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2024.03.28
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Does HERA Really Need to Do YouTube?

The Thoughts Behind Launching a Brand YouTube #1

 

Columnist

Han Dahye Makeup Professionals Team

#I’m a 12-year Veteran Producer, but New to YouTube

 

I’ve been at the helm of the HERA YouTube channel for three years now. When asked about this period’s achievements, I hesitate momentarily. The initial goal was to achieve the ‘Silver Button’ — a milestone of 100,000 subscribers. We are still 1,000 subscribers short of this goal. I’ve received words of encouragement, saying, “I really enjoy watching it,” and have met avid subscribers who recognize our guests. However, proving that our videos have directly increased orders or made a groundbreaking contribution to branding is somewhat challenging. As a content planner, I constantly reflect on the essence of my profession and question whether I’m heading in the right direction. “Is my work truly contributing to sales? Can the outcomes be quantitatively assessed?” Sometimes, these questions lead to anxiety. I also think this area might be the first to be cut back when brand operations become demanding. Even now, as I’ve established channel strategies, streamlined the production process, and launched the seventh series, I continuously ask myself:
“Does HERA truly need YouTube?” Initially, I was unsure, but I’ve come to believe in its importance over time. Now, I can confidently say, “Yes, YouTube is essential.”

 

 

 

 

HERA Channel Poised to Achieve
‘100,000 Subscribers’

 

 

Gaining Popularity with a Variety of Series!

 

 

1 To Grow or Not to Grow the YouTube Channel? The Brand’s Dilemma

 

The ways brands utilize YouTube can broadly be divided into three categories. The first is an archival approach, collecting campaign videos and purpose-driven brand content. Like the HERA channel, the second applies a new video grammar and actively publishes YouTube-specific content. The third strategy is ‘not actively utilizing YouTube,’ excluding the official YouTube channel from the primary marketing strategy. This third approach may seem quite bold. Have you searched for ‘modern brands’ that host pop-up events with fierce reservation competition among the Millennials and Gen Z? It’s rare to see them show passion in YouTube channel management. In an era where YouTube has become the app most used by Koreans, serving as a platform for information searches and trend sharing, seeing brands opt for this strategy makes me worry that my job might not be deemed essential.

 

 

Brands Not Actively Utilizing YouTube Channels 

/ Source : Nonfiction, AMBURINS

 

 

Setting aside concerns for a moment, let’s first examine the unique characteristics of the YouTube platform. Compared to TV channels, where commercials of around 20 seconds are continuously broadcasted, or Instagram, where ads are also perceived as a form of information, the way content is consumed on YouTube is markedly different. YouTube has felt the most ambiguous and intimidating among the channels I’ve dealt with as a content planner. It is structurally challenging for a corporate channel to grow into a prominent YouTuber due to the high barriers to attracting an audience.

 

This is because YouTube users are highly sensitive to ads. Non-skippable 5-second in-stream ads or mid-roll ads that disrupt immersion are not welcomed. Viewers may feel distanced when a once-familiar YouTuber starts posting sponsored content. There’s also a need for more time to enjoy organic content. With YouTube being a go-to for catching up on entertainment highlights, following favorite celebrities, and learning languages or studying real estate, viewers don’t feel the need to watch corporate videos boasting about their products. YouTube’s intriguing thumbnails and recommended videos compete to seize our time, making the platform a battleground for attention. In the YouTube ecosystem, viewers are more proactive and selective in choosing content, navigating through a complex algorithm that increasingly challenges corporate channels.

 

start? What story do you want to tell?” This question aims to gauge whether their intent is merely to follow a trend or to find the brand’s authentic voice. Sometimes, deciding not to engage with YouTube might be the best strategy, as the naturalness, humor, and creativity demanded by YouTube may not align with a brand’s strategy. If a brand’s pursuit involves invoking fantasy, maintaining a luxurious image, or keeping a certain distance, YouTube could challenge the brand’s image. The ‘Seoul Beauty’ that HERA aspires to embodies a certain aloofness, yet I believe it is a brand ready to engage with the public actively.

 

Even those who once pursued perfection, like actors or artists, have used YouTube to reveal their human side, fostering a deeper connection with the audience. Global stars showing their honest and approachable sides on YouTube have been analyzed as a key to their success. Beyond the fears of damaging the brand image or the confusion arising from differences with existing visuals, YouTube represents a space of new possibilities in itself.

 

 

2 HERA’s Treasure Hunt: The Adventure of Content Planning

 

Upon taking charge of the HERA YouTube channel, I fortunately discovered abundant opportunities for new endeavors. The realization that there was ample room for experimentation set my heart racing. As a planner, I prioritize ‘filling the gaps.’ I seek out staff with skills I lack and unearth unnoticed resources to fill the voids. There’s an abundance of stories to tell, much like embarking on a treasure hunt, uncovering and launching series one by one.

To date, we’ve formed quite a charming and small fandom with five series:

*ach image click connects to a YouTube video.

