Macy's Turns To YouTube To Grab Millennials

Rather than trying to convince Millennials to come to its stores, Macy's (NYSE:M) is now going to the Millennials where they already are: YouTube. The retailer is partnering with YouTube fashion network StyleHaul and four online personalities to launch a series of videos promoting its merchandise starting today (Sept. 16).

If Macy's can get the material right, the audience is certainly there. YouTube displaced Yahoo as the second-largest search engine in 2011 and hasn't looked back. While this isn't the first time Macy's has turned to the video search site for promotion, it is the first time the company has taken a chance on outside voices running with its products.

"We have given the four video bloggers as much latitude as we can to take a look at Macy's and what they might shop for at Macy's, and to come up with content that is a reflection of their impression of Macy's, with the hope that their individual fan bases will be more excited about shopping at Macy's when they hear one of the vloggers they follow had a great experience with us," the chain's VP of digital media and multicultural marketing, Jennifer Kasper, told Women's Wear Daily.

As it turns out, those individual fan bases add up to some impressive numbers. The four channels have a combined 2.6 million subscribers and 303 million views. When they posted on Twitter and Instagram three weeks ago from the Macy's shoot, the campaign generated over four million impressions and nearly 100,000 engagements with content.

Macy's isn't leaving the bloggers completely up to their own devices, though. StyleHaul is contributing the substantial expertise of its recently-formed agency StyleHaul Studios to ensure that the videos don't look like amateur productions. A five-person crew and professional editing are giving the bloggers' material a premium channel sheen.

Even so, turning YouTube viewers into actual shoppers is still new, and as a result Macy's isn't setting any explicit goals for the campaign, even though the company is convinced it will see a sales boost.

"The challenge we have is putting ourselves on the radar screen with Millennials," Kasper said. "We felt that the content that is being created here could bridge the gap."

For more:

- See this Women's Wear Daily story

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