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Tips for Using Influencer Marketing for Beauty Brands

Looking for some advice about how to use influencer marketing for beauty brands? You’ve come to the right place!

Instagram and Youtube influencers are great marketing options for beauty brands, especially as beauty is one of the sectors that can most benefit from influencer marketing. 43% of consumers follow beauty influencers, making them the second most popular type of influencer, just behind entertainers.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some tips for using influencer marketing for beauty brands.

How many beauty influencers are there?

According to Heepsy, there are around 1.7M beauty influencers on Instagram. Around 330K are from the United States, about 176K are from Brazil, 110K from Russia, 66K from Italy, and 65K from India.

Of these 1.7M influencers, around 1.4M have fewer than 50K followers, making them nano and micro influencers. This is great news for brands, but we’ll get into that below.

Which channel is best when using influencer marketing for beauty brands?

Two networks stand out as go-tos for the beauty industry: Instagram and Youtube.

Instagram is used in some form in over 90% of influencer marketing campaigns, and it’s easy to see why. The network offers various media formats, which allows influencers to explore their creativity and communicate to their audiences in different ways.

Instagram Shopping also makes it easy to tag certain products and direct consumers to an eCommerce shop. Finally, the platform’s Branded Content Tools allow for easy disclosure of collaborations, in accordance with guidelines set out by different government agencies.

Youtube has long been a haven for beauty influencers. Some of the biggest names in the industry, like Nikki Tutorials, Yuya, James Charles, or Jeffree Star, grew to fame on Youtube. Youtube is a highly visual platform that lends itself perfectly to tutorials, which are one of the foundation stones of influencer content within the beauty sector.

But, Youtube doesn’t have a built in “paid partnership” feature like Instagram. So when working with influencers, make sure they properly disclose the collaboration in the description of their video. And while Youtube doesn’t have the same built-in shopping feature as Instagram, influencers can also drop those links in the description.

Finally, don't discount other networks when planning your beauty brand's influencer campaign. TikTok has emerged as a leader in video content, and its creators have adapted their content to its short-form content. The network also plans to introduce a shopping feature, a la Instagram. This will make it easier for consumers to shop their favorite products directly from creators' looks.

What are some common goals for influencer marketing for beauty?

Deciding on your goal is one of the most important steps in the campaign definition stage. Here are a few goals that are common in influencer campaigns for beauty.

Brand awareness 

Branding is the building of a brand’s reputation among, in this case, social media users. It’s the first level of the traditional marketing funnel, and a necessity to convert users into customers. After all, people can’t buy your products if they don’t know about them!

How can influencers help?

By working with various influencers, you can reach new audiences. Influencers can help your brand make first contact with different niches or geographical regions that you maybe hadn’t reached before.

Brand engagement 

Engagement is another step up. The goal here is not just that people know about your brand, but that they have a good image of it. And more specifically on social media, brand engagement means that users interact with your content.

How can influencers help?

This is dependent on choosing the right influencer – one who has high engagement themself. If you choose an influencer who is engaged with their audience, that shows that the audience trusts in their content and opinion. So if the influencer promotes your brand and its products, the audience is more likely to trust in those, too.


Conversions are when a user completes a desired goal, which you set. Conversions may be sales, registrations, signups, etc. So for your beauty campaigns, a conversion could be a sale of a certain product. Or maybe a registration to your skincare box subscription service. Or a signup to your newsletter.

How can influencers help?

As we said above when talking about brand engagement, the right influencers will help build trust in your brand among their followers. That, coupled with some type of incentive, could lead to sales or other conversions. A typical type of incentive is the influencer-specific discount code.

What are some content ideas for using influencer marketing for beauty brands?

The beauty sector is well-established on social media, so there are already tons of ideas out there you can use.

Remember to strategize your content to your goal. For example, giveaways are good to gain new followers or engagement, but maybe not the best for increasing sales.

What media formats are best for influencer marketing for beauty?

Videos are the best way for the audience to see products in action. Instagram Stories can also work here, and you can add the Swipe Up feature to link to your website.

TikToks and Reels are short-form videos, and should therefore be used more for general branding purposes than actual reviews or demos. Try a quick before/after as we mentioned above, or maybe a super-fast tutorial focusing on one specific beauty element.

