Beautycon has become an iconic convention and event where the most daring and bold individuals, from traditional runway models to the newest YouTube beauty tutorial stars, get an opportunity to speak to their like-minded fans. Three times a year, leaders in the beauty industry come together at Beautycon to discuss the newest trends and fashions in beauty and makeup.
Beautycon also represents an immense opportunity for beauty brands and companies to demonstrate new products and concepts to consumers. Now in its fifth year, the convention has fully taken shape. In this case study, we examine the hype behind the most recent Beautycon in Los Angeles and how digital beauty influencers are helping to deliver messages for the beauty industry as a whole.
Between August 12-14, 2017, numerous brands were promoting products across social through social media influencers and Beautycon. We break down three of the best campaigns on Instagram leading up to and during the convention. These brands, L’Oreal, Revlon, and Garnier, utilized influencer marketing and sponsored content to promote their presence at Beautycon LA.
To promote brand presence at Beautycon, each sponsored influencer used a mixture of hashtags: event specific (#beautyconla, #beautycon), brand specific (#lorealparis, #revlonpartner), and campaign specific (#lorealxbeautycon, #garnierbeautycon).
To reach a wide audience, L’Oreal sponsored 9 macro-influencers, each a heavy-hitter in the digital beauty community. Each influencer contributed 1-2 sponsored posts to the campaign which hit a 6.67% average engagement rate. In each of L’Oreal’s sponsored posts, each influencer announced his or her presence at Beautycon, appealing to fans through ticket giveaways and promises of meet-and-greets.
Every L’Oreal influencer disclosed their sponsorship with #ad in their post captions alongside branded hashtags such as #lorealxbeautycon, #lorealparis, #lorealpartner, and #beautyconla.
One of the top performers in L’Oreal’s campaign was Chantel Jefferies. Known by her 3 million fans for her sun-kissed aesthetic and fashionable outfits, Chantel’s single post found over 225,000 likes, 1,100 comments, and an engagement rate of 15%. Chantel’s post can be attributed to her up close candid photo and direct engagement with her and brand L’Oreal’s enthusiastic audiences.
Likewise, Revlon sponsored 5 macro-influencers, seeing an average engagement rate of 3.97% throughout the campaign. Each Instagrammer contributed 1-2 posts, one before the convention and one during the convention, tagging @revlon and disclosing the partnership with #ad. Other hashtags displayed in captions were #revlonxbeautycon, #revlonpartner, #beautyconla, and #revlon.
One reason Revlon’s overall engagement rate is lower than L’Oreal’s may be because Revlon selected larger scale celebrity influencers with massive followings. As influencers gain more followers, engagement tends to decrease.
For instance, pop star and celebrity Ciara only saw an engagement rate of 2.2%, but reached over 16.8 million people and garnered 379,000 likes. Thus, a lower engagement rate does not necessarily signal an unsuccessful campaign as overall reach, likes, shares, and comments may be significant.
One of the top performers in Revlon’s campaign was Instagrammer @thatsheart. Filipina Instagrammer and YouTube star Heart is known for her natural beauty looks, wavy hair, and fun makeup hacks and tutorials. Her presence at Beautycon and her new look excited fans, shown on her highest performing post which saw 34,000 likes, 880 comments, and an 8.17% engagement rate.
Garnier strategically partnered with two macro-influencers, one male and one female. Both influencers made appearances at the Garnier Beautycon booth and posted photos from the event using the hashtags #garnierbeautycon, #beautyconla, and #ad. The overall engagement rate for the campaign was 12.77%, which is significantly higher than that of Revlon and Loreal’s campaigns.
Garnier sponsored a total of three posts with the pair of power influencers, who have a combined audience of over 6 million.
By choosing to work with two macro-influencers, Garnier was able to minimize costs of campaign coordination while still reaching an enormous audience on Instagram. Additionally, the choice to partner with a male influencer helped Garnier to reach a more diverse audience despite the female-centric nature of the event.
The female influencer involved in the campaign was Meredith Foster, a popular lifestyle Instagrammer and YouTuber. She regularly produces varied Instagram and YouTube content on topics such as fashion, beauty, food, home decor and more. On the first morning of Beautycon, she shared an Instagram post encouraging her fans to check out the Garnier booth, raising awareness for Garnier and generating excitement for the event. Her post earned 170,000 likes, 590 comments, and an engagement rate of 13.51%.