The many faces of beauty influence
The Beauty sector is probably one of the most dramatically impacted by the surge of social media influencers.
From “Mega-Influencers” such as Zoella and her 43M audience who have become celebrities in their own rights all the way to the thousands of young women who have built a following of a few tens of thousands, we estimate that there are around 25,000 beauty influencers in the US alone.
Despite such a plethora of choice, we were very surprised to see very different brands, targeting very different audiences, competing to work with the same influencers. Lack of transparency and objective evaluation criteria, ill-defined strategies and the wrong technological choices have created a marketing chaos where brand strategies and influencer targeting hardly reconcile.
In a newly released report Global Influencer Marketing: Insights from Beauty, we have identified 8 different types of beauty influencers that should guide brands in the way they structure and select their collaborations with influencers.
Kendall Jenner is a CELEBRITY. Celebrities have risen to fame through traditional channels but now have a massive social following. Long term paid partnerships are the norm here.
Caroline Hirons is an EXPERT. She is one of the best skincare experts in the business. Collaborating on tutorials or educational content would be great tactics for brands who want to engage with her.
Emily Weiss is a FOUNDER. She has created her own company in the beauty sector. Brands should treat her as equal; involve her in their product development. Transparency is the key: she knows the business!
Other archetypes highlighted in the report include: THE PERSONAL BRAND, the DISRUPTOR, the LIFESTYLIST, the BEAUTY EDITOR.
Segmenting influencers in archetypes is critical for brands for two main reasons:
Firstly, aligning the influencer selection to the brand objective and target audience is necessary to maximize the impact of your program. Collaborate with a CELEBRITY for reach and audience size, but work with an EXPERT to create high impact video tutorials
Secondly, recognizing that each type of influencer has their own objectives and will help brands optimizing their engagement by personalizing the relationship and suggesting the most exciting collaborations for them.
A diverse ecoystem
Naturally, the 8 archetypes outlined in the report are only an illustration of the diversity of influencers and should only be used as a starting point. Other segmentation criteria that brands should look at include their topic of preference (makeup vs skincare, eyelashes vs hair), their location and the location of their audience as well as qualitative criteria around the content they publish. Let’s not forget that each have their own motivation, skills and personality: a mother of 2 kids will not have the same areas of interest and probably a different audience to a 18 year-old vlogger!
The intensity of their relationships with the brand is another major segmentation criteria: brand advocates will be engaged and managed in a very different way to new individuals who might not yet be familiar with brand.
Whilst micro segmentation is the key to success, it very quickly creates additional complexity for organizations managing multiple brands, concurrent product launches across multiple teams. The most advanced brands will use technology such as Influencer Relationship Management platforms that will enable them to assess influencers on quantitative and qualitative criteria, structure them across multiple criteria, manage the stages of their relationship and collaborate across campaigns and teams.
Segmenting is marketing: brand should ensure they apply this golden rule to their influencer marketing strategies as well.