Influencing Instagram: the data behind the Beauty vertical

The influencer marketing industry is dominated by the Fashion & Style and Beauty verticals, which represent half of all brand sponsored content on Instagram. Others, like Health, Travel and Fitness are growing fast, but pale in comparison.

In our post What’s influencing in Fashion & Style? we discussed what influencers are doing in the Fashion & Style vertical on Instagram and YouTube, and what’s driving engagement. In this post we focus on Instagram, and delve into the data to discover the post attributes that have delivered results in the Beauty vertical over the past three months.

Vertical Performance

The Beauty vertical was the second most prevalent on Instagram over this period, representing 16% of sponsored influencer content. The average engagement rate on these posts was 1.7%. This is around 22% lower than the best performing vertical, which was Fashion & Style.

Across the sub-verticals within Beauty the best performing were Perfumery and Makeup, which have average engagement rates closer to that in Fashion & Style.

Focus and Type

A consistent (and intuitive) result across verticals in the CampaignDeus database is that posts featuring a shot of the full influencer outperform shots featuring the sponsored product only. In the Beauty vertical the latest data puts this difference at +50%.

If we overlay the post type we see the best performing posts feature a shot of the full influencer and include some kind of giveaway / competition or discount codes. This is also common across some verticals, but is especially pronounced in Beauty.

This chart shows the engagement performance for different post type + focus combinations relative to the Beauty vertical average.

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Full influencer posts with a giveaway / competition element perform nearly twice as well as full influencer + product placement posts. The worst performing combination is Product Placement + Video / Boomerang. This may be because it’s harder to discern the product in these fast-frame shoots.


The strongest performing sponsored products are Makeup and Perform & Cologne. The most common are Skin Care product posts, which worse than average.


Taking a closer look within the Makeup product category, we see the strongest performing were Lip Makeup posts. These performed 5% better than Eye Makeup, with Face Makeup in the middle.


For further detail on the data behind the Beauty vertical or to benchmark your campaigns against the industry, get in touch.

CampaignDeus is the leading independent provider of influencer marketing campaign data for Instagram and YouTube. Our platform identifies and classifies brand sponsored influencer campaign performance metrics, tracking hundreds of thousands of posts.

We use this data to provide Brands & Agencies with industry insights across verticals, benchmark campaigns against vertical & competitor averages, and equip clients with in-depth reporting and recommendations on how to make campaigns more effective. Get in touch for more details.

Duncan Stoddard is the co-Founder and Chief Data Officer of CampaignDeus. Previously a data scientist with DS Analytics, AlphaSights and media agency Mindshare, he specializes in predictive modelling, forecasting, optimisation and data visualisation.