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To Vlog or Not to Vlog

Contact Author Lisa Shor, Tricoci University of Beauty Culture
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The days of selling through over-edited, glamorous print models are gone. In 2018, there were more than 169 billion views generated from beauty related content on YouTube. In 2017, there were approximately 104 billion, growing from 59 billion the previous year.1 Society has become beauty obsessed.

Target Markets

These astounding numbers are due in large part to millennials, who account for nearly 40% of the YouTube visitors. Younger millennials are stereotypically difficult to peg from a marketing standpoint, because they tend to hold their individual uniqueness in such high regard. When they do find an influencer to connect with, they are loyal and faithful.

Advertisers give millennials all the love, but baby boomers represent nearly half of the consumer expenditures in the United States. In addition, nearly a quarter of YouTube’s monthly visitors are baby boomers or older. This older consumer market is far less saturated, so it is a market share that should not be ignored.

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Clients ranging from 35 to 65 have endless skin care and corrective makeup needs. Everyone wants to be entertained, but a person’s desire to ward off signs of aging is strong. Amid this over-edited, airbrushed, reality-altered world, the knowledge that others share the same real aging dilemmas can be comforting. As mentioned, baby boomers comprise the most affluent consumer market. They are, however, more skeptical when it comes to believing beauty product claims. That’s why this new market is begging for real usable knowledge and talent from a mature industry professional with a big personality, especially since boomers do not like to be represented by younger celebrities or models. They do respect confidence and knowledge and love connecting through commonalities such as extrinsic aging.

Make sure that your videos target your exact audience. Don’t be too expansive or vague. Identify your target demographic and don’t be greedy. Cater to your audience. A 25-year-old has different needs and wants than a 55-year-old. Even the vernacular is different. If you tell a 55-year-old that you are “bougie, your cut crease is righteous, you can merch it and you’re not even being extra,” they are likely not to know that you like to live beyond your income, you are amazing at defining the eye crease by cutting across it with a contrasting color with little to no blending, you can prove it and you are not even being dramatic. Also, unless the 55-year-old was a makeup artist, or had blepharoplasty, they would have no use for learning how to do a cut crease.

Authenticity Is Key

If you are a young, personable makeup artist, you can be the next Jaclyn Hill, James Charles or Bretman Rock. It’s like anything else in life; if you really want to make it, you’ll definitely have to work at it.

Along with the hard work, you’ll also need talent, humor, consistency and authenticity. Authenticity is essential. Consumers are more skeptical than ever. It’s important to be completely transparent. Giving an obvious nod to your sponsor or adding a little humor works to strengthen the brand as opposed to pretending sponsors don’t exist.

Check In With Yourself

With on-camera life, it will become apparent if you don’t love what you do. Therefore, before you establish your market and begin the process of investing in yourself, ponder the following questions to decide if this move is for you?

Are you interesting? When you speak to people in your daily life, do they seem genuinely interested, or do they suddenly have somewhere else to be?

Are you engaging? Are you good at building relationships? Do you have an extroverted, engaging personality? Are you relatable and believable? People don’t want a sermon; they want a friend or a peer. They want you to be influence worthy. You must show interest in your viewers opinions and thoughts by actively seeking feedback on your various topics. Just as in life, if people don’t feel that their opinions matter, it will be a short-lived relationship. You must not be too sensitive or have a fragile ego; it doesn’t jive with an open book lifestyle.

Do you know who you are? Do you have a strong sense of self? Can you keep true to your brand, or yourself?

Are you the authority? Are you an authority on your topics, and do you have a thirst to keep learning and growing, cultivating new methods, styles and trends?

Can you do video right? Are you willing to learn as much as possible about filming and editing, or willing to hire someone who does? On a beauty channel, unflattering angles, lighting and dead air does not entice viewership.

Do you give up easily? It takes a lot of self-discipline and motivation to upload quality videos consistently without faltering. You must have consistent posting schedules.

Are you a social media maven or maverick? Do you have the desire to investigate all social media platforms on a regular basis? Keeping up with trends on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter will be part of your full-time job.

Bringing in Product

Once you gain enough followers and build your viewership, you can find a popular makeup line to collaborate with. If you are extremely popular, advertisers will find you.

Following makeup royalty is a bit like an interactive reality TV series. As followers watch the antics and sometimes outrageous behavior of these up-and -coming YouTube stars, they can also purchase their highly coveted, highly pigmented products to duplicate the looks or create their own version.

