For years now companies in the beauty industry have been trying to achieve viral success through carefully blended influencer marketing campaigns. Today we will be looking into the brands who got that critical formula just right.
Keep scrolling to learn more about the 3 game-changing influencer marketing campaigns that revolutionized the beauty industry.
We will be taking a close examination into what made their content so appealing, what ingredients were involved in their recipe for online success, and how much “Return on Influence” they achieved
Whether you are looking for inspiration or are curious about the behind the scenes, get ready to dive into the weird, wonderful and lucrative world of marketing your beauty products on Instagram.
SugarBear Hair Vitamin’s Influencer Marketing Campaign
- A Harmonised Brand Image: never straying from their aesthetic
- Playing Their Cards Right: from micro-influencers to the Kardashians
- Millions on Instagram: Building a successful page that creators want to be featured on
Would you believe me if I told you that there are sugar-coated blue gummy bears claiming to have magical health-boosting properties, that dozens of influencers are popping into their mouths, which are, in fact, nothing more than just regular vitamins?
Along with sugar-coating their gummies, some may say the brand SugarBear Hair is also sugar-coating their claims about their product’s health and beauty benefits. They claim anything from growing your hair quickly, to better skin and to working overall wonders, when, in actuality, it is just a conventional vitamin supplement.
However, this small tub of candies has turned into a number one must-have in any millennial’s cabinet. So, how did this happen and what can we learn from the rainbow-coloured supplements?
A Harmonised Brand Image
Regardless of your stance in this ‘claims vs truth’ war, we are here to talk about the gravity of their notorious influencer marketing campaigns. First, it is important to pay attention to the brands overall aesthetic and look, taking a few swipes through their Instagram feed and you can see exactly what I’m talking about.
The bright colourful baby pinks and blues, matched with cute room decors in the background and smiling content creators posing with the gummies. The brand image is always in-line with its overall aesthetic, and the constant synergy of its look perpetuates the happy feeling of the brand.
SugarBear Hair advertises in a similar way to that of a candy brand, successfully evoking emotions that correspond with fond childhood memories, hence the baby pinks and blues as their main colours.
Playing Their Cards Right
Another aspect the company can attribute their success to is their careful selection of influencers with not only a massive following but also matching perfectly with their brand vision. Namely, the Kardashian-Jenner-West clan, all the girls have collaborated with the brand, proceeded by other A-list celebrities such as Vanessa Hudgens, and this was followed by a wave of other micro and macro beauty and fashion influencers.
Not only does this mean engagement from that content creator’s post but also the slew of accounts reposting and blogging about the content. Apart from bringing the brand to their legions of millennial followers, the content of these mega influencers then snowballs to other recognised figures and media outlets causing more and more people to be talking about your product. Pushing your SEO up as a result.
Don’t believe me? Just type ‘hair vitamins’ into the googles, I dare you.
Millions on Instagram
The last ingredient in SugarBear’s blue gummies is having the content creators come to you, rather than you go to them. Since the SugarBear Hair account grew on Instagram to a following from 0 to millions, creators are jumping at the chance to work with the brand and be featured on their page. This influx of micro-influencers is an easy score for the brand, having multiple creators cause even louder noise than just one creator could do on their own.
It’s fair to say that SugarBear Hair has invested plenty of time and money into their Instagram account and built a successful brand image from the ground up, the company has managed to gather a promising 2.7 million followers since their debut.
The proof is in the pudding for the sugary brand, not only are the gummies selling like hotcakes, but they are number 1 vitamin on Amazon for their category and the founders of the brand are now multi-millionaires. So if you think these questionable gummy bears are just overrated grocery-store vitamins, then you may be correct, but the bears know how to play the gram game and they know how to play it well.
- All Reviews are Good Reviews (Mostly): give them no reason to leave a bad review and watch the honesty resonate with viewers
- Break Out of Your Comfort Zone: come, see and conquer the unknown
- Give Them More Than What They Bargained For: kill two birds with one stone or, in this case, 2 valuable eye-openers in one post (product + tutorial).
When we talk about remarkable beauty influencer marketing campaigns, it’s no doubt a certain teeth whitening brand might come to your mind. HiSmile in a few short years has become one of the biggest players in the oral hygiene game thanks to their efforts online and through content creators.
The company turned a small $20,000 investment into a 100 million dollar empire and the two CEOs are now on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Building their way up to working with content creators Kylie Jenner and UFC superstar, Connor Mcgregor, the brand appeared before a huge worldwide audience.
Not only did they have dozens of influencers post, but they compiled all the content from those influencers to build convincing advertisements, showing the impressive credibility of their product.
The small Australian teeth-whitening start-up took full advantage of influencers of all following ranges, from micro-influencers to the most followed Instagrammers of the world. HiSmile’s CEO’s, Nik and Alex, explained how they noticed that no brand in the oral hygiene sector had a strong and direct connection with its customers. The pair understood that normally oral hygiene is just an FMCG (fast-moving consumer good) on the shelves at supermarkets and nothing more, it’s not something that you build a strong connection with.
The CEO’s wanted to change that, they wanted to create a brand that consumers would truly enjoy using and not just a product they threw into their basket at the supermarket.
As Alex explained, mainstream oral-hygiene brands were becoming outdated with their marketing strategies: “they are occupying large shelf-spaces in stores and that’s what is killing them, as they feel that they don’t have to rebrand themselves or invest more in marketing”.
