You don’t have to search for long before you come across beauty-related content on social media. From picture-perfect flat lays to fascinating tutorials, there’s always something vying for your attention. This takeover isn’t by chance. The beauty industry is scaling rapidly and is set to rocket to $784.6 billion by 2027 (up from $420 billion in 2018). Combine this with the fact that 80% of consumers made purchases because an influencer recommended it by clicking on a link or image, and that micro-influencers outperform celebs by securing 40% of brand ad spend. It’s easy to see why beauty influencer marketing is a match made in sales heaven.
The beauty industry has worked itself into social media’s fibers so much that the two are almost synonymous. This trait makes influencer marketing an essential task to get your beauty brand in front of your target customers, build credibility, and drive sales.
But what does beauty influencer marketing entail? How can you use it to rise above the noise? And more importantly, what do you have to do to build a community of superfans who will run to your store credit card in hand time and time again?
We’ve got the answers to these burning questions! Join us as we dive into the ins and outs of beauty influencer marketing, along with some inside tips to ensure your campaigns are a huge success.
The Rise of the Beauty Influencer
When you think of the beauty industry and social media union, one word comes to mind.
Social media has taken the beauty industry by storm. It’s shifted the power into the consumers’ hands; they even have a say in the products brought to market.
Cosmetic brands are now aware they need to meet consumers’ demands and expectations to get paid and to ensure they pump out products their customers want and need. For example, pre-social media, cosmetics for dark and pale skin tones left much to be desired. Thankfully, this has changed completely! Brands have done a 180 in their product lines, resulting in better representation for different skin tones, ages, and types.
Social media has also shifted consumer buying habits. Shoppers are heavily influenced by looks seen on influencers and trends pushed by brands because they can easily search and even buy the products they want (most times in-app). So, it’s not surprising 71% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product after a social media referral.
Thanks to social media, consumers’ eyes have opened to the vast range of beauty products available and made them more open to trying them. Just a few short years ago, highlighting and contouring was a technique only pro makeup artists utilized on the set of photoshoots. Now it’s the norm, and there are heaps of products and tutorials available to help customers achieve a more chiseled look.
But the most notable shift social media has ushered in is how brands connect with consumers. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and more recently, TikTok helps brands take on the role of educators and marketers simultaneously. They allow brands to showcase their products in their full glory to help consumers understand what’s possible with their beauty items. Influencers play a key part in this, helping brands interact with their target customers in everything from inspirational photos to informative tutorials.
Consequently, who people trust has also changed. Shoppers are now more distrustful of glossy commercials, magazine ads, and even celebrity campaigns (not to mention, it’s also now a very old-school and expensive way to advertise to consumers). Instead, there is increased trust in beauty enthusiasts who share their passion and form strong bonds with them. So much so, a shocking 96% of people don’t trust ads! Conversely, 92% of millennials trust influencers more than celebrities.
Beauty and Personal Care Influencer Marketing
When partnering with beauty influencers - understanding the importance of their speciality is key. Are you looking to work with established makeup professionals to develop educational content on a brand launch? A hairdresser who specifically works on braiding techniques and updos to showcase the impact of styling products? A SFX visual artist to highlight new and unique ways to use existing products for a scroll-stopping Halloween transformation? These artists have spent years honing their craft in various niches of the industry - make sure to tap into that expertise for maximum engagement!
With these technological advancements and behavioral changes, what was once an established stomping ground for bloggers and celebrity endorsements has quickly morphed into influencer territory.
Even big brands like Estee Lauder, L’Oréal, and Garnier are investing heavily in their online marketing strategy, with L’Oréal leading the pack by boosting its digital ad spend from 50% to 70% in 2020.
Why Influencer Marketing is Critical for Success in the Beauty and Personal Care Industry
If you ‘get’ social but don’t understand why there’s such a big push on influencer marketing, you’d be forgiven. Once upon a time, marketing beauty products took a ‘set and forget’ approach. Brands could throw up social pages and run ads to attract prospects, then sit back and watch the sales roll in. But the game has changed. Influencer marketing is the standard, with 60% of beauty brands having an influencer marketing strategy in place. Customers now expect to see influencers and want to hear what they’ve got to say. Consequently, it’s challenging to have a successful beauty brand without investing in influencer marketing.
Besides, Influencers add value to your customer’s lives in ways that no social media page can. Through their human touch and expertise, they can build trust, maintain community ties, and establish your authority. These aren’t the only benefits you’ll have access to when you hop on the beauty influencer marketing train. Let’s zoom in on a few:
Build your competitive angle over time:
Influencer marketing is a critical avenue in which you hone your brand’s unique voice and style to find your tribe and compete in an increasingly saturated market.
Influencer marketing also allows you to use other people’s online real estate to reach new prospects, including those you may have struggled to attract on your own as a brand, like shoppers who are wary of self-promoting brands.
