Known as the “Queen of Curl” in the industry, Ouidad is an internationally recognized stylist and hair educator. She opened her first salon in 1984, catering exclusively to curly hair. Since then, her business has grown into trademarked cutting and styling techniques and a line of award-winning products. Always progressive, getting involved in vlogging simply made sense for Ouidad. Patrick Campbell, director of marketing for Ouidad, says the company started vlogging in 2009. “We wanted to demonstrate how to use our products, and we knew there was a growing community of curly haired customers who were seeking product information and how-to tips. YouTube is a powerful part of the social network and has helped consumers make decisions on which products are right for them. Most people like hearing what their peers have to say about products, saving them time and money in purchasing something that may not work for their hair.”
Targeting anyone who has wavy, curly or textured hair, Ouidad has a specialized market that has responded well to videos. “We have our main YouTube channel called ‘Ouidad—The Curl Experts’ and a behind-the-scenes channel called ‘Ouidad Snippets,’ says Campbell. “We post our content to our website, our blog, Facebook and Twitter.” Vlogs include how-tos, behind-the-scenes videos of Fashion Week, photo shoots, makeovers, stories from Ouidad stylists and personal stories from Ouidad herself. “Response has been extremely positive,” says Campbell. “Customers have questions about how to style their hair and what products work best for their hair type. It’s great that they have access to Ouidad’s knowledge simply by logging onto our website or any of our social-media channels. On YouTube they can watch, ask questions and discuss content with their peers. We’ve found that to be very important to our customers.”
Although unsure about increased sales due to vlogging, Ouidad has deliberately increased its presence in the online community via vlogging. “Vlogs are very important to curly haired consumers, and many seek out information online prior to purchasing,” says Campbell. “Vlogging has allowed us to share the personality of Ouidad and the passion for our brand in an entertaining and educational way.”
Campbell cites finding out what customers want as the primary step any business owner should take when considering vlogging as a way to connect with the public. “We would often talk to our customer-service team and salon clientele to find out what their questions were and what people wanted,” he says. “I think the key is to just start. It doesn’t have to be perfect or the highest quality edit, just start small, and let it progress and improve over time.”
The pace of social media continues to increase and keeping up can seem impossible. While you might think that your website and possibly a blog is sufficient to entice customers to your store, vlogging can be an easy and inexpensive addition to your arsenal of marketing tools. YouTube accounts are free to set up, and with the simple touch of an iPhone, a video can be created and downloaded in mere minutes.
Both young and mature customers are becoming entrenched in the social-media outlets Facebook and Twitter; so adding a weekly or daily vlog to your page can generate more talk about your store and bring in more customers. And when it’s really as easy as getting out your phone and pushing ‘record,’ how can you not check out this latest addition to the cyber-marketing game?
Jody Ellis-Knapp is a freelance writer based in Alaska. She recently co-authored an Alaskan cookbook titled What’s Cooking, Alaska?
[Image: Courtesy of Ouidad]