Beauty influence has been steadily evolving for decades. From Farrah Fawcett’s endorsement of hair products to Taylor Swift’s obsession with NARS red lipstick, famous women have always guided shoppers toward the latest trends. Nowadays, women still read magazines and look to movies for style inspo, but influencers have found a new platform: social media.
If you’ve ever scrolled through an Instagram feed, you’ve likely seen promoted posts from beautiful women (and men!) of all shapes and sizes, who seem to have achieved perfect hair and makeup. While this seems like a self-promotion tactic for the women themselves, check out the captions and the tags: these wildly popular accounts always mention the products they use in the captions. While individual self-promotion is certainly a motive here, this is a rapidly evolving form of marketing for some of the largest companies in the world, ranging from old-school brands like Maybelline to more recent phenomenons like Sephora.
Ultra-popular Instagram user nikkietutorials has an exclusive deal with Maybelline, enjoying an audience of over 10 million followers and contributing to the modernization of one of the oldest cosmetics companies in the world.
The stats are clear about the influence of social media on beauty shoppers:
- 80% of the cosmetics buyer’s journey is spent looking at influencers and ads
- 80% of Gen Zers look to social media for new products and beauty techniques
- 74% of beauty-consuming millennials see social media as a source of guidance
- 57% of beauty shoppers across all generations trust social media when they search for new hair, makeup, and skincare products
Chances are, your beauty brand is not quite as big as Kylie Jenner’s makeup line. However, the trend of beauty influencers and social media simply cannot be neglected by any cosmetics line, as long as these numbers exist (and continue to grow). But how do you get your influencer strategy started?
Highlight Your Social Media Ads
We’re assuming here that you have a social media presence. (If you don’t, you should seriously talk to Shopgate’s Marketing Services department.) If you’re struggling to get followers or interactions, it’s time to highlight your social media presence, just like you would your cheekbones. Facebook ads, promoted tweets, and promoted posts on Instagram are key to reaching a wider audience—an audience comprised of consumers who consistently search for beauty brands, tutorials, and other such buzzwords.
Trendy cosmetics company Too Faced takes advantage of Instagram's sponsored posts feature to share content and product information, whether it's through photos or video.
Invest in Lip(stick) Service
About those beautiful influencers we mentioned earlier—they’re totally possible to find. Start raking through Instagram and Twitter hashtags related to your area and your industry. For example, since we’re located in Austin, a five-second Instagram search revealed that #atxbeauty has over 10,000 posts, #atxmua has over 16,000 posts, and #atxhair has over 56,000. These posts represent exactly what we described earlier: women who are eager to flaunt new products as they grow their follower count and expand their reach in the beauty world.
Three tips for smaller beauty companies looking for influencers:
- If your business is not located in a big city or metro area, expand your hashtag searches to local cities or even your whole state.
- You may have to think outside of the box and expand your hashtag searches to industries such as photography. While beauty hashtags in Mississippi are much smaller than in Austin, #mississippiphotographer produced over 55,000 posts. Photographers know models better than anyone—take advantage of their connections.
- Beauty influencers—even those who are small fish in this big sea—will likely expect something in return, usually free products and swag. You have to be willing to reward them for the work they put into styling, photography, editing, and posting for you.
Modern Makeup Must Go Mobile
As far as repeat purchases go, beauty products rank high. After all, you don’t stop using hairspray after your can is empty—you buy a new can of the brand you love. Some makeup products expire, like mascara that hardens and clumps. As a result, beauty shoppers are some of the most valuable repeat customers that retail can mine.
There is an undeniable truth in modern eCommerce: mobile apps are the ultimate tool for retention. On average, it costs seven times more to win a new customer than to keep an existing one. Also of importance: increasing your customer retention rate by just 5% can increase profits by 25-95%.
The retention power of apps is due to several factors, including the ability to always stay in the customer’s pocket, and the effectiveness of push notifications in advertising sales and avoiding cart abandonment.
Beauty-centered retail apps are also some of the most advanced in the world of mobile. We recently published an article detailing the mobile innovation of the beauty industry. It covers remarkable app features like lookbooks, location services, loyalty programs, and more. Beauty companies are constantly getting ahead in app technology—and you simply cannot afford to fall behind.
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Author: Casey Gannon
Vice President of Marketing | Casey is an experienced tech marketer, driven to develop marketing strategies that blend traditional techniques with emerging technology. With over ten years of experience in mobile, she believes that mobile apps are the modern solution in helping retailers directly connect with and impact consumers. When she's not looking ahead to the next opportunity, Casey is a busy mom, soccer player and adjunct professor at her alma mater, St. Edward's University.