Make your brand more discoverable:
‘Out of sight, out mind’ has become a very real problem in the online world. There’s so much going on, from people sharing their daily lives to brands trying to be seen. So, it’s vital you work with influencers to stay in front of your prospects and customers consistently.
Influencer marketing allows you to meet your target customers where they are at and guide them at each stage of the customer journey. For example, if you sell over-the-counter acne products, you could work with influencers at different points in their acne healing, from diagnosis to scar treatments. Then suggest treatments and tips to help them make progress. As their skin improves, they’ll credit your brand, and just like that, you’ll have a loyal fan.
Must-Know Beauty Trends Shaping the Influencer Marketing Realm
The beauty industry has taken many different tangents over the years. From beauty treatments like dermaplaning and jade rolling to Balayage hair and glass skin, there’s always a beauty trend and product to watch out for. The years ahead will be no different. The market today is no different. Some prominent trends in the beauty market show no signs of fading away anytime soon. So, it’s a good idea to study and consider blending them into your influencer marketing campaigns. Let’s take a closer look:
With lockdowns and social distancing changing the way we go about our daily lives, consumers have been forced to fend for themselves to secure beauty-related treatments. The pandemic has also been a rough time for many. This situation has caused an uptick in consumers using DIY beauty treatments and wellness apps to pamper themselves at home.
This trend won’t be vanishing in a hurry either. Many now see the value in self-care, with 80% of US people saying they’ll continue self-care practices into the future.
Diversity & Inclusivity
Recent events surrounding race and gender discrimination, along with forward-thinking brands like Fenty Beauty’s product launches, have caused brands to rethink their products and marketing strategies to find ways to be more inclusive. Rightly so, there are now more people represented in beauty campaigns and products. This change is a win all around, as shoppers no longer have to scour the globe for products that will fit them, and brands have a wider pool of prospects to nurture and generate sales from.
The rise in pollution and waste generation worldwide has prompted conscious capitalism and slow beauty. People are now reassessing their buying habits to do a better job at protecting our planet. Beauty and personal care brands have responded by advocating sustainability through recyclable and biodegradable packaging and reusable goods. ‘Skinimalism’ is also on the rise as people seek to declutter their skincare and beauty products to leave the bare minimum necessary for their desired results.
Also, consumers have started to lean towards more natural beauty products and are showing interest in achieving glowing skin from within. There’s been a 110% rise in searches for natural products. Plus, there’s been a 180% rise in hits for how to get a natural glow. So, it’s a good idea to consider how you can make your brand more environmentally friendly to keep eco-conscious and minimalist shoppers onboard.
Beauty and Personal Care Influencer Marketing
With many brands rushing to label products as “clean” to satisfy increasing social demand, there has been increased cultural conversations and consumer concerns about greenwashing - a term developed to represent companies that exaggerate their environmental credentials to win over shoppers. This is starting to lead to consumer mistrust with green and clean labels, fueling growing frustration over brand authenticity. So when looking to utilize clean beauty in your brand messaging, it’s important to be honest and as transparent as possible with your content. To avoid receiving the greenwashing label and the social media backlash it can create - you need to showcase exactly how your brand is truly taking proactive steps to make a positive impact on the environment.
— Deanna Baisden Creative Strategist
Campaigns inspiring people to love the skin they’re in have grown in popularity for years. For example, although it launched in 2004, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign is still relevant and memorable today. It inspired many brands to use their platform to help their customers build confidence and pride. Now brands broach topics from ageless beauty to loving yourself, flaws and all. This is critical work given that 61% of adults feel down about their image most of the time.
Tips for Beauty Marketing Success
If you want to outdo your competition and get the lion’s share of leads and sales, you’ll need to go against the grain. But you might be wondering what this involves. We’ve got you covered. Here are some tried and tested ways to become a beauty powerhouse with influencer marketing:
Put the power back into your customer’s hands
The Glossier effect is alive and kicking in today’s market. It involves putting your customers at the center of everything you do.
This empowerment makes customers feel more in control and informed on their purchase decisions. The result is tons of loyal fans who understand your products and are willing to pay a premium.
You can implement the Glossier effect in your influencer marketing by taking inspiration from Glossier itself. For example, you could:
Have influencers interact with prospects and customers who engage with posts containing your products.
You can also chime in to share some wisdom.
Mix user-generated content with influencer content to boost your social proof.
Opt for little to no editing on photos to show how the product looks/ results look in real life.
Use surveys and polls to get a better understanding of your customers’ current wants and needs.
Whatever you do, ensure your customers feel heard and part of your brand’s development in all areas of your business, from product creation to customer service.
Make honesty, transparency, and authenticity a priority
The beauty industry is in a league of its own in terms of the trust it requires from shoppers. The claims you make and even the ingredients you use can have a huge effect on those that buy your products. So, the responsibility to offer truthful representations of your products and results can’t be understated. These traits are critical to maintaining a good reputation.
With this in mind, you could ask influencers to show your products in their real and raw state, e.g., consistency, color, and application/usage process. These steps will help you manage customer expectations and eliminate any surprises when they buy and use the product. Also, it’s important you inform consumers when running sponsored collaborations. This will help ensure you remain transparent throughout your campaigns.
