Despite the myth of the viral video and much speculation about the genius of Dove, L2’s Insight Report on YouTube strategies of the Beauty and Hair Care categories finds money to be the secret sauce. Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches” collects three-quarters of channel views from paid advertising. The brand’s “Love Your Curls” campaign video with 11 million views, derives 91% of views from In-Stream advertising. This graph makes an even bleaker case for organic views for select brands: Lancôme derives 97% of its views from YouTube’s TrueView.

L2-Daily-cover-girl-dove-youtubeThis doesn’t mean brands (especially small players) should abandon all efforts to build organic reach on YouTube. YSL Beauty, em Cosmetics, Aussie and NYX derive close to 100% of their views organically, but neither have been able to grow their channel reach beyond 40,000 views.

In fact, the average channel derives 51% of all views organically. And only a mild correlation exists between shares of views from in-stream advertising and total views.

L2-daily-instream-reach-youtubeSo why the contradiction? Quality content can drive initial success, but dollars are essential to scale. As shown in the first graph, brands with the most scale (Chanel, Dove, Cover Girl) derive a smaller percentage of their channel views organically.


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