We recently highlighted in our Influencer Marketing Predictions for 2021 that as we enter the new year, brands would have to continue to embrace new platforms when approaching marketing strategies. As the UK enters its third national lockdown and the rest of the globe remains in limbo regarding COVID restrictions, in-person influencer and marketing events hosted by brands may continue to be delayed.
Many successful fashion and beauty brands would usually hold promotional events where they invite influencers to try their latest products, host activities, and provide gifts for influencers to enjoy and share on their platforms for brand exposure. COVID restrictions mean that brands have had to reformulate this model, now sending their new products and gifts to influencers and communicating with them virtually.
Virtual event successes
Brands have successfully engaged influencers in this new online event model, with successful names such as Bare Minerals and Grazia teaming together for a week-long virtual beauty event that allowed beauty brands to have their products featured and promoted in webinars. The event also showcased popular influencers such as Made in Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh, Instagrammer, and Youtuber Jamie Genevieve, and skincare guru, Caroline Hirons, discussing their personal favourite makeup brands and tips. This setup allowed the organisers to promote themselves on popular influencers’ social media platforms as well as these influencers getting exposure from an international publication.
Beauty brand Benefit cosmetics also embraced the online event model by hosting a virtual cocktail masterclass to promote their Christmas gift sets, which also allowed them to maintain and celebrate their relationships with influencers they would usually invite to a traditional end-of-year party. Hosting such events online creates an experience that feels more personal than attending a party filled with hundreds of guests.
The rise and accessibility of online events and masterclasses has also allowed beauty influencers themselves to host and present their own online masterclasses, where they may usually not have hosted large in-person events. Kirsten Coleman, the artist behind the trademark rhinestone makeup looks featured in HBO drama Euphoria, recently hosted a free Zoom masterclass for those who wanted to learn how to recreate her signature looks. This type of event at zero cost would not be possible if it were hosted in person; Zoom allowed this masterclass to be easily accessible for a wide audience, which is a positive for the influencers’ reach and growth.
The future of virtual events
Keeping up to date with the newsletters and social platforms of the brands you follow will allow consumers to be notified of the latest virtual events and launches, hosted by brands and influencers. The engagement in these resources will allow beauty and fashion brands to assess and plan the future of how they host influencer and marketing events depending on their performance and feedback, adapting influencer marketing strategies as the event industry evolves.