Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 3.31.34 PMKind of by accident, beauty vloggers have become today’s most digitally-savvy brand ambassadors. Unlike the brands themselves, many of whose video strategies do nothing to drive traffic back to their sites or a third-party retailer, vloggers like Michelle Phan (her DIY makeup and hair care videos have garnered close to 700M views) are much more helpful when it comes to helping fans buy what they see. And these fans buy–in droves. In our new Digital IQ Index: Hair Care & Color study, we found that 88 percent of vloggers include featured product descriptions, versus just 38 percent on brand channels. Brands are clearly making the mistake of underestimating vlogger audiences’ buying power. Our research shows that those who read beauty blogs and search for tutorial videos register significantly higher purchase rates for hair-styling products (81 percent and 75 percent, respectively) than those who do not (57 percent).

 

The importance of video to the Hair Care & Color industries is further evidenced when you analyze upstream traffic to the brands’ sites. YouTube, the primary platform for vloggers, now contributes 1.6 times more traffic to professional Hair Care & Color brand sites and 4.4 times more traffic to consumer sites than Facebook. In YouTube’s search function, vloggers own close to half (47 percent) of the first-page results for brand terms, which is more than twice that of the brands themselves videos. Vlogger videos don’t just drive traffic, they’re also really popular, averaging 3.3 times as many views as the most-viewed brand videos on their official channels.

 

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Recognizing the influence of this user-generated content, several brands have wisely purchased advertising space on some of YouTube’s most popular hair-focused vlogger channels, including Juicystar07 by Blair Fowler (231M total views) and Luxy Hair by Mimi and Leyla (123M views). Taking it a step further, 58 percent of consumer brand channels and 20 percent of professional brand channels have now incorporated UGC in some form into their video presence. Standard practice for vloggers is to solicit and respond to user comments, a model that 20 percent of brands — Suave Beauty, for example — have now adopted.

 

The conversation continues tomorrow morning at 10 am EST, with our Digital IQ Index: Hair Care & Color webinar. Led by the research team behind the study, the hour-long discussion will cover both the broad strokes of the industry’s digital competency as well as best practices and case studies of standout brands. Learn more about it here–hope you’ll join us!

 

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