Prominent brands recognize importance of influential YouTube personalities to reach key target audiences
By Sarah Humphreys
(Sarah Humphreys is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.)
Move over, Anna Wintour; a YouTuber needs your seat.
Today’s young trendy fashionista is about as likely to seek up-to-the-minute fashion and beauty advice from an enigmatic editor in a magazine as she is to take it from her mother. She wants the scoop from someone like her but hipper, more on the pulse of what’s trending, and who has the information whenever she needs to know. She wants a YouTube guru.
Followed primarily by highly coveted 16- to 25-year-old-female demographic on YouTube and other social media, these next-generation influencers are the new face of fashion and beauty. They’re taking their well-deserved place as the go-to source of fashion and beauty advice with market editors and even nudging them out of their spots.
“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. We watch their videos to learn what products they buy, what stores they shop at and what beauty techniques they use,” posted blogger Sarah Aspler of the YouTube gurus on the Blog Studio. “These expert channels supply us viewers with a constant stream of original content that keeps us going back for more.”
What started as trend with young women coming home from the mall and emptying their shopping bags for casual homemade YouTube videos (know as “hauls”) has grown into a fashion and beauty revolution. A 2012 study by Google and Compete revealed that nearly one in three shoppers uses YouTube to shop for apparel, with video driving 37 percent of shoppers to an online store. Thirty-eight percent of Millennials are likely to rely on video to fuel their apparel shopping purchases.
Fashion and beauty brands are taking note and funneling their products to the gurus for exposure and reviews, especially the standouts with combined subscribers that total in the multi-millions and views in the hundreds of millions.
“Haul videos work because they take the ‘tried and true’ testimonial form of promotion and add the interest, excitement, and spontaneity that can be generated by a homemade video,” wrote Ira Kalb, professor of marketing at the Marshall School of Business at University of Southern California, in a story that appeared in Business Insider magazine’s May 2013 issue. “Once the video is created, links to other social media can leverage the effort and reach a much wider audience. If they go viral, the brand impact can be enormous. Haul videos are proving to be a strong marketing force in the clothing industry.”
One of those companies in the beauty realm is BH Cosmetics, which got into the business of creating high-quality makeup palettes and brushes only in 2008. It was recently been placed on Inc. magazine’s 2013 Inc. 500 list, which recognizes the country’s fastest-growing private companies. To reach this distinction, a company had to grow more than 918 percent from the start of 2010. The average company on the list grew 2,900 percent. BH Cosmetics placed at 446 on the list.
“We give much of the credit for our sharp rise in growth on our products’ high visibility on YouTube,” says Fred Sadovskiy, BH Cosmetics co-founder and CEO. “Since the beginning, our strategy has been to capitalize on the power of social media and YouTubers communicate our message directly to our target market.”
The YouTubers have become so popular that they’re being seen offline as well. Kenn Henman, president of ALM Public Relations (aLine Media), the leading PR company for social-media influencers, says the demand for these young women at fashion- and beauty-sponsored events is getting hotter and hotter. From live tutorials to fashion-week sit-ins, their presence is beginning to transcend beyond the Internet-hooked demographic.
In response to the sharp rise in popularity of the YouTube gurus, aLine Media expanded its Social Media Influencer division and currently represents some of the top YouTube talent in the industry. Created to promote the new faces of tastes and trends, the division counts among its clientele a long list of social-media authorities who post their beauty and fashion finds on YouTube and other social media platforms to hundred of millions of eager fans, subscribers and followers.
With its new Social Media Influencer division, aLine Media will not only increase exposure to its clients, launching them further in to social-media superstardom, it will also help them connect with new products that they might feature on their social media channels.
One of his aLine’s clients is Heart Defensor, whose YouTube name is ThatsHeart. With a total social reach of more than 1 million, she was recently sponsored to attend New York Fashion Week by cosmetics giant Maybelline and attended the shows of BCBGMaxAzria, Mara Hoffman, Richard Chai, Hervé Léger and Elle Fashion Next. For the latter, she conducted red-carpet interviews with Elle magazine Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers and Creative Director Joe Zee, as well as fashion journalist Louise Roe.
