Beauty is big business
Depending on how out-of-control your make-up obsession is, you may not be surprised to learn that the beauty industry is worth $62 billion a year1. And, like any global industry worth such a vast amount of money, it’s a hugely competitive space for brands to get their message across. At the heart of this lucrative market is YouTube – a thriving hub for millions of beauty conversations.
However, the real interest and authority on YouTube doesn’t belong to the brands themselves but rather the vloggers. A study by Pixability2 revealed that 86% of the 200 most-viewed videos on YouTube were created by influencers, not brands.
Real voices, real beauty
The story behind the influencers’ dominance of beauty engagement on YouTube is a familiar one. Tired and mistrustful of one-way exchanges with brands, women go in search of an authentic, knowledgeable voice – someone they can actually have a conversation with.
And if that’s the reason so many women are seeking beauty inspiration from vloggers, it’s also why smart brands are looking to work with the same influential voices.
Nowadays, many credible beauty brands are actively partnering with YouTube influencers to help show off their products and tell their stories.
Some big beauty brands have even gone so far as to ask influential vloggers to create a range for them – with L’Oreal collaborating with Michelle Phan (one of YouTube’s 5 most viewed beauty vloggers this year3) to design and launch her own range of cosmetics.
It’s a strategy that works. When beauty brand Becca invited vlogger Jaclyn Hill to create a limited edition highlighter it broke Sephora records for sales on a first day of launch4.
But even the less dramatic creative partnerships are still proving a successful strategy for brands. ‘Unboxing videos’, for example, are a growing trend that has already earned more than 20 million YouTube searches5.
And these simple showcases of beauty products being taken out of their packaging and used by vloggers, apparently help 66% of beauty shoppers to better visualise the products they want to buy.
While some of the more traditional voices in the fashion industry can be less-than-welcoming to social media influencers, beauty brands certainly recognise the benefits.
Even some of the most important people in the beauty business, such as Clinique’s Global Brand President Jane Lauder, admit that vloggers are now their industry’s most influential voice.
After all, YouTube beauty-lovers are not only a huge, highly engaged audience, they’re also happy to demand more creativity and authenticity from brands who wantto join their conversation. So what that means is more of your favourite make-up brands forming creative new partnerships with your favourite beauty vloggers. And the results, while great news for a thriving new world of beauty content, may not be quite such good news for that rather expensive make-up obsession.