The internet is becoming more social, and as a result, influencer marketing in becoming an increasingly important part of the marketing mix. Influencers dominate social media marketing because of their ability to connect with people on a human level – establishing relevance, building trust, and driving purchase decision. It explains why the influencer marketing industry s growing and expected to be worth $15 billion by the end of 2022.
As social media continues to permeate the digital landscape, we are seeing more influencers appearing in more place. Likewise, we are seeing the emergence of new platforms that focus specific verticalized functionality to better address the needs of niche communities.
Beauty represents one of the largest online communities and its influencers have long been a vital part of the creator economy. From the early days of YouTube and blogs, beauty has been a staple vertical for connect creators and brand marketers – it represents the perfect intersection of social media and commerce after all.
Early beauty influencer and Ipsy co-founder Michelle Phan is one example of the dramatic impact influencers can have on the cosmetics industry. Backed by a devoted YouTube audience of nine million – and a whole lot of ad revenue earnings – Phan launched the wildly successful personalized beauty subscription service, amassing a million subscribers in just over three years. Now Phan as shifted her focus and powerful influence from Ipsy to her own brand.
Phan epitomizes how the right influencer can catapult a new product offering or an entire cosmetics brand into the mainstream in the blink of the eye – something that used to take considerably that used to resources to archive through conventional marketing. So, naturally, people are trying to leverage the appeal and power of influencers through new avenues.
Harnessing the power of influencers
Back to that growing trend: the verticalization of social media communities.
The last decade has introducing a variety of niche sites – from Fish-brain, an eleven-million-user-strong platform for anglers, to Twitch, the livestreaming gamin community with over nine million members.
Newness in one of the latest entrants, the brainchild of two former Twitch employees who thought that beauty needed its own dedicated social community.
With Newness, they’ve set out to tailor to the beauty community, unique, and immersive experience than YouTube and other platforms provide or will provide.
Will beauty flock to Newness?
Whether or not beauty fans and creators will embrace – or be able to sustain – a dedicated social platform depends on several factors.
The main challenge for any new platform is providing and inherently differentiated experience than existing social platforms, which provides enough value users to justify the switching costs from more established platforms. Newness positions its live steaming and chat features as its unique appeal. Both align well with beauty’s bread-and-butter content like product unboxings, makeup tutorials, wardrobe tours, and products review. But these features’ real aim is to provide something bigger, authenticity at a higher level – removing general filters and pre-set effects in order to focus users and replacing them with more candid and interactive conversation among creators and fans.
Fans will likely find Newness’ features appealing, particularly the ability to engage with creators and influencers in real time. And Newness’ reward system, “crystals” (tokens) which can be exchanged for beauty products, may make it a more exciting and rewarding place to engage. The content monitor Newness assigns to each creator should forester a more inclusive and welcoming environment, free of the toxicity that’s known to permeate other platforms.
So, it’s pretty clear what’s in it for beauty fans. But what’s about creators?Newness’ biggest challenge is convincing creators with an established fanbase and lucrative and revenue elsewhere to try a new platform.
Influencers are known to care deeply about their audience – they’ve worked hard to build a following based on trust and emotional connection. So, they won’t change platforms without a compelling reason.
Whether features like private and public streaming options, live chat, and the promise of beauty products for engaged subscribers will entice them remains to be seen.
And of course, live streaming may not appeal to certain established creators. Some might reject the idea of scheduling a specific time to create content. Others may consider editing and special effects a critical part of their brand or creative process.
What Newness Means for Beauty
Newness’ success – at least in this introductory stage – depends on its ability to attracts new talent and have them create engaging, fresh content.
That’s how “new” social platforms like TikTok became successful. Charli D’Amelio started posting dance routines to trending songs and built a following of 100 million within a year. She earned $4 million on the platform in 2020. Singer-songwriter Jax amassed a smaller following of nearly six million posting parodies of popular sings. Her burgeoning influence led to recent record deal with Atlantic. Both were brand-new creators who reaped huge rewards and achieved influence by joining an innovative platform in its infancy.
If Newness can generate buzz and become the go-to community for beauty, we’ll start to see the emergence of new influencers from the platform. At that point, Newness will achieve that special distinction of being a niche social community that can sustain itself. And beauty will rejoice.