Influencer Marketing for Beauty Brands: 7-Step Action Plan, Tools, Templates [and Our Agency’s Rants]

Alexandra Kazakova

By Alexandra Kazakova
16 min READ | Jan 26 2024

Table of contents

Influencers can power up your strategy, reducing ad fatigue and skyrocketing your sales.

And you’re on the right page to develop a solid action plan.

You’ll learn:

  • How to build a successful influencer marketing campaign for beauty brands
  • The best free tools you can use in your campaign
  • Our insider stories
  • And more

Let’s start with this question:

What are Beauty Influencers?

Beauty influencers are social media content creators focusing on beauty.

These social media influencers:

  • Produce regular, engaging content that spans the spectrum of beauty topics.
  • Have cultivated a following that’s not just sizeable, but also actively engaged.
  • Have loyal followers who value their deep knowledge, expertise, and the practical skills they showcase.
  • Are trusted in the beauty community.

Collaborations can take various forms, including sponsored content, engaging giveaways, informative tutorials, and exclusive event participation, all tailored to bring brands closer to their consumers.

However, not all beauty influencers are created equal.

They have different follower sizes and approach different topics in different manners, from in-depth product reviews and practical how-to guides to sharing lesser-known beauty insights and step-by-step tutorials.

Insider tip: Here’s our ethos-based classification of beauty influencers:

  • The Product Gurus: These influencers are the encyclopedia of beauty products. They provide detailed reviews, beauty tips, and tutorials addressing viewers’ hair or skin concerns. Their audiences look to them for honest opinions and in-depth knowledge about the latest and greatest in beauty.
  • The Beauty Vloggers: These are the charismatic personalities of YouTube and Instagram. They captivate audiences with their “Get Ready With Me” videos, makeup challenges, and personal anecdotes from their day-to-day life. Vloggers often have a loyal following that values their authentic content and engaging style.
  • The Makeup Artists (MUAs): Professional makeup artists showcase their artistry on social media. They offer a blend of creativity and technique, sharing high-end looks, editorial makeup, or special effects. Brands collaborate with MUAs for their expert skills and innovative ideas.
  • The Skincare Advocates: Focused on skincare, these influencers educate their audience on routines, products, and skin health. They share their personal journeys, becoming relatable and trustworthy to followers seeking skincare advice.
  • The Ethical Influencers: These influencers champion cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable beauty. They resonate with audiences who are conscious of their products’ ethical aspects.
  • The Niche Experts: Specializing in specific areas like organic products, acne-prone skin solutions, or age-defying beauty, these influencers attract a dedicated following interested in their niche expertise.

Sarah Palmyra is an excellent example of a Product Guru.

She knows all things beauty-related and makes a point of consulting dermatologists and testing beauty treatments. Basically, her captivating content is the epitome of genuine influencer recommendations.

Insider Tip: Pick influencers who resonate with your brand ethos. These people can create authentic connections that translate into meaningful engagements for your beauty brand. Remember, the right influencer can amplify your message in ways traditional marketing can’t by speaking directly to the hearts of beauty enthusiasts.

@sarahpalmyra Replying to @Liv Mae Korean Facial Tips you can do at home? My esthi was kind enough to put me on bc good skincare habits start at home! #koreanfacial #koreanspa #skincaresecrets #skincaretips #esthetician ♬ Cafe Music - Oleg Kirilkov

Why Use Influencer Marketing for Your Beauty Products?

We’ve seen first-hand how influencer marketing has revolutionized the way beauty and cosmetic brands connect with their audiences. However, building trust with your potential customers involves creating meaningful partnerships with influencers first.

Insider Story: Native

Native chose to find influencers through inBeat, powering its ad campaign with posh content.

They wanted the increased awareness of a wide range of demographics.

Our content creators included:

Prashant Yay, Alabama stylist and sustainability advocate:

Taekwondo champ Leticia Esparza:

Latino singer, dancer, musician and content creator from Utah, @mikemusic:

And many others.

We’ll share more on Native’s strategy along the way. For now, let’s review some of the benefits you can expect from working with influencers.

