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Navigating Influencer and UGC Marketing: A Guide for Beauty Brands in 2024

Feb 27, 2024 | By Chris Jacks

The Impact of Influencers in the Beauty Industry

The influencer marketing industry has undergone rapid evolution and expansion since its inception. With consumers increasingly inclined to purchase products they see on social media, marketers now allocate 40% of their budgets to influencer marketing.

Beauty brands, in particular, have embraced influencer marketing due to the visual and aesthetic nature of their products. Partnering with trusted influencers allows these brands to create visually appealing content showcasing their products in action. From makeup tutorials to creative challenges, there are numerous avenues for leveraging influencer marketing to boost brand awareness and drive sales.

In addition to traditional influencer marketing, user-generated content (UGC) offers brands an alternative to investing solely in top-tier creators. By activating a mix of creators and influencers, brands can produce more genuine and authentic content pieces. This shift reflects consumers’ growing ability to discern scripted and staged content, encouraging brands to grant “perfect match” influencers and creators full creative freedom.

Want to learn how you can create a compelling influencer or UGC campaign for your beauty brand? Keep reading and we’ll break it down step by step!

Creator vs. Influencer in Beauty Marketing

Let’s start by distinguishing between an influencer and a creator.

A beauty influencer is an individual who has cultivated a large and highly engaged audience. Their followers deeply value their content and perceive them as authorities in the beauty space. These influencers regularly share insights on the latest beauty trends, recommend top products, and offer tips and tricks for flawless makeup application.

A UGC creator’s primary role is to create captivating social-first content for brands, regardless of their social presence. Many UGC creators excel at producing quality, niche content despite having smaller audience bases. 

For example, Kornelia Ski, a model and beauty influencer, is a key collaborator in our campaigns. She has 1.3 million followers on TikTok, and her aesthetic videos effortlessly stop the scroll. Leveraging her social presence provides a platform for a large and targeted audience to experience our client’s products firsthand.

Next, we have Emily, a beauty content creator focused on authenticity. Despite her modest following of just under 3,000, Emily’s content resonates deeply with her audience. This underscores the fact that influence on social media is not exclusive to those with massive followings. 

Choosing Between Creators and Influencers

Now that we’ve clarified the difference between creators and influencers, you may be wondering when it’s appropriate to activate creators versus influencers. This answer lies entirely in your brand goals and logistical considerations. See below for a list of scenarios we’d recommend for each creator type.

UGC creators are perfect for brands: 

Working with a small budget

UGC creators offer a cost-effective option for brands looking for a bang for their buck. New UGC creators are likely to create content in return for free products to help build their portfolio.

Looking to build a bank of creator content as marketing assets

Brands often have longer-term usage rights to UGC content, allowing them to repurpose it in several different ways over a longer period of time.

Building off the momentum of influencer campaigns

Incorporating a mix of UGC into your strategy can help spread your message to new corners of the internet and build up your content bank.

Influencers are perfect for brands:

Looking to create cultural moments

Influencers can help brands reach a larger audience and increase the likelihood of starting a viral challenge.

Creating mega influencer campaigns

Influencers with huge, niche followings are ideal for campaigns looking to reach and influence several ideal customers at once.

Launching a new product

Leveraging influencers for larger brand moments can help spread the news far and wide, while UGC creators can maintain the internet buzz post-launch.

Next, let’s explore how you can execute a successful influencer marketing or creator campaign.

5 Steps to Launching Impactful Beauty Influencer Campaigns

Step 1: Establishing Goals for Your Beauty Campaign

Your goals will determine how you approach your campaign. Whether you want to build brand awareness, convert sales, launch a new product line, or foster engagement, it’s essential to set your goals first.

You can work with influencers in several ways to promote your brand, and not all campaign types will produce the same results. That’s why a cookie-cutter approach to influencer marketing is highly ineffective. For example, if your goal is to build brand awareness, focus on activating PR campaigns and be prepared to give away products for free. Conversely, if your goal is to generate sales, consider implementing affiliate marketing to incentivize influencers to promote your product and track clicks. These examples just scratch the surface of crafting a customized and targeted campaign. Collaborating with an agency partner specializing in influencer marketing can help you develop the perfect approach to achieve and surpass your objectives.

Step 2: Identifying Influencers and UGC Creators for Your Brand

With your campaign objectives clearly defined, the next step is to identify influencers or creators whose values and aesthetics align with your brand. Let’s explore how your goals shape the search for perfect match influencers and UGC creators. 

