Fragrance brands often struggle to create compelling content on social media, as visuals are not their strong point. Instead, they have historically relied on traditional media investments for social fodder: big-budget celebrity-led TV commercials are scaled down for YouTube and re-cut into stills and clips for Facebook and Instagram.

This type of content, however, underperforms. Celebrity-focused posts accounted for 13% of posts from top fragrance brands on Instagram in 2017, but only garnered 2% of interactions within the same period, according to L2 researchers.

What does seem to resonate with fragrance consumers is images of fragrance packaging. These tend to do better in interactions on Instagram, accounting for just 32% of posts, but half of interactions.

Fragrance is the beauty category most strongly rooted in traditional media. Over the past year, however, L2 saw fragrance brands increasingly pivoting efforts — and budget allocation — towards digital channels. Interactions increased by 33% on Facebook and over 200% on YouTube and Instagram.

In terms of digital marketing, incumbent players like Dior allocate an increasingly large share of campaign spend to digital channels. During the 2015 launch of Sauvage, YouTube impressions accounted for just 5% of total YouTube and TV impressions. Now, digital owns anywhere from 16% to 28% of the impressions across major campaigns. The brand is also increasingly creating assets specifically for digital — rare behavior in the Fragrance old guard.

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