Influencer events have become an increasingly popular way for brands to engage with both macro and micro influencers. In our 2018 Influencer Marketing Report, influencer collaboration for events was the second-most popular scenario for engaging with influencers (28.1% of professionals surveyed said they choose to work with influencers mainly for events, second only to product launches with 41.6%).
On top of that, 89.8% of professionals responded that sending out event invites was a marketing tactic they used. So the significance of events as a way to connect with influencers — and tap into their followers — shouldn’t be understated.
So what options do beauty brands have when it comes to events? And what are some examples of social events that have allowed major brands to successfully connect with influencers? Let’s take a look.
Influencer Events in the Beauty Industry
1. Tarte Cosmetics and #trippinwithtarte
Tarte Cosmetics dedicates a mammoth budget to influencer events, regularly flying YouTube vloggers and Instagram beauty gurus on all-expenses-paid holidays. Past trips have taken influencers to exotic destinations like Bora Bora, Turks and Caicos, and Kauai. Tarte unifies these travel campaigns under the hashtag #trippinwithtarte.
Tarte’s marketing team knows that influencer voices are both powerful and far-reaching, so these luxurious influencer events are specifically designed to maximize exposure. Beautiful locations and enviable activities — like luxury boat rides, snorkelling, and zip lines — all but guarantee that influencers will generate content constantly throughout the trip. Furthermore, Tarte uses the events as part of a wider strategy to foster deep and long-term relationships with influencers, thus turning them into ambassadors of the brand.
Through carefully-selected influencers, Tarte is able to reach millions of consumers both before, during, and after each #trippinwithtarte influencer event.
2. Benefit Cosmetics BADGalBang Mascara Launch
Launching a new mascara was a big deal for Benefit, who was already the market leader in the mascara space. So with the introduction of their BADgal BANG mascara they decided to engage with social influencers to help build anticipation and generate buzz. For their February 2018 launch they invited 250 guests, including press and key influencers, to a space-themed event at the Cochrane Theatre in London. The key social media moment? A specially-designed spaceship touching down on stage.
As anticipated, guests whipped out their phones to simultaneously broadcast the unique event on social, causing the #BADGalBang hashtag to trend globally on Twitter and Instagram. According to the agency behind the launch, the event captured a potential total reach of over 35 million people.
3. Bobbi Brown Girl Crush Influencer Event
Bobbi Brown are known for being a traditional brand and a go-to for natural makeup. But with 2017’s launch of Crushed Lip Color, a high-impact color line, the brand made a bold step in a new direction. At the same time, they expanded their marketing efforts to appeal more to the Millennial crowd, developing new influencer marketing strategies.
“We’re not changing our philosophy,” Bobbi Brown’s President Sandra Main told WWD. “We’re not changing how we express ourselves — but the platforms that allow us to express ourselves are so much broader in today’s world that it gives us the opportunity to speak to a much larger community and for that community to speak on our behalf, as well.”
So how did they engage with that community? For one thing, by hosting a three-day event in New York City and inviting beauty and lifestyle influencers to attend. One blogger reported that there were 25 influencers in attendance with a combined social media reach of around 25 million. The event included photographable activities like a flower-crown workshop, street style photoshoot, makeup sessions, and cocktail evening.
Further expanding the social reach of the campaign, Bobbi Brown invited all their customers to share a selfie of themselves wearing Crushed Lip Color, for a chance to be featured on their website.
4. Armani Box NYC Launch
Veteran social influencers Aimee Song and Camila Coelho — who have a combined reach of over 12 million followers on Instagram alone — both attended the New York launch of Armani Box, the brand’s beauty pop-up. And yet, if you scour both their accounts you’ll find next to no coverage of the event; only a single post each announcing their attendance.
So what was the social media strategy behind inviting the two bloggers?
Armani Beauty’s marketing team was creating a different type of influencer event. Rather than using Song and Coelho for content creation, they used them as the star attraction, tapping into their celebrity power in order to draw a crowd. And it worked, with the store packing out with beauty fans as the bloggers hosted a live makeup tutorial and gave customers advice on what colors to shop for.
5. Fresh Cosmetics Cambodia Trip Campaign
Fresh are another beauty brand to sponsor influencers on promotional trips to exciting locations. In late 2017 they swept a group of lifestyle influencers off to Cambodia for an influencer event in celebration of their lotus range of products.
During the trip, the influencers were able to get up close and personal with lotus flowers in their natural habitat, giving them a new understanding and appreciation of the key ingredient of the product range. From this activity, Fresh was able to create a deeper connection between the influencers and the product, foster a personal relationship between them and the brand, and provide them with accurate and in-depth information about the product that they could then pass onto their followers.
Having a strategy like this one, that hits multiple goals with one event, ensures marketing dollars are well spent.
These are just 5 examples of influencer events that prove how powerful the right voices can be at the right time. Of course, two very important factors to success are knowing which influencers to collaborate with, and having the right tools to test and measure the impact of your marketing efforts. Investing a big chunk of your budget into influencer events can seem risky and you’ll want to prove the potential ROI coming from this expense. Luckily, there are platforms that can not only help manage and organize these types of events, but also tools that can help you track the media and social footprint.
Harper’s Bazaar is just one example of a company which intelligently took advantage of such tools at their Women of the Year event to generate reports and gain insights on the effectiveness of their strategy. See the full success story here.