Business Insights | Are consumers “numb” to Internet celebrities?

With the long-term dominance of short videos in the social media marketing highlands, the mass marketing strategy of influencers has enjoyed the traffic dividends for a long time.

Launchmetrics data shows that newer short video platforms such as Douyin and TikTok have driven strong growth in brand media impact value (MIV), with the TikTok platform being the strongest driving force, increasing the MIV of beauty brands by 176%. Moreover, the videos with the highest media influence value on TikTok are usually no more than 1 minute, and the protagonists are often celebrities, Internet celebrities or entertainment content.

Especially for the beauty industry, KOL is an important marketing link. In the first half of 2022, KOLs created more than $5.6 billion in MIV, becoming the most powerful voice in the beauty industry, which is indeed more reliant on influencer marketing than the fashion industry, especially in the Chinese market. In the beauty industry in 2021, the media will capture 38% of MIV globally (excluding China). When measuring the Chinese market alone, the influence of the media is weak, accounting for only 15% of MIV, while the influence of Internet celebrity KOL Can account for 77% of MIV, the proportion in the world is only 37%.

According to data from CBNData, in 2020, short video platforms such as Douyin and Kuaishou are the main channels for advertising in the beauty industry, of which Douyin accounts for 24%. On the Douyin platform, the number of hot-selling products such as beauty and skin care and delicate makeup ranks in the top five, and the main category that accounts for the highest proportion of Douyin’s leading goods is also beauty and skin care.

Internet celebrities gather popularity through social media with their own personality, taste or professional knowledge, form a certain social asset, and then rely on a fixed fan group to conduct targeted marketing to convert fan attention into purchasing power. This traffic channel is called “influencer marketing”.

KOLs with many fans have also verified the effectiveness of this closed marketing loop for the fashion industry many times in the past-the sales have exploded after countless “passionate orders”, which has rapidly expanded the market for the brand. However, traffic dividends have peaked, information has exploded, and consumers’ fatigue in brand marketing, especially online celebrity marketing, is gradually showing. How should the current fashion industry view online celebrity marketing, especially for beauty brands with higher investment volume, compared with fashion luxury goods such as jewelry watches, clothing and handbags, beauty makeup has fast consumption and lower customer unit price. attributes, would KOLs be the best option? 

The most direct reason is that the same promotion wording and blunt sales model – “must buy list in live broadcast room”, “sweet wool strategy”, “must fail single product” and KOL rack their brains for merchants to embed them in short videos In recent years, consumers have become tired of important shopping nodes.

At its root, the Internet economy is developing in depth, the global e-commerce trend is prominent, consumers choose to consume more channels and scenarios, and brand marketing has also entered the stage of full coverage online and offline, resulting in consumers being exposed to the Internet everywhere. Marketing, and even “forced” bloggers to clarify “non-wide” and “no-wide” in their notes.

Faced with the uncertainty of the general environment, consumers are more willing to pay for the necessary expenses. When impulsive consumption fades, celebrities and Internet celebrity recommendations are no longer highly sought after, and the bonus period brought by Internet celebrity marketing will disappear immediately.

A new study by data research and insights firm Launchmetrics finds that “consumer fatigue” caused by excessive brand marketing has a particularly pronounced impact on the beauty industry. The study looked at 741 beauty brands with a combined media impact value (MIV) of $12.5 billion and 3.1 million marketing placements. Launchmetrics quantifies the interaction and impact of each brand-related post, which measures the value a brand generates in overall marketing.

“In times of economic uncertainty, beauty products are considered an affordable luxury, but now people are increasingly feeling the consumer fatigue associated with marketing,” Launchmetrics noted in its research.

The data does bear this out, and while social media has been the main channel for MIV growth, consumer engagement on social media has declined year over year, especially on the more “traditional” social media.

Instagram and YouTube are still the powerhouses of influencer marketing, but their annual MIVs have both declined, “gone are the days of beauty vloggers offering in-depth tutorials,” Launchmetrics wrote, usually in 10-minute-plus instructional classes Long-form videos still performed best on YouTube, but YouTube saw a 21% drop in total MIV compared to the July 2020-June 2021 period.

The essence of influencer marketing is the establishment of trust relationships. It is to build a bridge closer to users in the public forum of social media. It plays a powerful role in the consumer decision-making link.

It is undeniable that the influence of celebrity influencers is still huge, but consumers are increasingly skeptical of celebrities.

In these times of increasing uncertainty, the vast majority of consumers lack confidence in what they see online, according to a global social media study, Wave X-Remix Culture. Only 8% believed that the information posted on social media was true and reliable, and if it was posted by high-influencers such as influencers, the “trustworthy” ratio dropped to 4%.

Data from Launchmetrics also shows that 67% of consumers have low levels of trust in celebrities, especially when it comes to health and beauty products. At the same time, the annual average MIV for celebrity beauty brands is also falling.

It is not difficult to find that the intensive brand marketing of brands with high frequency and high penetration on multiple platforms will cause consumers to have aesthetic fatigue and “reverse” psychology, and at the same time will cause consumers to have a crisis of trust in brands and KOLs. But at the moment when the Internet celebrity economy is on fire, the birth of Internet celebrities is comparable to mass-making stars. The impact of the large-scale production of Internet celebrities has accelerated the public’s aesthetic fatigue to a certain extent. How to extend the life cycle of Internet celebrities has also become a crucial part of Internet celebrity marketing.

Secondly, content advantages have always been the key to KOLs gaining marketing discourse power, and high-quality content is also the underlying logic for the explosion of traffic on many platforms. It is undeniable that content dissemination is also an efficient and fast marketing method. By creating content that fits your own tonality to reach the target group, you can either arouse the curiosity of users and arouse continuous attention, or achieve emotional resonance to narrow the distance between yourself and the audience. This allows the continuous generation of traffic, and even the possibility of secondary transmission.

But now, fake traffic is no longer a secret in the field of online celebrity marketing. With the frequent occurrence of “false grass-growing notes” and “false data”, problems such as the overturning of online celebrities with goods, and the worrying quality of products with goods have caused the platform and KOLs themselves to fall into trouble. A deeper “crisis of trust” has occurred, causing direct traffic damage such as fans’ withdrawal.

Whether it is a fashion luxury brand or a beauty brand, the brand mind of consumers is not formed in a day. Brands need to carry out coherent content narratives and experience activities from all parties in order to finally occupy a place among target consumers.

Although beauty products have strong fast-moving attributes, if beauty brands want to take a long-term value path, they must not stick to the marketing idea of ​​”making quick money”. When the expression and communication of the brand lose its uniqueness and creativity capacity, and its competitiveness is bound to be continuously diluted. 

When the concepts and narratives of beauty brands become an important factor that resonates among consumers, the brand digs deep into its own cultural attributes and brings textured and in-depth content to consumers, which will help itself in the market where new brands continue to enter. At the same time, as beauty consumers tend to be younger, Metaverse has become the next battleground for beauty brands. How to establish a new marketing model in the virtual space for Preparing for the arrival of the main consumer force in the future is a topic that brands need to think about and explore; and the increasingly segmented needs of beauty consumers also mean that brands should adopt more diversified marketing strategies to seek more for themselves. growth point.

It is undeniable that from the perspective of young brands developing markets and ensuring their own viability, online celebrity marketing can indeed achieve short-term sales transformation and “conquer” emerging markets. But in any case, what needs to be kept in mind is that even if the KOL marketing chain of Internet celebrities still exists, considering the comprehensive literacy required by the fashion industry, “Internet celebrity brand” is indeed a false proposition. WWD

By Lucy Geng

Edited by Lee, yalta

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