Looking back, it’s hard to believe that social media has only had a foothold in our lives for the past 15 years. Prior to this time, the only beauty influencers regarded by consumers were models, actresses, and other celebrity personalities offering paid endorsements for products.
Now, social media influencers drive billions of dollars worth of marketing revenue every year. Beauty influencers, in particular, are at the forefront of the charge. Here’s how beauty influencers started a new revolution and changed beauty marketing for the better.
Reshaping Celebrity Endorsements
The first beauty influeners on social media were exactly who you’d expect: models and celebrities sharing their beauty routines and favorite products. However, the presentation was much different than in the past. Traditional print ads and commercials followed a consistent, scripted structure that fell by the wayside as social media became predominant. Rather than feeling like we were being marketed to, everything was conversational, with a sense of reality and friendship.
Of course, it wasn’t that simple. The shift toward beauty influencer marketing started with a sense of secrecy and deception that would later be corrected by regulatory changes. In the beginning, influencers could share products without identifying that they were being paid to do so— an exciting development for brands. Now, the FTC has strict disclosure guidelines pertaining to identifying paid brand partnerships. Those who fail to comply face a hefty financial penalty.
In addition to changing how beauty brands market their materials, beauty influencers also created the need for entirely unprecedented legislation in the jurisdiction-free world of the internet.
Creating Entrepreneurship Opportunities
Perhaps the most exciting outcome of the beauty influencer revolution is that anyone can become an influencer. This shift away from recognizable celebrity names has created incredible entrepreneurship opportunities for those who pursue this path.
A part of this revolution is the ever-increasing accessibility to technology. Marketers no longer require expensive equipment to create professional-looking photos and videos. An aspiring beauty influencer can take photos with an iPhone, use Facetune for bokeh effect, add a few edits, and post a compelling caption for a stunning product profile that sells.
In fact, this shift away from known celebrities to up-and-coming beauty influencers has also created a shift in social media marketing strategies. Rather than investing significant amounts of money in high-profile celebrities, many brands are finding more success with micro-influencers who have fewer followers and better engagement. This allows small beauty brands to gain a foothold in the marketplace while transforming how larger brands allocate their marketing spend.
Highlighting Diversity and Inclusion
Another revolution that stems from the need to be “real” in the world of beauty marketing is the movement toward better diversity and inclusion. Traditional beauty marketing efforts typically included the same cast of characters who fit conventional beauty standards and societal expectations. Now, many of the leading beauty influencers come from various ethnic backgrounds, have varying physical abilities and limitations, different genders and sexual orientations, and bodies of all shapes and sizes.
Representation matters and the next generation will see far more beauty influencers that reflect their personal experiences and backgrounds. As such, beauty influencers have revolutionized the messaging beauty brands send to young people about societal beauty standards and individuality.
Transforming Brand Marketing Strategies
Beauty influencers have changed how brands create marketing strategies. Rather than investing millions in traditional advertising, brands are reallocating funds to influencer marketing. Furthermore, this alters the marketing spend for many brands who work with micro-influencers using affiliate and referral marketing rather than the up-front costs of paying a celebrity.
Beauty marketing looks significantly different than it did a mere 20 years ago at the dawn of the new millennium. It’s exciting to consider how beauty influencers will continue to revolutionize marketing trends in the future.