I have been doing research for this post for a few weeks now because I really want to understand what is happening. First let’s begin with what Wikipedia says about You Tube:
Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo,Hulu, and other organizations offer some of their material via YouTube, as part of the YouTube partnership program.Unregistered users can watch videos, and registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos. Videos considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old. YouTube, LLC was bought by Google for US$1.65 billion in November 2006 and now operates as a Googlesubsidiary.
Now up until recently I have thought of You Tube as a visual library for stuff. Cute animal videos, music videos, clips of old tv shows. Then I read an article on Retail Wire talking about how Khol’s is using You Tube and “You Tube Stars” to launch its new juniors line. I have attached a link to the full article below. I have also included a small portion of the article to give you an idea of what they are thinking.
Kohl’s turns to YouTube to launch junior’s line
Asserting that TV is no longer effectively reaching teenage girls, Kohl’s is using a YouTube mini-series featuring top teen influencers to launch its new limited-edition juniors line.
The first part of the S.o. R.a.d. junior’s line will launch at Kohl’s on Sept. 22, three days after “Life’s S.o. R.a.d.,” the multi-part original scripted series, debuts on AwesomenessTV, a unit of DreamWorks Animation.
The initial series stars YouTube personalities Amanda Steele and Lia Marie Johnson in an imaginative depiction of their involvement in the S.o. R.a.d. brand’s creation. Ms. Steele, 15, has racked up 100 million views across her videos on YouTube while Ms. Johnson’s videos have been viewed 64 million times. Many of the videos deal with fashion and style as well as teenage life.
While meeting with my marketing focus group, I was informed that Amanda Steele was indeed, one of the “trusted names” on You Tube. I compiled a long list of “You Tube Stars” and have spent the past couple weeks following them, watching them and trying to connect with their message. Some I will admit were not my taste but I could see why kids liked them, like how the Telletubbies were fascinating to babies. “There was just something about them”. There were some, however, that I found completely pointless or disturbing in some cases. These “You Tube Stars” are clearly popular, as seen by their millions of views, likes and subscribers. But they were NOT talking to me, as much as I would like everything to be geared towards me, I understand those are for teens/tweens/college aged kids.
Through my research, I did find one “You Tube Star” that I enjoyed, @Grav3yardgirl. I have followed her the most and like what she is doing. She has many different types of videos, v-logs (short hand for video blog). She has a series called ” Does this thing really work” where she goes out and purchases popular products, things you see advertised on TV or see in the store and tests it on camera. It’s brilliant! She is completely open, honest and up front about her knowledge or lack there of and shows you how “this things works-OR not”. There has been a lot of Social Media buzz about a new mascara/long lash maker going around. @Younique, claims their system makes you have longer more natural looking lashes. Well @grav3yardgirl tested it, I watched every second because I was already interested and intrigued about the product. Her video was very helpful in me making my decision about would I buy and try this product. She helped me make up my mind-critical for potential buyers on the fence. She was the push I needed.
Check out the video for yourself. The video I have attached about the Younique video has over 4 million views.
BINGO-light bulb! That is what made it work for me. It was completely organic, she bought the item, tried the item and gave her personal review-all on camera. With her popularity companies and people are sending her items in the mail and she doesn’t have to purchase them, but she makes those claims clear as well.
She does a lot of different types of videos. She does videos called Hauls, where she goes shopping and shows everyone what she bought. I have seen video hauls for Sephora, Forever 21 and Ulta. She loves make up, alligators, sweet tea, cammo patterns and pirates. The other thing she does is thrift store hauls and shows how you can get great stuff cheap and how you can make your own style. I like the message to young girls about shopping smart, finding your own style and trying new things. She is followed on You Tube, Facebook, Instagram, and tumbler by millions.
What I really love about this discovery is the easy and organic nature that @Grav3yardgirl has created. I think the challenge for companies like Khols, who want to talk to young consumers in this way run the risk of it being forced. Young consumers are very sensitive to the “pressure of advertising” more than older consumers. I will be watching the Khol’s experiment to see if they can turn likes into sales. That is the biggest hurdle for all major brands. They see the likes, the shares and the follows BUT does it come full circle into sales for them. I am very interested in this right now and will most likely be sharing more on the topic so hopefully I will have some updates. In the meantime, go check out @Grav3yardgirl or find your own “You Tube Star” and let me know who you found.
Have a great weekend!