“As we all know, there are only so many chairs they can line up along the runway, and now these girls are squeezing the traditional fashion matrons out,” says Henman. “The fashion perspective is changing; the shoppers of today and tomorrow are looking for a fresh look and up-to-the-minute style, and the social-media influencers are the ones delivering.”
aLine Media’s top influencer clients -
- Olga Kay is an influential YouTube personality who parlayed a background as a circus performer into a social-media superstar. She has four separate pop-culture channels with over 1.2 million subscribers/followers and over 100 million views. Her channels include comedy, gaming, and fashion and beauty, as well as provide a glimpse into her crazy day-to-day life. Olga has teamed up with major brands like Ford, Google, Relativity Media, Axe, Capcom, Nintendo, Virgin Mobile, Microsoft and Xbox for numerous collaborations.
- Judy Travis, ItsJudyTime, recent winner of the esteemed L’Oreal Paris’ “I’m Worth It” vlogger award, takes the beauty questions viewers ask themselves on a daily basis and answers them in great detail. Major brands like L’Oreal, Revlon, Sephora, Smashbox and BH Cosmetics depend on her influence to reach their key target audiences. From unbiased product reviews to hair and makeup how-tos, Judy has a total social reach of more than 1.75 million.
- Dulce Candy Tejeda, Dulce Candy, is one of the top fashion a beauty icons of the social-media generation (over 1.25 Million subscribers and 200 Million views). She has been featured in publications including Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Runway and Latina magazine. Dulce has also been selected as “Blogger of the Year” by Front Row Monthly and was selected as the “Official Blogger” for Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out Los Angeles for the second straight year (out of 200 bloggers). Her influence in the fashion and beauty industry get Dulce backstage access and front-row seating to major fashion shows in Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles.
- Marlena Stell, MakeupGeek, is passionate about helping all women feel beautiful. She is dedicated to equipping her total social reach of more than 1.1 million fans with the makeup knowledge she has gained over the years. Along with her wildly successful YouTube channel, she is also the creator of MakeupGeek.com—a unique beauty community that combines the power of educational online learning with social media interaction.
- Heart Defensor, ThatsHeart, shares her bubbly personality with a total social reach of more than 1 million. Her relatability and honesty have made Heart a YouTube favorite and one of the industry’s fastest growing personalities. From beauty and fashion hauls, to the latest product reviews, hair and makeup tutorials and nail art, Heart has build up a global fan base. Heart has been recently featured by Teen Vogue, Nail It! and Los Angeles Magazine.
- Chelsea Briggs, HollywireTV, host of the prominent entertainment channel HollywireTV, brings her down to earth spirit, infectious charm, whip-smart whit and bubbly personality to the entertainment industry. HollywireTV is a major YouTube and website destination for trends in entertainment and pop culture. The channel and site has a fast-growing audience, earning more than 400,000 subscribers and 17 million monthly views, with a social reach of over 1 million and rapidly growing. Chelsea interviews everyone from Jason Derulo to Amanda Seyfried and provides her followers the inside scoop of today's hottest musical acts and, of course, the latest celebrity gossip.
- Sophia Chang, Fashionista804, proves that you do don’t have to love pink to be a girl’s girl. With a total social reach of nearly 600,000, Sophia loves sharing her fashion must-haves, and makeup and hair how-tos, season-appropriate looks from head to toe and so much more. Sophia also has a very popular fashion and beauty blog and recently announced a major collaboration with accessory brand Ivory + Mason for a signature collection.
- Missy Lynn, Start2FinishMUA, recently won the prestigious 2013 NYX Face Awards and was crowned “Beauty Blogger of the Year.” This YouTube sensation educates her followers with makeup and hair tutorials, product reviews and on-trend fashions finds. As an active-duty member of the United States Air Force, Missy Lynn has been teaching, encouraging and motivating others online and in‐person to be the best that they can be at all times.
About ALM Public Relations (aLine Media)
ALM Public Relations puts clients at the highest level of visibility, name recognition and respect throughout the world. aLine Media focuses on developing and executing media coverage, talent representation, event planning, social media management and brand marketing. It services many clients with different needs—from YouTube influencers to fashion and beauty brands. ALM Public Relations is ranked #2 in the Top 25 Public Relations Firms on Social Media in 2013 by UWire. More information is available at www.alinemedia.com