Last month Estée Lauder was the latest company to do this, with model and social media sensation Kendall Jenner joining the ranks as its newest face.
A quick look at her Instagram page (the platform that shot her to fame) and it’s easy to see why she was an attractive option for the cosmetics giant as she is stylish, beautiful… oh, and the 16.5 million followers.
For a cosmetics brand to drum up this kind of following would be no easy task and would take a lot of time, so it works well, if the image fits, to do exactly what Estée Lauder has done.
“We are seeing more brands using different social media channels such as blogs, YouTube and Instagram , and they are understanding the appeal of teaming up with social media celebrities,” says Sarah Hynes, lead researcher at L2 Inc.
“As these figures already use and understand the platform, and have their own native following, it gives brands a great insight that is authentic and would be difficult to create themselves,” she tells CosmeticsDesign.com USA.
Celebrities such as film stars and musicians have long been used in the cosmetics industry in adverts and to endorse products as it has been proven to influence buying behavior.
The phenomenal growth of social networking has spawned a plethora of self-styled celebrities, who have made a name for themselves on video-sharing websites and other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and blogs.
“In the case of Kendall Jenner her reach is very appealing to brands - she can bring attention to a brand in a way that no other type of advertising can,” adds Hynes.
The advantage of the social media celebrity is that they build online communities which are transforming the cosmetics industry in particular.
YouTube stars such as Michelle Phan have become hot property in the beauty world as they teach their viewers about fashion and beauty in their videos. For Phan this meant teaming up with L’Oreal to launch a make-up line last year.
An example of the success that social media celebrities can have can be seen when you compare campaigns on the same platform.
In March this year both MAC Cosmetics and Michelle Phan posted videos on their respective YouTube channels.
MAC’s ‘Viva Glam—Behind the Scenes with Rihanna’ attracted 58,000 views, while Phan’s video, ‘Matte About You,’ had 1.2 million views within a week, which is a typical response.
“Beauty vloggers have such a great reach as they are authentic and attract a loyal following – take for example the success of UK-based Zoella who has 6.5 million YouTube subscribers,” says Hynes.