Social media and fashion go hand in hand. And one of the most successful companies in the space is StyleHaul. StyleHaul “aggregates and manages over 550 tailored style guru channels and over 30 channels of original programming under a single social fashion video platform.” In this Startup Spotlight, Mika goes behind the scenes with Senior Vice President of Sales, Pauline Malcolm.
1. Pauline, congratulations on your recent appointment to StyleHaul as Senior VP of Sales. Can you tell our community about StyleHaul and what brought you to the team?
StyleHaul, Inc, (www.youtube.com/stylehaul) is the largest original video content network for fashion and beauty with more than 25 million people coming monthly to create, consume and share content.
The Senior Management team all had great and diverse backgrounds in media, Fashion and technology and a passion to bring fashion content to new heights in social and commerce. I have always loved fashion and new media and was thrilled to have an opportunity to combine those passions together and work with a word class team to bring something new to the marketplace.
2. How do you see StyleHaul revolutionizing the fashion industry?
StyleHaul is revolutionizing fashion and bringing it into the 21st century with video. By embracing style on all levels, we’re making fashion accessible to everyone. Our platform includes 650 original video content producers, bloggers and localized influencers to create best of breed fashion and beauty programming.
3. Content is king, and StyleHaul has developed an influential video network in such a short period of time. What’s behind the success of this rapid growth?
StyleHaul understands what works on a social platform and creates content that users want to share, curate and consume on YouTube and beyond. We credit the StyleHaul partners for working with us to develop this dynamic and influential community.
4. What type of content is seeing the most success? What video channels and gurus are seeing the most growth and why?
StyleHaul’s 650 original content producers appeal to diverse tastes in fashion, ranging from mass market to high end, so it’s hard to pinpoint one form of content that is doing better than others. However DIY tutorials and content that speaks to trends are always popular.
5. How are gurus selected? What makes for a successful StyleHaul guru?
Criteria vary, but quality of content and sphere of influence are taken into consideration. There’s really no set formula as to what makes a channel successful.
6. StyleHaul has 18MM monthly subscribers and growing what level of engagement do these subscribers show? How engaged are they?
The StyleHaul audience spends more than 90 minutes per month engaging in content on our site and watches on average 4-5 videos and 32 minutes of content per user session, respectively.
7. The focus on original programming is brilliant. How did this come into play as part of StyleHaul’s content strategies?
StyleHaul has cultivated a global audience of 25 million unique viewers, representing the largest beauty and fashion community on the web. Consequently, we want to continue engaging our users with both community programming and original premium video. This summer we’ll launch new channels to expand our elevated style programming to include our YouTube talent as well as celebrities, outside fashion bloggers and more.
8. With great content, the obvious next step is monetization. And that’s one your areas of expertise. What are some strategies StyleHaul is using/will use to monetize the network?
StyleHaul is a media company so our main revenue stream has been advertising and will continue to be as we grow and expand upon our premium programming strategy. In the upcoming months we will diversify our revenue streams by capitalizing on additional opportunities in the space.
9. What type of solutions are brands and advertisers currently excited about? Can you provide any specific examples?
We’ve developed “Native Advertising” Solutions, where brands can be a part of the story telling in programming through creative product placement integration that does not disrupt the user experience or compromise editorial integrity. Also, our advertising solutions are top funnel and bottom funnel, meaning users are inspired and entertained by the video and then they can go and shop the entire video after they are done viewing. As a result, StyleHaul integrations drive awareness, high impact and sales.
10. What tips or advice do you have for startups looking to incorporate or create videos and video channels as part of their business?
I think it’s important to make sure that video makes sense for your business. Video is obviously a hot medium right now and it’s tempting to throw considerable resources behind it, but only if it’s a logical extension of your platform. Ultimately, it should enhance what users are already coming to do at your destination.
11 What’s in store for StyleHaul’s subscribers, advertisers, and gurus in 2012?
Furthering the expansion of our global community and continuing to develop exciting new original programming and industry partnerships.
12. What fashion technologies are personally exciting for you?
Pinterest, although it is general interest it has become a natural extension for what our Gurus vlog about and is one of the fastest growing channels of influence for many of them. One of the benefits for brands when they work with our Gurus is that they can leverage their social channels within YouTube such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and beyond.