From the outside, the beauty industry seems like a happy place full of glittery eyeshadow and fruity scented lotions. However, anyone who has attempted to advertise their beauty products online knows the competition is fierce…and not just in the Project Runway definition of the word. Have no fear! The team at Rakuten Marketing is staffed with the savviest beauty paid search experts on the Internet, so read on to find our top six paid search tips for beauty brands.

  1. Watch your resellers. One of the biggest challenges with beauty brands that sell directly from their website is competing with big beauty resellers. As a beauty brand, you love your resellers and the business they bring, yet from the perspective of the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) they are also your competition. They have big marketing budgets and loyal shoppers, so they don’t mind driving up your brand cost per click by bidding on your brand terms. To help your ads stand out, be sure to include the phrase “Official Site” and trademark symbols in your ad copy.If you still find yourself paying too much for the top position on your banded terms because of competition from resellers, it might be time to negotiate with them and create guidelines for when they can bid on your brand terms.  For more on dealing with resellers in the paid search space, check out this blog post:  Managing Brand Cost Per Click Inflation
  2. Focus on brand terms first, then collections. When deciding what keywords to bid on, terms with your brand name should be the priority, especially since resellers will also be bidding on these terms (see number 1) and you want your brand to be in top position. The next priority should be any collections that have unique names. For example, if Acme Beauty has a line of anti-wrinkle creams called Wrinkle Be Gone, keywords with the phrase Wrinkle Be Gone will be less competitive than the more generic term “wrinkle cream.” In the competitive beauty market place, if your brand doesn’t show up in searches for these collection terms, your resellers and competitors will.
  3. Entice shoppers on Google Shopping with Merchant Center Promotions. Google Shopping allows shoppers to easily compare prices, but when advertisers offer the same products, it’s the extras that will sway a shopper to choose one retailer over another. Advertisers can highlight these offers—including gifts with purchase (GWP)–with Merchant Center Promotions. Merchant Center promotions have been shown to increase click-through rates from Google Shopping so if your brand doesn’t use them, you are missing a valuable traffic driving opportunity.
  4. Choose your promotions to best compete in the search space. Free (or at least low threshold) shipping and free samples are a must. Your frenemies at the big beauty resellers are offering this, plus loyalty rewards points across a beauty counter full of brands. If you want the beauty enthusiast to shop on your website, samples and shipping offers are not optional. Also, having a premium sample with higher order total can work to bump up your average order value, as long as you don’t make that threshold too much higher than your usual average order.
  5. Use RLSA to bid on generic terms without racking up a giant paid search bill. When I want to bid on more generic terms I use Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA). That way, I can target shoppers who have been to my advertiser’s website. I can even get more granular and target shoppers who have been to the lipstick section of the website or shoppers who have abandoned their online shopping carts.
  6. YouTube. According to Search Engine Watch there are 700 million monthly YouTube beauty video views and 50% of all beauty shoppers watch videos on YouTube. YouTube’s advanced targeting options will allow you to get your ads in front of your ideal customers. Combine this with a myriad of different ad types (sponsored cards, bumper ads, skippable ads and more) and the number of potential strategies are endless.For example, one of my clients repurposed a television commercial as a YouTube skippable ad. This ad received over 10,000 views per month at a cost per view (CPV) of only $0.08. YouTube’s advanced targeting allowed me to select the audience by age, gender, location and even interest.  With advanced targeting options and low CPV, YouTube is an affordable option for extending the reach of your television commercials.If you represent a beauty brand, all the blending, dabbing and teasing in the world won’t get you to the top of the search engines results page.  Reach out to the experts at Rakuten Marketing to learn more about our free paid search audit and let us help you style the perfect strategy for your brand.