Lauren Luke: influencer marketing before it even had a name

British make-up artist Lauren Luke was one of the first women in the world to become famous for her tutorials on YouTube.

In 2010, Brazilian publisher Editora Globo purchased the rights to her book “Lauren Luke: celebrity and everyday make-up looks”.

They took a big risk by doing so, as most people in Brazil had no idea who Lauren was. They believed, however, in the appeal of the book’s content.

I worked at Globo as an intern at the time and they asked me to come up with ideas on how to promote the book on the Internet. Social networks were not as big then: Facebook wasn’t popular in Brazil at all, people were just getting acquainted with Twitter and even YouTube, where Luke made her fame, had just a handful of successful Brazilian channels.

Blogs, however, were all the rage, and companies were starting to perceive them as a new place to advertise. Most fashion and travel bloggers who make millions in Brazil nowadays earned their very first paychecks back in 2010.

I proposed to make a temporary website about the book, featuring an introduction to Luke, an exclusive interview with her and a selection of her best videos.

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To attract visitors, I came up with a contest inviting women to post their own celebrity-inspired make-up tutorials on YouTube. The three best looks (chosen by a jury comprised of three rising make-up bloggers) would win a book.

Besides leveraging on the bloggers’ audience, I made a list of other bloggers who were interested in make-up and beauty. They all got an e-mail about the book and contest. As a result, many of them joined it and wrote about it on their blogs. Next, we hit a targeted list of journalists with an email about the campaign.

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Back in those days, there weren’t any tools to measure the success of your campaign beyond the number of visits, the number of bloggers mentioning the book, and the amount of entries in the contest. It was hard to know to what extent the online campaign influenced the book’s sales, considering they had no e-book division, no affiliate program and no tracking links to see how many people purchased the book online after visiting the website. They were just getting started with online marketing and so was I. Everything was very incipient in Brazil back then. But it was a fun experience anyway! What a nice internship it was.

As for Luke, she is no longer the YouTube queen of make-up. She was outshined by other gurus such as Zoella and Nikki Tutorials in a market that’s become increasingly competitive ever since.