Those of you familiar with Pixability know we’re really a technology company. With all the YouTube strategy, marketing, and advertising work we do with big brands, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole lot of computing power and big data behind it all. We regularly step back and turn our technology on a broader market. Last year, we performed the largest brand analysis ever done on YouTube. Just a few weeks ago, we unleashed our software on the beauty industry on YouTube. The results were profound.
So why the beauty industry? Because it’s the leading edge of YouTube. We’ve worked with numerous industries over the past several years, amassing both data and experience within each vertical. We compare industries to identify common missteps, detect trends, and establish best practices. Having years of historical data helps put everything in context. Without a doubt, the beauty industry leads in social video sharing, content creation, engagement, and curation.
In Pixability’s new beauty study, my team and I looked at 168 major beauty brands and 45,000 YouTube beauty-focused personalities, 877,000 hair care, skin care, makeup, and nail videos, and 14.9 billion (yes, that’s a “b”) views. What did we discover?

  • The growth from 300 million beauty-related views/month (2010) to 700 million views/month (2013) is striking, especially compared with television. There are significant ad spending implications here.
  • The anemic 3% share-of-view-voice of the beauty brands on YouTube means brands and agencies are missing the mark when it comes to content, engagement, and YouTube strategy. That’s a tragedy because that’s where their audience is.
  • The East and West Coast morning and evening search spikes highlight the real-time, utility nature of YouTube. This just can’t happen with TV and (again) drives home the advertising opportunity. To learn more about this trend, we’ve created a one-minute video highlighting some of our key findings from the study here.
  • The wholesale failure of repurposed television ads on YouTube shows the audience is looking for a different brand experience. Brands and their agencies are failing to understand this medium.
  • The beauty industry is the cutting edge of YouTube and is a leading indicator of the future of social, marketing, and advertising.
  • There is a new economic model on its way when 45,000 independent beauty content producers have the audience’s eyeballs and the brands have the advertising dollars.
  • The establishment and maintenance of brand loyalty has utterly changed from previous models. The demographic analysis in the study backs this up.
  • Given our data, brands will need to really think hard about advertising spend allocation, especially with both television and digital.

Why should modern marketers care about YouTube and the beauty industry? Because it is revealing the future of marketing. Data-driven video, video marketing, and social video as part of an integrated marketing strategy tie into a very different—yet highly targeted—advertising economy.
Shortly after we introduced the report, I had the chance to present it live at WWD’s Beauty Forum: Digital Edition in New York. The beauty brands in attendance were acutely aware of the shift, though many weren’t sure how to embrace it.
Our study highlights the market shift, ways to leverage the power of YouTube, and explains how to get started. But it’s only a start. YouTube marketing and advertising don’t work with guesswork any longer. Those days are over. Tell your “strategist” that—and you can tell him Rob Ciampa said so. YouTube and the future of marketing requires data—and lots of it.
Remember: it’s data that will make your marketing and YouTube work beautifully—not speculation and eyeliner.