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Celeb-preneurs: The Rise of the Beauty Bloggers
The transition from beauty blogger to successful beauty entrepreneur is becoming a growing international trend. After beauty bloggers and social media influencers have amassed a loyal following, the most natural career move is to use their marketing knowledge and influence as thought leaders, to fill gaps in the market with their own brands. These ‘Celeb-preneurs’ are using their social media clout and invaluable knowledge of what works for their followers to create their own franchises.
Social capital now easily translates into financial capital when fanbases are converted into long-lasting franchises. The success for beauty influencers lies in their ability to utilize their media personality to drive sales, awareness and hype around products.
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that social media influencers now play a pivotal role in the customer’s purchasing journey. Consumers are no longer prepared to trust the product reviews printed in glossy magazines or to fall for the sales pitches made at the beauty counter. Before they are comfortable with a commitment to purchase they tend to search online for a demonstration of the beauty product in action. It’s the perfect way to evaluate an item and see it in use without having to make a purchase, wait for a sample or physically visit a store. Research conducted by PR agency BPG Cohn & Wolfe found that 71% of UAE residents aged 18 between 40 seek guidance from social media influencers before making a final purchase. The shift has been seen in the Middle East more than any other region as beauty influencers, media personalities and vloggers are all keen to use new platforms in a way that allows them to express themselves. Traditionally, in the Middle East, media was conservative and often limited self-expression, however platforms such as YouTube have enabled beauty influencers to freely project their own personality and tone to really connect with their audience.
A growing number of leading beauty brands in UAE are more than happy to pay top beauty influencers sums of over $5,000 USD for a single Instagram post; reinforcing the belief in how invaluable beauty bloggers are within the current beauty industry market. Beauty blogger endorsements are now seen as one of the most effective ways for the bigger brands to attract consumer attention as they compete with the ever-rising number of independent franchises. There are over 500 well known influencers in the UAE alone and it is not uncommon for these influencers to receive anywhere between $1,000 – $5,000 USD for a single endorsement. The bond between brand and blogger is getting even stronger as, by allowing ‘real people’ to review their products, brands gain a much deeper level of trust with their consumers in comparison to other traditional methods of advertising.
The beauty bloggers’ ability to create hype around products, now sees them getting a lot more than mere affirmation as their ‘likes’ turn to cash. US based fitness influencer Emily Skye just one of many influencers making their way onto the Young Rich Lists. Not alone does she have over 12 million followers across her social media channels, she’s also sitting on a staggering net worth of $32 million USD according to various sources.
Beauty Blogger Success Stories
- Huda Kattan
After starting out as ‘just’ another beauty blogger Huda Kattan is now a global household name. The Iraqi-American beauty blogger has gained over 25 million followers on Instagram through her DIY beauty tutorials. Her loyal following has helped her to achieve a dominant position in the beauty industry with her prestigious make up business Huda Beauty. Building on her followers’ shared desire for beauty products to suit different skin characteristics and tone, she created products which were suited to countries and cultures around the world. Harnessing the power of her followers, Kattan has created a multinational empire; transitioning from beauty influencer to entrepreneur by collaborating with well established brands to create bespoke product lines.
- Lana El Sahely
Lana El Sahely teamed up with world renowned make-up artist Bassam Fattouh to create their own distinctly unique product line. The Lebanese fashion blogger made her products available exclusively through her own e-commerce platform rather than heading down the typical retail channels. Her success proves just how far the dynamics have shifted between agencies, the media, influencer culture and social platforms.
The key to entrepreneurship for beauty bloggers lies in their ability to attract and hold their audience with compelling content and loyalty to their followers. In return they receive a high degree of attention and trust from fans, unlike traditional marketing. The obvious next step for an influencer, after gaining such a high level of consumer trust, is to cash in on their social capital by creating a brand for themselves.
Just a few years ago, social media beauty influencers in UAE simply didn’t exist. But in a staggeringly short space of time they have established themselves as an increasingly credible method of advertising.