All Reviews are Good Reviews (Mostly)
CEO’s Nik and Alex accredit a big part of their success in sending their product to YouTubers and content creators, asking them to do a review of the product. They know that whatever the content creators will say in their reviews will be honest, which sometimes that means negative. But their exceptional amount of trust in the product give them the confidence to believe the majority of the comments will be positive.
“Make sure your product is good first and foremost and they won’t leave a negative review, they will love the experience and share that with their following” Nik Mirkovic explains in the Unstoppable podcast with Kerwin Rae.
They wanted to stay away from posts that are so obviously sponsored and felt that those posts would be seen as less genuine, so they utilised honest reviews to negate this. In this sense, if the content creator provides a positive review then its promotion disguised as harmless advice and innocent opinions, with no ulterior motive behind it.
Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
Initially, HiSmile was targeting young beauty-seeking women, but soon realised they were missing out on huge opportunities that lay on the other 50 percent of the world. Despite having a a brand image that aims to appeal to millennial and Gen Z woman, the brand saw no reason they couldn’t tap into unknown waters and reach young men too.
The company started to gather all sorts of male content creator and turn the product perception from a girly beauty product to a cool genderless teeth treatment product. The company really reached their peak in the male consumer market when they onboarded UFC fighter Conor Mcgregor to promote the product. As a result of their efforts, they are now seeing 50% male customers, and 50% female customers, almost a perfect split.
“The campaign yielded strong results, reaching over 14 million millennials and delivering a 5X return on ad spend. The ads were so successful in attracting new male customers—90% more, in fact—that HiSmile achieved an even audience split between men and women in just 2 months.” Instagram Business Reports.
Give Them More Than What They Bargained For
Millions of young Gen Z and millennial women jump onto the internet every day to see their favourite beauty gurus giving makeup tutorials and sharing beauty advice.
Keeping this at the forefront of their mind, HiSmile decided to appeal to these consumers, whilst advertising the product.
The company had beauty vloggers broadcast very popular videos such as GRWMs (get ready with me’s) demonstrating how they use their product whilst doing a makeup tutorial. The goal: illustrating how easily the product can fit in with consumers own makeup/beauty routines.
HiSmile cleverly had the content creators knock out 2 birds with one stone, or in this case, knock out makeup advice and product promotion with one post. Gratify them with the content and advice they are looking for whilst at the same time pushing their product.
HiSmiles target audience was and still is the beauty seeking millennials on social media. Many of whom spend their time searching and consuming makeup tutorials by beauty content creators. Keeping this at the forefront of their mind, HiSmile decided to appeal to these consumers, whilst advertising the product.
Skyrocketing from $20K to $40M in less than three years is an intriguing success story of how reviews fuel credibility, getting out of your comfort zone can double your profits and jumping on trends will always pay off.
- Pinpoint your Season: You may think your product is for the whole year-round, but there is most likely a time of year that you can boom
- Affiliate your Marketing: Content creators are your next best salesmen and saleswomen
Foreo is another beauty product tugging on the strings of one of the largest social media networks. The skincare-routine brush uses sonic pulses to exfoliate the faces of women and men around the world. Foreo’s design and the features, such as linking the device to their app and creating your own personal skincare pulsation, are all targeted towards the young generation of consumers.
As with the surge in makeup gurus and beauty content creators comes the wave of skincare enthusiasts, whom many will seek out to get their daily fix of vanity related advice.
This is where a product like Foreo comes in, ‘the answer to beauty seekers prayers’, a device that brings the exciting benefits of technology to the already booming skincare industry worldwide.
Foreo, in just six years, has gone from two employees at their Swedish headquarters in 2013, to over 3,000 workers worldwide. They’ve also shipped more than 20 million products in that time – knowing that when something works, word spreads fast. So, how did they spread so successfully? How did they achieve the milestone of selling one device every three seconds in 2017, after only 4 years of operation? And most importantly, how did they become one of the biggest independent brands in the fast-growing beauty tech industry?
Pinpoint your Season
Foreo is a skincare product that can be used by anyone with a face at any time of the year. However, the company found the perfect timing to launch their product ahead, a season that many of their consumers would partake in or at least be interested in: yes, that’s Summer festival season!
With the rise of millennial-infested festivals such as America’s Coachella and Belgium’s Tomorrowland, hundreds and thousands of the world’s youth flock to these festivals every year along with their fellow influencers. Noticing this huge time of the year for millennial and gen z, Foreo wanted to make their product stand out to the young party-goers, as the ideal festival essential.
Foreo has many different models ranging from the standard larger ones to the smaller ‘tester’ style brushes if you are just wanting to start using Foreo brushes. In addition to this range is the Foreo-Go, designed to be pocket size and most importantly, ideal for travel. The brand pushed their convenient travel-sized device and promoted their festival essentials kit, packed with Foreo creams, the Foreo-Go and even a small Foreo toothbrush. They envisioned the products to be used after a long day/night at a festival, taking off the glitter and rejuvenating their skin for the next day when they have to look their best.
The brand also supported dozens of influencers from around the world in going to these festivals.
Affiliate your Marketing
Carefully tailored their product to dozens of marketing around the world including many in the Middle East and Africa, these markets are where beauty products specifically facial products can thrive. Due to the high Muslim predominance in these countries, the beauty industry is concentrated more on the face rather than hair products, Foreo cleverly jumped straight into this market.
In addition to spotting where their company could succeed, Foreo also began their very successful affiliate marketing program, with many influencers from countries around the globe.
The affiliate program was an undeniable success and now Foreo’s LUNA series of products alone have more than 20 million people globally cleansing their faces with one version or another.