Social Media Marketing Beauty Industry Lessons for Brands

Domenic Smith
Domenic Smith
DTC brands independent consultant

If you haven’t been keeping up, let us fill you in on what’s happened - social media has revolutionized every aspect of marketing and brand promotion from top to bottom and then some, and there’s no going back, ever. Keep up or say bye-bye to a piece of the $500+ billion beauty pie. And for small and mid-size brands with smaller marketing budgets but good products worthy of love, that’s a very, very good thing.

These big changes have made it possible for small upstart brands to compete with multi-billion-dollar corporations for a chunky slice of the half a trillion-dollar beauty market. As the beauty industry shifts from traditional to social media marketing and from celebrity to influencer endorsements, there are some important lessons for brands to learn and apply to their own efforts, especially when it comes to finding and collaborating with the right creators.

Social Media Marketing in Beauty Industry – The Stats

The global beauty industry is enormous, ginormous, out of this world huge. And with brands representing everything from cheap teenage lip-gloss to the pinnacle of glamour and luxury, there’s something for literally everyone. It’s pretty safe to say that pretty much every woman (and increasingly men) is a consumer of beauty products. That’s a lot of potential customers, and social media marketing is the best way to reach a majority of them.

  • In a study from the Harvard Business School, a whopping 62% of the women said they follow beauty influencers on social media. When asked where they seek information about beauty products prior to purchasing them, social media influencers ranked highest at nearly 67%, followed by third-party product reviews at 59%, and beauty professionals at 55%. Company advertisements ranked much lower at 44%, and public figures and celebrities garnered only 34%.

Social Media and Beauty Industry – Match Made in Heaven

Remember flipping through magazines to look at pixel-perfect faces and TV ads with models waving their shiny hair at us through the screen? Us neither, because that happened in 2005. Keep up. Image-focused social networks like Instagram have risen to be the platform for promotion of beauty products and services, and make-up reviews and tutorials have become a ubiquitous part of YouTube, so much so that they now make up 10% of monthly views.

For an industry that’s as concerned about brand image as they are about their customers’ image, social media provides the perfect platform for an enhanced brand-consumer connection and generating and maintaining brand loyalty. With most buyers following their favorite brands on social media, brands have a great opportunity to reach their most receptive audience directly. And when an indirect connection is necessary, social media influencers fit the role.

Social Media Marketing in Beauty Industry Influencer Influence Keeps Growing

The beauty industry is number one when it comes to influencer marketing. Beauty giant Estée Lauder is spending 75% of its marketing budget on digital marketing, particularly social media influencers. And beauty YouTubers are so pervasive that there’s even a Wiki entry for them. What all this means is that social media influencers have the most influence when it comes to beauty product purchases. Consumers watch them, like them, and most importantly trust them.

Consumers listen to influencers more than they do company ads, and many consider influencers to be their friends whose endorsement they trust rather than an out-of-reach celebrity. While a product endorsement from Kim Kardashian may reach millions, some of the smaller influencers (called microinfluencers) have followings in the thousands rather than millions but may form a much more authentic and intimate connection with their followers.

And recommendations and reviews from fellow consumers and friends or family is most genuine of all, that’s why user-generated content is so important for brands looking to attract more loyal customers. Get real people talking about you, and you’ll get more real people trying you out.

Social Media Marketing Beauty Industry Opportunities for Brands

The biggest advantage of social media and influencer marketing for the beauty industry is the sheer variety of voices and looks you can get to represent you. Consumers increasingly expect to see beauty in all its many shapes, sizes and skin tones. They want to see someone like them, not just another cookie-cutter model in a magazine spread. Social media gives brands the opportunity to market equally to all the diverse consumers out there, and this is perhaps its biggest strength.

Ultimately, social media gives power to smaller brands, especially ones focused on sustainability and eco-friendliness, to have a leg up on their big peers who can’t quite adopt that ethos due to limitations of big scale production. Consumers are much more aware and empowered than ever before, and smaller brands that speak to their convictions and preferences can reach them on a small budget and convert them to loyal clients by letting their product shine through.

And if you’re looking to collaborate with a widely diverse group of influencers that can bring out the best in your products to audiences that crave such content, Insense has a network of 35K+ creators that celebrate beauty in all its types and colors. Get custom content from the best creators, optimize it for the perfect look and feel, and amplify it on the biggest social networks straight from one easy-to-use platform.

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Domenic Smith

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