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Since joining L’Oréal in 2014, Hugh Pile, CMO of L’Oréal for Western Europe, has been developing the brand’s influencer marketing practice. At the recent Festival of Marketing, Nicolas Chabot, SVP EMEA at Traackr was joined on stage by Hugh Pile, where they explored how influencers are disrupting the beauty sector and how L’Oréal is transforming its approach to delivering success with influencers. Together they shared the seven key steps for brands to engage their audiences through influencer marketing.
The beauty landscape has experienced a major shift with the rise of influencers and their impact on shaping content and its distribution. To put the market into context, Hugh shared some statistics:
In the US, it is estimated that there are 35,000 beauty influencers representing brands among Cosmetics, Hair, Skincare, and Nail so proportionally this could mean about 6,000 for the UK. But the real impact is achieved by comparatively few individuals, as 17% of the UK’s top 500 beauty influencers account for 80% of the reach of that total group, with the top 8 influencers in the UK gathering a potential reach of 70 million. Although influencers appear across many platforms, Instagram leads capturing 36% of the audience of these top 500 influencers, followed by Youtube with 25%, Twitter with 22% and finally Facebook with 17%.
Influencer marketing is marketing one-on-one, speaking and engaging with each influencer individually. What does your brand stand for and how it can play on passion points and consumer groups? Your brand positioning and context are both keys. Ensuring that your brand is credible will ensure that you can build an authentic and rewarding relationship with an influencer.
For big, multi-brand companies, each brand targets different audience groups and must identify the right individuals to partner with. It is also critical that influencers are aligned with the brand values and what the brand stands for. This, in turn, feeds the all-important authenticity factor.
Influencers will always ask the same question. They want to know, “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM) as Minter Dial puts it. It’s important to create a relationship with the people you care about. What are you offering in terms of content and brand association? Personalisation is key because the WIIFM factor will be different for each influencer. Therefore it’s crucial to segment your influencer targets and create the right opportunities.
It can be difficult for brands to find new ways to collaborate with influencers and give them required space to create compelling content while maintaining some control.
Co-creating content is very powerful and enables brands to maintain authenticity and credibility. L’Oreal teamed up with 5 of the UK's most influential and inspiring beauty YouTuber's to bring consumers videos and articles on the latest beauty trends across make-up, hair and Skin care – this requires a strong element of co-creation which results in informative, authentic and engaging content.
Don’t believe that you can create a strong and high performing relationship on day one.
For example, De GRISOGONO, listened to influencers over 6 months before starting to engage for the Cannes Film Festival. The brand had an objective to develop long-term relationships with key influencers prior to the event.
Being honest and authentic with both influencers and their audiences is critical to successful influencer marketing. Use the required hashtags to denote ads and sponsorships (e.g. #AD #SP) and respect your and your influencers’ audience. As Hugh said, bad examples of brands affect all of us. You can find more information at: socialmedia.org/disclosure.
Marketers are used to working in a campaign-based manner. Investing in long-term relationships with influencers over time instead of working ‘campaign to campaign’ and then leveraging this throughout the year will truly unlock the power of a strong relationship.
Take the next step to elevate your influencer strategy. Explore our latest whitepaper, co-written with Minter Dial, Influencer Marketing: 9 Challenges for Luxury Brands. You’ll learn about overcoming the nine key influencer marketing challenges for luxury brands, including Aston Martin, Remy Cointreau, and Burberry. Download the whitepaper today.