The makeup world is fast expanding, leaving beauty shoppers with more options than ever before when it comes to buying colour cosmetics. And, for new beauty brands, this presents a huge challenge before their first product event hits the shelves: how do you get noticed in the vast industry?
For years now, influencers have been the go-to approach for makeup newcomers, and it’s easy to see why; their loyal followings and penchant for creativity help brands get noticed. This strategy isn’t going away, but the way it’s carried out has changed in recent years. So, in 2022, how can you launch a makeup product using influencers? These are our tips for a campaign that resonates…
1. Know What Makeup Consumers Want
The needs of makeup consumers go beyond pigment power. As well as makeup that looks good, more and more beauty shoppers want their products to do good, too. According to a poll of 2,000 adults by weDo/ Professional, 54% of consumers consider sustainability a key factor when buying beauty, hair and skin care products. However, 61% said that they struggle to tell whether a beauty product is ethically produced by looking at its packaging, making sustainability – and clear signposting – a high priority for new beauty launches.
With this in mind, you may also want to work with influencers who hold sustainable values, as they can speak about eco-friendly products from a place of knowledge, and with confidence. That confidence should also extend to their makeup techniques – a requirement that sets makeup launches apart from other beauty launches. While in fragrance and skincare, application skills aren’t so crucial, they can be when working with colour cosmetics. Makeup shoppers are looking for education when picking out products, whether that’s on how to nail a speedy, parent-friendly routine or create natural-looking contouring.
And then there are trends – but not as we knew them. While makeup looks tend to steer more natural these days, consumers are still open to innovative products with game-changing textures, packaging or technology. Consider this during the product development and influencer briefing phase, ensuring your makeup brand has something new to offer within the saturated market.
2. Identify the Right Influencers For Your Brand
Once you know what your consumers want, and what you’re going to offer them, you can start to build a profile of your perfect influencer. It might be that they have sustainable values, that they’re a makeup artist with professional insight, or even that they’re a non-beauty influencer who still matches up with your brand identity.
The right influencer is one who aligns with your messaging and your audience demographic, so it’s not just about who they are but also about who they’re going to help you reach. That’s why you need an influencer-identification tool that lets you filter by interests, vital metrics (such as engagement rate), location, activity, content type and audience to narrow down a talent shortlist. From there, you can start reaching out and beginning conversations
3. Know What Your Influencers Want
Savvy social media users can spot inauthentic partnerships, so it’s important that you work with influencers who truly believe in your makeup brand. This isn’t just about them liking the products, but enjoying the collaboration, too. Your PR team’s goal should be to make the contract and content creation process feel seamless.
To do this, influencers will need:
- A clear brief: Complete with a comprehensive list of deliverables, expected deadlines and information on key messaging. This benefits both sides and can cut down the need for rounds of amends.
- Creative freedom: The influencers you work with know their audience better than anyone, and have built up the following they have by flexing their creative muscles. Give them freedom to explore the brief and play with it how they see fit. As long as they’re following your ‘must-haves’ list for messaging, this will make for a more symbiotic partnership.
- The sell: For influencers to talk enthusiastically about your products, they need to be truly excited about them – so you may need to ‘sell’ your makeup line to them in your initial communication. When you approach top talent, explain what makes you innovative and how your values align with their own (and their audience’s), so they understand why your brand would be a good fit.
4. Devise an Engaging Outreach Campaign
As the brief evolves to fit both your own and your influencer’s creative vision, it’s important to ensure education, entertainment and engagement are at the forefront of all content. The bar for captivating campaigns is rising, with brands developing more and more inventive ways to propel their products into the social sphere.
Great examples include Bleach London’s Hair Party; a ‘digital salon’ that saw live consultations take place with the brand’s Creative Director and other influential guest speakers. Huda Beauty frequently links up with macro influencers who boast millions-strong followings, with a focus on aspirational tutorials packed with crafty hacks. Meanwhile, NYX’s Face Awards sees vloggers go head-to-head in an annual competition that pushes their makeup creativity to the very limits. Each of these campaigns demonstrate what makes the relevant brands and their products so unique, and keep things fun and fresh for the influencers involved. So, what will be your niche?