Beauty is only skin deep, but the right marketing campaign can get right to a person’s core.. Whether your approach is spunky, straightforward, or plain old fun, get an influencer on board and you’re far more likely to see your campaign go viral.
Here’s an example of each just to show you what we mean.
CoverGirl’s #GirlsCan Campaign
Influencer status was the essence of CoverGirls #GirlsCan campaign, in which female entertainers like P!nk, Ellen DeGeneres, Queen Latifah, and numerous others talked about the put downs and setbacks they had to put up with while blazing their own trails in male-dominated industries.
The message wasn’t simply that girls can succeed, but that even today’s style makers had to put up with detractors and disbelievers. It told CoverGirl customers that they too could be like these megastars. But more importantly, it made the megastars regular people just like CoverGirl’s other customers.
It’s a message that resonated well with CoverGirl’s audience, to the tune of nearly six million views in just a year and a half for one of their YouTube videos. Smart influencer marketing like this forms an emotional bond that keeps an audience engaged and enamored—a step beyond simply paying attention.
L’Oreal, Michelle Phan, and the Birth of Influencer Marketing
Michelle Phan was one of the first YouTube stars—one of the first Internet celebrities who didn’t earn her fame by being an unintentional laughingstock, but by intentionally producing content targeting a specific audience. Her videos caught on like wildfire. Her makeup tutorials made her so popular, and brought in so much ad revenue, that she was able to quit her day job and focus full-time on her newfound position as a leading beauty expert.
L’Oreal (and Phan) capitalized on this with the launch of her own makeup line, em michelle phan, in 2013, pairing one of the original Internet influencers with a long-standing leader in the beauty vertical. This was a clear cut case of authority compounding authority—two influencers, brand and personality, coming together for a mutual boost that made them both (according to reports) a cool million.
Other beauty brands have also tapped into Phan’s fame. She’s been engaged in viral-bound influencer-based marketing since those terms were in their infancy, and her powers of persuasion have proven profitable every time. Still going strong nearly a decade into her internet tenure, Phan has demonstrable staying power.
Old Spice Spruces up For the Ladies
Isaiah Mustafa isn’t your traditional beauty niche influencer, especially when you consider that Old Spice was specifically trying to target women with their “The Man your Man Can Smell Like” campaign. Mustafa actually auditioned for the part alongside countless other actors, so this wasn’t envisioned as an influencer campaign. But five years later (and with the recent addition of fellow NFL-star-turned-entertainer Terry Crews), that’s unquestionably what it’s become.
These videos went viral not just because of their humor—the humor worked, and its popularity is incredibly long lived—but because Mustafa’s humorous delivery made him an influencer. He commands authority in a smooth, suave, seductive manner that, in the words of the advertisers that created him, “speaks to women without alienating guys.”
As improbable as his many feats, set changes, and wardrobe reveals are, his position is one that inspires calm trust, and that makes us laugh at ourselves for trusting him.
Influence doesn’t have to be bought with complete sincerity, nor do influencers need to seem like they’re a level above the rest of us. In fact, bringing influencers down to the same level as the audience—through shared obstacles, shared beginnings, or shared laughter—helps them wield their influence far more effectively…
…and does way better for the brands they’re promoting, too.
Author: Jenna Dobkin