 

 

1) The makeover talk show with lead artist Donghyun, “Lead Salon”

 

 

 

 

2) A vlog capturing the daily life of the makeup pro team, “Good Morning Shinyongsan”

 

 

 

 

 

3) Special guests curating their favorite items, “HERA Recommends”

 

 

 

 

4) The real communication variety solving curiosities, “Fact Exploration”

 

 

 

 

5) The development of behind-the-scenes talk in collaboration with the makeup LAB, “Color Exploration”

 

 

 

 

Above all, it was crucial to convey HERA’s unique stories. Each series carries a clear planning intention. I make it a point not to mimic popular web variety shows or stimulate dopamine for its own sake. Instead, I constantly remind myself why we’re creating these videos, reviewing them multiple times post-upload. Perhaps it’s because of my profession, but the videos I create are the most entertaining to me, bringing laughter at the same parts even after the tenth viewing. I believe it’s because I'm committed to capturing the naturalness and charm of our participants. Although I don’t appear in the videos, I laugh the loudest. Without forcing it, I enjoy slipping product mentions throughout the video, aiming to engage viewers in our product stories without them hitting the ‘back’ button. We strive to leverage YouTube’s features while flexibly conveying information, ensuring viewers stay till the end, and selecting topics that pique curiosity and encourage clicks, which are crucial for the algorithm.

 

Assigning clear roles to each series’ participants and continuously exposing them to increase recognition is also a key goal. In “Lead Salon,” we highlight the candid charm of lead artist Donghyun, while the youngest artist “Cha Min-kyung” and the entertainingly handsome artist “Jung Chang” have become the faces of the channel. In “Color Exploration,” researcher Kim Kyung-jin is becoming more adept at delivering research behind-the-scenes stories with witty ‘food comparisons.’ Finding participants with star quality and initiative is essential for leading a YouTube channel to success. Moreover, securing a fresh and accurate source of information to make the planning appealing is necessary. Having Lee Jin-su, an authority in the makeup field and a key contributor to product and look development for both domestic and international cosmetic brands, as a leader was a stroke of luck. Thanks to the makeup master’s timely thematic advice, we were able to actively reflect the latest trends and information in our content.

 

HERA’s stories involve ‘the skills of makeup artists,’ ‘styles reflecting the latest trends,’ ‘color products born from researchers’ efforts,’ and ‘bestsellers like the Black Cushion and Sensual Lip line.’ Unfolding these stories with wit is our goal. We strive to create content that provides valuable and enjoyable information. We’ve been gathering the necessary characters and resources, refining the production process, and launching a sustainable series to achieve this. We’re ready to naturally integrate new products and season trends according to the series’ intentions.

 

Thus, we’re transforming the HERA YouTube channel from a mere promotional tool for a beauty brand into a platform delivering genuine value and entertainment. We aim to always offer viewers something new and exciting through continuous creativity and strategic planning.

 

 

3 Our Very Own Broadcasting Station That Communicates Directly with Viewers

 

The budget for a special program or a single campaign video can be cleverly utilized to run a YouTube channel for a month. Recently, the YouTube channel of Chungju City became a topic of conversation for its low annual budget of 610,000 won (for editing software). It proves that efficient planning and execution are possible even with modest funds. I focus on meticulously dividing and utilizing the stages of pre-production, filming, post-production, uploading, and marketing to foster the channel’s growth and vibrant communication. However, remembering the fundamental purpose of channel operation is paramount.

 

Operating a YouTube channel for a brand necessitates a different approach from conventional marketing structures. I’ve defined it as if ‘HERA’ has established its broadcasting station; We are building an efficient channel that directly communicates with the public. If managed successfully, this venture allows for disseminating our brand’s message 24/7 without advertising costs. If targeting is precise, it can directly convey our stories to global customers.

 

Running the brand’s ‘broadcasting station’ requires careful consideration of the content to be offered. It’s not just about promoting our products; we must provide compelling content that makes viewers choose our channel. This process necessitates independent content planning and decision-making. The desire to showcase too much or to show something precisely and for longer can sometimes blur the intended focus of the content. Finding the balance between content quality and viewer interest is crucial.

 

 

 

 

Even high-quality content with superior production techniques loses value if no one watches it. A YouTube channel with low viewership ultimately faces the risk of disappearing. Corporate promotional videos that leave a pristine comment section open without drawing viewers’ admiration are considered ‘bad content’ on YouTube. Corporate YouTube channels must strive to be chosen by people.

 

Through ‘HERA’s broadcasting station,’ we can innovatively reduce the dependence on increasingly powerful famous influencers in the creator ecosystem and the cumbersome process of scouting the latest major media whenever a new product is introduced. We can form a deeper connection with our audience by conveying HERA’s authenticity and passion for our products. I want to grow HERA’s broadcasting station into something big and impressive, talking about our brand from the closest quarters.

 

Sometimes, when doubts about our direction arise, I regain confidence by reading genuine comments from new subscribers. Such interactions reassure me that our path is correct and inspire me to continue this journey!

 

 

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