Let me start off by saying that this is a judgement free zone. If you have ever clicked a video link only to find yourself 3 hours later watching something completely unrelated – I would like to welcome you to the club. With over 4 billion monthly video views on YouTube, it is evident that we crave instantaneous visual content. One of the most popular topics on video sharing sites is beauty. It’s time to say goodbye to fashion magazines and in-store make-up demonstrations because YouTube has all the answers. YouTube gurus cover all subjects from makeup to skincare to DIY projects. These vloggers are powerful social influencers with loyal followings and high levels of engagement over most social media platforms, not just YouTube. We watch their videos to learn what products they buy, what stores they shop at and what beauty techniques they use. These expert channels supply us viewers with a constant stream of original content that keeps us going back for more.
Brand channels such as NARS Cosmetics and OPI have approx 10,000 subscribers on YouTube while beauty guru’s channels have hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of subscribers. For example, vlogger Michelle Phan has over 3 million subscribers! It made me ask myself: Why can’t the company channels reach the same activity levels as individual vloggers?
Beauty gurus are a combination of your favourite celebrity and your best friend, they are well known, admired, personable and most importantly, accessible. The one-on-one video style has the same effect as a face-to-face interaction, proving to be exceedingly more influential than a brands commercial. Some company channels have even tried to imitate the vlogger style of videos but have been unsuccessful. Here’s an example from Urban Decay’s attempt.Why you ask? A reason could be that when the user sees the companies channel name, the user automatically assumes the content is biased and therefore ignores it.
YouTube vloggers are influential because they are reachable. They post on a schedule, provide irresistible content, reply to comments, and build content around viewer requests. We also develop a connection with them by learning not just about beauty but also their lifestyle. For example, Lauren Riihimaki, who goes by the username laurDIY has been posting videos since December 2011 and has over 115,000 subscribers and a massive 3.2 million video views. Her videos include DIY Skull Cut Out Shirt, No Heat Overnight Curls and The Boyfriend Tag. She posts a video every Sunday and each video receives thousands of views and comments.
Lauren and Michelle only make up one part of the YouTube guru elite. They are influential because they give unbiased product reviews, unique video ideas and continuously stay connected with their audience. To put it simply, the videos these gurus post are downright addicting and I dare you to watch just one.