Beauty is one of the leading sectors to have embraced influencer marketing. A big reason for this is because a lot of what the beauty industry does is very visual; and we all know that influencer marketing works best in a visual medium.
At the time of writing, the beauty industry is valued at $534 billion (we can’t quite comprehend that number either). This is due to a whole host of reasons, but the impact of influencer marketing is certainly up there in terms of importance.
Through this blog, we will explore how the impact of influencer marketing on the beauty industry has led it to the multi-billion dollar state that it’s in today.
The Dawn of the Beauty Influencer
While cosmetic brands, such as Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden and Revlon secured their position in the industry long before most of us were born, beauty influencers are a product of the digital age.
The very first online makeup tutorial was uploaded to YouTube in 2006 by a lady named Adrienne K. Nelson. Her channel becoming inactive after just four uploads paved the way for the founding fathers (or gurus) of YouTube’s beauty community; Michelle Phan, Marlena Stell and NikkieTutorials.
While 2007/8 kick-started the demand for makeup tutorials – with a focus on application techniques – the second wave of 2009 beauty influencers brought trendy product reviews, giant hauls and makeup challenges. It is important to note that with this new wave came the introduction of influencer marketing to the sector.
Fast forward a decade and the blueprint for a beauty influencer has changed dramatically.
Given the competitiveness of the beauty industry today, being able to film and edit a makeup tutorial is no longer enough to warrant visibility. Influencers must demonstrate their niche in order to attract their audience and to be considered for brand partnerships. The impact of influencer marketing has also written an unspoken rule within the influencer community which states that successful influencers must appear to be authentic in order to receive positive interactions. Authenticity = engagement and engagement = a successful marketing campaign.
How do Beauty Brands Make use of Influencer Marketing
It has become exceedingly difficult to promote a new product nowadays without leveraging the power of an influencer. Any beauty brand looking to launch anything new, must seriously consider how they are going to implement influencers into their marketing strategy. Never before has the impact of influencer marketing felt so prevalent.
Let’s take a look at some successful influencer marketing examples within the beauty sector:
With the help of TikTok “skinfluencers”, such as Hyram, and fronted by mega TikTok influencer Charlie D’Amelio, CeraVe launched a campaign to highlight the benefits of their moisturising cream.
The chosen influencers were joined by dermatologist professionals in the campaign video, which showed them passing the product to each other through split screens layered with informative text about the benefits of CeraVe’s moisturiser.
The result? Over 132 million views and 300,000 new followers on the brand’s account.
@charlidamelio @cerave is skincare you want to share💙 #cerave #shareskincare #ceravepartner ♬ original sound – charli d’amelio
As a result of the first lockdown, Twitch welcomed a new kind of creator: beauty streamers. Their presence has grown so much that they have their own category called ‘Beauty and Body Art’.
Benefit were among the first to take advantage of this trend by launching an influencer campaign aimed at female gamers called ‘Game Face’ with the tagline “Reveal your game face with Benefit”. The brand teamed up with 20 female gamers from around the world, including Shynouh and QuarterJade, to broadcast non-stop content on their Twitch channel for a week.
With more than 5,000 hours of streaming viewed, Benefit built up trust with their audience by establishing itself as the reference channel mixing video games and beauty products on Twitch.
Before everyone was glued to their phone screen and relied on internet personalities for recommendations and education, the beauty sector wasn’t as accessible or readily available for those who were still starting their journey with makeup, skincare, hair care etc. The impact of influencer marketing has resulted in anyone and everyone with a smart phone having access to the products and knowledge needed to begin their journey. Not only this, but brands, both old and new, have been able to use influencer marketing to increase brand awareness and boost visibility immediately upon launch; something that typically took a long time over a decade ago.
The Future of Influencer Marketing in the Beauty Industry
There is no denying that the impact of influencer marketing on the beauty industry has been transformative. Here are just a few of the noteworthy changes that have occurred in recent years:
Expanding the Range
After being called out by multiple influencers for their lack of representation in their foundation shade range, a certain brand became the catalyst for other beauty brands to reevaluate their own shade ranges and own up to their subconscious bias towards the lighter tones. Here, the impact of influencer marketing has resulted in brands making a conscious effort to release more inclusive makeup products.
Beautifully Body Positive
The human body, in whatever form, has become a hot topic of online discussion; with body positivity trending on most major platforms. Influencers protesting against limited size options and unrealistic model standards are changing the way the modelling industry works. Clothing brands are not only expanding their size ranges, but also who is in their digital ads and social media, on their billboards and in their magazine spreads.
Love the skin you’re in
The impact of influencer marketing has led to influencers taking what were once considered flaws, such as freckles and acne, and turning them into trends. Freckle pens are popping up everywhere and more and more businesses are selling pimple patches. They’re rewriting the narrative; you don’t need to change for the beauty industry, the beauty industry needs to change for you.
According to executive VP at Tribe Dynamics, Brit Starr, influencer marketing is “definitely here to stay”. Beauty brands taking the time to understand how their consumers engage with influencer content made for them are those that shape and drive business growth. Though influencer marketing will remain prevalent in the beauty sector, Starr says, “influencers and consumers will be more selective about the brands and relationships they choose to engage with”; making it even more of a requirement for brands to understand the ins and outs of influencer marketing, as they will no longer have whoever they want at their disposal.
What impact do influencers have?
Influencers are the crucial middle man between your brand and any potential consumer.
How do influencers affect marketing?
With most people trusting word of mouth recommendations from a trusted source as opposed to from a brand, influencers are able to influence a consumer’s purchase decision.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
- They build credibility and trust
- They are cost effective
- They save time
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