According to Jennifer White Boehm, a research analyst with Mintel in Chicago, the “everyone’s an expert” nature of social media has a clear impact on the beauty space.
“Beauty experts like makeup artists or hairstylists are knocked off their solo pedestals and are gained on by celebrities, lifestyle bloggers and models as sources of beauty information,” she told Happi. “The key to winning the game is giving consumers the attributes they seek, including inspiration and results, without overly pushing product.”
Boehm noted that while expertise has appeal, inspiration plays a stronger role in garnering trust among followers.
“Above all, influencer followers seek inspiration and help. They want to be shown what to use and how to use it and be encouraged that they can accomplish their goals with it,” she explained. “A strong interest in hearing from real, everyday people suggests that inspiration is becoming less about aspiration and more about achievability.”
Boehm added that the top tier of beauty content of interest to consumers revolves around real experiences: real people, real practices and real feedback.
“This works to combat a main criticism of the market: the unrealistic beauty standards set by social media. Especially given the influx of information offered up by the digital age, consumers have grown more sophisticated and can sniff out watered-down attempts at authenticity,” she told Happi.
Key Influencer Data from Mintel
Boehm observed that there is room for growth in the beauty influencer market for later in 2022 and beyond. A key data point: 57% of US adults say that they would want to see more content on social media of beauty influencers that look like everyday people; and, 49% of US adults say that they want to see more “behind-the-scenes” footage from brands on social media.
“The youngest shoppers will set the tone for the future of the beauty industry. The industry must be mindful of its perceptions with young adult shoppers, as they will be the standard bearers for and drive engagement with the industry in years to come,” said Boehm. “Their perception of impossible standards could lead to pulling back from their participation in the beauty market, choosing more natural looks that require fewer cosmetics or to ignoring standards by seeking over-the-top, whimsical looks.”