Influencer marketing: what is it?
In a nutshell, influencer marketing is when a brand uses influencers who have a professed expert level of knowledge or social influence in their field, on social media platforms to endorse their products and/or service.
The responsibility of being a fashion & beauty influencer over 50
I’ve been working in the fashion industry as a fashion and beauty ‘influencer’ on Instagram for at least four years. Like many other instagram influencers over 50, I have become a platform that offers inspiration for women, working on a range of influencer marketing campaigns for a variety of brands, which has been quite a journey, with some great highs. Trips to Nashville, Ibiza, bags of new friends, parties, frocks, and income – quite literally living the dream! It’s quite nervy though. Influencers are there to entertain, inspire, offer some light relief perhaps. Being an inspiration for many means influencers have a responsibility.
We must share informed, factual, and correct information in every campaign we work on. To gain trust and loyalty, it can be challenging, especially when it comes to beauty brands and brands in the wellness industry because these particular sectors have all kinds of miraculous claims!
Sharing misinformation and employing promotion tactics – sponsored posts being one of them – are among the objections consumers have for influencers which has taken away some of the credibility of using influencers in marketing campaigns. The perception of mistrust is impacting brands, who rely heavily on influencer partnerships for marketing, and genuine influencers like me from doing what they love.
And this is why I jumped at an invitation I received recently to become one of nine beauty creators taken on a skincare education programme with No7 Beauty Company. I have worked with No7 a few times in 2021 and have been a long-time fan of their brilliant skincare. In fact, when my daughter turned 17, No7 was the first brand I bought her. So there’s an authentic synergy between us and I’m thrilled to be part of the programme.
Influencer marketing in beauty: getting it right
With reports claiming a growing distrust around influencers generally as a source for health and beauty products, the No7 Beauty Company decided to act. They have launched an influencer marketing strategy around skincare education to upskill their content creators and help us with our skincare knowledge. The online education programme has been created by leading beauty and science experts and provides the industry with a fantastic demonstration of how brands can build authentic relationships with influencers.
As a fashion and beauty influencer, being informed, knowledgeable and able to authentically endorse products as a brand ambassador, is crucial.
No7 Beauty Company (part of Walgreens Boots Alliance), which owns No7, Liz Earle, Botanics, Soap & Glory, Sleek Makeup and Your Good Skin, has partnered with the British Beauty Council on the skincare education programme. The UK-based invitation-only programme consists of six modules, delivered both online and in-person, created by ed tech firm Learning with Experts and backed by beauty experts and dermatologists including beauty expert Alison Young, journalist Alice Hart-Davis, skincare expert Dija Ayodele and dermatologist and content creator Dr Aamna Adel.
The No7 Beauty Company beauty influencer programme
The course content has been created by a raft of beauty journalists, dermatologists and skincare experts including Alison Young and Alice Hart-Davis, and aesthetician Dija Ayodele. There are six skincare modules to help de-bunk widely circulated skincare myths on social media.
My background is in the fashion industry, running a style blog for women, so I’m not an expert in beauty and health so this programme is fantastic for influencers like me who cross over different areas. In the beauty industry, when brands target fashion influencers it’s tricky to navigate the claims and efficacy of ingredients and likewise. So what have I learnt so far?
- Expensive skincare is NOT more effective. There are effective, clinically proven products, at affordable prices. The key is to look for ingredients that have been proven to work.
- You can over exfoliate skin so it’s important to be careful. If you exfoliate too much you can damage your skin barrier, so I now know to always opt for a a gentle exfoliant.
- There is a perception that chemicals are bad for the skin, and that natural and plant based ingredients are better for you. This isn’t true. Everything is a chemical or made of a chemical. Water, air, plants. These are all chemicals or are made up of chemicals and there are many beneficial cosmetic ingredients that are synthetically made in a lab, benefiting from being produced in a consistent way. There are also many beneficial cosmetic ingredients that are plant extracts, but these can vary in composition year to year, batch to batch. It is important to note that everyone can be allergic or sensitive to something, including chemicals from natural sources. Some essential oils can cause allergic reactions and can actually cause more issues than some chemicals that people would classify as ‘unnatural’. So sensitivities and allergies all depend on the specifics of the chemical, and the person.
