Emergence of new influences
The generation of “tech-babyfed” Millennials is questioning conventional marketing, asserts journalist Nicolas Jaimes. According to a study conducted by the Global Data Institute, 64% of Millennials believe it is important to spend time on social media. Today, on YouTube, 100 creators count over two million subscribers in France. Beyond the very notion of share of attention on social networks, it is the notion of influence that is being questioned. To Nicolas Jaimes, 63% of Millennials trust influencers’ posts more easily than messages posted by brands.
To Alexiane Dérail, founder of the Subleem agency, new influencers are spreading beyond the target of Millennials by capillary action. Right now, her agency is working with a community of influencing women aged up to 68.
How to seduce micro-influencers
However, as more and more mega-influencers are gaining importance, micro-influencers have been emerging as a new target. “Web users buy products used by people similar to them. An influencer with 5,000 followers is actually very important, because she is usually very close to her community,” explains Alexiane Dérail, founder of Subleem. Since sincerity and authenticity are at the core of the relationship of trust, micro-influencers offer the advantage of enjoying more intimate closeness with their followers, which is why they have become a new target to seduce.
For example, Sephora has never used any icon: instead, they work with influencers. Micro-influencers are strategic for retailers, explains Théo Julien, Head of Social Media Sephora EMEA. Most inspirational creators on YouTube count less than 100,000 followers, which explains why retailers aim to reach as many as possible, but following a real targeted marketing strategy of influence – a relationship that grows in time and is adapted to the influencer’s style.
From sales to customer experience as a primary focus, at Sephora, they do it all to make customers feel like testing products. Retailers work according to the principle of consolidated basket. Products should not systematically be sold in-store, but also online – beauty advisors are actually equipped with iPads to make the synergy easier. This approach is at the core of the customer experience, but it is also necessary for space reasons, because there is not always enough room in-store to display a complete assortment with all the shades available (necessary to satisfy all types of complexions).
Birchbox has also decided to focus their strategy on pampering testers, since product testing is the cornerstone of the beauty box forerunner: they are now widening their presence from the web to physical stores. “Birchbox counts 1 million subscribers in the world, including 200,000 in France,” explains Quentin Reygrobollet, Birchbox General Manager France. “What is crucial is to sell the right product to the right person, thanks to accurate targeting, to maximize the conversion rate.” Today, Birchbox boasts a conversion rate of 50% (buying rate on the website after purchasing the box), and asserts a leading position in France. The quality of key targeting depends on perfect mastery of the new, ultimate data weapon, not only to best personalize the box, but also to find the right tone when exchanging with the community.
The beauty industry is experiencing a real revolution. Influencers, data, augmented reality… the new seduction tools deployed by beauty addicts are available to brands – and the latter will definitely know how to best use them.