The Beauty of Instagram: Part 1

The Beauty of Instagram: Part 1

For the past few years, YouTube was the place to be if you want to break into the beauty guru game, and was the premier destination to discover which beauty products were worth buying. Self-produced videos of makeup tutorials and product reviews were so popular that beauty vloggers like Michelle Phan gained minor celebrity status.

Beauty Marketing and Instagram | Blueprint

Beauty and cosmetic enthusiasts determine their purchase decisions on user reviews. If you have a cosmetic company and Phan gives you a good review, or even simply used one of your products in a look, sales were guaranteed.

Unfortunately, the popularity of those videos and their creators has resulted in a flood of YouTube “beauty experts”, which has diluted the quality of the YouTube beauty community. In addition, more and more mainstream cosmetic companies are paying popular vloggers to be spokespeople; drawing the authenticity of product reviews into question, and it’s no surprise that many beauty enthusiasts have gone in search of something better.

That something better is Instagram.

Instant Intimacy

Part of the appeal of beauty vlogging to fans was the perceived level of intimacy. Questions asked in the comments of one video would often be answered in the next video and followers would be asked to decide what look or product should be featured in a future video, but even with these interactions the fans were still basically just an audience.

Instagram takes the intimacy of YouTube and amplifies it. Creating quality beauty-based content for YouTube requires special equipment and a lot of time, in contrast all it takes to create quality content for Instagram is a digital camera and internet access; both things that are features of most cell phones.

This means that users are no longer separated into the active and passive categories of content creator and audience. On Instagram, everyone is both.

The ease of creating content for Instagram also means that it tends to be more candid. Sure, you can follow your favorite beauty guru on YouTube and be notified when each of her edited and polished videos is posted, or you can follow her on Instagram and get her early morning #NoMakeup selfies and snapshots of her adorable dog sent straight to your personal feed.

These candid glimpses foster intimacy, and intimacy enables trust. That’s where Instagram becomes especially valuable from a marketing standpoint.

(Almost) Instant Marketing

In addition to making it incredibly easy for users to create and publish content, Instagram makes it equally easy to categorize and search for specific content. The moment a picture is posted with your brand’s hashtag it becomes a piece of marketing for you.

All it takes is a click and prospective customers have access to reviews, mini-tutorials, inspirational images and more, and it’s all user-generated content. I’ll explain the immense marketing potential of this in my next post, The Beauty of Instagram, part 2.

By: Victoria Vener
  • Joshua Bains

    Every platform creates a feeling based on how it operates. One interface keeps people at a distance, another can help them feel closer. But you can’t have it all every time.

  • Naima

    Great job explaining Instagram, and how it works for business branding.

  • Kara Lane

    Instagram has become a popular way to reach and connect with your audience. Victoria, your post explains some of the ways you can use Instagram to appeal to your audience in terms of intimacy and trust, or as a marketing tool. Many brands have turned to this, and it is easy to use, and publish your content in an instant.

  • Chuniq Inpower

    I love Instagram and for many brands, its a great way to draw in your consumers with more personalized content. The ability to tell stories through images and video is invaluable. I follow a few MUAs like MakeupShayla and rennyvasquez for my daily dose of makeup inspiration. Who are some of your favorites?

  • Elizabeth Weaver

    I LOVE THIS! As a fan of beauty vloggers on YouTube, it has been very interesting to see how the landscape has changed over time. I agree that the flood of “beauty experts” has diluted the concept. However, it’s cool to see how different platforms offer different things to consumers. I think Joshua makes a good point as well though, that you can’t necessarily have it all with one platform. I look forward to Part 2, Victoria! Instagram is wonderful for user-generated content. Great job!

  • Thanks for this post. I’m so used to thinking of Instagram as a platform for foodies and celebrities that I didn’t even consider how useful it could be for beauty experts and the cosmetic industry.

  • John

    It is interesting how Instagram works so well for certain industries. Cool article!