It’s a tough world out there for beauty brands. Most newcomers and small businesses offer one-of-a-kind specialist products for skin, nails, or hair, but competing against both big retailers and a myriad of other small brands makes it tricky to gain the attention of potential buyers.
Luckily, there’s one surefire strategy that helps brands leverage their business potential in this competitive playing field: social media influencers. Influencers are able to get eyes directly on new brands and build authentic credibility through product reviews and tutorials.
The huge marketing power of influencer campaigns comes from a simple social truth: 78% of people trust other people’s opinions and reviews more than paid advertisements. Further, in an eMarketer 2021 survey, 62% of consumers said they’re more likely to buy a product if they can see real customer photos and videos first. These statistics back up the numerous brands, such as MAC, AllWellAllOver, and Lush that have been able to generate product buzz and boost brand awareness by bringing influencers into their marketing strategies.
Beauty brands across the board should be sure to follow their lead. It’s time to capitalize on the potential of influencer marketing and start with a campaign as soon as possible. To get you started on your first influencer campaign, we’ll explain how to choose a good influencer–product fit, what content to expect from collaborations, and how to select the right social media platform for your beauty business.
Advantages of influencer marketing for the beauty industry
The beauty industry is one of the fastest-growing markets while also being highly saturated at the same time. The market is not only crowded but also highly dependent on companies having a strong digital presence and leveraging e-commerce. The top 20 beauty companies already make 86% of their sales online, and this trend is only continuing to grow.
If you are a small or medium-sized brand, you need to adopt digital marketing strategies to build brand awareness and increase your revenue despite this fierce competition. The best method to achieve your business goals is a marketing strategy that helps your target audience see, learn, and understand the benefit your product will bring them.
Beauty is very visual and relies on aesthetics. The best digital advertising for aesthetic industries is demonstrating the product and its benefits in real-life situations. There is no better way of showing the shiny effect of a new lip gloss or how a facial cream nurtures the skin than through an image or video. By assigning influencers to generate posts, short videos, and tutorials, you can create exactly this marketing effect.
As the beauty industry is very crowded, it generates insecurity with buyers who are faced with an endless array of product choices. Recommendations from friends and trusted peer groups have become a vital part of the sales purchase cycle. However, influencer marketing can have an even more powerful psychological effect than recommendations alone. Followers perceive the influencer’s position of authority and social proof, which triggers the desire to emulate the information they obtain into their own preferences and choices.
And if this weren’t enough, influencer marketing has an incredibly high return on even small investments compared to other marketing measures. The beauty brand Liza Lash Beauty Sphere was able to gain 340,000 product views through a TikTok collaboration for the same price as designing a simple flyer.
How beauty brands can choose the right influencer fit
Some businesses randomly send out their products to people with many followers, choosing quantity over relevance. Later, they wonder why they couldn’t generate the desired revenue with their investment. Choosing the right influencer–product fit is important if you want to reap the full benefits of content collaboration.
As a start, brands can search for beauty influencers on online influencer marketing platforms and watch their content. In this fashion, you can check whether you want people to connect your brand with their style, look, and language. Your goal is to find someone that’s relevant to your brand, meaning that their audience fits your product’s target demographic. Nine out of ten marketing professionals have learned from their own experience that authenticity and relevance are the most important attributes people look for in influencers.
Make sure the influencer is aligned with your brand in terms of subject matter and values as well. So, if you are a brand focusing on natural and organic products, you should pick an influencer that represents the same values and has something to say about organic lifestyles. If you are offering skin treatment for acne, make sure your influencer can relate to this problem, which increases trustworthiness among their audience.
Take Josephine.tiktok on Instagram as an example; she’s advocating beauty products for people with sensitive skin, showing her followers how she treats her own blemishes while avoiding harsh skin reactions.
How brands can set the right budget
When choosing an influencer, you also have to consider how much budget you can allocate. Small brands in particular might have shied away from influencer marketing in the past, given that celebrity influencers charge anywhere from $10,000 to $1 million per paid post.
But don’t worry about breaking the bank. Low-priced micro-influencers can be equally as effective to you as one large influencer collaboration. Collaborating with micro-influencers has several advantages. First, by sending products to several micro-influencers you can attract buyers from a wider but more targeted lead funnel. It gives you the chance to create awareness among people that are following an influencer because they are looking for inspiration for beauty products. This can generate many more leads than contracting a star with a million followers, from which only a small portion are actually interested in their beauty advice.
Secondly, micro-influencers can help you gain higher engagement rates. As they speak to niche audiences and tight-knit communities, their followers are also more likely to engage with their content. This is backed up by data from Mobile Marketer, which found how social media engagement increases with fewer followers because individuals feel more secure to engage and they are more likely to get a useful response as well. This concept is also referred to as social proximity—the idea that a person’s close positioning and familiar context determine the perceived approachability of that person.
The best type of content for beauty brands
In the beauty industry, brands can benefit most from videos showing a product’s effect or from tutorial formats. Why? Because a one-minute video tutorial on how to use a cream against skin imperfections can demonstrate your product and its effect on the skin much better than a static picture. To date, 50% of online users even actively search for product videos before they make a purchase.
Further, you might prefer a long-term collaboration over a single paid post contract. Lonely posts can sometimes come across as inauthentic. Longer campaigns with several brand/influencer touchpoints show a true collaboration between the influencer and your brand. This helps the audience perceive the partnership as authentic and builds trust.
When setting your content strategy, you should leave enough space for your collaborator to develop the post according to their style and tone of voice. You’ll notice that because Tyetun stayed true to this entertaining style and trendy language, his tutorial video for Liza Lash gained him 44,800 likes and 375 shares.
It’s important to trust your collaborations. They know their audiences and what content works well. It’s advisable to set guidelines such as video length and the type of video (tutorial, product demonstration, ads, etc.) then hand the rest of the responsibilities over to the influencers, so they can generate buzz according to the follower base. Choose a social media platform that suits your preferences.
From the universe of social media platforms, Instagram and TikTok are particularly popular for influencer marketing. On both, audiovisual content such as reels and IGTV easily outshine static posts with higher engagement rates. Both platforms allow their audiences to easily engage with their content, ask questions, and receive quick responses.
While Instagram convinces with stable and predictable engagement rates, smaller brands can benefit from the unique features of TikTok. TikTok is a platform geared towards engagement because its algorithm evaluates every piece of content across a set of factors. The platform has gained popularity as a young and fun platform and its users enjoy engaging with videos that explain products or tutorials, stylized with entertaining video edits and effects. Therefore, the potential of content to go viral is higher on TikTok, even though Instagram is catching up with its own Reels function.
It’s not always easy for beauty brands to show the strength of their products online. In order to get customers’ attention, the best strategy for newcomers and smaller businesses is to leverage the potential of social proofing. By collaborating with influencers on social media, brands can easily grow their audience, enhance their brand reputation, and achieve great marketing deals for smaller wallets.
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