Video & Fashion Bloggers: Why Hasn’t It Caught On?
By: Taylor Davies

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Towards the end of 2011 and in the beginning of 2012, we at IFB were amped on video content. We posted our own video content once a week and encouraged the community to embrace the medium as well. We had an experienced photographer and videographer on staff which made things easier, but for many in the blogging community, that’s just not an option.

There’s a number of established bloggers who regularly use video on their sites (Wendy’s Lookbook, I Spy DIY) but for most of us – it’s just not really catching on. It’s a highly creative medium and excellent branding opportunity that allows you to showcase so many facets of your personality and your style. Not to mention if you gain a large following, you can make money!

Why isn’t video more popular amongst fashion and personal style bloggers? What would have to change to get more bloggers using it? We’ve laid out a few thoughts on it below, and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Why aren’t more fashion bloggers using video?

 

It’s time-consuming.

There is a significant difference in the amount of time needed for an outfit post photo shoot and a video shoot. The retakes, the different angles, the set-up, the do-overs – it all adds up. Even with an experienced videographer (and perhaps even more so), shooting high-quality video is a serious investment of your time and effort.

Shooting good video is harder than taking a great photo.

By nature, video is just more complicated than still photography. You have sound, movement, different shots coming together – not to mention the same elements of framing, light and scenery that play into still photography as well.

Editing isn’t easy.

Editing video is more complicated and again, more time consuming than editing still photographs. The tools are more intricate and achieving great results is more difficult.

Audiences don’t always care.

For all that effort, there’s not always a guaranteed return on investment with video. If you’ve already trained your readers to expect photos and written content, it can be hard to transition them to something new. It’s also more of an effort for them to consume video content. If you’re at the office, for example, watching a video takes time and requires headphones, compared to just scrolling through content.

What needs to happen to get more fashion bloggers using video?

 

We can’t say for sure exactly what it would take to get more of the fashion blogging community using video (we aren’t mind readers, after all), but it seems safe to say it wouldn’t be easy. In the end it comes down to putting in the work, and many of us don’t have the time – and perhaps the confidence either. No one ever said getting in front of the camera (especially video) was easy.

  • Editing tools could become easier to use
  • Audiences have to express a greater interest in the medium to encourage bloggers
  • Bloggers must be willing to dedicate time to creating and editing content

 

What do you think it would take to get bloggers more interested in creating original video content?

Comments

  1. Lisa says:

    I tried my hand at doing a couple of haul videos, but eventually the novelty wore off. You’re right in saying that videos are much more time-consuming to create.

    Also, text and images are easier to consume and share. If I’m at work on the computer, or commuting and surfing on my phone or tablet, I can quickly scroll through a blog post and its images, maybe pin an image on my Pinterest board to share with others if I like it. I can skim or read slowly and set my own pace. By contrast, watching a video forces me to go at the pace someone else set for me. What’s more, I can’t listen to the audio discreetly unless I have headphones.

  2. Avatar of purplebananasandfudgeballs

    I can understand videos being utilized by fashion bloggers to show a tutorial but really the average fashion blog is the personal style blog, and readers like to see still images that showcase the details of the outfit. I think that photos are more useful than videos when showing off a style or an outfit, because with videos, the readers finger will never leave the pause button. Even for clothing hauls, I’d rather see actual photos that showcase the goodies well, rather than a video. http://www.purplebananasandfudgeballs.blogspot.com

  3. Avatar of Kate Hostetler

    I really want to break into the video side of fashion blogging but it’s a lot of work! I know how to edit but I just don’t have the time! Hopefully I can make time because I feel like having video is a great addition to a blog. This article definitely rings true, nice job!
    Kate Hostetler
    http://dry-cleanonly.com

  4. Avatar of Paola Monroe
    Paola Monroe says:

    I think is a good idea and it will be a original idea for a blog if you post video of outfits and you can have a special relation with your readers when you do a video post instead photos.
    Of course isn’t easy and you can’t have the same confidence on video than pictures, on video you can fix deffects.

  5. Ursula says:

    I think you should use both. From a marketing perspective, some people like glossy pictures and some people like to see videos so they can get to know the person behind the picture. I think videos have the opportunity to become more viral than a website. Fashion designers understood this, that is why so many of them live streamed their runways show this year during NYFW and had the video uploaded to their website and youtube minutes later. Who wants to wait for the picture to be posted days later?! When I am trying out a new DIY or baking, I go directly to YouTube so I can see someone walk me through it vs read the instructions/recipe. It all depends on the individual, so make sure you provide both photos and video to have adequate coverage if you are trying to increase your reach. Look at it this way, Gangnam Style now has over 835 million views, so that is proof you cannot ignore the power of video.