Benefits of Beauty Influencer Marketing

Here are the main benefits we’ve noticed for beauty companies that leverage influencer marketing:

  • Enhanced brand awareness and reach: Influencers can introduce your products to a wider audience, creating social proof. Their followers span different demographics, offering your brand exposure beyond your existing customer base. That’s exactly what Native wanted when they came to us.
  • Authenticity and trust: Influencers have built a level of trust with their target market. When they recommend a product, it comes across as a trusted friend’s advice rather than a corporate ad. As such, people make more informed purchasing decisions, so they’re more likely to trust your brand.
  • Higher engagement rates: Influencer content typically sees higher engagement rates than traditional ads. Their creative storytelling and personal touch resonate more effectively with their followers.
  • SEO benefits: Influencers play a key role in your SEO efforts. Mentions of your brand and YouTube search results can enhance your brand’s online visibility, thus powering your search engine ranking.
  • Lower ad fatigue: Consumers are increasingly becoming immune to traditional advertising. Influencer marketing provides a fresh and more personal approach, reducing ad fatigue. Their content is perceived as more organic and less intrusive, leading to better reception and engagement.
  • Reusable content: Influencers are content creators. They can provide unique, high-quality content that can be repurposed across your brand’s marketing channels, enriching your content strategy.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Compared to traditional advertising, influencer marketing can be more cost-effective with a potentially higher ROI. Especially with micro and nano influencers, you can achieve significant results without a hefty investment.
  • Consumer insights: Influencers can provide valuable insights into consumer preferences and trends. Their close relationship with their audience allows them to gather feedback and gauge reactions to your products.

Case in point: Beauty brand Prose noticed all these benefits by working with us.

Prose needs a lot of content to power their media-buying budget. We help them scale this to 50 unique content assets per month – and they can always reuse that content in their marketing emails or social media.

Besides, this type of content doesn’t break the bank – it scales it up.

Prose now has a ton of relevant content that reaches a broader audience, thus powering up their customer acquisition.


Influencer Marketing Strategy for Beauty Brands

So, if you want to reap the same benefits, let’s see how you can kickstart your successful beauty campaign.

1. Understand Your Audience

The first step is to understand your audience.

Start with what you already know.

Dive into your sales data, customer reviews, and feedback about your cosmetic products. Look for trends in purchase decisions, product preferences, and demographic information like age, location, and gender.

You can also:

  • Use social media platforms’ analytics tools. These provide insights into your potential customers’ demographics, their interests, and how they interact with your content. Pay attention to the types of posts that generate the most engagement.
  • Directly engage with your audience through surveys and polls. These can be conducted via email campaigns, social media channels, or yur website. Ask specific questions about their beauty routines, challenges, and product preferences.
  • Monitor beauty trends and conversations: Use social listening tools like BuzzSumo to monitor conversations around beauty topics. This helps you understand current trends, pain points, and the language your audience uses to talk about beauty products.

Here’s what to do with that data:

  • Segment your audience into distinct groups. These could be based on age groups, skin types, beauty interests (like skincare, makeup, natural products), or lifestyle preferences.
  • Develop detailed buyer personas for each audience segment. Include their demographic details, interests, typical challenges, and motivations. This helps in visualizing the audience as real individuals when planning campaigns.

Insider Story: Native and the Importance of Patterns

For the beauty brand Native, we realized their audience was extremely diverse. After in-depth research and building customer personas, we noticed a pattern.

These people had different interests, backgrounds, genders, and passions.

But they all wanted stylish beauty products that elicit refined luxury and elegance.

Like so:

2. Research Your Competitors

Competitive research is a critical step in shaping an effective influencer marketing strategy.

So, don’t skip it.

Insider tip: When we understand what our clients’ competitors are doing, we can:

  • Identify gaps in the market
  • Learn from their successes and mistakes
  • Find ways to differentiate their brand

Here’s our step-by-step plan to approach competitive research in a structured and efficient manner:

  1. Identify key competitors: List your direct competitors – those who target a similar audience and offer comparable beauty products or services.
  2. Analyze their social media presence: Note the platforms they are most active on, the type of content they post, and their engagement rates. Pay special attention to any influencer partnerships they have.
  3. Assess campaign strategies and messaging: Observe your competitors’ themes, messages, and campaigns. Are they focusing on sustainability, luxury, affordability, or specific beauty concerns? Understand how they position their products in the market.
  4. Monitor influencer collaborations: Identify which influencers your competitors are working with. Evaluate the effectiveness of these partnerships by looking at the engagement and audience response to sponsored posts.
  5. Evaluate promotional tactics: Look at the promotional tactics they employ, such as giveaways, discounts in collaboration with influencers, or user-generated content campaigns. Assess what resonates with your shared audience.

Insider tip: Create a competitor database. Compile all the information in a structured database or spreadsheet. This should include details on their influencer partnerships, marketing strategies, product range, customer demographics, and key performance indicators.

