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Born on Instagram: Growing Clean Skincare Brand Youthforia With Reels
BY: Instagram Business Team
San Francisco, CA
Born on Instagram is a series that takes an in-depth look at brands using Instagram as the foundational tool to build community, explore creativity and shape culture. Exploring the stories of entrepreneurs who turned their passions into businesses, the series spotlights innovators from across the globe.
When launching clean skincare and makeup brand Youthforia (@getyouthforia), founder @fionacochan saw Instagram as the ideal marketplace for its culture of discovery, education and community. From answering her customer’s questions in DMs to creating tutorial-style reels, Chan has built an authentic space for her audience to learn how to achieve healthier skin, all while having fun with makeup. Read on to learn more about how Fiona started her business and found success through Instagram.
What inspired you to start Youthforia?
I started Youthforia during the first week of the pandemic. I think it was the inability to go out and see people that made me realize that makeup, for me, was about going out and having fun with friends. I’m someone who, if I’m out with my friends, I’m likely to fall asleep in my makeup. So I wanted makeup that acted like skincare, would improve my skin over time, and that if I fell asleep in it, I wouldn’t have to worry about the repercussions.
How did you approach launching the brand on Instagram?
I wanted Youthforia to have its own language and style for Instagram. Instagram is such a great place for community, expression, and education. We wanted to show that makeup is fun and can be made with really high-quality, good-for-skin ingredients, and we do that in a number of ways: from how we tell stories in feed posts to our Reels and Stories.
Why did Instagram feel like the right place to gain momentum or market your products?
Instagram is such a great place for discovery, education and community. We really get the opportunity to get to know our community well and develop those deeper relationships. We’re in the DMs all the time hearing people’s stories and learning from them, and we have the opportunity to be very personalized in our approach as well.
How do you get your brand message across on Instagram?
Instagram gives us an amazing opportunity to be visual. It’s amazing that we get to create “how-to” videos. We absolutely love sharing the knowledge we gained from developing the brand, whether it’s how to use [a product], or [its] ingredients… Being able to demonstrate that visually creates a great experience to anyone who’s new to either skincare or makeup.
We're huge fans of your Reels. How have they contributed to the success of your brand?
We love Reels! Some days, we’ll create on the fly. We don’t do a lot of prescriptive planning for our Reels content, and it allows us a lot of flexibility and creativity.
Reels are just very easy to do—really, anyone can do it! Some of our best performing reels are of my mom, who is by no means a professional content creator. You don’t need prior experience or a big production to create reels and see them do well. I love that there are trends and memes on Reels. It makes creating content fun.
Complete the sentence: Reels allow me to…
Reels allow me to communicate with our community in a very authentic way, while still providing educational content.
Are there any Instagram-specific anecdotes or success stories that have surprised you?
I absolutely love the community we’ve built on Instagram. We’ll see our audience even engage with each other and get to know each other from our comments. That’s been really rewarding to grow and cultivate.
What's been the most valuable part of launching and managing a small business on Instagram?
It’s been important for us to have a general direction of what we will create. We like to plan some posts far in advance and leave some spontaneity for our content. If we notice algorithm changes, we’ll do a ton of testing and figure out what works for us.
What’s next for the business?
I would love to do a full face of Youthforia products! My goal is to create makeup that if you wear it everyday, at all times of the day, that it will help improve your skin. I test all of our products by sleeping in them for 2 months, so we have to be really stringent with ingredient quality, and I love adding skincare actives into our products at functional levels. I absolutely love creating new products that haven’t been done before, like our viral color-changing blush oil and our daily protective primer that relieves redness and irritation. I’ve been sharing our product development journey with our audience, which is really fun to do!
BY: Instagram Business Team
San Francisco, CA