On Instagram, posts maintain a static presence and are therefore good for things you want to remain visible. Giveaways, product lists or finished looks could work as posts, especially when combined with Instagram Shopping’s product tagging.

Live streams can be used for a variety of the content ideas listed above. They are perhaps one of the most authentic forms of influencer marketing, as followers are seeing unedited, real-time footage of your products. Try out a Q&A session, or a live unboxing/tutorial.

A friendly tip: On Instagram anyone can live stream, but on Youtube, only verified accounts can live stream. If you’re not sure how to do that, learn how to get verified on Youtube.

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Tips for brands looking to use influencer marketing for beauty

If you’re a beginner to influencer campaigns, check out our influencer marketing guide. There you can find the general tips & tricks we recommend for all brands, regardless of sector. And below are a few tips to keep in mind specifically for beauty brands.

Influencer beauty is only skin-deep

Beauty is an industry that revolves around aesthetics. And therefore, it may be tempting to get caught up on the aesthetics of a specific influencer. But no matter how stunning an influencer’s profile may look, always scratch beneath the surface. You have to make sure that the profile looks good on the inside, too.

Your evaluation should include the following:

- Does the influencer have a good engagement rate?

- Does their audience match your target audience with respect to age, gender, location, language and interests?

- Is their audience authentic?

Using Heepsy can help you find influencers who fulfill the necessities mandated by your campaign goals. For example, you can search directly for an audience interested primarily in beauty, or located in a specific location.

Go small to go big

Remember how we mentioned that there are around 800K influencers with fewer than 50K followers on Instagram alone? That’s good news, because nano and micro influencers are assets for both tiny indie brands and multinational companies.

Nano and micro influencers have high engagement rates and can more easily reach niche markets. While it may be tempting to only hire influencers who already have millions of followers and their own product lines, you’ll end up paying much more for content that risks looking inauthentic.

Sahony Bourdier (@loveleesazy) collaborating with @nyxcosmetics. Sahony has 25.7K followers on Instagram and a high engagement rate of 2.1%.

On the other hand, nano and micro influencers come across as real people. Their audiences trust them. Find the ones that fit with your niche, aesthetic style and core values, and let them go to work. Just make sure you give them creative freedom; they best know how to present your brand to their followers.

Take advantage of diversity, responsibility and transparency

2020 alone has brought on a worldwide pandemic, growing environmental concerns and sociopolitical tensions. This tumultuous climate has obviously had its effects on life as we know it. And one of those effects has been on social media, where people are holding brands more accountable for how they conduct business.

Think about your core values and what you offer your customers that they can’t get elsewhere. Then, embrace them, with the help of influencers. But choose wisely, because authenticity is critical here.

@morphebrushes encourages their customers to “blend the rules” and break stereotypes, and frequently collaborates with influencers of all races, genders and styles. Here, for their Pride campaign, they collaborated with choreographer @todrick.

For instance, if your brand prides itself on a diverse range of foundation colors, you need to show that same range with the influencers you choose to collaborate with. Or, if all of your products are vegan and cruelty-free, find influencers who can amplify those values with their own knowledge.

Examples of influencer marketing for beauty brands

Social media is rife with content produced by beauty influencers. Here are just two examples to get you thinking.


Maybelline recruited New Delhi-based macro influencer Ishani Mitra to help promote their Blushed Nudes palette in India. The day-to-night concept demonstrates the palette’s versatility and value. Moreover, the quick transformation works perfectly with the format of Instagram Reels.

Fenty Beauty

Rihanna’s company prides itself on diversity in all senses of the word. The line offers 50 shades of foundation and collaborates with influencers of various backgrounds. In this example, Fenty celebrated Latinx Heritage Month by highlighting Latinx influencers and letting them share their favorite Fenty tips in the brand’s Stories. Staying apprised of the cultural calendar can help your brand connect to various types of customers, and influencers can help you do that authentically.

Good Molecules

The “get ready with me” video is quite common among beauty influencers, but skincare brand Good Molecules collaborated with Youtuber Alexandra Anele to do a “get unready with me” video. The video is a foil to its more common counterpart, and shows the power of the brand’s makeup remover, cleanser and more.


When it comes to influencer marketing for beauty, the sky’s the limit. With a wealth of beauty influencers, content ideas and content formats, there’s nothing holding you back from promoting your brand on social media. Just remember to find the right influencers for the job, and if you need some help doing so, stop by Heepsy!

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