Merchandising draws the viewers closer to the star they subscribe to and deeper into the online community they’re immersed in.

Affiliate marketing. You can try affiliate marketing. You present a shared issue such as covering hyperpigmentation, give a solution to that problem (product specific) and find a few affiliates related to the solution of your target market. You can also share how-to videos reviewing the affiliate’s products. Remember to be honest, give many of the pros but occasionally some minimal cons (e.g. love this product, wish it came in more shade variations).

Sponsored videos. If you are creative and experienced at producing great video content, you can try sponsored videos. The payout ranges from $0.05 to $0.15 per view. The fee that you charge your sponsor for mentioning them or their products in your video will be determined by how many views you get.

There are sponsorship websites that you can use to get started. Associated Skin Care Professionals provides platforms for their members who aspire to bring their knowledge into the vlogging arena. Viewership would include many other skin care professionals, making this a great option for a knowledgeable skin care veteran. An esthetician and makeup artist who is an authority on both industries should be able to build a profitable business once they establish their market.

Branding Yourself

You want your name to be unique yet memorable, but it also must be domain free. This means that your web address should not be purchased by anyone else. You should purchase the space as soon as you know that you are committed, as it will make it easier for people to connect with you.

Also, take ownership of your social media names and the accounts relating to your YouTube channel. There are lots of businesses and domain name generator tools that can be helpful. If the name is already taken on any social media platform, then you will need to change or augment your YouTube name. Also, try and pick a symbol, icon or visual representation that will help people identify with your brand.

For example, if your name is “Red Hot Beauty,” let your viewers see you wearing red lipstick, have a painting of red lipstick hanging behind you or wear a bejeweled lipstick on your t-shirt, which you can design and merchandise.

Make Quality Videos

Make sure that your audio and video is on point for YouTube viewing. You will need a high-quality video recording camera and proper vlog editing software. There is a wide selection of video editing software for vloggers, but not all of them work consistently. You can research the best company for you, and keep in mind that some offer free trials.

Before purchasing editing software, consider the following.

  • Do they have versions for Windows or Mac?
  • Is it simple to use?
  • Is there intuitive clear interface compatible with most operating systems?
  • Does it have a fast operating speed?
  • Can you easily import favorite clips from most or all social media platforms?
  • Can you edit and export videos in high-quality, 4K resolution?
  • Can you edit text, color, font and animation?

Establish a Backlog

Make sure that you have a backlog of content. It is important for viewers to have plenty of content to browse when deciding if they want to subscribe. It’s like a portfolio that a bride would look at to decide if she wanted to hire a bridal artist.

Lighting Is Your Best Friend

Anyone who has spent any time in a dimly lit club, pub or candle lit banquet setting, has probably experienced some degree of appalling disillusionment upon entering a bright, harsh, florescent restroom. They instantly learn the importance of good lighting.

Have proper lighting behind the camera and change the lighting periodically for dramatic effect. Lighting will help to boost the production value of your vlogs. The light quality that shines on your face is extremely important. Choose a larger, softer source. Floor-lamps can be useful for filling shadows or back-lighting. Natural light can be great. Depending on the positioning of the sun, you may want to have a large window behind the camera.

Lights with adjustable beam spread are versatile. Adjustable light and or umbrella height is necessary. Portability is a factor too. Video lights are thin panels of LED powerful enough to use for your main light source, and accessory lighting is necessary as well. White reflectors bounce light and gold reflectors give a warmer more glamorous light than silver, which can be used for a cooler tone. Lights should also be dimmable.

Camera Selection

Make sure you use a camera that can handle video in no less than 720P. Also, have an external microphone that hooks up to the camera.

Smart phones and tablets have been used. Some of the biggest vloggers have gotten their start with modest equipment, but as the industry flourishes, so does the technology. Just remember, its okay for your early videos to be a bit amateurish; however, if you want happy viewers that draw sponsors, you need to make the leap to good quality quickly. It can be fun for viewers to look back at your early days and see how much effort you’ve put into your business and how far you’ve come. This inspires loyalty in viewers when they see that you care enough to learn and grow!

See Success

Remember, “Success is around the corner, make a left at the end of your comfort zone and keep on going!” Happy vlogging!

References

    1. www.statista.com/statistics/294655/youtube-monthly-beauty-content-views/

Lisa Shor is an esthetics educator at Tricoci Universiry of Beauty Culture. Prior to her current role, she served as director of makeup education for The Art Institute of Makeup, a division of the New Age Spa Institute.

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