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Beauty Advertising

Compared to social, native ads in premium environments are:

+24% more likely to lead to purchase

How is the industry evolving?

For an industry based on looks, beauty brands are evolving their marketing strategy to deliver visually-appealing and engaging experiences with shoppers. Beauty buyers want to know if a product works for them before they buy it, and brands are increasingly adopting a “try-before-you-buy” approach to build brand community online. Moreover, subscription boxes are becoming a popular way to drive customer loyalty and lifetime value. In fact, beauty shoppers look to simple and inexpensive ways to uplift themselves, as society inches back to a state of new normalcy, giving brands the opportunity to establish themselves in shopper routines and wellness offerings.

How has spending on advertising changed over time?

Beauty brands have long relied on influencers and celebrities in their marketing campaigns to reach and engage with beauty audiences, converting passive users into active ones. While it’s been a widely used tactic across social media campaigns, brands can make the most of their interactions with shoppers, and combine the increasing interest around tailored experiences, by tapping into the open web to reach new audiences and deploy similar promotional strategies. In fact, open web advertisements are considered to be the most impactful compared to social platforms* – not only to stay top-of-mind and generate curiosity around a product, but increase user participation and sales.

To optimize the digital experience across the buyer journey, advertising platforms that leverage AI technology can best support the way beauty brands make an impact online. Marketing budgets are increasingly being allocated towards advertising platforms that can achieve higher brand ROI and deepen customer relationships.

Source: Walled Gardens vs. Open Web Research Report, 2020

7 in 10 regular shoppers research a product online before purchase.

Source: GWI, 2022

Beauty shoppers are just as likely to discover a brand on the open web (32%) compared to social (34%).

Source: GWI, 2022

87% say they spend more or the same online than before Covid

Source: The Changing Face of the Beauty Shopper Study, 2021

51% of US beauty consumers stock up when a product is on sale

Source: NielsenIQ, May 2022

Beauty sees strong engagement growth between Q2 and Q3 on the Outbrain platform, with +60% CTR between May and July

Source: Outbrain Platform Data, 2022

How to get started with beauty advertising

By optimizing various touchpoints across the buyer journey, beauty brands can stand out from their competitors, create a better customer experience, and increase their return on investment.


How to increase awareness

A clear strategy is necessary to maximize exposure to the right audience. Consumers are often taking their time to consider purchases, so it's essential to stay top-of-mind. A clear and consistent brand voice is essential. Utilize storytelling in your advertising and marketing efforts to connect with your target audience on a deeper level. Highlight your brand's unique selling points, such as natural ingredients or sustainable packaging, to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Key KPIs:

Viewability, CTR

Case Studies

How to engage your audience

Focus on creating a multi-faceted approach that resonates with the customer. For instance, create content such as reviews, blog posts with step-by-step guides on how to use the products, and product catalogs, that allow the customer to connect with your brand in a meaningful way. It is essential to measure the success of each campaign to ensure that the content resonates with your audience. You can track site visits and on-site interactions to see how engaged the audience is and if they are being directed to learn more about the products.

Key KPIs:

New Visitors/Repeat Visits, Landing Rate, Time Spent

Case Studies

How to convert

Offer discounts and promote limited-time deals, as this can generate a sense of urgency and encourage shoppers to make a purchase. Additionally, communicate any other benefits, such as free shipping, to remove purchase barriers and facilitate the buying process. Ultimately, the key is to provide genuine value and make shopping an enjoyable and seamless experience for customers.

Key KPIs:

Leads, Sign-Ups, Sales, ROAS, Add-to-Cart

Case Studies

Beauty Ads Best Practices


Use celebrities/influencers in your creatives, leading to a landing page that provides customer reviews and more information about the product.

Landing Page

Make your checkout process easy and include clear CTAs to increase your chances of a sale.

Building or diversifying media mix

Investing too heavily in just one marketing channel can be risky as it may limit audience reach and result in no backup plan if that channel's algorithm changes or stops delivering results. Diversification in marketing channels is necessary to hedge against the potential risks. Brands should complement big-budget channels like Facebook or Google with other channels to expand their reach and future-proof their business.

It's also important to recognize that compared to social, native ads in premium environments are:

44 more trusted
21 more clicked on
24 more likely to lead to purchase

It's simple for marketers to adapt their existing assets to the open web, safeguard their brand, and maximize ROAS in the process.

Exceed Your Goals With Outbrain

Brands big & small choose Outbrain as part of their core media mix

Success Stories // Ogee

14K conversions in 4 months, 180% peak ROAS

Conversions, ROAS

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Success Stories // Clarins

2x sales, 2x arrival rate

Success Stories // Avon

63% video completion rate (vs. 41% on other channels)