Facebook And Instagram eCommerce Ad Strategies For Luxury Beauty And Cosmetics Brands

Facebook & Instagram Ad Strategies for Luxury Beauty Ecommerce

Every industry is different and so is what appeals to its consumers. Here are some eCommerce ad strategies for beauty and cosmetics brands. 

Despite the paradigm shift that has been observed in consumer purchase and consumption behaviour due to the ongoing COVID – 19 pandemic, the beauty and cosmetics industry is expected to grow at an average of 5.2% each year from 2020 to 2023. For a global industry already worth upwards of $500 billion, this is an enormous opportunity for growth for a whole spectrum of brands that aim to scale their business and establish a global footprint.

While the sky’s the limit for growth for beauty brands, it all depends on whether you play your cards right. By that we mean – how do you devise a marketing strategy that focuses on the most promising channels that will fetch you the maximum bang for your buck?

Let’s face it. It’s 2021 and the only way to truly connect and engage with the generation of millennials and Gen Zers is through social networks. With 4 out of 5 customers buying a cosmetic product after coming across a social media recommendation, the power of this medium in helping brands influence their target audiences cannot possibly be overstated.

While there’s no substitute for organic engagement, ads are essential to help you reach a much wider audience, far quicker. But then again, there’s more noise on Facebook and Instagram than one can ever sort through. Therefore, the biggest challenge for beauty brands is not to simply run ads but to cut through the clutter and create ad campaigns that help them stand out, grab attention, and drive clicks.

Here are some Facebook and Instagram eCommerce ad strategies for your next ad campaign to ensure your brand is always ahead of the competitor curve:

Powerful eCommerce Ad Strategies For Facebook And Instagram for Beauty and Cosmetics brands

1. Use clear and appealing product pictures

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, but not so much when you are advertising beauty products on social media. Here, the way you showcase your product can be an absolute game-changer in determining the engagement your ad receives. Since you are in the luxury beauty business, you want your ads to give your audience the right look and feel while imagining themselves using the product. To that end, you need your images to be high resolution, appealing, and consistent with your brand’s overall design language, themes, and color palette. This is important to ensure high brand recall along with getting more clicks.

Marketing for luxury beauty products is about creating a powerful story that satisfies your target audiences’ wants and not necessarily, their needs. Therefore, just like an ad for a restaurant that features cheesy garlic bread makes you hungry even if you weren’t before, you want your ads to use captivating imagery that makes your audience desire the product that they may or may not have needed.

Glossier has been nailing their Facebook and Instagram ad pictures. Take a look:

beauty and cosmetics facebook ad

2. Show the products in use

Don’t just rely on ad images that showcase the product in question, but instead use photos of your products in use by real people and not lying on shelves or a tabletop. This will help your potential buyers visualize these products and imagine themselves using them. This is especially important for the beauty industry as products are as good and valuable as they make the user look. Since you are a luxury cosmetic brand, you want your ads to appear class apart and that can only be done if you allow your social media audience to visualize what it would be like to use your product.

Here’s a good example of the same:

cosmetics ecommerce marketing ad

3. Leverage customer testimonials as social proof

88% of consumers trust social proof just as much as personal recommendations. The power of social proof is something you can leverage in your Facebook and Instagram ads as well. Get customers to share quotes about how using your products have helped them and use them in your ad copy.

This helps build trust and credibility in your products, which is essential especially to nudge first time buyers. You can even directly quote customers and use their photo (after taking permission) to add a human touch to your ads, which otherwise tend to seem rather robotic.

4. Establish exclusivity with your ad copy

When it comes to luxury beauty, people want to be associated with brands that are exclusive, and not mainstream or common. Therefore, your ads need to speak to them in a way that reassures them that your products are not run off the mill but carefully crafted to match their exquisite taste and unique needs.

This exclusivity can be established through your headlines and copy to create a sense that your brand and products are only being shown to these users because they belong to the closed community.

5. Feature influencers and celebrities

Now, influencer marketing is an irreplaceable marketing tactic for beauty and cosmetic brands. But, there are so many more ways to leverage influencers’ reach and impact. One of those is through Facebook and Instagram ads where your feature influencers or micro-influencers, and share a quote by them along with a photo of them using the product.

This way, you can have influencers be the face of your ad campaigns and reach a far wider audience than organic reach.

6. Highlight seasonal sales and discounts

You could argue that people who purchase luxury cosmetics aren’t really bargain-hunters. Even though that is true, no one wants to miss out on a good sale or a deal on their favorite product. And the bottom line is that if you are running occasional sales on your online store, you should maximize its reach by running relevant ads about it on social media. This is something your loyal customers expect and your potential buyers could be waiting for.

Here’s an example of the same:

ecommerce ad - beauty brand

7. Invest in Facebook Messenger ads

When it comes to Facebook, go beyond ads on the platform, to also running Facebook Messenger ads. Since these are customized, tailored, and directly delivered to your potential audiences’ inboxes, Facebook Messengers have a much higher shot at engagement than their counterparts. Therefore, while devising a strategy to engage with your social media audience, Facebook Messenger is one channel you don’t want to miss.

Here’s an example of a Facebook Messenger promotional ad:

ecommerce facebook messenger ad beauty brand

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8. Use Facebook and Instagram ads to remarket to website visitors

A huge chunk of your social media advertising budget should be dedicated to remarketing to visitors who once landed on your website or logged into your mobile app, browsed around, searched for a few items, and then dropped off without completing the purchase. These are customers who have already expressed interest in your products and an intent to buy them, so reconnecting with them over social media, and reminding them of the products they had eyed is the next logical step for you.

