YouTube Tries to Get Fashionable

It’s not a “collabo.” It’s a “collab.” And it’s pronounced /kəˌlab.”

These are among the lessons shared by YouTube in an internal five-page document meant to help fashion brands learn the dos-and-don’ts of the video platform, just in time for what the company is terming a “historic occasion.”

On the eve of New York Fashion Week, and nearly 15 years into its life span, the platform is finally following in the footsteps of its peers Instagram, Snapchat and Amazon, and trying to cultivate the possibilities of the style set. YouTube’s big news is that it is introducing a feature that brings together fashion content on one web page, and throwing a big fashion week bash to celebrate.

There are many people, even old ones, who wouldn’t need to be told how to define “collab,” let alone pronounce it. But YouTube — beloved for zits-and-all videos — is right to worry that the learning curve may be steep for fashion companies most comfortable sharing highly produced and well-polished marketing images on glossy magazine pages, glittery runways and gingerly curated Instagram feeds.

After all, YouTube’s most popular videos tend to focus on music and gaming or day-in-the-life vlogs made by homegrown celebrities who created their stardom through amateur recordings.

But about two years ago — by the time Instagram had established itself as the dominant digital destination for style-adjacent people and companies looking to build and burnish brands through images — YouTube executives began to realize that some of its fashion and beauty creators were starting to attract large audiences.

This would lead to a number of opportunities, including commercial partnerships with luxury brands.

“We thought, ‘If it’s already happening organically, imagine what could happen if we really started to work on this?’” said Robert Kyncl, the chief business officer of YouTube.

Rather, his main focus since joining YouTube last June as head of fashion and beauty partnerships has been convincing other brands, designers and models of the need to become creators.

For example, he has persuaded Victoria Beckham and Goop, among others, to create YouTube channels and to get serious about devoting time to making videos. Their YouTube numbers (105,000 subscribers for Victoria Beckham, 45,000 for Goop) don’t come close to their Instagram followings (26 million and one million), but Mr. Blasberg isn’t concerned.

“We’re not competing against Instagram, we are a complement to Instagram,” he said in a phone interview while in Venice, where he had attended the Venice Film Festival, after having toured Ibiza, Spain, but before he headed to the Hamptons.

He has also been working on the internal memo that teaches novices how best to use, navigate and create engaging content for YouTube. Some salient points:

  • “Don’t make it too promotional. If you love something shout it out once (twice at most) per video. But repeating a brand, location, or event’s name over and over again makes content feel promotional. (However, if you’re getting paid, that’s great — ignore this tip.)”

  • “Do keep it cute. We can run promotion driving lots of views to your videos if there is no swearing (or at least bleeped out in post), no vulgar behavior, no copyrighted content and no 3rd party brand deal.”

“I speak to members of the fashion and beauty community to manage expectations for the sort of things that do well on YouTube,” Mr. Blasberg said. “On other platforms, a pretty girl walking in pretty dress can do well. Not on YouTube, people. The biggest advice I’ve given people is, ‘Would you watch this?’ No one sits down and watches a bunch of commercials.”

YouTube’s pitch to fashion brands is based in part on the number of people who use the platform. It reaches 1.9 billion people per month, according to company data, and its content is watched by more 18-to-49-year-olds on their mobile devices than any cable TV network.

Sahred From Source link Technology

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