    • Avatar of Rhythm and Ruffle

      Great point here! Video is an amazing way to increase your audience as a blogger. I’m really starting to get serious about it again having done vlogs in the past. It is as time consuming as you want it to be – if you’re creative and stay true to yourself you’ll do great; don’t worry about what others are doing with their videos. I say do both – photos are of course very important too, but try adding a video once a week or once a month.

      http://rhythmandruffle.com <3

  6. Avatar of Lauren - Slowburn Fastburn

    My boyfriend is a filmmaker, which makes it super easy for me to embrace the medium. We have our first video project coming up soon, and I am so excited!

    x lauren
    http://slowburnfastburn.com

  7. Avatar of Travelle McFarland

    I’m glad to see this post, as this has been something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. As I am in the start-up phase of my blog one thing that is a must have for me is a full-frame DSLR with 1080 video capability. I recognize that quality video content can serve as a great traffic source and even lead to monetization opportunities. (I love watching beauty guru AndreasChoice on YouTube…who has just over 82 million views!) I’m also love watching DIY and beauty tutorial videos. I feel that if executed properly videos can add a certain level or originality and personality (I love watching videos by Ivania Carpio of Love-Aesthetics). While it may require a lot more effort to produce the video, I think the opportunity to expose your content to a large audience (as in YouTube, which is one of the highest trafficked sites currently) who might not otherwise be expose to it is almost priceless.

    Just my thoughts…

  8. Avatar of Lisa Van
    Lisa Van says:

    Although I do like the idea of exploring several mediums throughout our blog, filming, editing and producing these videos does require a lot of time and effort. Perhaps if I do acquire these resources, this concept might come into fruition on my blog.

    http://modeandprerogative.blogspot.com.au/

  9. Avatar of Sarah Loves
    Sarah Loves says:

    I too have tried fashion vlogging but I have very mixted feelings on it, mainly because:

    a. the audience on Youtube is a lot harsher and there are a lot more cyber bullies on it who get a kick out of calling girls fat etc when they are clearly not.
    b. it is so much effort to actually film and put together.
    c. you often have to reply on a friend to help you either film it or put it together.

    I have however thought about creating fashion films for my post as I’m lucky to have a boyfriend with a talent for film directing and a nice big, good quality camera. Whether I actually go through and develop this idea we shall have to see! It would kind of be a shame not to give it a go at least.

    Sarah x
    sarahloves.co.uk

  10. Avatar of MonicaP
    MonicaP says:

    One of my goals for 2013 is to add video, but now I see how hard it is just to create a nice blog post while working full time. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Plus, the time change now is truly, TRULY a drag! No lighting for photos :-(

    Plus I agree with Sarah – some youtubers are down right mean. Do I want to spend my time deleting bad comments? Or do I want to pull together and good (great!) blog post? Blog post, hands down :-)

    Monica
    http://www.pear-shaped-gal.com/

  11. I have posted a few personal style videos on my Youtube channel at
    http://www.youtube.com/user/ThatsAPrettyHat

    I attended the video-blogging breakout session at the last IFB conference and asked around to collect addresses for fellow bloggers’ Youtube channels. I didn’t find many that were dedicated to personal style.

    I think that most Youtube followings are based on how-to videos.

    I feel we need to build a larger community that embraces video before the technology is more widely used in personal style blogs. The practice of following and commenting on videos does not seem to be practiced on smaller Youtube channels.

  12. Avatar of AJ Wears Clothes

    Coming FROM a background in video, I’ve played with video a little on my site. It’s hard to figure out exactly what content works. I’ve done hauls, short films just dancing around and posing (i guess like an outfit showcase?) and even styling videos where I show examples on how to style a certain outfit, and none of them have really stuck. Besides being time-consuming, it really has been a challenge for me to come up with creative content that I think will engage my readers and offer something beyond the typical OOTD post.

  13. Avatar of Nasreen
    Nasreen says:

    As a viewer on youtube sometimes its just so much EFFORT watching a video especially if it takes long to load or doesnt get to the point. But on the other hand, photos are direct and communicate the point effectively :)

    http://lazyobsession.blogspot.com

  14. Mike Panic says:

    You’ve nailed most of the reasons why in the article. The main ones, to hit on them again, are time, production costs, equipment and editing time. Everyone carries an iPhone with them, more serious street shooters have at least a decent point & shoot camera, no one is carrying around wireless clip-on mics for recording, stabilizers to tank the jenky-ness out or pulling permits to actually use a tripod.

    More story-boarded shoots also take a lot of time to produce, figure a scale of 100×1 in my experience. That is, for every 1 minute of video, you’ll spend 100 minutes of time doing hair / makeup / set prep / editing / exporting and so on.

