Interview with an Online Beauty Editor: How to Engage Young, Female and Digital-first Audiences
Meet Briana Ng, Beauty Editor at Presslogic GirlStyle, a new online beauty platform based in Hong Kong targeting young girls. And yes, her job description is all you would imagine and more! She is constantly invited to many events organized by brands to collect information to write posts based on her first-hand experiences and accumulated know-how for Presslogic GirlStyle’s over 6,000,000 readers.
Despite the perceived glamour of this industry, Briana puts in a lot of hard work to write posts about skincare and makeup while getting involved with simple video shooting as well as editing. She is appreciative of PR professionals who take the initiative to introduce their products and answer questions rather than provide information based on a script while “forcing” journalists to write content. Briana also shares tips and techniques that are useful for media professionals especially those who are seeking to engage young, female and digital-first audiences who are less likely to be influenced by traditional media.
Hongkongers are spending more time on digital media rather than traditional media – a whopping 63% of the total daily media time. In addition, mobile devices are now capturing over 50% of the time spent on digital media.
Pitching and What Female Audiences Want
Q: Please share your good and bad experiences when a PR professional reaches out to you. Is there anything that they should be aware of?
We are always invited to different events. I think good PR professionals should avoid “forcing” reporters to write posts. Instead, they should take the initiative to introduce the product and give us the chance to ask questions, so we can understand the product better.
Moreover, a good press release should include the details of the product, like the product ingredients and research findings. The more information a press release provides, the easier for me to pick out the key points and write posts. This way, what I share with my readers can be more objective.
Regarding pitch emails, I prefer a more casual style. The tone should not be too formal, and I suggest PRs insert keywords in the subject to make it more interesting. Creative word combinations help to attract additional readers – so this effort can benefit both parties.
Q: Many people say that the media has been transformed as it moves from offline to online. How has the media been changed?
In terms of advertisements, brands tend to invite celebrities or models as their only representatives in the past. Now, they will spread their resources and collaborate with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) or YouTubers, as people believe that KOLs are more “down-to-earth” relative to those big-name celebrities.
Q: How do you attract a larger audience?
We have several social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Different platforms may have different target audiences. For example, most of the Instagram users are young girls, they are scroll through social media content quickly, so I must catch their attention by using different techniques. For instance, videos I posted on Instagram are limited to one minute.
Besides, we also refer to data from Instagram and Facebook. We noticed that Instagram contains a younger age group compared with Facebook and the audience on Facebook tends to watch longer videos than that on Instagram. We have adapted our content to our readers and optimize their experience.
While writing the review for a certain product, I don’t rely on the press release alone. I will add my personal feelings and reviews from KOLs or celebrities to make my content more persuasive and reliable.
Briana’s video editing and photo-taking tips
- Choose light and pastel colors for photos (see Briana’s Instagram feed below for an illustration of “Why”)
- Select high-resolution photos and videos of products
- Music Matters! Lively music at the beginning of videos help to engage viewers
- Bring out the subject and theme within the first 5 seconds
- Restrict yourself to 1- 2 minutes for a video story, a maximum of 3 mins for a long story
Will you use online or social media material as a source of your published stories?
Using both Instagram and Facebook to keep up with different beauty trends is crucial. Most of our readers are relatively young and they are constantly consuming online media, so I must publish up-to-date information. I will also look for trending keywords and search with hashtags to share with my readers.
I use keywords in my title to attract readers to my posts and click for additional details. My favorite keywords are “Sakura girl” (櫻花女孩), “hot pick from editors” (編輯精選), “age rewind” (抗衰老) and celebrities’ names.
Do you have any tips that can share with someone who wants to be an editor or a part of this industry?
- Persistence: A beauty editor needs to dress up to build your image and build your audience group consistently. They all take time. Dressing up every day is not easy for every girl.
- Passion: As a beauty editor, you cannot lose your passion for finding out new products and looking into details. You need to have an interest in searching for and investigating makeup and skincare products.
- Confidence: My job requires me to be in front of the camera to shoot pictures and videos. You cannot be camera-shy, and need to be talkative and sociable to connect with viewers.
- Building your own unique image: In the beauty industry, uniqueness is necessary because it makes you become who you are. The audience loves freshness, they would come back to you when they find your style special.
Press releases help with my content. We observe that consumers now pay more attention to the product details. Press releases include professional information like research reports to help my content become more convincing.
About the Writers:
Katie Ng (Audience Development Intern) – Graduated from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, majoring in Media and Culture studies.
Iris Yuen (Audience Development Intern) – A student from the University of Queensland in Australia, majoring in Journalism.