Increasingly, brands are using blogs as an additional channel to connect with consumers. Unfortunately, most tend to be archives of Instagram photos and Facebook contests tucked away under a tab. Completely detached from the shopping experience, they add little value. Estée Lauder recently launched a content hub titled The Estée Edit, which improves on that brand blog in a few ways:

It leads consumers to products they can buy. L2’s Digital IQ Index: Personal Care France finds that many brands in the category provide useful content (70% have video on their site), but fail to integrate them with product pages (just 20% do so). The Estée Edit links content to products without being intrusive, with a shoppable list at the end of every blog post.

It provides an incentive for consumers to provide their contact information. It’s possible to browse and shop The Estée Edit without logging in, but browsing with an account unlocks more. Account holders can live chat a brand representative and save it, make a wish list, submit reviews, and look up past purchases. Email open rates increased by 7.2% from 2012 to 2013 despite a 17% increase in quantity.

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It adds utility to live chats. L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty found live chat to be a feature brands are unsure about. The percentage of brands offering the service increased from 33% to 39% between 2011 and 2012, and fell back to 33% in 2013. The Estée Edit saves live chats for retrieval at any time on mobile or desktop.

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