The Beauty Industry and Influencer Marketing: It’s a Guy’s World After AllMay 04, 2017
“Beauty” is the new “pink.” Though it’s entitled to many different meanings in our everyday speech, it’s often associated with femininity.
In the same sense, the beauty industry is usually portrayed as an industry for the glamorous – a warehouse for female cosmetics, hair colors, and perfumes.
But what about the deodorants and toothpastes related to personal hygiene? How about the barber shops, colognes, and shaving products that keep men looking and feeling great?
To be fair, I’m guilty of forgetting the wide array of beauty products out there. While delving into social media analytics relating to the beauty industry, I was surprised to find that men drove a bulk of influential conversations around beauty brands.
The data and tweets from over the last month further confirmed that this wasn’t mere coincidence. There was an influencer marketing strategy at play here.
Brands targeting men or a unisex crowd brandished strong partnerships and clever (sometimes high tech) marketing to compete squarely with the Selena Gomez + Pantene collaborations in the market.
Over a Third of Tweets About Beauty Are by Men
Between April 3 and May 3, there was an uptick in male participation in Twitter conversations around select beauty brands, including Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Aveda, and Clearisil.
This accounted for a 4% increase from the three months prior, which saw an average of 33% male participation.
Ten percent of tweets by men touted the hashtag #RedefineWhatsPossible (see: Degree Men and Steph Curry), while 7% included Pantene’s #StrongisBeautiful tag. Pantene’s #StrongisBeautiful campaign prompted a retweet frenzy by both men and women, especially once stars like Octavia Spencer expressed their support.
Male authors and brands also topped the last months’ influencer leaderboard. Degree Men came in at first place, followed immediately by the New York Jets’ Jamal Adams, the Indianapolis Colts’ Malik Hooker, and Ogilvy & Mather’s Worldwide Chief Creative Officer Tham Khai Meng.
Beauty and sports emerged as an indomitable force on social media, teaming up to produce innovative and topical content. While the merge of these two markets isn’t new, the fruits of their labor proved riper than ever.
Degree Men and Steph Curry
Degree Deodorant and Steph Curry seem to have a magical thing going on.
Their longtime partnership recently culminated in a 360-degree video of Curry showing off his moves.
— Degree Men (@DegreeMen) April 20, 2017
@DegreeMen tweeted the video in April, generating several thousands of shares and likes on Twitter. (The video has also been shared by @StephenCurry30 and housed on YouTube since mid-March, garnering over 5,000 likes and 103,000 views, respectively.)
Degree tweeted the video with their signature hashtag, #RedefineWhatsPossible. The tag earned 10,700 replies, retweets, and mentions in April alone.
To put that into perspective, #RedefineWhatsPossible outranked the second-most popular hashtag from the same month by over 7,000 posts.
In April, Degree promoted #RedefineWhatsPossible with renewed vigor alongside motivational videos that featured Curry training for the conference semifinals.
While @DegreeMen ended March as the third-place Twitter influencer (behind makeup artist Hung Vanngo and YouTuber Jess Conte), the brand sat solidly at first place at the close of April.
Why Degree and Steph Curry Work So Well
“Degree believed in me early in my career, and I’m grateful for their continued support,” said Curry in 2015, when he extended his existing contract with Degree through 2017. “Their focus on providing people with the protection they need as they move and get more out of life fits perfectly with my approach to continually better myself both on and off the court.”
For any partnership to work, an influencer must have a use for an inquiring brand and share its values.
Likewise, a brand needs to be able to support an influencer’s hobbies and passions, as well as trust him or her to think innovatively on behalf of the company.
Degree entrusted Curry for creative brainpower when filming their 360-degree video.
“It was just me, the cameras in the middle of the floor and nobody else in the gym, so it was eerily quiet,” Curry recalled in an interview with AOL. “I could let my imagination run wild and see how creative I can be.”
A Similarity in Audiences
To date, Curry and Degree can tango on social media because their audiences overlap. Curry attracts Degree’s core consumers—the gym goers and “doers” who push themselves to make the most out of life.
Today’s followers of @DegreeMen express an overwhelming interest in sports. They’re predominantly male and engaged in positive conversations around SportsCenter, NASCAR, and the NBA.
Curry’s Twitter audience shares many of the same associations, but at a much more massive scale. While his followers match the demographic makeup, interests, and sentiment of Degree’s following, they stand 9 million people strong versus 25,000.
Curry not only receives a total of likes and retweets that regularly ranges between 25%-50% (and sometimes exceeds 100%) of Degree’s entire follower count, but also earns him a high influencer score of 159 ZPoints.
For a global brand like Degree, this is an opportunity well worth the investment.
A cross comparison of Curry’s and Degree’s followers additionally hints at high-impact PR or advertisement opportunities with specific sports networks and online publications.
#NFLDraft and Beauty Sponsors for Reaching Millennials
Along the same vein, several haircare brands reaped the benefits of their support for on-the-rise athletes with great hair.
Head & Shoulders recruited former LSU safety Jamal Adams into their family of athlete partners, which includes Odell Beckham Jr. and, previously, Troy Polamalu.
— JamalAdams (@TheAdams_era) April 27, 2017
Son of former Giants’ running back George Adams, Adams enjoys early popularity on Twitter. He even outdoes Curry with 230 ZPoints.
Adams’ Twitter fanbase is 77% millennial and predominantly male—a big thumbs-up for Head & Shoulders, which still under-indexes among millennial men despite its multiyear NFL engagements. Head & Shoulders idles at 59% millennial followers today.
Head & Shoulders has long targeted athletes to reach a younger audience. At the very least, it has seen payoff from its appeal to sports fans. According to its Twitter Follower Report, many of @HeadShoulders’ followers still engage with top sports teams, including the Steelers, Cubs, Mets, and Pirates.
It’s no secret that parent-company Proctor & Gamble leads by action in their investment in sports.
During this year’s NFL Draft, P&G offered a VIP style lounge for prospects and their families.
Third-place influencer and former Ohio State safety Malik Hooker rewarded @Pantene with a sentimental shout-out.
— Malik Hooker (@MalikHooker24) April 27, 2017
A Shift from Celebrity Influencers to Micro-Influencers in Cosmetics
While the beauty industry has been leaning on celebrity ambassadors, cosmetics brands have targeted a class of micro-influencers.
Earlier this year, MAC announced an entire-influencer developed lipstick collection letting 10 social media starts act as creative directors.
Tarte, Becca, and a slew of other cosmetic brands have also created custom lines with internet celebs.
Such micro-influencer collaborations exceeded expectations, earning an average of twice the money from celebrity-led lines in their first month, according to The NPD Group.
Wait, so is makeup trending among men?
No, there’s still quite a disparity between men and women here. (Specifically, 82% female and 18% male among those tweeting about makeup brands.)
However, there are several male makeup artists shaking up the cosmetics world. In fact, we’re seeing more male influencers on the rise than months prior.
In our connected age of celebrity and citizen influencers—the world stage is anybody’s gain.
Traditionally female-dominant industries are seeing more participation from men, and vice versa, leading to powerful marketing collaborations that are redefining success.