Can cutting edge designs find a place on YouTube?

It’s easy to dismiss YouTube as a mess of quick editing, rants, clickbait titles, and DIY hacks. But consider this: the platform has more than 2 billion monthly active users – nearly double the number of Instagram users. As a search engine, it is second only to Google. If it’s a mess, it’s big, with plenty of opportunity. No wonder, then, that the fashion, music, and beauty industries have embraced the catwalk with open arms. By contrast, home design – especially high-end – has lagged far behind.

Recently, a few luxury brands and publications have started surfing on YouTube to try and fill this space. Some have already made names for themselves, like Architectural Digestquite successful Open door series, but the luxury design content is still somewhat of a Wild West. Those who are successful currently benefit from people-driven content in elegant professional packaging. They may still be on the cutting edge, but things are starting to stick.

Create an appearance
Although production value has increased across the board in recent years, most of the popular YouTube videos have a relatively low budget in terms of look and feel. Often that’s the goal—content creators usually run “DIY” processes, and this character-driven, character-driven originality is part of their appeal. But the design relies more on visuals that elicit envy than the vlog of your everyday lifestyle.

How do you create content that looks cutting edge and appropriate for the platform?

Can cutting edge designs find a place on YouTube?

Behind the scenes of an episode of Designer Home ToursCourtesy of Designer Home Tours

Laura Pendelusfounder of design PR agency Nylon Consulting, recently created a profile Master Tour Designer Video series on YouTube. In each episode, the acclaimed interior designer takes viewers on a personal tour of the luxurious home they designed. Bindloss filmed all of Season 1’s content on her iPhone 12, but viewers didn’t know it. To make the final product look appropriately luxurious, she relies on editing. “Where we spend money is on professional video editors,” she says. To complete the story, she mixes professional still shots — worthy of a glossy magazine — with her iPhone shots.

“When I first did it, I thought I’d take pictures on my iPhone while I was there and we could use them in the video, but it was so obvious that it didn’t work,” Bindloss says. “It has to be professional photography, or else it’s going to look awful.”

Stacy BeauxFounder and Editor-in-Chief of the Quintessence lifestyle blog and YouTube channel, she was an early adopter of the platform, posting her first YouTube video 10 years ago. It’s been a huge hit ever since, with a loyal fan base of 150,000 subscribers who come back week after week to watch. at home Series featuring the host Susanna SalkTours of the personal homes of famous designers. Thirteen videos on the channel have more than 500,000 views. Three have more than a million.

Now that smartphone cameras are capable of capturing high-resolution, almost cinematic quality footage, solid editing can be as important as, or more, than the quality of the image itself. Bewkes shoots her own video with an iPhone and Sony camera, takes photos of homes and edits video, while Salk hosts and helps with editing. Former Artistic Director Bewkes handles detail-oriented editing to take Quintessence’s videos to the next level. “It takes a long time to edit each video,” she says. “We want our videos to look professional but friendly.”

investment justification

Brands are also eager for a slice of the video pie. Bindloss represents manufacturers who increasingly want videos of their products in beautiful spaces, for both their websites and social media. But because the designers who use the products rarely shoot the video content themselves, it’s hard for brands to get what they need.

“Brands are in dire need of getting more video content for the beautiful projects they’ve featured on,” Bindloss says. Video content is where it is now [Instagram] He puts everything he can, so if you can’t get the video content, you basically can’t use this platform properly. “

For those who want to get into the video space, it can be risky to invest in a high-quality video if only a few people end up watching it (not to mention the general shame of low views). The good news is that YouTube provides metrics so brands can quickly realize what they’re doing right or wrong and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Can cutting edge designs find a place on YouTube?

The Quintessence crew shoots a videoCourtesy of Quintessence

Kid HeiserCondé Nast vice president of digital video programming and development for the company’s lifestyle division Architectural DigestYouTube videos and pays serious attention to these metrics to drive channel content. “With every video we release, we keep a close eye on how our audience interacts with the content and how much they are engaged,” he says. “In digital video, repetition is critical to growing your audience. We multiply our successes when we know we’ve created something that resonates with our viewers and pivotal ideas that haven’t been successful.”

It works for ad. In 2021, Open doorThe most popular was Condé Nast Entertainment’s series—in which celebrities give viewers an informal tour of their unusual homes. To date, the show has garnered over 674 million views in total across nearly 100 episodes.

Other than views and shares, metrics such as “watch time” (how long a viewer spends with a video) are essential for content creators to know if the pace of a video is working. It is important to follow other metrics such as average percentage viewed, likes, shares, and comments. “If our audience clicks on our videos, watches them all the way, and then shares them, we consider that a success,” Hesser says.

