The Face of Beauty: How Video Marketing is Leading the Way!
Video marketing is consistently growing, with video predicted to account for 69% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2017. Really, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise, given the awareness of today’s tech savvy population. Companies can’t sell like they used to; audiences seek engagement, entertainment and shareable content that provokes a reaction, which explains why videos are now more widely shared than any other type of marketing content!
When it comes to video marketing, there are many benefits, one of the biggest being reach. YouTube receives over one billion unique visitors every month, that’s more than any other channel, excluding Facebook. To put that into perspective, it’s reported that one in three Britons view at least one online video a week. That’s a weekly audience of more than 20 million people in the UK alone. Now I bet that’s got your attention!
By providing human interaction and honest advice (which is often missing from online sales), video has become one of the most powerful tools in the beauty industry for both customer growth and retention. This doesn’t necessarily come directly from the brand themselves; in actual fact, it’s quite the opposite… 95.4% of YouTube’s beauty ecosystem is made up of video content produced by Beauty Vloggers. These are a group of fun-loving, product-reviewing individuals, who share their loves, loathes, tips and tricks on anything beauty related, often from the comfort of their own bedrooms – from hair regimes and routines, to make-up applications, product evaluations, and tanning dos and don’ts. You name it, they’ll cover it!
In recent years, the number of Beauty Vloggers has significantly increased, resulting in YouTube experiencing a 50% growth rate in beauty video views from January 2014 to April 2015. The total views currently stands at a remarkable 45.3 billion, with 182.6 thousand Beauty Vlogger channels and 123.2 million beauty subscribers! So why are Beauty Vloggers so successful and what benefit do they provide to brands?
I think 3 key words can be used to describe why Beauty Vloggers are so popular… authentic, honest and relatable. This year, it was revealed that the 5 most influential celebrities among teens, aged 15-18, are YouTube stars. Unlike A-list celebrities, Beauty Vloggers make viewers think “we could be friends” and “you’re just like me”, enabling a relationship that’s built purely on trust and respect. The intimacy of ‘vlogging’ allows audiences to feel connected to someone, rather than something. It’s this that distinguishes a Beauty Vlogger from a beauty brand.
So for brands, Beauty Vloggers are a way in… A way to get their audience’s attention. To fast track this process, brands often send samples to Beauty Vloggers for them to review. You can pretty much guarantee that if the Beauty Vlogger loves it, their viewers will love it too! For example, it’s reported that if top vlogger Zoella recommends a Topshop product, there is a 40% click-through-rate to the Topshop site… Sounds great doesn’t it!
However, it is important to remember that this method of marketing isn’t risk free. What’s to say the product will be liked? Don’t underestimate the power of these influential individuals that pride themselves on honesty. It works exactly the same the other way around – if the Beauty Vlogger doesn’t like it, their audience probably won’t either! To overcome this, a popular form of beauty video content is Brand-Sponsored Giveaway Videos. As the title suggests, brands provide a prize in order for the Beauty Vlogger to run a competition. This naturally increases their exposure, and ensures it’s in a positive light. Companies often use this tactic when launching a new product!
It is important to note that brands do take an active role in producing video content as well. It may be a small percentage in comparison, but they own 4.6% of the YouTube beauty ecosystem. The strongest brand channels boast a diverse array of content, from tutorials (with the use of their own products, of course), to giveaways and celebrity ambassador interviews. However, it has been noted that a number of brands opt for new identities/partnerships when creating their channels, rather than fronting them simply with their own brand name. For example, L’Oreal Paris launched their channel “Destination Beauty”, whilst Estée Lauder Companies created a second channel, “Ilovemakeupoffical”. Again, I think this comes down to audience perception – as the content appears to come from secondary sources, viewers instantly feel it’s unbiased, authentic and don’t believe they are being sold too.
Alongside YouTube, Instagram is now a widely-used platform for video content in the beauty industry. Despite the 15-second limitation, it’s particularly popular and successful for cosmetics brands. Benefit and Birchbox, for example, have been embracing this opportunity by creating mini tutorials, that provide quick solutions for consumers, or promo-style videos for new product launches. This type of content is an in-expensive form of marketing for brands, which drives traffic directly to their website or YouTube channel, where the full video versions can be viewed.
The future of video content within the beauty arena is predicted to follow industry trends, placing high emphasis on mature clients and male grooming. Mature beauty video content experienced an 81% growth rate in views from January 2014 to April 2015, with monthly views growing significantly faster than YouTube’s overall beauty offering. Similarly, monthly views of male grooming content on YouTube doubled from November 2013 to May 2014. It seems that the days when you advised your mum on what moisturiser to use, or your partner on what hair product to go for, are slowly drifting away as video content is fast becoming the go-to advice source for all demographics.
Ultimately, the overall goal for any marketer is for their video content to go viral! The more people that view and interact with the video, the stronger the results will be. To ensure video content is well received, it needs to do any of these 3 things: contain psychological drivers (such as humour or intrigue), provide information or be relatable. This explains why Beauty Vloggers have become almost invaluable to the beauty industry – they often manage to achieve all three, which is no mean feat!
So to finish up, why not check out the top Beauty Vlogger and brand channels on YouTube. Do they make you want to hit the shops and try out the latest products they’re loving? Let us know via @gmdesign.
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