MAR. 23, 2017:
It’s official. Beauty brands are outnumbered by vloggers in YouTube beauty category searches by 14 to 1, according to a study by L2’s digital research team, which focused on organic visibility or naturally generated results. ‘[Brands make up] 2% of first page results across the categories we looked at,’ L2’s beauty associate director Giulia Prati told WWD. ‘It’s hard to break into because there are so many vloggers in that space.’
In reaction to this changing atmosphere, brands are rethinking traditional practices. Instead of uploading typically big-budget ads to YouTube in their original broadcast form, they are learning from the way influencers make and market their videos.
L2 took Dior’s Sauvage fragrance campaign as a prime example. The brand’s TV ad was ‘sliced and diced’ to create shorter, YouTube-friendly videos, including teasers and director cuts. These garnered 22 times the amount of organic views, on average, that the brand typically receives on the platform.
The Estée Lauder-owned I Love Makeup channel is another success story – with over 550k subscribers, it’s the only branded property that comes up when searching for color cosmetics on YouTube. Similar to Dior, the videos are episodic (see Makeup Call), or form part of a series (like Get My Look).
These changes in brand strategy tell us two things: 1. The tactics they take from beauty bloggers are the ones that work, so pay attention. 2. High five to influencers everywhere! You hold the power to push the industry in creative new directions.
So where do you go from here? It’s worth noting the areas with the most competition. Makeup tutorials have seen an incredible growth, owning the biggest share of YouTube viewership at 68.5% – up 45% from 2015. In comparison, commercials and branding videos each hold a 7% share, while beauty tips are at 5%, routines at 4.5%, vlogs at 3% and product demos at 2%.
Take this information and start to explore less saturated topics. Think about what works in a makeup tutorial and whether that can be applied to a beauty tip video or product demo. Look to successful brand accounts on YouTube to see what elements of makeup tutorials they use on their own channel.
Or take it even further and approach a brand that’s not creating blogger-style video content and pitch what you can offer as an influencer. You have a unique take on beauty, but you also have insight into creating a dialogue and forming a community with the ‘everyday’ consumer – and this kind of knowledge is invaluable to brands.
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