How fashion and makeup brands use beauty gurus and vloggers on YouTube to increase brand awareness


YouTube over the past fifteen years has become a huge digital platform which allows ordinary people to document their lives and create unique and creative content. People who regularly create content on their YouTube channel, for the viewing of thousands, if not millions of online subscribers are referred to as “YouTubers” (Freeman & Chapman, 2007).

The growth in popularity of many YouTubers has allowed them to now be classified as an “internet celebrity” (Lee & Watkins, 2016). YouTubers who have a large subscriber count on their channels are now likely to get approached by top fashion and makeup companies, as they have a huge influence on their followers through the digital platform. These brands have noticed the surge in popularity from online social media sites and many have now adapted their marketing strategies to reach out to potential customers through these YouTube stars.


In which ways can fashion and makeup brands use YouTube effectively?


Product Offering

Verklin (2007) stated that YouTube has changed the way that fashion brands become “hot”. There are various methods which brands can undertake to increase brand awareness through YouTube. Fashion and makeup companies can send YouTubers and vloggers products for them to keep and try out, this method is one the cheapest, as they don’t pay them a fee. However the YouTuber doesn’t have any obligation to make a video about the product or promote it unless they want to. Though some companies may not want the risk of not getting any feedback from the YouTuber, so they may even pay theme a fee to review it and post it on YouTube.




Companies can also reach out to Youtubers to work together to create a contest for online viewers. Usually the brand will provide the YouTuber with a selection of items or even provide a free service to serve as a prize for the competition. The YouTuber will then create a video with all the terms and conditions for the competition and highlight the brand that co-created it. Brands hope to gain awareness as their name will be displayed on the video title and by having viewers enter the competition; it shows that it has gained the attention of viewers and that they like the products offered.


Paid Advertisements

Advertisements can be displayed before, during or even after a video, or even beside the video are known as paid advertisements. YouTube can sometimes allow viewers to watch a section of the ad or the whole advert, making it impossible for the viewer to avoid when clicking on a video. This advertisement method is a guaranteed to create brand awareness as it is compulsory for viewers to watch, so even if they don’t fully pay attention to it, the viewer is still likely going to remember parts of the advert or even just the brand name. Additionally, this YouTube method steers traffic and increases search results, as well as giving these brands a chance to build relationships with their customers and display their brands image and personality (Bordelon, 2014) The downside to this method for fashion and makeup brands is that it can be quite expensive.


Partnerships and sponsorships can also be another strategy fashion and makeup brands can do to increase brand awareness. In 2016, research found that YouTube for marketers was the “preferred platform for influencer-lead initiatives” (Stewart, 2016). Marketers find creating partnerships or sponsorships with YouTubers are more worthwhile to invest into compared to other celebrity’s types such as models etc. Brands have admitted to spending as much as £42,000 on deals and collaborations with YouTubers to build brand awareness (The Drum, 2016). By working with the YouTubers, in some cases will result in the YouTuber actually representing the brand and this is a great way for fashion and make up brands to use YouTube effectively. However, brands need to be sure that the YouTuber is a suitable fit for their brand because this method is very expensive.


What are the risks for these brands not using YouTube effectively?


Bad Repuatation? Bad Partnerships?


The risks associated with brands not using YouTube effectively is that if they don’t do their correct market research, or not fully research whether the YouTuber is the right fit for their brand, it could result in them gaining a bad brand perception, or even losing money as a result. Recently, there has been controversy relating to one of the biggest UK YouTubers ‘Zoella’ and her dealings with a huge UK pharmacy chain Boots.



Zoella created an advent calendar which was sold £50 RRP in Boots. However, due to its lack of quality, Zoella and Boots received huge backlash from fans, resulting in the calendar being reduced to £20 within its first few weeks. What made matters worse was that Zoella didn’t take any responsibility for her mistake, but then publically blamed Boots for the price. Boots fired back on social media claiming that Zoella actually recommended that to be the price, so that’s what they sold it for. The aftermath of this scandal left people mad at both Zoella and Boots and this has been damaging for both of their reputations.



In Summary…

YouTube is a great platform for fashion and makeup brands to make themselves aware to online viewers. If brands correctly advertise themselves through YouTube,the brands can gain a new audience and more awareness. However, if brands miscalculate their advertising strategies, it could have a huge impact on the brands finances and even their reputation.




Bordelon, Z. (2014) “Youtube and Its Role In Fashion Brands’ Sales”, Fashionbi [online] available at: [accessed 31/12/2017]


Cocker, H. L., Cronin, J. (2017) Charismatic Authority and the YouTuber: Unpacking the new cults of personality, Marketing Theory. vol. 17, issue 17(4). pp. 455-472.


Freeman, B., Chapman, S. (2007) Is “YouTube” telling or selling you something? Tobacco content on the YouTube video-sharing website. Tobacco Control. vol. 16, issue, 3. pp. 207-210.


Lee, J. E., Watkins, B. (2016) YouTube vloggers’ influence on consumer luxury brand perceptions and intentions, Journal of Business Research. vol. 69, issue, 12. pp. 5753-5760.


Lockwood, L. (2007) Talking to a Generation: Brands Turn to YouTube To Spread the Message, WWD: Women’s Wear Daily, vol. 193, no. 114. pp. 1-9.


PR Couture (2017) “5 Ways Fashion Brands Can Optimize YouTube”, [online] available at: [accessed 01/01/2018]


Stewart, R. (2016) “Brands would rather work with YouTubers over traditional celebrity ambassadors, says study”, The Drum [online] available at: [accessed 31/12/2017]


Vlog Nation (2017) “4 Influencer Marketing Tips for Brands Working with YouTubers”, [online] available at: [accessed 01/01/2018]







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