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Winning the Hearts of the Coveted Mid-Tier Influencers

November 6, 2019

Mid-tier influencers, those with audiences between 50K - 499K, are considered the influencer sweet spot. They are often easier to reach and collaborate with compared to their macro counterparts, while also commanding a decently large and engaged audience.

However, since there are more of them, you need tools to assess their content performance and audience quality so you invest in the right people. The ideal influencer is an organic advocate for your product, whose audience demographic matches your target customer. For context, mid-tier influencers account for 36-44% of influencers talking about hair, skin, and makeup brands.

Today we’re covering four brands with A+ mid-tier influencer strategies; whose success we discovered when conducting research for the State of Influencer: 2019 Beauty Report.

Huda Beauty

One of the most successful makeup brands world-wide, Huda Beauty, is excelling with their mid-tier influencer activation. They are doing so by partnering with influencers who were previously mentioning the brand organically. An influencer named Grace (@pointless.makeup) had been religiously creating makeup looks with Huda Beauty products for years. In July, she was rewarded by being added to their PR list. Not only does Grace have the third highest VIT for the brand in the first 6 months of 2019, but she also has a highly engaged audience with an engagement rate of 12%.


Too Faced

Too Faced’s influencer marketing program is excelling globally. The brand consistently chooses the top-performing influencers across tiers; particularly optimizing the mid-tier. Despite being founded in 1998, this brand was made for social media. Too Faced produces Instagrammable products, with beautiful packaging and playful product names. They are perhaps most famous for their “Better Than Sex” mascara + “Hangover Cure” primer. In a congested marketplace, this makes them stand out to influencers. These variables make Too Faced a great brand to create content with; Victoria Lynn was able to do her entire skincare and makeup routine using just their products, and the result was stunning. Mid-tier Beauty influencer Amanda Fitzgerald has coined the term “Too Faced Tuesday” where she shares photos of Too Faced’s products on her Instagram every week. When they released their highly-anticipated “Damn Girl” mascara in mid-June, they activated mid-tier influencers to promote the new product; including vlogger Ashley Feasel.

Benefit Cosmetics

Another brand optimizing mid-tier influencers is Benefit Cosmetics. In June the brand, known for their eyebrow products, invited influencers to attend the “Arch Academy” Brow Awards in Long Island. While the event was judged by mega-influencers like Patrick Starr and Desi Perkins, most of the attendees were mid and micro-influencers like Maria Fassraine. The contestants were given private-school inspired uniforms in Benefit’s brand colors and were provided with ample backdrops for Instagram content. The winner was mid-tier influencer Kameron Lester-- who walked away with $50,000 and a year-long brand partnership with Benefit! Kameron was also the first male to win the coveted “Best Brow” awards; following the trend of men succeeding in makeup.

Amika

Amika has demonstrated great creativity in influencer selection and resulting content. For example, they have found mid-tier influential stylists who perform exceptionally well (on par with the top tier) and who reach beyond a traditional stylist community. The team has also branched out to work with influencers who embody an ethos aligned with the amika brand including Eleanor Barnes, a video blogger and cosplay cosmetics Instagrammer. Across the board, amika’s paid influencers all had solid audiences that scored highly on audience quality, engagement and aligned to amika’s buyers (women, 18-30, shoppers at Sephora).


It’s important for marketers to develop a diverse tiering strategy, composed of brand-loyal influencers. Technology facilitates that process.

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