According to Global Data, the beauty industry is the fastest growing sector in the UK. It's estimated to be worth £26.7bn by 2022. While other industries fluctuate according to the economy, consumers continue to spend on beauty and cosmetics products, and the industry continues to boom.
What makes the industry so powerful, is the way it adapts to changing consumer trends. Consumers are no longer shopping for beauty products the way they once were, for a number of reasons: the decline of the high-street; the call for more ethical production; and the rise of social media to name but a few. Whatever the trend, the beauty industry remains ahead of the curve and when it comes to influencer marketing its no different.
While other industries are still getting to grips with campaigns, the majority of beauty brands have been working with influencers for 4 years or more - which in influencer marketing makes them veterans.
With that in mind, here are 3 lessons in influencer marketing we can learn from our 'older and wiser' influencer marketing peers:
Content First Influencer Marketing - Benefit Cosmetics
When working with influencers it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers – specifically follower numbers. But as Benefit Cosmetics' Lauren Spearman shared at ZINE event Influencer Marketing Strategy Unwrapped, the real juice is in the content created.
“We steer away from follower numbers as that doesn't necessarily mean engagement and instead focus on great content. Beauty content can all look the same, so we want influencers who are different. We work with influencers to create content for our channel too, using them for their photography skills.”
Applying a content-centric approach to working with influencers has 2 good effects:
- You get great content that is more likely to get good engagement
- You can use the content for your own channels/marketing media – which is especially handy if you have stretched resources.
At the same time, providing structured guidelines while not hampering the influencers creativity is a fine balancing act. Which is where a solid campaign brief comes into play.
“If you don't have the brief right, you won't see the content you want. I can't stand it when I see brands who ask the influencer to copy and paste a caption. It all goes out and all looks the same when you are targeting a group of people that probably have a similar following and its just spamming. It goes back to creativity. We [Benefit] are risk forward. Brief properly then give trust to the influencer. Don't dictate what their content should be.”
Inclusivity in Influencer Selection - Fenty Beauty
The beauty industry is one that has been someone notorious for a lack of diversity. But there are a number of brands who have experienced enormous success through changing this – and placed influencers at the epicentre. Fenty beauty is one such brand.
Its hard to believe the Fenty brand only launched in 2017. Sales in its first month exceeded $72 million - an impressive feat attributed both to the innovative, competitively priced products, and a digital marketing strategy that leveraged a diverse influence.
As part of their well timed launch (which coincided with both Fashion Week Paris and the launch of the Fenty x Puma range), Fenty joined the conversation around their brand encouraging influencers of all sizes, shapes, genders and colours to tag the brand, then shared and retweeted their posts.
The result? In the brand's first month, Fenty Beauty-related content received 132 million views on YouTube.
Examples of other successful beauty brands opting to work with influencers that are more reflective of our diverse society include Bobbi Brown, Mac and of course the L'Oreal #BeautySquad.
Influencer Marketing With Video – NYX
A video - whether Instagram Stories or YouTube videos are a great way to bring your product to life on a real person. Videos can improve your SEO, demand stronger consumer attention and can achieve up to 10 times the engagement of other content forms.
But video content can be expensive and time consuming to make - especially for those without in-house production teams.
The beauty and cosmetics industry is one that has nailed this conundrum. Makeup tutorials account for almost 70% of the most viewed beauty videos online, in comparison to just 7% for adverts.
NYX - a brand renowned for its digital-first marketing strategy is a fantastic case study it's a beauty brand with an outstanding influencer strategy. In addition to partnering with several beauty influencers both for content and modelling, they launched their #FaceAwards to further harness capitalise on video content from its influencer customers.
The Face Awards is an online make-up competition for beauty vloggers who can upload a video showcasing their makeup skills. It's authentic, earns the brand fantastic coverage (excuse the pun), generates fantastic content and brings the brand closer to the consumer.
Speaking to Beauty Packaging Nathalie Kristo, NYX Cosmetics SVP of Global Marketing & Business Development, explained
"Our stores will celebrate the new generation of beauty influencers, and their dedicated followers, by highlighting the creativity and artistry of these real-world makeup lovers. With our complete line of professional makeup and new digital services our customers will be empowered to create and share their own makeup looks."
I'm Head of Marketing at ZINE where I am helping peers and customers who want to revolutionise their influencer marketing strategy. I love food, fitness and Min Pins.