Beauty brands were some of the first to whole-heartedly adopt Instagram into their strategy, and they’re still setting trends today.
There are more than 95 million posts shared on Instagram every single day — in the feed alone — so you can imagine how much higher that figure would be if it included Instagram Stories data. In fact, in the eight years since Instagram Stories launched, Instagram usage has doubled. The simple fact that the amount of content shared increases each day, means it’s harder for brands to stand out and garner engagement.
Since the Instagram algorithm is ruled by engagement, this is where brands should start if they want to grow, drive sales, and build meaningful connections with their audiences. The level of engagement your content receives plays a role in your visibility in the feed, so it should be a key focus to grow the amount of interaction you receive on each post. It’s the classic notion of the chicken and egg — but for social, it’s reach and engagement.
So, what do people engage with? We dug into the data and found six high-level trends that are driving engagement for many beauty brands:
Yes, terms like ‘clean’ and ‘sustainable’ can be buzzwords for some brands — make sure this isn’t the case. Audiences don’t want to be talked down to, and are increasingly weary of inflated environmentally-friendly promises. According to Instagram, Gen Z seeks out ‘climate-proof’ beauty products that don’t have a negative impact on the environment.
Another tip from Instagram’s 2023 trend report, don’t be afraid to try bold new trends. Gen Z is primarily inspired by expressive makeup techniques that don’t necessarily focus on traditional beauty.
Focus less on beautifying, and lean into artistic expression, bold colors, and graphic designs.
Give your audience a close-up visual of product texture, viscosity, and overall appearance while indulging in the underpainting trend. Popularized by makeup artist Mary Phillips (notable clients include Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and a slew of other models) underpainting involves creating a seamless marriage between your foundation and contour by carving out the face initially, and applying a light-to-medium weight foundation on top, blending the contour out during application. From there, apply highlighter, bronzer, and blush depending on preference. This is a great trend to highlight a wide variety of products in an organic and educational way for your audience.
Skincare brand? Highlight your best product to remove an underpainted makeup look.
Close-up beauty and application shots still reign supreme — whether you’re a skincare brand or a makeup brand, highlighting natural texture and pigment, whether on the face or swatched is a key visual trend that will continue into 2023.
Close-up video and visual shots give viewers a realistic idea of what products look like on the skin, how they might perform, and offer a tactile and sensory experience that can be hard to capture in photos (and sometimes even video) — embrace imperfections and texture.
Micro and nano influencers don’t necessarily have the most followers, but they do have a lot of engagement, and nano influencers are certainly on the rise. In fact, nano influencers (influencers with 1,000-5,000 followers) receive 213% higher engagement rates, and 192% higher effectiveness rates than micro influencers. This is a great opportunity for smaller brands, or the rare brand that’s yet to tread into influencer marketing and wants to start small in their strategy.
Dash Hudson’s Influencer Relationships tool is a huge asset for marketers looking for the best influencer partnership opportunities. The tool finds the most engaged influencers among your followers and gives you meaningful insights like ROI, influencer comparisons, and precise analytics that help you make data-informed decisions.
It can be tempting to jump on the latest trend, after all, they’re trends because they’re popular with a particular audience. Trends can be helpful when brands are looking for new ideas, trying to break into new categories, or engage a new demographic — however, there’s a lot to be said about carving your own path to foster a deeper connection with your unique audience.
You might already post these types of images and videos on your brand’s feed, and while that’s great, industry macro trends won’t necessarily perform with every unique audience. So an important question still remains — what trends visually resonate with your community?
There is such a thing as a data-backed creative genius, and it is possible for data and creativity to coexist in a wonderfully productive partnership. It’s called Vision.
Vision is Dash Hudson’s visual intelligence technology which can see images much like we do. With this technology, your team is empowered with the most impactful insights for visual content you’ve ever come across. Vision can identify engaging trends and show you areas of opportunity within your content strategy. Because every brand and every audience is different, Vision’s algorithms are unique too. Vision learns what your audience likes about specific elements of your content in real time. This means that you can identify the micro and macro trends that resonate with your unique, human customers.
Insight like this gives you extra security and insight when it comes to scrutinizing each and every image from a campaign shoot, or deciding which image to put first on a carousel. While you save time on everyday decision-making, you can spend more time planning your global media strategy, engaging with your audience, or honing your brand ambassador program.
The top 5 most followed beauty influencers on Instagram are:
Getting more followers from the beauty community is similar to any other community on Instagram — explore audience demographics, creative conversations and speak to them meaningfully, create organic content, and don’t be afraid to start your own trends.
Accessibility in all forms, from application to packaging, is set to emerge as a big trend in 2023. From arthritis-friendly packaging from Rare Beauty to the recently announced HAPTA technology by L’Oréal (a precise digital makeup applicator meant to assist people with limited hand and arm mobility), the research, development, release, and promotion of a range of accessible beauty products is projected to trend further in 2023.