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How Beauty Brands are Winning with Google: Event Insights

13 Feb 2020 Elizabeth McHugh

in Digital, Google, Paid Search, SEM, Strategy

At Stella Rising, our strong relationship with Google helps clients win with platform opportunities and best-in-class practices. This week, Stella joined with Google for a 2020 Growth Forum on how to grow beauty brands. The event, held at Google headquarters New York, offered a wealth of information, from consumer research to YouTube creators. The day included a Q&A with jane iredale CEO Chris Payne, who candidly discussed how to grow a beauty brand post-acquisition. We’ve recapped the highlights, but please reach out for more information or content from the day:

What’s She Thinking? The 2020 Beauty Consumer

Andrea Van Dam, Stella Rising CEO

  • New Stella Rising research, powered by our proprietary community of everyday influencers, sought to capture the mood of beauty consumers heading into the 2020s. As Van Dam reported, the consumer is feeling positive: 42% of women are “hopeful” as they enter the new decade, and 54% are most excited about self-improvement this year. That said, 46% of women are also concerned about managing their personal finances—a worry greater than the environment/climate change (18%), the current political environment (18%), or the overall economic outlook (10%).
  • The beauty consumer is passionate about the category—and her overall positivity and desire for self-improvement provide a strong opportunity for beauty brands. However, brands will need to innovate in order to capture her wallet: only 34% of consumers plan to spend more on beauty this year. Overall, though beauty is predicted to grow through 2023, there will be challenges to the category on the go-forward. Brands will need to be smart about price points, heed demands for sustainability, and offer excitement.

YouTube Influencer Marketing: FameBit

Bomo Piri, Creative/Insights Lead for Google

  • Creators are the new modern media powerhouses,” said Piri, describing how through authenticity and emotion, influencers are expanding the possibilities for digital storytelling. Piri also reviewed a case study in which consumers shopped products directly from creator videos on YouTube, leading to a 2X shopping shelf CTR and a 127% lift in purchase intent.
  • For beauty brands, Piri highlighted the success of consumers using YouTube to virtually try on makeup alongside YouTube creators; AI is delivering the next level of digital engagement and connection.

Winning with Google: Large Beauty Brands

Ludovic de Valon, Head of Beauty at Google

  • De Valon reviewed the incredible rise of indie beauty brands through one amazing stat in particular: per Bain & Company, $22B of U.S. CPG/beauty sales have transferred from large players to indie brands in the past five years.
  • De Valon recommends brands win with Google in three ways:
    • Bet on Google’s Machine Learning (use AI, though strategically)
    • Rely on content learnings from YouTube
    • Understand that Google’s full technology stack can help businesses grow on- and off-line

What’s on Google’s Radar: Anticipate to Win

Chris Morgan, Head of Agency at Google

  • Morgan opened with a reminder: 83% of beauty and wellness purchases still happen in-store. However, the decision-making process has largely shifted online. Consumers have often made their decision by the time they reach the shelf. Accordingly, brands have to:
    • Show Up: 82% of searches in beauty happen on mobile. This means brands need to understand their consumer and expand their mobile-friendly reach, whether through search, on YouTube, or through local listings.
    • Wise Up: Again, the message was to lean into automation and smart search. Updates to responsive display ads and Google’s video builder are ways advertisers can usher in technology and efficiency.
    • Speed Up: A one second can delay can impact conversion rates by 20%. Use thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/testmysite to check on your brand’s mobile speed.

 ABCDs for Beauty: YouTube Creative Best Practices

Presented by Nuria Pinar, YT Product Specialist at Google

  • Pinar offered her fundamentals for creating on YouTube: build for attention, build for sound on, and build for mobile. First, the importance of pace in creating successful YouTube content was reviewed, as faster paced ads boost retention. Then, Pinar reminded brands to “see and say;” to boost ad recall and brand awareness, mention and visualize products/brands. Another tip? Focus on just one product, rather than a portfolio in order to obtain higher brand consideration.

Beauty Q&A: How a Brand Grows Post-Acquisition

A conversation with Chris Payne, CEO of jane iredale, and Amanda Zajac, VP of Beauty for Stella Rising

  • CEO of our longtime client, skincare makeup experts jane iredale, Payne discussed his “wins” since taking the helm of the 25-year-old beauty brand. Payne spoke to how important it is to look at a business holistically. However, his main message dealt with how, “the customer has never had so much control in the history of the world.” For Payne, this means brands need to be prepared to meet the consumer wherever she wants to shop, and to provide all of the information that she is seeking, however she wants it. “It’s not my job to tell them where they should and shouldn’t shop,” said Payne on the consumer, “If they use Google and YouTube to discover and learn and then buy on Amazon, that’s great.”
  • A final highlight: Payne noted that, for smaller beauty players, leadership needs to focus on the things that will truly move the needle.

Thank you to all who attended! Receive the comprehensive white paper on our consumer research—plus never miss out on Stella events—by subscribing to our full world of research-driven content.

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