3. Find Your Unique Value Point

Once you’ve understood your audience and researched your competitors, the next step is identifying your beauty brand’s Unique Value Point (UVP). Your UVP is what sets you apart in a crowded market. Here’s how to pinpoint it:

  • Look for patterns, unmet needs, or common pain points your brand can address.
  • Assess your brand’s strengths. What aspects of your products or services receive the most positive feedback? Is it your innovative formulas, ethical sourcing, price point, packaging, or product range?
  • Identify what’s missing in the market. Are there underserved audience segments or overlooked beauty concerns your brand can cater to?
  • Engage with internal stakeholders, including team members, product developers, and sales personnel. They can offer valuable insights that might help in defining your UVP.
  • Brainstorm potential UVPs with your team. Once you have a few ideas, validate them. This could be through customer focus groups, A/B testing on social media, or asking for direct feedback from a small segment of your target audience.
  • Craft a clear and concise statement that encapsulates it. This statement should be easily understood by your audience and reflect every aspect of your influencer marketing strategy.

Insider Story: Native’s UVP vs Prose

In Native’s case, we discovered they had a diverse audience with a common sense of style.

And we made that their unique value proposition.

Through their creative assets, our influencers underlined this almost ethereal sense of elegance. At the same time, their own diversity emphasized the brand’s broad audience.

So, we ensured each member of their audience felt represented through the choice of influencers.

Side note: A more expensive ad campaign would have drained the brand’s budget, making this representation impossible. And that would have sabotaged their UVP.

Prose found a different unique value point. This haircare brand found that generic products don’t work for everyone.

So, they create unique formulas for each customer after filling out an online survey.

That means they can match everyone with the right hair products:


4. Create a Strategy [and Creative Brief]

We always start with a strategy before picking influencers.

We advise you to do the same.

Insider tip: You always need a plan before finding the best people for that plan.

Here are some tactics and content ideas from our playbook. See what fits and include them in your influencer marketing campaign according to your goals:

  • Product demonstrations and tutorials: These content assets showcase your products’ practical use and effectiveness. For instance, a step-by-step makeup tutorial using your products can be highly engaging and informative.
  • Authentic product reviews: Encourage influencers to provide honest reviews of your products. Authenticity is key here; genuine opinions build trust among potential customers.
  • Before-and-after photos: Visual content like before-and-after photos are compelling, particularly for skincare products. They offer tangible proof of the product’s benefits.
  • Giveaways and contests: Run giveaways or contests in collaboration with influencers. This not only boosts engagement but also increases your brand’s visibility.
  • Influencer takeovers: Allow influencers to take over your brand’s social media accounts for a day or a specific event. This can provide a fresh perspective and attract the influencer’s followers to your brand.
  • Storytelling and personal experiences: Encourage influencers to share personal stories or experiences that relate to your products. Emotional and personal storytelling can create a deeper connection with the audience.
  • Lifestyle and aspirational content: Work with influencers to create content that positions your products within a desirable lifestyle or aesthetic. This type of content creates aspiration and desire for your products.
  • Behind-the-scenes content: Share behind-the-scenes content of your products being made or your brand events. This adds a layer of transparency and authenticity, which consumers love.
  • Collaborative product development: Involve influencers in the product development process, either through direct collaboration or by gathering their insights. This can lead to highly marketable and influencer-endorsed products from the start.
  • Educational content: Create educational content around beauty and skincare, like ingredient benefits or skincare routines. This positions your brand as an authority in the beauty industry.

You should also pick the social platforms where your audience is most active.

That’s where you’ll publish the content.

When you have identified the tactics you want to use, create a comprehensive creative brief for the influencers. This should include:

  • An overview of your brand and campaign goals.
  • Clear guidelines on the type of content you expect.
  • Key messages to convey and any specific product features to highlight.
  • The desired tone and style of the content.
  • Any hashtags, links, or specific calls to action to include.
  • Information on deliverables, timelines, and compensation.

Insider tip: Don’t make the brief too detailed or inflexible. Remember that influencers need creative freedom to build that sense of authenticity their audience craves.

You can copy our free influencer creative brief template or read this article to learn how to make your own. We’ve included plenty of examples.

Here’s the final one-page structure:


Insider Story: Native vs Prose

But we digress.

The point is to pick the influencer marketing tactics that fit your brand best, according to your goals.

Native decided to go for very stylish, edited content that looks posh:

Notice the colors and how the brand is always in the limelight.

Conversely, Prose used product demonstrations and honest reviews. That’s because Prose positions itself as a custom hair care brand.

People take a survey before buying, after which they receive custom products suited for their hair type.

The influencers we helped Prose highlight this unique value point.


5. Find and Pick the Right Influencers

Selecting the right influencers is crucial for the success of your campaign.

We wouldn’t have been able to do it without our in-depth database.

You can easily set your own criteria to kickstart your campaign:


You can then compare profiles by number of followers and engagement rates:

You can even use our free engagement rate calculator to see more details about specific beauty content creators:

Insider tip: Use the “Find Similar Creators” button to find influencers that cater to the same audience with the same type of content.

