Influencers don’t just give brands unfettered access to new audiences, they provide a multi-faceted representation of a brand. For industries like cosmetics, having a diverse group of people endorsing and showcasing your product is not only intuitive, but necessary.
One of the great things about working in the UGC and influencer industry is that it can power a better representation of the diversity of your customer base. It’s not dictated by one person’s opinion but that of your community.
Influencer success stems from the need for diversity in advertising and marketing. As influencer marketing evolves across every industry, there are some clear lessons brands need to learn to properly showcase diversity to continue to build loyal communities.
Inclusivity Isn’t Optional Anymore
In many ways, cosmetics brands have chosen to prioritize diversity better than others. Kenny Screven, an influencer who has worked with several well-known cosmetics brands shared his observations on the matter.
“Cosmetics brands do really well at finding diverse talent. The companies that I’ve worked with always make sure to show representation for everyone. It’s really important for beauty to be found in everyone. Beauty brands really help with visibility. Cosmetic brands allow us to tell our stories. Being black and openly gay it’s hard in this world. I’m constantly being told I’m not going to make it because I look ridiculous being a boy who wears makeup. However, beauty has really helped me find my voice in the world.”
Today, brands aren’t who they say they are – they’re who the consumer perceives them as. And when consumers see a reflection of themselves through real people in the brand, they feel a connection that cannot be simply manufactured.
Kenny goes on to describe what other industries can learn from brands like Beauty Blender, Hard Candy Life and TooFaced who he believes “are all amazing brands that authentically showcase diverse talent in their content”.
“Other industries can learn how to be inclusive. Because people like me are not represented often. Which is discouraging, when you look at the media and don’t see someone like you. I still struggle with seeing people like me represented. Representation and visibility are the only thing that can create change in the world. We are here. Being a token black person is not okay either. I want to be respected for my work and art. Not just another spot to fill. I’ve worked with other industries outside of makeup and I always feel like I’m included just because they need a boy or a black person.”
The Art and Science of Collaborating With the Right People
Brands should be selective with the influencers they work with. Cosmetics brands are exceptionally good at optimizing for the right brand experience for a new product launch or campaign. In a recent exchange with David Ruff, a prominent influencer in the cosmetics and fashion space, he shared why a good influencer to brand and audience fit are critical for success.
“When I worked with By Kilian fragrances for their Sephora launch, a site that my followers regularly frequent, I did a series of posts that promoted the “Bad Boys Are No Good, But Good Boys Are No Fun” scent. This campaign perfectly matched with my aesthetic, which not only correlates with the moody poses found throughout my page but also with the Instagrammable bottle paired with my cohesive theme. The brand also had a launch party which allowed me to produce unique content, giving my followers access to an exclusive experience. I found this approach increased overall engagement by 85% when compared to my other posts. Playing up the strengths of an influencer while also creating an immersive arena for creation ensues a mutually beneficial outcome for the brand and influencer. “
For cosmetics, an industry where shades, looks, and styles vary so much between each individual, having a variety of diverse and trusted partners to work with can spell success.
Marketing that shows diversity is not just an economic imperative but a social one. The need for diversity can have an impact on the bottom line, but representation needs to be rooted in authenticity to create positive change.