If a video doesn’t get enough engagement, there are ways to salvage the footage, he says Tori Melot, director of video content for Schumacher’s media division and director of overall brand style. “You can get a lot of miles from one video, and you can show it on many different channels,” she says. Content can also be repackaged for TikTok or Instagram if it is not working in long form. “You can turn it into something completely different.”

Creating content on YouTube can be as cheap as shooting on a smartphone, but professionally produced video can cost much more than that. (No one in this story will provide details on their exact costs.) Fear of investment failure is perhaps the biggest reason why high-end design content isn’t popular in video—yet. Not that there is no demand, but rather that it can be difficult to justify. Those who manage to do this successfully are often backed by bigger brands that can afford it or rely on smaller teams that can take on the risks. For many, doing the basic work of building a new audience seems like a daunting task, especially when monetizing a channel is equally challenging.

paying off
There are a variety of ways video creators make money. The simplest is through advertising revenue through the YouTube Partner Program. Although YouTube has not confirmed the exact numbers, it is estimated that a video with 1 million views ranges from $2,000 to $6,000. this means Dakota JohnsonBeloved (and deeply mimed) Open door The episode – which has garnered more than 23 million views – probably earned tens of thousands of dollars. But unless videos go viral, most home YouTube creators agree that ad revenue alone is not enough to keep video production at a high level.

Can cutting edge designs find a place on YouTube?

Schumacher interview with Alexa HamptonCourtesy of FSCO

Some turned to care to fill the void. Quintessence earns advertising revenue but also tries to find sponsors for each of them at home Videos, which sees third-party companies pay a flat fee to display an ad at the beginning of the video.

Some monetization strategies are more complex. Bindloss is earning some advertising revenue from its new series but expects several different ways to make the investment pay off. One is linking affiliate products featured in each video, where Bindloss collects a portion of the sale revenue from viewers who buy something they see on screen. Additionally, you would expect that while filming, a Master Tour Designer With video, some designers will pay them to shoot additional content for their social media accounts, a service they will buy directly. This is called “Private Labeled Content Creation” – using the already existing infrastructure of Designer Home Tours to shoot new or additional content for private businesses.

Schumacher – the only large residential textile company with a significant presence on YouTube – thinks more about brand awareness than making advertising money from its videos. “We try to offer different entry points for YouTube subscribers interested in design,” says Melot. It’s still important to make smart investments, but for Schumacher, establishing itself as an industry leader through its YouTube presence is a higher priority.

New eye balls
The ability to create a featured series on YouTube allows brands to tap into multiple audiences at once. Schumacher’s channel, for example, features a mix of videos geared towards commerce experts – which you expect to generate fewer views but to build credibility among top talent – and other videos dedicated to everyday design enthusiasts. “We try to offer different entry points for YouTube subscribers interested in design,” says Melot. The same is true in Architectural Digestwhich produces videos at the level of both ambition and self-execution.

Whatever the business logic, there is no doubt that the video content provides a more intimate way to see some of the world’s most beautiful homes and get to know the designer behind the scenes. Historically, most homes worthy of being widely publicized were only seen through print magazines. While this medium is often more polished than video – every image is meticulously designed and captured by some of the world’s best photographers – the house’s story ends there.

YouTube offers a new way to watch these popular projects. Most national interior design magazines work with the phrases “exclusivity,” which means that once a home is photographed and shown elsewhere, it is no longer for publication. This policy encourages publications to feature unique projects, but it often pushes premium homes off the table if they are touched by a competing magazine or design blog, or even over-posted on the famous homeowner’s Instagram feed. But most designer video content today doesn’t care about exclusivity, and designers and homeowners are happy to give their projects renewed interest in this format. Plus, publishing a six-page magazine doesn’t have the bandwidth to show a full house, so there are definitely new items to see.

“If it’s ‘in a book,’ it just has that many pages, if it’s online, it’s on and then sort of over,” Bindloss says of the current publishing scene. “There’s a lot going on in the space that isn’t covered in the home tour feature because they can’t show it.” Her series could feature more of these homes in an 8-minute video.

Designers also like to be featured in video content, so they will gladly open doors to their best projects. The Bewkes says only one designer said no to a home video tour: Gloria Vanderbilt. But even then, it wasn’t necessarily a lack of interest that kept the design mayor from participating. “It was kind of a deceptive flattery,” Bewkes says, laughing. ‘She said, ‘I don’t think I can, because that would be a conflict with the documentary they are making on me.

Homepage photo: Behind the scenes of a Schumacher video shoot | Courtesy of FSCO