When it comes to the sun, I now understand the truth behind lots of beauty myths! Firstly, just because you might not be red, it doesn’t mean you’re not harming your skin. We shouldn’t wait for the impact of ultraviolet (UV) light/rays on the skin to become visible so we should always apply SPF with 5* UVA protection during all seasons, before going outside. Ideally, we should be applying at least a teaspoon of sunscreen on our face and neck. Other sun facts I have learnt:
- Lots of foundations now have SPF in them but what this programme has taught me is that they are not enough on their own because more often than not, we won’t apply enough foundation to our face to get the amount of protection we need.
- You don’t need sunscreen in the water – myth. That isn’t true. In fact, you need an even higher SFP because UV is amplified due to how light reflects from water.
- If you layer products, it doesn’t mean you get an even higher SPF. An SPF 15 moisturiser plus SPF 15 foundation will not give you SPF30!
- Darker skin tones don’t need sun protection. This is not true. All skin tones
- need sun protection. If you have a darker skin tone you are less likely to develop sun-related skin cancers than those with paler skin, but you are still vulnerable to melanoma which could become more serious as it often gets diagnosed later due to its appearance being more hidden.
I have lots more to swot up on now and share on my social media platform, so I’d better love you and leave you, and get on with the next class! In the meantime, if you fancy a nosy, check out the class of 2022 – here are the No7 Beauty Company skincare influencers.
This is me! I am a 50 something leading beauty, fashion, and wellness influencer on Instagram. I am a pro-age influencer sharing a grown-up guide to ageless style, beauty, and wellness with my 30,000+ followers. I create fashion, beauty, wellness, and travel content, using a mix of media from video content, Reels, professional photography, and selfies and when I’m not doing that, I am writing for consumer mag, getthegloss.
Kate Lonsdale is a “fashion-obsessed mother of two”. She has worked as a hairdresser for 30 years – fashion and styling are her first loves and between all those things she is lucky enough to do what she loves.
Bio-med graduate and Aesthetician Alicia Lartey is a Gen-Z skincare oracle and science-oriented ‘skinfluencer’ who has cemented her position as a major voice in the world of beauty, skin, and body care.
Maxine is a 54-year-old wife, mother, and stepmother. After 3 decades in financial services, she decided to use her skills to help women in mid-life rediscover themselves through fashion, skincare, health, and beauty in a fun and supportive way to her community on Instagram.
Zak Heath is a digital content creator specialising in beauty, skincare, and makeup. He has amassed a loyal following across TikTok and Instagram. Zak regularly creates content to show how to achieve flawless finishes on your makeup and skincare routines. His fans love to see his simple GRWM, makeup tutorials and hack to showcase natural-looking skin
Janet is a skincare guru, sharing her expansive knowledge about skincare products to help her audience develop their understanding of ingredients, and how to build a routine that works best for their skin. Dealing with combination/dry skin herself, Janet can speak about her personal skincare journey too. In addition to skin, Janet discusses all things ‘base’ in the beauty world, helping us get our faces all the way together.
Rogina is a beauty content creator and loves anything to do with self-care, whether it’s makeup or skincare – it’s her idea of therapy! She films tutorials and ‘how to…’ guides to help and teach people tips & tricks but also learns more for herself in the process. She loves the freedom of being able to be creative.
Amber is passionate about veganism and is also a beauty addict. She loves showing that you can still have flawless makeup and an amazing skincare routine using vegan & cruelty-free products.
An effective influencer marketing strategy
So we know that influencer marketing has become, and continues to be, a key component of a brand’s overall marketing strategy. Whether a brand has budget for influencers with millions of followers or they decide to use micro – influencers, or even specifically focus on their favourite influencers and mature influencers, the fact is its effective – when the right people, with the right knowledge are chosen as brand partners. According to one report 80% of marketers find influencer marketing to be an effective strategy.https://www.smartinsights.com/online-pr/influencer-marketing-effectiveness/ so it’s a no brainer as to whether or not it forms part of your marketing strategy, the biggest question is, who will be your influencer(s)?
Need help with influencer marketing campaigns?
Happy to help, love Marie Louise x firstname.lastname@example.org