As one of the original and reigning social media beauty brands, Sigma Beauty strives to both connect with its community of millions of beauty-obsessed followers and be a go-to resource for those new to beauty. In 2017, the brand celebrated a significant milestone: reaching 3 million followers on Instagram. Since Sigma rose to fame on social media in 2009, its Instagram followers have come to love and expect beautiful, diverse and engaging content from the innovative brand that was first to market with patented makeup brush cleaning tools, award-winning makeup brush designs and much more. One of Sigma's biggest initiatives this year was continuing to incorporate diverse and educational content that its followers globally could identify with and learn from, leading to a 20% increase in followers over the course of 2017. As the indie brand anticipates its 10-year anniversary in 2019, Sigma ramped up social media efforts in 2017 to support its retail strategy with a goal to evolve from an "Instagram-famous" brand to major, mainstream player. It made major strides toward this goal in 2017 through its increased presence in top names in retail such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, QVC and Urban Outfitters, among 250+ other prestigious retailers worldwide.
Through its dedication to always showcasing diverse and engaging content, Sigma Beauty attracted the attention of major retailers in 2017, helping to significantly increase brand awareness beyond the ever-booming yet saturated beauty industry. Several leading retailers launched revolutionary new beauty concepts in 2017 with a goal of drawing younger audiences, who typically scroll Instagram to shop their favorite beauty products, in-store to shop the same beauty products. When it came time for those retailers to select the brands they would offer, several sought out Sigma, including Bloomingdale's new Glowhaus beauty counter, Forever 21's new beauty-specific brand, Riley Rose and QVC's BeautyiQ channel targeting millennials.
One of the primary strategies that led to Sigma's growth on both its Instagram account and in retail in 2017 was continuing to incorporate diverse user-generated content (UGC) sourced from the brand's expansive network of influencers, affiliates and professional makeup artists. Sigma wanted to reach more people than ever before and, through leveraging its strong affiliate program, shifted its focus to partnering with micro-influencers. As one of the first beauty brands to understand the power of affiliate marketing early on, Sigma grew its affiliate program by more than 3,000 micro-influencers to reach 5,000 members in 2017. This resulted in a 50% increase in quality content within its brand hashtag #SigmaBeauty, which the brand frequently leveraged on its most powerful channel, Instagram.
In addition to its UGC strategy, Sigma focused heavily on educational videos and tutorials in owned social media content on Instagram. By adopting early to the platform's new features, such as Instagram Stories and Instagram Live, the brand continues to engage more authentically with its audience through frequently conducting demos on how to properly wash and care for makeup brushes, makeup tips and tricks, answering followers' specific beauty questions and introducing product launches. Other owned social media strategies that contributed to the growth of Sigma's Instagram following in 2017 include strategic partnerships with mission-aligned brands, such as Baublebar, OUAI Haircare, Boxycharm and Missguided, among other Instagram takeovers by notable influencers on Sigma's channel and effective community management
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