mmi Analytics continually analyse the state of the market, keeping a close eye on the many ways it’s evolving, and in the first half of 2022 we noticed a surprising shift in UK beauty editorial coverage.
They tracked 1,280 brands across print, online and social media (Instagram, TikTok and YouTube) over the first half of 2022 (January to June), and then compared that data to figures from the same period in 2021. Over this time, they saw a 22% decrease in the number of editorial mentions in the UK – a sudden drop that was largely driven by a decline in coverage on Instagram.
In fact, in the UK, online editorial was the only media type to see an increase in mentions. All other media types saw noticeable reductions that point to a change in the way beauty is represented. The main reason for the reduction was a fall in the number of social posts overall, and while results are inconclusive, below are key observations from us on the things beauty brands need to consider if they’re noticing drops in their own media coverage…
1. The influencers on the mmi mediaPRO reading list are posting the same percentage of beauty content compared to last year, but are posting less frequently
Instagram influencers are contributing to the reduction in media mentions, with the talent we monitored publishing 21% fewer posts overall (including non-beauty content) in 2022 compared to 2021. As such, the relative percentage of beauty posts still remained the same, but the reduction in the actual number of these posts caused the decrease we are seeing.
2. The number of products per post has not reduced
While there may be fewer beauty mentions across UK media, we ran analysis and noticed a small increase in the number of product mentions per individual post. This has gone up from 1.72 products per post in 2021 to 1.74 products per post in 2022.This is only a slight increase, but it shows that the higher volume of products per post seen during the pandemic has endured.
3. Beauty activity may have reduced as media focuses on other topics
With so much going on in the world right now, many media outlets could be moving their focus away from beauty as they shift their priorities elsewhere. New social media algorithms could also be encouraging content switch-ups, as publications and influencers experiment with new topics to see what generates engagement in the changing space. Reduced Instagram mentions could also be the result of creators increasingly moving over to TikTok, where #beauty posts have received over 112 billion views (and counting).
4. The second half of the year could see activity increase again
This quiet period for media coverage may be ‘the calm before the storm’; a time of decline before beauty mentions ramp up as we head into the busy Q4 period. The industry typically receives its highest coverage over Black Friday and the festive period, so we expect to see an uplift in mentions as discounts, gifts with purchase, gift sets and beauty advent calendars roll out.
Watch this space as our Media Wrap Up report for the full year 2022 will be published in February 2023 – and it’s sure to hold plenty more interesting, actionable insights.