Why Halloween on YouTube is a Year Round Opportunity for Brands and Creators

Why Halloween on YouTube is a Year Round Opportunity for Brands and Creators

Halloween is very nearly upon us and thousands of brands and creators have been uploading video content to YouTube, Facebook, Vine and other platforms in the run up to one of the major tent-pole events of the year. But, did you know that there’s interest in Halloween, particularly on YouTube, all year round? And that’s something marketers, creators, brands, and agencies can take advantage of, whatever season it happens to be.

Halloween Videos: Popular All Year Round

To determine the activity around Halloween content on YouTube and other video sites, we took a look at Halloween makeup and cosmetic video uploads, and filtered out content related to recipes, costumes, and other topics. We wanted to get a snapshot of a particular category in that vertical to see how it performs outside of the dates of peak interest. We also excluded videos with less than 10K views.

Starting our search from July 2013 to the present date, there have been 2.5B views of Halloween makeup videos, generating around 40M engagements such as shares, likes, and comments. As you can see from the graph below, although there are obvious spikes in views around October, views for Halloween content are generated throughout the year.

Using data from Tubular, we are seeing some very interesting trends around Halloween makeup content, videos which include reviews, tutorials, and unboxing videos. For example, in 2014, videos uploaded in that year accounted for only 38% of views in the month of October. Which means that 61% of video views were generated throughout the rest of 2014!

Halloween makeup videos uploaded in 2013, accounted for 71% of views generated before October 2014. If you include October 2014, 2013 video uploads still generated 54% of video views compared to 46% for 2014 uploads. And, even with a 60% view growth year over year, the number of engagements per view averaged 3% when comparing the videos uploaded in that same year. Wow.

Halloween Content from 2013 STILL Driving Views

With a tent-pole event like Halloween, a festival celebrated all over the western world, a really great makeup tutorial can still generate views and engagement long after it has been uploaded. If it’s been optimized for the right keywords, has a compelling custom thumbnail, and the creator has promoted it through their subscriber base and beyond, there’s no reason why this type of video cannot prove to be evergreen.And that really seems to be the case for Halloween cosmetic how-tos. We compared uploads from 2013, 2014, and 2015 and found that while the trend is usually a decline in views, content from 2013 is growing. As consumption for online video continues to grow, viewers are turning to YouTube and other sites for informational content on creating looks for different occasions. Great videos from recent years contribute to the long-tail as each new year builds up momentum from the previous year.

Over the past 28 months, the majority of Halloween cosmetic views have been on YouTube, or via YouTube embeds on other sites. Uploads to the site account for 2.4B views since July 2013, but we are now seeing a lot more activity on Facebook, Vine, and Instagram so the October 2016 landscape should be very different.

Halloween on YouTube: Most Watched Makeup Video

Did you know that the most watched Halloween makeup video ever isn’t specifically about Halloween? However, it has been very cleverly optimized for the search term, a well as for other keywords that viewers are consistently searching for. YouTube megastar Michelle Phan uploaded her ‘Barbie Transformation Tutorial’ way back in October 2009, and it has generated an incredible 62M views, and 304K engagements.  Halloween makeup doesn’t have to be all about the scariest face you can create, and Phan’s video obviously appeals to viewers looking for a less frightening look.

4 Takeaways for Video Marketers and Advertisers

Facts and figures are all good for showing what’s working when it comes to types of video content, but what can marketers takeaway from our data on Halloween?

#1 Create tent-pole content with longevity: A well made and timeless video can generate views and engagement for years. Don’t be afraid to produce a video around a specific event just because you think it may only have a short shelf-life. If the topic is broad enough it will continue to drive views for you well beyond what you may expect.

#2 Optimize titles and description so videos can be found all year round: Don’t be afraid to optimize your titles and descriptions depending on the time of year. Like Michelle Phan, you may have created a makeup tutorial around a popular character, but that doesn’t mean you can’t optimize it for tent-pole events like Halloween. If it’s a more generic look then you can update your titles for Christmas, Easter, The Day of the Dead, National Donut Day, whatever. Take a look at what type of new audience you could reach with your content if you tailor your metadata for the videos that viewers are constantly searching for.

#3 Find Influencers to work with: Most of the Halloween Makeup tutorials are made by individual creators who have grown their channels and subscriber base over the years. Cosmetic brands have found very real success working with these creators to reach a wider audience, but if you’re a non-cosmetics brand you may still have a way in. Look for every opportunity to work with YouTubers, Viners, Instagrammers, and other creators, so you widen your reach.

#4 Video advertisers should consider targeting older Halloween makeup videos, as well as the new uploads. If video content is a couple of years old but viewers are still clicking through on it, and sharing and liking, then it’s ideal to advertise against.

Have you been creating content around tent-pole events? Do you have any tips and tricks for our readers for building longevity for your videos? Let us know in the comments below. 


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