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 a big hit, 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 suggested to make a temporary website about the book, featuring an introduction to Lauren, an exclusive interview with her and a selection of her best videos.

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To attract visitors, I’ve come 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 — I can’t believe I actually got them to work for free, considering how much they charge now) 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 have joined the contest but wrote about it spontaneously on their blogs.

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