Beauty brands wanting to scare up some business should look to what the vloggers are doing on YouTube.
Halloween is prime time for beauty vloggers, who take the opportunity to showcase their most elaborate looks and rack up some of their biggest numbers, according to data set to be released today by the video platform’s parent company Google.
This story first appeared in the October 23, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The most-watched makeup tutorial on YouTube was Michelle Phan’s “Barbie Transformation Tutorial,” which has garnered 56 million views since its original publish date about five years ago.
Phan takes the top three spots. Her “Lady Gaga Bad Romance Look” and “Lady Gaga Poker Face Tutorial,” received 47 million and 34 million views, respectively.
“If you look at her channel now, [Phan’s] taken advantage of the seasonality [of her content],” said Lisa Green, head of industry, luxury and apparel at Google. “She has all these Halloween videos up that aren’t even new. She is resurfacing content because she knows what people are looking for.”
From 2012 to 2013, views of Halloween makeup content increased more than four fold, with Halloween videos comprising 57 percent of seasonal makeup tutorial views as of August.
Green’s key takeaway is that beauty-content searches on Google and YouTube are largely seasonal — and brands can tap into this, tailoring their search and video strategy.
For instance, on YouTube, searches related to dry-skin makeup peak in January, while orange lipstick tops out in March through June, purple eye shadow in April, waterproof mascara in the summer, white makeup in October, red lipstick in October through December and gold and glitter eye shadow in December.
Green cited L’Oréal’s Destination Beauty as successfully tapping into this trend. The brand published content about dry skin in the New Year — at the exact time users’ interest in the topic piqued. Maybelline, Aéropostale, Burberry, Chanel and Benefit Cosmetics are others that have been thoughtful in the execution of beauty content — from Burberry highlighting nail polish colors from the runway to Chanel “How-To” posts that coincide with the launch of every new makeup palette.
Overall, videos with “makeup tutorial” in the title have been watched on YouTube more than 2.4 billion times.
Google’s research also found people are increasingly accessing beauty content from a mobile device. Upwards of half of all beauty searches on Google and YouTube come from a mobile device, with product information and reviews serving as the two primary types of searches. Mobile searches related to “prom makeup” jumped 85 percent from 2013 to 2014.
“When it comes to makeup, mobile is even more important. It’s so rare that you’re putting on your makeup with your laptop open — but you have your phone,” Green said.