Beauty and the Influencer Beast

The beauty industry is ever-changing alongside the growing amount of social media influencers. YouTubers and Instagram stars have quickly become the only voice that really matters for consumers in the beauty industry. The amount of beauty-related content created by influencers is increasing exponentially, and the industry is seeing more growth than ever before the further we get into 2019.

In 2018, beauty-related content generated more than 169 billion views - with popular types of videos including tutorials, DIY videos, reviews and make-up haul videos produced by beauty 'vloggers'. YouTube is the perfect platform for brands to get involved in because it allows them to get their products out there in full, videos allow influencers to visually display how products can be used, with what to put them with and to they're able discuss the benefits. Influencers through YouTube serve to millions of people as a credible source of information as when looking to buy new products, consumers want a trusted recommendation and what's better than seeing someone physically using the product you're about to buy? A beauty influencer with a large following is bound to be knowledgeable on the industry and should offer their audience with a reliable opinion.

The amount of 'brand x influencer' palettes, lip sticks and full ranges of make-up coming out now are more than ever before. Brands teaming up with YouTubers is the perfect way to reach younger consumers, who make up the largest section of beauty consumers. According to the Office for National Statistics, young women aged 16-24 are the most likely to buy make-up. Brands are noticing the huge impact of social media influencers and have since adopted their PR and marketing strategies to reach younger consumers through social media.

YouTube videos are the earned media that today's make-up brands need to survive. These channels that are posting regular content with reviews and tutorials are providing consumers with real, *mostly* unbiased opinions that they want before making a purchase decision. If an influencer doesn't like a product, they tell you! More often than not a poor product can be as talked about as a great product so it's often a risk for any beauty brand, it's essentially allowing consumers to ignore advertisements for new products and base their decisions on other people's opinions!

Paid media is also increasingly a major part of Instagram and YouTube with the laws and regulations of disclosing the payment being ever-changing for influencers. This happens with beauty sponsoring videos, where the influencer is asked to use and promote a new product, or they are sending them new products for free to review. This is one thing that I always forget online, that these people are more often than not now, getting these products for free and even promoting said products for a fee.

YouTube and Instagram have really changed the game and revolutionised word-of-mouth communication, where we can now search a specific trend, brand or product and instantly have thousands of posts, photos and videos showing me the pros and cons of the product, and how to use it! Online we have access to thousands of opinions of people of all different ages, skin types, genders, countries, makeup artists, now any opinion a consumer could possibly need can be found with the click of a button.

I'm currently following over 30-40 Instagram and YouTube influencers who are far more influential on my makeup decisions than any traditional advert. Ultimately, Urban Decay and L'Oreal might promise a 'perfect finish' with their new foundations, but until Hannah Renée or NikkieTutorials tell me it's amazing, I won't be convinced!

Beth x

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