    Two other points you didn’t really address. One, we as a society are on the go, a lot. Analyzing a website’s analytics (and if you are only relying on those provided by WP, you NEED to get Google Analytics), there’s an upward trend towards mobile devices, iPhone & iPads are leading the way here. To watch a video while reading a blog post on either means that your web browsing or RSS reading app must close and a video app opens, YouTube is no longer the official client of iOS6, and while the stand-alone app is beautiful, it needs to be manually installed. Personally, I think Vimeo provides a far better presentation for viewing videos, but again, the consumer needs to have Vimeo installed on their device. Forget about any of the other, smaller video hosting sites, that’s just a lost cause. So, it leads to a terrible user experience.

    While we’re on the user experience, most videos include a 20-45 second slow rolling intro, that’s about 10-20x too long to keep our attention, which is already super short. Aside from that, there’s music and interviews. We as a society have started doing everything we weren’t hired to do at work, while at work. It’s easy to spend 5 minutes taking a mental break at your desk and read a few blogs, that doesn’t mean it’s OK to watch a 5 minute video. Likewise, we as a society have become addicts with checking things like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and with RSS readers like Feedly.com for browsers and a matching iOS app, reading websites on-the-go is painless, till you put videos in. I can tweet, update my FB status and send an instagram while having a conversation with some friends over coffee at any given coffee house, without loosing pace in the conversation. I cannot stop for a few minutes to watch / listen to a video.

    The other problem is, video’s don’t index very well in Google, Bing or Yahoo searches. Sure a few may show up at the top, but the whole of your content won’t actually show up the same way text does. The click-through of URLs from YouTube & Vimeo back to an article that a video belongs in are also terribly low. So, you’re now liming the chances of organic traffic from getting to your site.

    I’m not anti-video, but in the large scale of things right now, it’s not the time, and it might not ever be the time.

  15. I feel that if executed properly videos can add a certain level or originality and personality which can play an important role in our society.

  16. I agree with fantasie originality always play a very major role.

  17. Avatar of Courtney
    Courtney says:

    In my opinion, I think video content is crucial for expanding your blogger audience. I started off with Youtube before I started to take my blog seriously and I have way more followers there than I do on my fashion blog. My latest fashion video on Youtube has reached over 7000+ people (with 95 likes) while my latest fashion post has only reached about 40 when I went and looked at the stats, HUGE difference. Of course there will be those people who will dislike your video just to dislike it but you can easily disable the ratings option if that is becoming a problem. Also, almost all of the fashion opportunities that I’ve been offered have been because of my fashion youtube channel versus my blog since I have a larger following (850+) on Youtube and only 59 on my fashion blog. Think about all of the videos that have gone viral on Youtube and made regular people famous literally overnight so it definitely has a lot of power. I usually correlate my fashion posts with my videos so if I do a clothing haul on certain items then the same day I upload the video I make sure to snap quality pics of the same items and then make the same post on my blog. I personally prefer to watch fashion hauls and outfit lookbooks through video content rather than just a picture but at the end of the day it just comes down to your personality and time commitment because yes it definitely takes more effort to make a quality video versus a quality blog post. Just my two cents =)

    P.S. Here is the link to my Youtube fashion channel if anyone is interested: http://www.youtube.com/user/LaChicCouture?feature=mhee
    lachiccouturefashion.com

  18. Luin says:

    I think if there was a network that could match up a personal style blogger with a budding videographer it might make things go alot smoother. I’ve started out in the opposite direction actually. My youtube channel came up first and then now I’m considering of starting up a blog. The great thing about youtube fashion videos is that it doesnt have to be high-end style standards. The standard (or quality) is set by you. The pressure is set by you as well. For Wendy’s lookbook and Jenn from clothesencounters I believe they’re fortunate enough to have people with proper technical know-how to help them in the filming department. But they’re many others like beautycrush and sototallyvlog that film from the comfort of their own home. Sure it takes a lot more time but I think it’s worth the investment because it adds dimension and your personality can really shine through!

  19. I think video is just a harder medium to get into and do well. I’ve seen so many videos that just aren’t done to the standard I would expect and it’s more of a turn off than a turn on. As a producer, I know how hard it can be to get everything together and it’s a definite obstacle to someone who has never done video before.

  20. Fauxionista says:

    I agree with most of the points brought up in this post and the comments. I am thinking that animated GIFs is perhaps a good bridge between the two and am planning to implement that on my blog.

    fauxionista.com

  21. Avatar of Khadijat Yussuff

    I think we should also try to transition by making more gifs, because that’s a medium halfway between photo and video. I think it would be cooler if video were used sparingly, as to keep the novelty (i.e. special occasions only).

    ♥, Khadijat
    Youth Savage

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