When it comes to makeup reviews and demonstrations, there is nothing more powerful than a successful vlogger.
[Image credit: iStock/vgajic]
YouTube is full of videos of beauty fanatics sharing their favourite products, demonstrating techniques and generally being relatable. But what does this mean for beauty brands?
In 2014, Pixability found that beauty vloggers on YouTube racked up a collective 700 million video views a month. The report 'Beauty on YouTube: How YouTube is Radically Transforming the Beauty Industry and What that Means for Brands' showed that independent product reviewers on the video sharing site were a lot more successful than brands at developing a loyal audience and engaging those who subscribed to their channels.
The results of the report drove an increase in brand investment in YouTube content, with beauty companies creating their own videos and channels. Between January 2014 and April 2015 the viewership of beauty content created by brands for YouTube increased 35 per cent faster than the beauty industry as a whole.
In Pixability's 2015 'Beauty on YouTube' report, it was found that brand-owned beauty videos now have around 2.1 billion views. However, this is not even half the 45.3 billion total views of beauty videos available on the site.
The power of the vlogger remains, with independent video producers still managing to drive views and retain a loyalty that can't be replicated by brands. So what are beauty brands missing and how can they harness the popularity of vloggers?
Vloggers own the conversation
Although brands have an increased presence on YouTube since 2014, 95.4 per cent of the content within YouTube's beauty ecosystem in 2015 was owned by content creators. This is a slight decrease from 97 per cent the year before, but it is still a hugely powerful position.
Independent vloggers effectively own the beauty conversation, which means it is their content that appears first in searches unless a brand sponsors its videos. Vloggers have the power to say what's hot and what's not, which means they can create a negative conversation about a single product or an entire brand.
While you may not think this is a huge problem in terms of the bottom line, when you consider the fact that vloggers like Bethany Mota (macbarbie07) have over 10 million channel subscribers, the negative sentiment can grow.
Brands can make the most of this power by joining forces with a well-known vlogger or vloggers to showcase their products. This can be to advertise a new range, to challenge beauty vloggers to create looks using their makeup or to experiment with different uses for products. This allows you to engage their audience as well as yours, which could direct more potential customers to your social media and website.
Some brands have also created new lines with vloggers, allowing them to benefit from the trust that an audience has in that vlogger. L'Oreal saw the benefit of this when it joined forces with Michelle Phan to create the 'em' line in 2013, using Michelle's experience of what her audience wants to inform the type of products included in the line and their formulation.
Inspire audience loyalty and trust
The independent nature of beauty vloggers means they are typically impartial about products. While they may do sponsored posts when brands send them products to try, they are not trying to sell a brand. Instead, vloggers share their favourite products and techniques, while also being honest about any negative results.
This honesty inspires trust and loyalty among their audience, especially as the beauty industry is built on claims that products can do amazing things.
When a brand is telling its audience that a mascara will change your life and is using models to showcase the product, vloggers are showing the real results and proving to people that the same mascara is nothing special. Who is a consumer going to believe and who will they keep coming back to?
Beauty brands can make the most of loyalty and trust that vloggers inspire by giving them products to review, arranging giveaways to be advertised by a vlogger, sponsoring a post and even getting them to do a guest video on the brand's YouTube channel.
All of these options create shareable content that will help build a brand's audience. The brand will also benefit from that audience trusting its claims more, create positive conversations and sentiment.
Huge potential for social sharing
Videos created by vloggers for YouTube don't just stay on one site. There is a massive potential for sharing, with social media picking up on the trend for video content by ensuring videos can be shared and embedded with ease. This means vloggers have the potential to reach people who may not have heard of them before.
When you also consider the fact that online publications - such as Buzzfeed - regularly write articles about specific tutorials and embed the vlogger's video on the page, one video could easily go viral and reach millions.
While brands should invest in video content for higher engagement rates across social media, it can be difficult to replicate the impact that organic shares of vlogger videos has. However, creating an interesting challenge for vloggers - such as using the brand's makeup products to transform themselves into Disney characters - can help to increase the chances of that video going viral.
Harness the vlogger power
Beauty brands that work with vloggers have more opportunities to engage a larger audience and control the conversation around their products. This is why it makes sense to include vloggers within your wider marketing strategy.
Whichever route you choose to use, the visibility of vloggers and the trust they inspire among consumers can benefit large and small brands on a global scale in a way that branded advertisements are unable to do.
With the power of beauty vloggers looking to remain strong, it will definitely pay to use them to your advantage.