Are fashion brands dropping the ball on YouTube?

While views might be skyrocketing, brands may not be using the platform to complete the path-to-purchase loop.

Even though views and subscribers are on an upswing, fashion brands that are active on YouTube are leaving out major gaps in the path to purchase.

A new report led by digital research firm L2 for marketing software company Pixability observed the performance of more than 50 international fashion brands on the video platform between September and November. Year-over-year, fashion brands saw an 87% increase in the number of subscribers and a 204% increase in the number of views. While the report looked at brands from all consumer levels, luxury brands appear to attract the most views: as of November, the top brand by view count is Chanel, with 140.5 million views, followed by Louis Vuitton (94.6 million), Dior (86.5 million), Calvin Klein (53.2 million) and Burberry (51 million).

But while the baseline metrics are strong and growing, the report shows  fashion brands may be missing opportunities to make the most of YouTube as a marketing platform. In terms of visibility, searching for a brand resulted in the official channel appearing on the first page in 80% of cases, but only cracked the top three results less than half of the time and appeared as the top result in less than 20% of searches. Less than 10% of the brands observed regularly appeared in paid ads, which, as the report points out, limits brand visibility for those outside of their regular viewing audience. Less than 20% of the most-viewed content for each brand featured an embedded ad for a particular product or collection, with less than 10% providing links to collection or product pages for purchase.

As an example of a fashion brand using the platform right, the report offers Gucci’s digital first campaign for its “Jackie Soft” handbag as a case study. The brand’s social media channels – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – were all driving to a one-minute video promoting the product for an entire week starting on Sept. 8. The video topped one million views in under a month, making it one of the brand’s top three best performing pieces of content. What’s more, the video also featured an overlay that then drove viewers to a product page to learn more and purchase the bag.

Image courtesy Anton Oparin/Shutterstock