In a digitally-driven world, shoppers are increasingly turning to online sources for their beauty inspiration. This includes reading up on beauty blogs, watching YouTube tutorials or reviews on Instagram. After all, beauty routines or makeup challenges offer a much better demonstration of beauty products as opposed to a traditional 30-second television spot. To keep up with this digital slant, brands across the industry are similarly revamping how they market to consumers. For starters, more beauty brands are working closely with social media influencers to push their product in a more authentic and relatable manner. This helps brands to indirectly build awareness and customer trust with their target audience. 

Beyond influencer-led collaborations, brands are also adopting various digital technologies to appeal to their digital audience. For instance, L’Oréal bought Modiface, an artificial-reality beauty company that maps an individual’s face digitally then virtually applies the product. Other brands like Elizabeth Arden partnered with YouCam Makeup to help users try products and Estée Lauder used an online tutorial to launch a range of eye and face creams.  

These initiatives only go to show the lengths brands are willing to go to create more immersive experiences for a large part of their audience that lives online. 

To understand this shift, the latest Meltwater Beyond Skin Deep report goes into detail on how social media is redefining the way beauty shoppers discover, evaluate and purchase makeup across four countries: Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. The study also deep dives into the role of influencer marketing in this growing $532 billion beauty industry


So what’s dominating the beauty space? 

It’s important to analyse what conversations are dominating the beauty space when marketing to your audience. To understand that, Meltwater analysed content across millions of posts from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, blogs, review sites and online forums. The results across the 4 countries revealed 5 key trends: 

  • Lips received the most buzz of all product categories on social media
  • Indonesians discuss the most about beauty online
  • J-beauty is making a comeback after K-beauty’s reign 
  • Instagram is the preferred channel for talent-led collaborations
  • Social media influencers are preferred over celebrities for brand collaborations

For a more detailed look into each trend and how you can leverage on them, download the complete Beyond Skin Deep report here. 

Why is influencer marketing preferred in the beauty industry?

No other industry has embraced influencer marketing as enthusiastically as the beauty industry. A separate report by Celebrity Intelligence also found that influencers are pivotal in shaping opinions and buying decisions for 80% of beauty shoppers. Today, social media influencers are preferred over celebrities for beauty collaborations. 

In essence, big celebrities aren’t as relatable or authentic to consumers anymore. Consumers are now better able to tell when they’re being blatantly sold to and instead prefer receiving information from ‘real’ people, believing that they are more authentic and credible in their opinions. 

However, identifying the right influencers to work with in the saturated market is also not as simple as looking at follower numbers. Brands need to take a data-led approach to identify talent. This means looking at how well an individual is performing in terms of engagement and influence, and whether they would be a right fit. 


What can brands do to keep up in this dynamic industry?

As consumers spend more time on their mobile devices, product discovery and inspiration is also moving online. It’s about time brands shift their focus and utilise digital technologies to their advantage. Here are some strategies brands can adopt. 

Leverage data to identify the right influencers

Working with influencers is not as straightforward in this increasingly competitive industry. Instead, brands need to focus on influencers with the right audience following rather than a sizeable one. To assess the suitability of influencers and their demographic, brands can utilise Meltwater’s Social Influencer toolThis tool allows brands to discover the right influencers across multiple platforms and categories, manage influencer programs and monitor and measure performance all in one place. Brands can also obtain deep insights into each influencer profile, such as the influencer’s audience demographics and true reach. This can help you make more informed decisions when selecting individuals to work with.

Use sophisticated social listening and AI tools

Marketers can stay ahead by putting consumers’ needs front and centre by constantly being in tune with what they want – even before trends have fully emerged. Leverage sophisticated artificial intelligence and social-listening tools like Meltwater’s Social Listening Tool to spot trends to better serve the customer.

With the tool, brands can track all social media mentions, competitors’ and industry trends by using specific keywords. These reports will then be visible on highly customisable dashboards for an easy overview. 

Create immersive and personalised experiences

While consumers still take inspiration from online sources, purchases are still done in-store. To grow confidence among consumers to purchase online, brands can experiment with voice-based assistants and virtual reality to create a more immersive experience.

Beyond improving the purchasing experience, brands must also focus on catering products to every demographic. Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty range is a great example of creating a personalised product range with a foundation line that carried 40 tones, ensuring every skin colour had a suitable shade.

Ultimately, marketing in the beauty industry is no longer as simple as coming up with a new formulation or product to sell. Consumers are demanding better content and more real, honest reviews in order to be persuaded to purchase. In this instance, beauty brands need to be more strategic in the way they approach social media marketing and collaborations with influencers. With the right tools, data and analysis, brands will be able to fully leverage how customers are consuming beauty-related content. 

The next time you’re thinking of marketing a new beauty product, consider which influencer can help you bring greater exposure in a more creative manner.