Then, see how much they would cost using our collaboration cost calculator:

Once you’re happy with the rate for beauty influencers, create a shortlist. Check these profiles you like with our fake follower checker:

That said, here’s a more in-depth guide on what factors to consider when choosing influencers for your beauty brand:

  • Type of audience: Ensure the influencer’s audience aligns with your target demographic. Consider factors like age, gender, location, interests, and lifestyle. The influencer’s audience should mirror the profile of your ideal customer.
  • Follower count: Decide on the type of influencer that best suits your campaign goals - nano, micro, macro, or mega. Remember, a smaller, more engaged audience can often yield better results than a larger, less engaged one.
  • Engagement rate: Look beyond the number of followers. Analyze the engagement rate – likes, comments, shares, and the quality of these interactions. High engagement rates often indicate a loyal and active audience. Leverage our free engagement rate calculator – it’s the same one we use.
  • Content type and quality: Evaluate the influencer’s content style and quality. Their content should resonate with your brand’s aesthetic and values. The consistency and professionalism in their content are indicators of their dedication.
  • Social media platform: Choose influencers on platforms where your target audience is most active. Each platform has its unique demographics and content style – Instagram is great for visuals, YouTube for detailed tutorials, and TikTok for short, engaging clips.
  • Budget considerations: Align your influencer choices with your budget. Nano and micro-influencers typically command lower fees than macro and mega influencers. Consider the potential ROI each influencer can bring.

We have a full article on how to find influencers and decide on the best influencers. Here’s the tl;dr version based on the types of influencers:

6. Outreach

After identifying the right influencers, the next step is effective outreach and relationship building. This phase is critical for laying a strong foundation for your campaign.

Craft personalized outreach messages acknowledging the influencer’s work and explaining why you think they’d be a great fit for your brand. Avoid generic, templated messages and explain how the collaboration can benefit the influencer. This could be through compensation, free products, exposure, or creative opportunities.

Insider tip: Use our influencer email template that helped us skyrocket open rates to 92%.

You should also build a rapport with influencers before launching a campaign to foster trust. Influencers are likelier to invest their best efforts when they feel a genuine connection with your brand.

Besides, fostering a good relationship can lead to ongoing collaborations, turning influencers into long-term brand ambassadors.

Insider tip: Create an influencer contract outlining your and your influencers’ responsibilities. Having clear expectations allows you both to work together toward the same results.

7. Implement the Campaign, Monitor Results, and Scale Up

After launching your influencer marketing campaign, the focus shifts to monitoring results and identifying strategies for scaling up.

Insider tip: Our sister agency, inBeat, follows a 3-month plan for influencer campaigns. The first month is for research and building the campaign. The second month is for implementing and monitoring it. And the third month is dedicated to scaling it up.

Steal our plan below:

Step 1: Monitoring

  • Track Key Metrics: Monitor metrics such as engagement rate (likes, comments, shares), reach, impressions, and conversion rates. These indicators will help you gauge the effectiveness of your campaign.
  • Use analytics tools: Leverage analytics tools available on social media platforms or third-party tools for a more in-depth analysis.
  • Gather influencer feedback: Regularly check in with your influencers for qualitative insights about audience reactions and feedback.

Step 2: Zeroing In on Effective Strategies

At inBeat, we emphasize analyzing which aspects of the campaign are performing best. Is it a particular type of content, a specific influencer, or a certain messaging strategy?

After identifying these key drivers of success, you can fine-tune your approach.

Step 3: Scaling Up the Campaign

  • Expand the influencer network: If certain influencers perform exceptionally well, consider expanding your network to include similar profiles.
  • Leverage user-generated content: Encourage and leverage user-generated content (UGC) from the campaign in your marketing efforts, such as emails or ads, to amplify authenticity.
  • Repurpose successful content: Use high-performing influencer content across other marketing channels like your website, social media, or digital ads.
  • Diversify platforms: If you’re seeing success on one platform, consider adapting the strategy for other relevant platforms to broaden your reach.
  • Increase investment: If the ROI is positive, gradually increase your investment in influencer marketing, either by boosting budget allocations or by enhancing the scope of current influencer partnerships.

Wrapping Up

If you’re reading this, you’re as much of an influencer marketing geek as we are.

Hopefully, our insider tips, case studies, tools, and overall rants will help you set up your campaign.

But remember, continuous evaluation and adaptation are key.

As you monitor the campaign, be ready to tweak your strategy based on what’s working. Influencer marketing is not a ’set it and forget it’ tactic; it requires ongoing adjustment and optimization.

At inBeat, we help you with all the tools you need to reach your broader marketing objectives.

So, try our free influencer platform and influencer marketing tools today.

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