A look at how Social Media influencers have impacted the beauty industry.
With the number of people watching live TV and being exposed to advertisements both on the TV and radio declining, Forbes Magazine has found that influencer marketing is now one of the most, if not the “most effective form of advertising.” The emergence of this trend has meant brands from all industries have had to adapt in order to effectively communicate with their audience with many of them “using social channels to target their consumers and influence them to make a purchase“.
With approximately 182 beauty brands for customers to choose from, the beauty industry has had to change and adapt the ways in which they target and market products to their consumers. Having so much choice at a range of prices can make it difficult for consumers to know which products are worth buying with 22 out of the 25 people I questioned saying that they felt overwhelmed by choice when shopping for new beauty products. When questioned further, 23 out of the 25 went on to say that they rely heavily on the opinions of others and word of mouth when considering which products are actually worth purchasing and spending money on. It is apparent that beauty brands have noticed the importance of word of mouth within the industry as the rise of social media influencer marketing has been one of the biggest drivers of growth within the beauty industry according to Forbes magazine.
Sending products to social media influencers is an easy way for brands to gain exposure for their products and compete with their competitors. Some influencers such as Zoella, seen in the video bellow, have millions of subscribers and followers meaning that even one mention of a product in their content can gain a large amount of publicity for a brand. The cost to brands of creating social media content and providing products to influencers is “almost zero” yet the potential returns and benefits to the brand and its image are massive, making it no surprise that almost all brands buying into and implementing this trend.
We as consumers are much more likely to trust the opinion of an influencer over an advertisement as the opinions they give are perceived to be free of bias and a more accurate reflection of the quality of the product. We know that the brands are always going to say that their products are the best but influencers technically don’t have to say anything at all, let alone something positive, so why wouldn’t we believe them when they recommend something to us? In fact it has been found that “an overwhelming number of beauty consumers have focused their attention to the advice of beauty vloggers in order to judge cosmetic products, how to wear them, and if certain products are worth purchasing.” My own research too found the same results as 21 out of 25 people said they would buy a beauty product based solely on the opinion and mention of an social media influencer, whether that be on YouTube, Instagram or through online blogs. This element of trust between a consumer and influencers is increased when they share bad reviews as well as positive ones. Vloggers such as Jeffree Star, in video below, are known for not only sharing good products but also informing viewers when a product is not worth buying, making their influence that little bit stronger.
With the public obsession with social media only set to increase in the coming months and years, this trend of using social media influencers to market beauty products is one that will surely continue on this upward trajectory. If you own any beauty products whether that be skincare, hair care or make-up, just look through your collection and consider how many times you can safely say social media made me buy it?