks to the colourful, bubbling, cruelty-free treats that it offers.
We all know that great products sell, but Lush goes that extra mile to make sure its products stand out in the already-crowded skincare and beauty industry.
Appealing to customers’ senses through all kinds of mediums across multiple platforms, Lush’s content strategy is a diverse yet harmonious mix of perfection. So, what do they do that’s so great?
Even with visual products, words matter. They can be the difference between someone taking a glance at your product, and actually buying it.
Lush is particularly good at creative copywriting to describe exactly how each product will benefit the user. Presented in a handwritten-style typeface which feels more informal, the product descriptions, both on the products themselves and the website, tell the reader what the product is and what it’ll do. They’re also full of words which appeal, entice and actually convince them to buy it.
Take this description of (my personal favourite) Twilight Bath Bomb, for example:
“If sleep is evading you, this combination of essential oils will help get you ready for a good night’s rest. At Twilight dissolves, it turns from the colour of the setting sun and gets darker, turning your water a shimmering deep purple.
“The fragrance has been designed to help you sleep: lavender is a soothing, mind-clearing and calming fragrance, used in aromatherapy to treat insomnia and aid restful sleep, while benzoin and tonka call to mind a milky caramel malt drink.”
First, the name ‘Twilight Bath Bomb’ itself tells us a lot about the product: it’s a bath bomb, which is designed to be used in the evening.
The description then goes on to explain exactly how the product works, and what it’ll look like when dissolving into the bath. It also complements the video at the top of product page, but we’ll come onto video content later.
Directly appealing to the senses, the copy also invites us to see the colour, smell the fragrance, and even the taste ‘milky caramel malt drink’ (note: don’t actually eat it). All of these factors combined then promise to aid a positive night’s sleep. And really, who doesn’t want that?
But what can we learn from this if we’re not selling bath bombs, or anything remotely sparkly, colourful or beautifully-scented?
What we can take away from Lush’s copy is that words, when written well and with the customer in mind, will sell. When writing product or service descriptions, it’s important to constantly be thinking of your reader. What do they like? What appeals to them? How can they use or benefit from what my business is offering?
Constantly referring back to questions like this will enable you to appeal to the rational side of your customer’s brain – ‘what is it?’, ‘how do I use it?’ – as well as write descriptively to appeal to the emotional side of their brain – ‘why do I need it?’, ‘how will it make me feel?’
In a world full of visuals, it is as important as ever not to neglect the power of the written word when it comes to generating interest in your products and making sales.
Beneficial blog posts
Lush’s dedication to helping the customer doesn’t stop at its product descriptions. Beyond the individual product pages, Lush has a whole selection of blog posts to explain exactly how the products should be used, as well as topical features such as ‘How to sleep well: A bedtime beauty regime’. Top marks for that SEO-focused title there, too.
In the Twilight Bath Bomb’s case, the product description is followed by a handy blog post titled ‘How to use bath bombs, bubble bars, Jelly Bombs and bath oils’. So, if the product description and video haven’t already convinced us, there’s something else to give us the confidence and encouragement we need to part with our cash.
Oh, and not to mention the SEO benefits that ‘how to’ titles and descriptions provide. Reel ‘em in!
In addition to useful product posts, Lush also shares articles on current affairs and international news relating to human rights, animal rights, ethics, the environment and conservation, in its news section, Lush Times.
Informing customers about the latest topical affairs and sharing the company’s own views enables Lush to be open and honest with its customers, exposing an element of pride and authenticity when it comes to the brand’s personality.
Having a blog is a really useful way to show the other side to your business, and you can use it to share topical comment posts, behind-the-scenes activities, thought leadership pieces and your company culture. It’s a really useful tool to help humanise your business, and in turn will spark more people’s interest in your brand, its products and its people.
When it comes to making products appeal to customers, one of Lush’s most distinct mediums is video content. Showing exactly how to use the product gives customers a taste of the whole experience, before they’ve even made a purchase. It leaves them wanting more!
Take a look at the video at the top of the Sympathy For The Skin body lotion page. I’m not sure who’s idea it was to have a close-up shot of someone applying the lotion, but it really works. Again, appealing directly to customers’ senses, the product video shows us exactly what we’re missing, convincing us to make a purchase.
Lush’s video content strategy goes beyond their website, too. With plenty of video content across its social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Lush also has an active YouTube channel.
On Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, Lush shares short snappy videos to show off its products. Examples include videos on how to use the products, how the products are made and behind-the-scenes company films.
On YouTube, in addition to the product-focused content, Lush also uploads videos related to the company, their values and ethical views. Collectively, the video strategy continues to appeal to the customers’ senses, particularly those who have an interest in where their products come from, while helping to show the company’s personality.
With predictions suggesting that video content will make up 80% of the world’s internet traffic by 2021, it’s more important than ever to stay ahead in the video marketing. Incorporating video into your content strategy will also help with social media reach, as visual content is more likely to be shared and liked.
Making use of customer reviews throughout the web copy is another of Lush’s tactics to increase interest around its products. Reviews are cleverly scattered among the products on each page, drawing customers’ attention to individual products.
Including content written by customers, people who aren’t from the company, makes the content seem more genuine, so scattering these reviews throughout the web copy adds an element of trustworthiness to the whole website.
Lush make the most of customer-created content on social media too, by reposting pictures uploaded by their customers, bloggers and even certain politicians!
Balancing the rational product information with authentic reviews from others helps to persuade the customer to make a purchase, because if someone who isn’t from the brand likes it, it must be good!
Brands are increasingly becoming aware of this need to strike the balance between salesy product posts and genuine reviews, or posts with the product being used by a real customer. Fashion retailers like Oasis do a similar thing, where customer posts using the hashtag #oasisfashion are fed into the website.
This again contributes an element of authenticity, and seeing the products on all kinds of real people with different heights and body shapes helps customers to rationalise whether or not to purchase an item.
Accessible support section
Making it as easy as possible to access help is crucial for any business, particularly those which are consumer-focused. Lush has a fantastic help section, which enables site visitors to search for whatever they’re looking for, and the site will then retrieve the necessary information.
If you still can’t find the answer, Lush has clearly displayed FAQs and contact information, including a phone number, email address, address and multiple social media channels for customer care.
As a customer, there’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to find a company’s contact information when you have a problem. However, Lush’s easy-to-use help section makes a positive difference to the overall website, whilst also making the company seem accessible and approachable.
Your next steps
It’s pretty clear that Lush are nailing their content strategy. But how can you replicate their success if you aren’t selling bath bombs, sparkly shower gel and ethical face creams?
Whatever the size of your marketing budget, here are the key tips you can glean from Lush’s content strategy:
1. Ensure your web copy is appealing, attractive and written with the customer in mind.
2. Use a blog to show all the different sides to your business.
3. Consider enhancing your company’s visual presence by implementing video into your content strategy. This can include easy and free phone-filmed videos for social media.
4. Make the most of your customers, and encourage them to leave feedback, as this can be used as an authentic sales tool in the future.
5. Ensure that help and support is easy to access, so that your company comes across as approachable and friendly.
Looking for content strategy support? Get in touch with Sookio to find out how we can help improve your presence on the web with a multi-channel marketing strategy.