Ads for cosmetic products are starting to gain less traction among younger audiences and this is starting to create a strong power vacuum that influencers are more than happy to fill up, according to research from Harvard Business School by MBA graduate Alessia Vettese.
The trend towards influencer marketing follows a logical evolution from ads on some magazine or webpage to actual people who interact with their followers and provide guidance.
“People used to watch celebrities on the red carpet talking about what they were wearing, or they would flip through magazines and look at celebrities in makeup ads, but that has lost its traction, especially among younger consumers. Now, people want to go online and get an at-your-fingertips experience. They want to ask and influencer question and get personal responses,” she said.
According to Vettese, established beauty brands are beginning to lose their grasp on younger individuals as they find it difficult to adapt to the changes in the way that cosmetics brands market themselves. New “direct-to-consumer” brands are starting to take advantage of these new tools at their disposal.
Vettese cited Glossier as an example of a company that was a no-namer just five years ago and has grown into a massive brand name because of its partnerships with influencers. Now, companies that have been selling cosmetics for decades are facing sweaty competition from newcomers like this one.
“Instagram is by far the best volume play. It’s very visual, and it’s simple to put a lot of photos and short videos out there to immediately reach your followers. Plus, you can directly respond to people’s comments, so there’s this easy communication back and forth,” she added.
In addition to all of this, the lofty goal of finding top influencers to market a product is no longer as attractive for these brands. The micro-influencer market is growing significantly as companies are looking for people with more intimate relationships with their followers to feature their wares.
Although micro-influencers of the right stripe were hard to find in the early years, businesses are now using various tools to sift through all the noise and find the right people among millions of aspiring influencers.
There is really no longer any excuse for brands to hesitate adopting this new marketing method. It yields stronger results than traditional advertising, leads to conversions that come from a place of trust, and establishes better relationships with consumers in the long run.