As mentioned, smart consumers can discern when they’re being sold to on social media platforms, so it’s crucial to ensure your content exudes authenticity. Achieving this includes recruiting influencers and creators with similar interests, values, and feed aesthetics to your brand. Additionally, request influencer analytics to evaluate content performance effectively. This approach ensures that your message resonates with your target audience and helps you reach the campaign goals you’ve set.

Step 3: Drafting a Brief for Your Campaign

Now that you’ve identified your perfect match influencers, it’s time to draft the creative brief. The brief should outline “do’s” and “don’ts” for the content, brand guidelines, high-level messaging points, and the campaign storyline overview. Additionally, it’s crucial to grant influencers creative control. If they are a perfect match influencer, you should trust that they’ll create content that hits the mark.

To ensure the content meets your standards, have your influencers share the first draft before publishing. We recommend requesting edits only if the content violates any of the requirements outlined in the creative brief or if minor tweaks are needed. Otherwise, it’s best to trust them to do what they do best, as they’re familiar with how their audience responds. Micromanaging can undermine authenticity and make the content seem like an advertisement.

Step 4: Leveraging Paid Media in Your Beauty Campaign

Once the content is published, leverage white listing and spark ads to maximize impact and reach. White listing involves running ads through an influencer’s handle to leverage their credibility. Spark ads are specific to TikTok and help the influencer content reach people outside of those reached organically. When executed correctly, this strategy can significantly boost your reach and engagement. If your team lacks a paid media expert, consider partnering with an agency to support your efforts.

Step 5: Measuring Success and Forming Long-Term Partnerships

Lastly, measuring and reporting are crucial for reviewing what worked and what could be improved for the future. As influencer marketing evolves, more brands seek long-term partnerships, making this phase of the campaign an excellent time to determine which influencers and creators you’d like to build long-term relationships with. 

In addition to analyzing audience sentiment, click-throughs, engagement rates and other platform specific metrics, reflect on what each creator brought to the table and how they could support future goals. This process will help streamline your marketing efforts and increase the authenticity of your campaigns. 

Now that we’ve run through the steps necessary to launch a successful influencer or creator campaign, let’s dive into a few examples. 

Beauty Campaign Success Stories

Joah Beauty Partnership 

Our work with Joah Beauty exemplifies a long-term partnership that boosted brand awareness and converted sales through various activations. Prior to Joah Beauty’s rebranding, our team generated buzz on social media, successfully positioning the brand as a cost-effective, quality, Korean skincare and makeup brand. To promote this initiative, our team carefully selected beauty influencers focusing on both makeup and skincare, while avoiding beauty influencers with more dramatic looks, aligning with Joah Beauty’s promotion of a natural aesthetic.

Through strategic influencer activations, we reached a hyper-targeted audience and exceeded campaign objectives across the board. For instance, the Joah Perfect Complexion campaign garnered 7.3 million impressions and demonstrated strong purchase intent with 25.9k clicks. Notably, the engagement rate surpassed industry benchmarks, indicating that the content was 10 times more engaging than average Instagram content and twice as engaging as the average TikTok video.

imPRESS Premium Collection Launch

Next, the #ReadyToimPRESS campaign centered around the launch of a new Premium Collection Press-On Nails serves as an excellent example for marketers aiming to convert sales. To promote the collection launch, we recruited high-end fashion influencers in honor of NYFW 2023.

Each influencer’s content showcased a NYFW-ready outfit, complete with matching nails from the imPRESS Premium Collection, aiming to educate audiences on the quality and convenience of using imPRESS press-on nails. It showed viewers that they could stay on-trend without investing significant time and money in salon visits. 

The strategically crafted call-to-action encouraged viewers to experience the product firsthand, directing them to purchase the new collection via a unique influencer link. This approach, combined with a carefully curated paid media strategy, resulted in 37k clicks, demonstrating the campaign’s resonance and effectiveness in driving consumer engagement.

Partner with Us for Your Next Beauty Campaign

Looking for support with your next influencer marketing campaign? Reach out to our team today to learn how we can create a customized campaign to help you reach your marketing and sales goals. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Jacks is an influencer marketing professional with over a decade of experience in the digital marketing sphere. As the Director of Growth Strategy, Chris oversees and drives strategic initiatives to fuel business expansion. With a keen eye for market trends and opportunities, Chris develops comprehensive growth plans and aligns business objectives across cross-functional teams. With a strong focus on crafting impactful, ROI-driven influencer campaigns across multiple sectors, Chris utilizes his expertise to enhance market positioning and maximize results.

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