Capucine Piot (Babillages), Sophie Strobel ((dé)maquillages), and Alexis Toublanc (Dr. Jicky & Mister Phoebus), were gathered on April 18 for a breakfast with the communication, media relation and community managers of beauty brands. Organised under the auspices of the FEBEA, the meeting was conceived as an opportunity for the three bloggers to share their experience and expectations about the way beauty companies communicate with them.
A style of their own
A blog primarily reflects its author’s personality, tastes and interests. The FEBEA’s three guests were the perfect illustration.
On the Babillages blog - created seven years ago - Capucine Piot deals about beauty issues with a very personal point of view. “I am very much of a girl next door,” explains Capucine. She carefully makes the pictures illustrating her posts and regularly uploads beauty tutorials on her YouTube video channel. With over 10,000 visits per day, Babillages is one of the most influential French-speaking beauty blogs. Capucine Piot thus successfully monetized her blog, in particular thanks to partnerships with beauty brands.
A trained biologist and cosmetologist, Sophie Strobel enjoys about fifteen years of experience in the beauty industry. Her approach of beauty issues consists in deciphering them. She does not monetize her blog, which is much more “a hobby, that adds up to an already busy work and family life.”
Since 2010, Alexis Toublanc is one of the two authors of the Dr. Jicky & Mister Phoebus blog, fully dedicated to perfume. A very different world, considering its speech than beauty blogs: smaller readership, many exchanges with peers, slower publication pace, “because it takes time to know a perfume and be able to write about it.”
While Alexis Toublanc does not feel overwhelmed by the demands of brands - “regular but not excessive” - he nevertheless appreciates personalized relationship with brands. Actually, he sees this as a key factor of success: “It is obvious that a blogger enthusiastic with classic, traditional or historical fragrances will feel hardly pleased by an avant-garde scent,” he says. This is also a key issue for Capucine Piot and Sophie Strobel, even if their experience differs from Alexis’ one since they have to face countless requests from beauty brands, and may have difficulties - despite their efforts - to reply quickly to all of them.
In such conditions, poorly targeted or inappropriate requests have many chances to be merely ignored. “When I’m called ’Babillages’ rather than by my first name, or when I’m sent shampoos for blonde hair, chances to emerge at the top of my priorities are obviously declining,” said Capucine. “Personal and friendly contacts are important things. And customization is the key to success. Some brands took the time to make a fact sheet on the needs of each of the bloggers they are working with. They know that I have dry skin and hair, and that it is useless to send me products for oily skin,” she adds . “We are also very active on social networks, it is important source of information for brands eager to better know the bloggers,” says Sophie Strobel.
An attitude that has nothing in common with “the whims of spoiled little girls,” points Capucine Piot. Simply, bloggers are not journalists and the most common error among beauty brands seems to treat them in the same way. “We do not have the same needs or the same expectations,” insists Sophie Strobel.
Other needs than the press
Bloggers are primarily consumers. For sure, they are expert, informed and skilled consumers, but they just test products, speak about products and give their opinion with their own sensibility as a consumer would. “While excessively scientific or technical contents generally bore them, as they bore their readers, they are nevertheless keen to identify superficial speeches,” warns Sophie Strobel .
Furthermore, most bloggers have another activity besides their blog and are not as available as journalists may be. Brands that target them must take that into consideration when organising events if they want to have a chance to see them.
Of course things get a little more complicated when considering that some journalists are also bloggers. However, for Sophie Strobel that just demonstrates that “they are two very different activities that can be complementary.”