How is Influencer Marketing Changing the Beauty Industry?
Influencer marketing is where brands work with online influencers to either promote particular products or services or simply to raise brand awareness and get potential customers thinking or talking about their brand.
Online influencers are people with a large online following on one or more social media channels. They’re not necessarily celebrities or experts but thanks to their large number of followers, they do have an influence over people’s thoughts and behaviours. Influencers might promote or advertise any number of products to their followers, from high-quality professional hairdressing clippers and skincare to gym wear and hotels.
Why Are Beauty Brands Choosing Influencers?
Brands are putting less emphasis on traditional methods of advertising and instead placing more emphasis on raising brand awareness. Influencers can be a great way to do this as data from this year shows that over half (59%) of the world’s population are on at least one social media platform, meaning that potential customers are easier to reach than ever.
Influencers typically have a niche, whether that’s beauty, fitness or home interiors and work with brands who offer products or services that fit that niche, meaning they’re delivering content to a targeted audience who are already interested in that subject and more likely to be receptive to marketing for products or services in that field. Plus, unlike models or actresses, influencers can also seem more ‘real’ meaning that they seem more accessible and their followers are more likely to feel loyalty to them and trust their recommendations.
Influencer marketing works particularly well for beauty brands as their products need to be seen to be believed, which lends itself well to the image and video-driven social media channels such as Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, where influencers can showcase products via online makeup tutorials or before and after images to demonstrate skin care results.
Beauty brands are also aware of their audience, which is predominantly younger age groups such as millennials and Gen Z, who have grown up in a digital world, where online presence is a given. This is an audience that values authenticity and personalisation, making them more receptive to influencer marketing compared to traditional marketing methods. When it comes to influencer marketing, engaging with some of the most beautiful Instagram models can be an effective strategy to captivate the attention of this demographic.
What Challenges Is Influencer Marketing Facing?
Whilst influencer marketing has many plus points, it isn’t without its challenges too. With an increasing number of businesses adopting influencer marketing, there is a greater threat of influencer fatigue. This is where audiences become desensitised to influencer’s posts and happens when you’re using influencer marketing in a saturated market, where promotional content already dominates your audience’s social media feeds. When this happens, people become overwhelmed and irritated and rather than feel that influencers have their best interests in mind, they start to feel they’re being manipulated and will disengage or unfollow.
It can also be difficult to measure success with influencer marketing and to get a handle on your ROI, particularly where purchases aren’t the end goal because you’re aiming to boost engagement or raise brand awareness. The absence of standard metrics means you may not be able to objectively measure the success of a campaign.
Another issue is influencer fraud in the beauty industry. Some companies have lost significant amounts of money when investing their marketing budget in influencers with fake followers. This results in campaigns that fail to reach a real audience and a distrust between brands and influencers. Additionally, it can be hard to monitor social media channels for fake promotional posts. These can oftentimes be posted by well-meaning fans of a brand or aspiring influencers who caption their posts in a way that suggests they are working with a particular brand and then use campaign hashtags or promotional tools to get their content in front of a large audience. Whilst this can sometimes be a positive thing as it’s effectively free advertising for the brand, it can also undermine genuine marketing campaigns and if the content is poor quality, can even harm a brand’s reputation.