Beauty Store Business

NOV 2018

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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beautystorebusiness.com | November 2018 53 THE PRACTICE Inluencers are the reigning monarchs o social and streaming sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. They might be hairstylists, makeup artists, models, ashion gurus or sel-taught beauty enthusiasts with big personalities. Inluencers command power because their accessible pulpits make them capable o reaching mass audiences. They've established credibility not only by posting reviews but through sharing personal stories. Such disclosure is seductive. Recommendations rom hot bloggers can dramatically aect sales in a matter o minutes. For example, Tribe Dynamics ound that GlamGlow's online brand ambassadors, called #glambassadors, helped the mask manuacturer reach $6.3 million in earned media value last year alone. Experts endear themselves to ollowers by recommending beloved insider products or by demonstrating coveted makeup techniques via videos that are both instructional and entertaining. Such practices engage shoppers and turn tastemakers into credible, reliable sources. But authenticity is paramount. Customers must trust that the inluencer they ollow is endorsing a product that he or she truly believes in. A survey rom Rakuten Marketing reveals that 80 percent o patrons call inluencer transparency about paid endorsements "extremely important." Once orged, the value o that relationship is hard to over- state. "Beauty enthusiasts are more likely to trust inluencers' independent, organic endorsements ... because they can expect an objective, credible opinion," reveals Conor Begley, coounder and president o Tribe Dynamics, a company that oers marketing technology and analysis or liestyle brands. Young buyers are especially motivated by inluencer engagement. Nielsen reports that 59 percent o Gen Zers (born rom the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) are more likely than the general population to connect with brands via social networking sites. This statistic is signiicant because Gen Z is on track to become our largest consumer group by 2020. It's clear that inluencer marketing is becoming an increasingly instrumental way or brands to drive purchases. Inluencer collaborations are most prevalent in the beauty realm, say experts at Coresight Research. That's because such partnerships are actually generating higher sales than old-school celebrity endorsements. "About 80 percent o the top 15 beauty brand collaborations or the irst hal o 2017 were with inluencers, and only 20 percent were with celebs," Begley says. The pairing is also good or manuacturers' pocketbooks: a beauty authority can be hired as a brand ambas- sador or roughly $500,000, compared to the millions o dollars oten spent to engage an A-list star. FINDING THE RIGHT INFLUENCER FOR YOUR BRAND Choose an Organic Connection The most successul inluencer alliances stem rom an organic relationship between the ambassador and the brand. "In general, companies should strive to orge connections with inluencers who have demonstrated a consistent, genuine ainity that extends beyond a preerence or a speciic product," Begley notes. Case in point: Makeup guru Jaclyn Hill, whose YouTube an base totals 5.7 million ollow- ers, nearly broke the internet when she partnered with Morphe cosmetics in 2017 to launch an eyeshadow palette, which sold out in just 45 minutes. Last year, more than 1 million Jaclyn Hill palettes were sold. "The union was successul not only due to Hill's wide ollowing but also because o her time-honored loyalty to Morphe," Begley asserts. "She had mentioned the brand an average o 24 times per quarter in the two quarters preceding that product release." Court the Inluencer Identiying a dream inluencer is only the beginning. Th brands that are the most successul at orging long-term partnerships are those that engage in a subtle courtship process. It starts by liking posts or ollowing a blog. Thoughtul comments grab attention, Morphe's Linda (L) and Chris Tawil (R) with inluencer Jaclyn Hill at a Morphe store opening. David Becker/Stringer/gettyimages.com WORKING WITH INFLUENCERS TO DRIVE IN-STORE TRAFFIC Instagram Stories: "Instagram Stories and Snapchat are methods through which ambassadors expose those behind-the-scenes moments many followers crave," Mike Froggatt of Gartner L2 says. In addition to creating Instagrammable areas throughout your store, partner with an influencer to do an in-store visit for an Instagram or Snapchat takeover. Create a custom geofilter so that the influencer's followers know your store's location. Have the influencer tour your store and point out some of their favorite products along the way—and be sure to utilize the correct brand tags and hashtags to increase your account's engagement. Since many influencers now have their own beauty brands, this is also a great way to break the news that you started carrying one of these brands. For instance, if you just started carrying Leyla Milani hair extensions, invite Milani herself to your store for an Instagram takeover to let customers learn more about her brand and your store. In-Store Events: Live events bring together tastemakers, customers and even celebs. "Meet-and-greets generate both online traffic and foot traffic in stores," Breanna Armstrong of The Kirschner Group says. "When teaming with influencers for this type of appearance, be sure your brand provides social media graphics for them to post and promote to ensure successful attendance." Cause-Driven Promotions: Charitable sponsorships executed both on the web and in stores likewise present invaluable opportunities to spark interest. "Cause-driven marketing is important to many influencers, so choosing the philanthropic moments that align with a brand's core values can positively sway followers," Froggatt says. For example, retailer Sleek Hair threw a 23rd birthday bash for influencer Kim Thai at their Tustin, California, location. Visitors shopped and participated in giveaways, while a portion of the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. Free Swag Promotions: Giveaways hold power that should not be underestimated. "Teaming with an influencer to produce a giveaway is a great trick for speedily increasing revenue," Armstrong reveals. "To maximize return, users are often required to first follow both the influencer and the brand or store's account, then tag two friends in the comments." Others pair a compelling tutorial of a specific product with a coupon code for instant buys.

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