Kerri Hardy is a contributing writer for topics on media, culture, and publicity.
Success as a Skincare YouTuber: 5 Tips From Cassandra Bankson on Standing Out
Unlike content creators in other industries, YouTubers in the skincare market face a unique challenge: each and every one of them has a similar purpose.
Within the skincare industry, virtually everyone is attempting to provide information on what works for the skin and what does not. So, how do you distinguish your channel given this saturation?
Here are five tips from skincare expert and YouTuber Cassandra Bankson on how to make your channel rise above the crowd.
1. The Topic of Skincare is VERY Broad so Find a Niche
Over the past 10 years, Cassandra Bankson’s skincare channel has generated over 1.3 million subscribers. Her videos attract a high level of engagement, and she has consistently been able to monetize her content. How was she able to achieve this? Cassandra told us that:
“The most important thing to understand is choosing what you’re passionate about within the skincare industry. I was a sufferer of cystic acne for a really long time so I wanted to create skincare content that focused on viewers with severe skin complications and even skin disorders. People with severe skin disorders have a lot of questions that don’t really come up in everyday conversations so I decided to make a channel that specifically addresses the concerns of this audience. I wanted my channel to be by an acne sufferer and for an acne sufferer. It needed to be realistic.”
For example, in 2010, Cassandra posted the video below, “Foundation Routine For Acne: How To Cover Pimples, Scars, Cystic Acne, Blackheads & Oil.”
This video garnered over 28 million views on YouTube and propelled Cassandra to success as a YouTube skincare influencer. Before even clicking on the content, the viewer can see from the title that the video is tailored to acne sufferers and to any potential questions that they may have about specific problems.
Creator Takeaway: While every skincare content creator does not necessarily have a challenging skin story, every YouTuber in this market has the ability to decide what they’re passionate about. Find what is important to you. This will help you create unique content.
2. Establish Your YouTube Channel's Values
As a rule in marketing, viewers consume content they are emotionally invested in. They also consume content they can readily relate and identify with. This connection between content creator and viewer is achieved by expressing clear values.
Values add humanity to your channel. Values make you a real person to viewers rather than someone who just talks about a concept.
Harvard Business Review suggests that an emotional connection to a brand can actually enable a 50% increase in sales or consumption. To succeed in finding the values you want your channel to uphold, ask yourself:
What does my channel stand for, and outside of skincare, why would it be important to my viewer’s everyday life?
Cassandra’s channel consistently communicates three values that apply to everyday life:
- Body positivity
Her channel hones in on the journey of getting to know your skin and yourself through the act of self-care rather than the perceived win of flawless skin. She also affirms the presence and community of individuals with underrepresented skin types. Furthermore, not only do values like this help the consumer, but they help YouTubers be more organized and creative. Cassandra confirms that:
“For my videos, values help me understand which products will make my viewers want to embrace themselves rather than want to change themselves. This is the basic structure that I apply to new ideas."
Creator Takeaway: When you chose a topic for a video, let your values be your core thesis. What do you want your channel to prove or change about skincare? This mission is what will set your content apart from other skincare YouTubers.
3. Answer Your Audience's Questions and Concerns to Create New Content
Targeting a specific audience is crucial to the success of your YouTube channel. Then engaging with that audience helps you gain a better understanding of their identity, their needs, and their wants. As a skincare YouTuber, Cassandra confirms that there are a couple of ways to do this:
“Having conversations with viewers in the comments is extraordinarily important. Not only does it help build your community, but it helps you gain a better understanding of who your community is and what your community needs the most. Another effective way of learning about your audience is live streaming.”
Creator Takeaway: By hosting a live stream, you can have actual conversations with your viewers. By actively answer their questions, and you can gain a better understanding of what's important to them. Use this tip to produce relevant and novel content.
4. Treat Other Skincare Creators as Inspiration, Not Competition
Compared to other markets that YouTubers serve, the skincare industry has a very unique culture. As a content creator of any genre, it is best to know that culture and the norms within your industry.
For skincare on YouTube, the different communities of content creators are more like an ecosystem as opposed to a hierarchy. Ideas are shared and exchanged, not trumped. Cassandra does not see other skincare YouTubers as competition. She sees them as co-workers.
“Everyone in the skincare area is so kind, understanding, and intelligent," she says. "I watch all of my other favorite YouTubers, and because I watch them, I can react, compliment, and comment on what they say.”
Doing this actually helps Cassandra stay on top of other trends in skincare. In addition, it helps broaden her own community by presenting herself in a positive light to a new community.
Creator Takeaway: The skincare industry is all about positivity, so taking the time to do a shout-out and interact with other communities is a great way to stand out and increase your exposure to new audiences.
5. Share YOUR Skincare Story
Overall, your experience is such an important part of why your channel matters. It is so impactful to share the narrative behind your channel and values because it not only tells viewers who you are, but it personalizes your mission.
Cassandra has always been very open with her viewers about how she grew up feeling incredibly insecure about her acne and shares that:
“My viewers were really the first exposure to friendship and humanity," she says. "I was isolated from social relationships. I suffered from a lot of anxiety and depression."
Cassandra openly describes how she did not have a source of skin positivity, and she noticed the adverse effect this was having on people like her. For that reason, she decided to do something about it by starting her own YouTube channel. Her story is the inspiration behind her values and her channel. She confirms that:
“When you have lived through the same struggles as your viewers and share them openly, there is a deeper level of empathy and connection to them. Because there is only one you, sharing your story helps to set you apart as an authentic content creator for skincare. That is the best advantage of being a skincare YouTuber. You are what makes your channel different.”
Only by living through her own experiences and sharing those openly has Cassandra generated authenticity for her content. Her unique perspective allows her to make enlightening and informative videos for her community like this one:
Creator Takeaway: Don't be afraid to share your experiences around skin and skincare with your audience. You may connect on a level you've only dreamed about.
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Image Credits: Cassandra Bankson