Remember when you ask your mother, your aunt or even your sister for advices regarding your beauty routine? Yes, it seems like it was a million years ago! Now, you would rather go for tips given online by beauty addicts. And I must admit it: I would to. How many times did you go to see post blogs, Youtubes videos, Instagram pictures before purchasing a product? To be honest, I have stopped counting. Influencers are now a true and significant intermediary between the consumer and the purchasing decision. It actually does have a name in the Business and Marketing jargon: B2I2C. I can see you going: no it’s not the name of a new Star Wars’ robot. It means Business to Influencer to Consumer. One also calls it Influence Marketing.  In a nutshell, influencers are literally stepping in between brands and consumers.
But how and why had influencers become so important in the world of beauty would you tell us. Well, first, as you should probably know since we have mentioned it several times in this blog (and if not, it means that you are not a regular reader so shame on you!), people find it more and more hard to trust brands to make their purchasing decisions.  They do not find them terribly differentiated and they basically think that brands are here to make you buy their products, no matter what! That is why a third person, which is external, potentially objective but also experienced, is more than welcomed! Secondly, I do not know if you have noticed, but we do like to be part of a community. We do need advices, we do need approbations, especially when it comes to beauty products. This also explains why influencers are so popular: they do create communities around them and generate a sense of belonging among their followers. However, some brands also managed to create communities around their brand. Birchbox is a really good example: the ‘Birchbox community’ on their website gathers lots of beauty lovers/addicts seeking from tips, advices, ideas and tutorials.  They have managed to create such proximity with their customers that people really feel emotionally connected to the brand. For example, in September 2015, they published a whole article about the wedding of their very first employee and VP of Brand Experience, Mollie Chen, with pictures and anecdotes about her bride beauty preparation.  As a result, their customers feel really closed to the brand since they kind of witness private moments of Birchbox employees, as if they were friends.
As you will have understood, cosmetics brands cannot ignore this phenomenon and have to consider these influencers into their brand strategy. Indeed, let me give you some impressive numbers (and when I say impressive, I MEAN IT!): 700 millions videos per month are viewed in the beauty sector on Youtube, making it the 3rd sector with the most views. Among the 25 top beauty videos on Youtube, 80% have been created by influencers and not by brands.  IMPRESSIVE, I told you. I am sure you would know Enjoy Phoenix (if not, I mean, where have you been?); she is the number one beauty influencer in France. She has more than 1.4 million subscribers in Youtube and has a minimum of 500.000 views for each of her videos.  Yes, she is THE person of interest for cosmetics brands.
As a result, brands have from now on completely included influencers into their brand strategy. They send them products so they can give feedbacks in their videos. Therefore, it gives them lots of visibility and foster purchasing if influencers like and recommend the products. The phenomenon is so growing that brands even left their social networks’ keys with influencers. For example, Gemey Maybelline collaborates with Enjoy Phoenix for a weekly webcast, called “T’as pas du gloss?”, starting from January 2015. It has been a huge success with more than 9 million views.  Some brands even decided to chose influencers as their new ambassador. In the US, James Charles, a young beauty influencer, has become the new muse of Cover Girl, after Katy Perry. Oh yes, you have read it right: AFTER KATY PERRY!!  Some brands also collaborate with influencers to create products: the Beautyst co-created nail polishes with three Youtube influencers – Enjoy Phoenix (yes, again!), Carnet Prune and Punky B. This generated a lot of traffic on The Beautyst website and gave it a lot of visibility.  L’Oréal pushed the phenomenon even further with its BEAUTYTUBE: it is a partnership created with young youtubers. L’Oréal helps them out with the rudiments of the profession. It offers classes on how to realize and produce videos. What a smart strategy, isn’t it? They actually associate the name of their brand to this new influencer from the very beginning so if they managed to become successful, it is all good for L’Oréal!  However, there is one question that this growing phenomenon raises: since they collaborate with cosmetics brands and are even paid by them, how can they still be objective? Isn’t it a form of corruption? Will it last forever or will people stop trusting influencers as well?
I also wanted to mention one brand that definitely knew how to grasp the opportunity of influencers: NYX Cosmetics. This brand almost only uses the B2I2C strategy to promote itself and acquire visibility. Bloggers and influencers are the brand ambassadors and are in direct contact with the customers. This is almost its only way of communicating and this is how they managed to become known. The brand cultivates proximity and togetherness with these influencers but also with their customers: as a result, they have created a faithful family, even a tribe!  A good inspiration for young and new cosmetics brands!!
My dear readers and beauty followers, this is a Mayday call: please share, share and share my blog, my articles to all your friends. I have a new and realistic aspiration in life: you see Kendall Jenner? Well I want her job, I want to be the new ambassador of Estée Lauder. No, I do not think this is too ambitious… And it all depends on you! So one last word for you: SHARE MY ARTICLE AND MAKE ME THE NEW ESTEE LAUDER AMBASSADOR. Please?
Your devoted lipstick lover, Clémence.
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Julie (2016). EnjoyPhoenix poste un bêtisier hilarant sur son compte Twitter. Melty website. ONLINE. Available at: http://www.melty.fr/enjoyphoenix-poste-un-betisier-hilarant-sur-son-compte-twitter-a487453.html Last accessed: 9 Dec’16
Smith, E. (2015). Mollie’s getting married. Birchbox website. ONLINE. Available at: http://birchbox.tid.al/post/mollies-getting-married_1443215733 Last accessed: 9 Dec’16
Maybelline Youtube Channel (2015). T’as Pas du Gloss ? #6 : un look pour la Saint-Valentin avec Marie Alias EnjoyPhoenix. Youtube. ONLINE. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANw7ZDGhU1s Last accessed: 9 Dec’16
Images 3 & 4:
Cosnier, C. (2016). Comment les marques de cosmétiques utilisent les influenceurs dans leur communication Social Media? ONLINE. Available at: https://www.nukesuite.com/fr/cosmetique-beaute-influenceur-socialmedia/ Last accessed: 9 Dec’16