Educate prospects at every stage of the customer journey
It’s no secret that eye-catching photography is a key vehicle to capture your target audience’s attention. But once you’ve got, the best way to keep them engaged and move them along your customer journey is through education. Use influencers to guide and qualify prospects at every stage, so when purchase time rolls around they’re not only ready to act but eagerly waiting. There are many ways you can achieve this. For instance, tutorials are big business. It’s an essential part of every beauty brand. Try different formats across channels.
For best results long-term, look through your data regularly to reveal which content types your target market resonates with. These could be:
Tutorial style stories
Q & A sit-down sessions
Before and after reveals
Be sure to choose the channels your target customers regularly use for maximum impact. Finally, don’t be afraid to take inspiration from trending content and collaborations in beauty and other niches for inspiration.
Connect influencer marketing with your offline sales channels
Online shopping is all the rage. Brands love it, and you can bet shoppers do too. But there’s something about the in-store experience consumers just can’t get enough of. In-store sales account for 85% of beauty item purchases Pre-Covid (barring some sub-niches). So, if you have a physical store or would be willing to set up a popup store, it can be very profitable to use influencers to market it. You’ll also get some great content you can repurpose onto your online sales channels and social media. For instance, you could:
Have influencers promote products and give them a code to use in your brick-and-mortar stores.
Host a meet and greet party with your target market favorite influencers, and get your audience to sign up to your mailing list for a chance to win an invite.
Run a live tutorial with influencers featuring your products and give customers the chance to win items if they attend in-store.
Just be sure to keep an eye on generational gaps. Beauty trends and preferences change as you progress through the generations. So it’s important you find ways to speak to and serve all generations in your target audience both offline and online to maximize leads and sales.
Take Advantage of Social Commerce
You’ve done all the hard work to nurture cold leads into piping hot goldmines; the question then becomes how you can capitalize on them to get the most bang for your buck. Two words.
Having stores on the platforms your target audience frequent will make shopping a pain-free experience. This one tweak alone can skyrocket your sales. The best part is, you can even blend influencer marketing into your social commerce stores by hiring influencers with cult-like followings to front your store and model products to create a buzz. Try it out!
Let Your Creativity Run Wild
We are in the era of filters, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality, which consumers love to experiment with. So, why not use these to spice up your content and keep your brand on trend.
L’Oreal introduced their first digital makeup line, “Signature Faces.” Their augmented reality (AR) filters are available on Instagram, Snapchat, Snap Camera and Google Duo.
L’Oréal’s virtual makeup demonstrates its possible to jump on trends, without leaving important conversations behind.
Brands could also take the body positivity angle we discussed earlier. Invite influencers to have frank discussions with audiences about the effects of such tools on their mental health and self-image. You could even host #nofilter and self-care competitions.
3 Share-worthy Beauty and Personal Care Influencer Marketing campaigns to Get You Inspired
In an industry where copy-cat marketing is common, it can be tempting to fall into the trap of doing what everyone else is doing. But not for these next three brands. We put our brains together to craft memorable campaigns that drove results:
Open Influence worked with Clarins to increase brand awareness amongst audiences that value green and eco-friendly products. Influencers collaborated to create a video where they showcased their favorite vegan friendly products and how they incorporate them into their morning and night skin routines.
We joined forces with Head and Shoulders to help them promote their shampoos in verticals they didn’t traditionally advertise in, like Male hair care.
3 influencers created testimonial videos highlighting the benefits of Head and Shoulders’ shampoo products, along with a caption that informed viewers that the products could give them the chance to restart their day with energy. Engagement and reach for this campaign were high, making it a winner.
We worked with Herbal Essence to drive awareness to its Ulta Beauty presence featuring its new Argan Oil of Morocco and Blue Ginger and Micellar Water collections along with a buy one get one 50% off offer.
Influencers crafted compelling image content that highlighted these releases and backed up their efforts with story posts and swipe up links to the Ulta website to drive traffic and sales.
Engagement and impressions rocketed. Herbal Essence was also able to double the value out of the content by repurposing it on its social media channels. All in all, another successful influence marketing campaign!
The Secret Recipe for Wildly Successful Beauty and Personal Care Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Thanks to the early adoption of social media in the Beauty industry, there are so many ways you can use influencer marketing to stand out and strengthen your brand’s future. But competition is stiff, so be prepared to fight for the top spot. Always bring your A-game by producing high-quality content that will stop shoppers in their tracks and remain on the lookout for ways to differentiate your brand from the crowd.
Be open to testing new channels and verticals to uncover new audiences. But above all, listen to your customers and make it your mission to not only the products they want but the information and guidance they need to get the most of your product(s) and beauty in general.
The best time to start is now, so get out there and start making waves in the beauty market with innovative influencer marketing campaigns.
Ready to take your influencer marketing to the next level? Discover how Open Influence can help.
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