Be sure to make these ads highly targeted and customized as per the attributes of these visitors so it is harder for them to reject your product this time around. You can even retarget visitors with Facebook Messenger ads which could drive even better results.

9. Ensure your ads are optimized for mobile

Did you know that 99% of users access social media over their mobile phones? So if your ads are not optimized for mobile, then you may as well not run them in the first place. Even when it comes to shopping online, a majority of users use their mobile devices to make purchases. Therefore, you must ensure all the images you use in your social ads are optimized for mobile and remember to do a proper QA for mobile as well.

The most important points you need to check for are aspect ratio, image size, and the length of copy (since mobile ads only display three lines of text and the rest is wrapped under “Continue Reading”). Here are a couple of sample ads on Facebook mobile:

cosmetics brand ecommerce ad

ecommerce ad strategy beauty brands

Luxury Beauty and Cosmetics Brands Doing Facebook And Instagram Ads Right (And Why They Worked)

Let’s look at some excellent Facebook and Instagram ads by some of the biggest names in the luxury beauty industry and why those worked wonders for their brands:

Facebook ads

Kiehl’s

ecommerce ad strategy - facebook 1

Why it worked: 

  • Creates a sense of urgency by highlighting when the sale ends
  • Mentions the coupon code upfront
  • Has a clear CTA that leads to their online storefront

Chanel

ecommerce ad strategy - facebook 2

Why it worked:

  • Has a clear picture of the product
  • Has a crisp copy that appeals to an exclusive set of audience – those who truly love the particular fragrances in their perfume
  • Offers an incentive (free sample) for those who sign up

Clinique

ecommerce ad strategy - facebook 3

Why it worked: 

  • Succinct copy that highlights all major details
  • “Free” gift is mentioned both in the copy and image
  • Clear CTA that leads directly to the site where people can make their purchase

Birchbox

ecommerce ad strategy - facebook 4

Why it worked: 

  • Enticing video used instead of a static image that immediately grabs attention
  • Clear and succinct copy
  • Crux of the video mentioned clearly as well (Five personalized samples, Just $10  month)

Bath & Bodyworks

ecommerce ad strategy - facebook 5

Why it worked: 

  • Beautiful image that showcases a wide range of products
  • Copy is short and crisp, but also highlights all perks of signing up

La Mer

ecommerce ad strategy - facebook 6

Why it worked: 

  • Color palette used in the image is aligned with the brand’s overall design and theme
  • Copy uses a hashtag to improve visibility
  • Instead of asking people to directly make a purchase, the ad asks them to simply sign up for a free sample

Instagram ads

Biotop India

ecommerce instagram ad cosmetics 1

Why it worked: 

  • Uses image carousel that details out product features instead of single image
  • Copy is slightly long but optimized for mobile and extremely descriptive

Honest Beauty

ecommerce instagram ad cosmetics 2

Why it worked: 

  • Uses images of real (and diverse) people instead of merely product images
  • Crisp copy that shares all important details
  • Clearly mentioned the shipping charges leaving no room for unexpected surprises at checkout

Sephora

ecommerce instagram ad cosmetics 3

Why it worked: 

  • Uses the story format instead of a regular ad
  • Background image is extremely appealing
  • Copy creates a sense of suspense, enticing people into clicking to view the next one

Thrive Cosmetics

ecommerce instagram ad cosmetics 4

Why it worked: 

  • Uses human images instead of the product
  • Before/After clearly depicts the difference in skin tone after using the product
  • There is no mention of the product, instead just the technology that helps reduce the unevenness, thereby invoking curiosity in users

Ilana Organics

ecommerce instagram ad cosmetics 5

Why it worked: 

  • Uses customer testimonials as social proof in the image
  • Copy is descriptive, leaving no room for confusion

Why Bank On Facebook And Instagram Ads To Promote Your Beauty And Cosmetics Brand?

eCommerce Facebook ads

1. Almost all your customers use the platform

As of the second quarter of 2020, the total number of Facebook users in the world stood at 2.7 billion. This means that more than one-third of the world’s entire population actively uses this social platform and most likely, a majority of your target audience as well. Therefore, if you are investing in paid advertising, Facebook is not the platform to miss, especially if maximizing your store’s reach and driving more traffic is what you are looking to do.

2. Facebook ads can be customized granularly

Facebook ads are not all the same and that’s a huge advantage you can leverage. You can customize Facebook ads to try out different formats to gauge which one works the best for you and drives results. So, whether it is the design or theme of your ad, the copy, the CTA, or the landing page, you can customize it all when running Facebook ads and don’t have to stick to any pre-decided formats that may or may engage your audience.

3. Facebook ads are inexpensive

Facebook ads are comparatively cheaper than other paid marketing and advertising channels and have the ability to drive high-quality traffic to your store if targeted well. As per Moz, by spending merely $1 a day, you can get your ad to reach 4000 new potential customers that wouldn’t have a clue about your business.

In fact, upon analyzing the cost to reach 1000 people per day, Facebook clearly comes out to be the most inexpensive of all popular advertising channels. Here’s a look at the same:

ecommerce facebook ads statistics

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4. You get to leverage powerful and sophisticated targeting

When it comes to Facebook ads, you can literally target them as per very specific demographic, interest-based, or behavioural attributes of different segments of your target audience. This could be their age, gender, geography, interests, likes and dislikes, qualification, profession, and so on.

Therefore, your Facebook ad campaigns have way higher chances of reaching the right audience if you target them well, and if they reach the right audience, they are naturally more likely to convert. For instance, if you own an organic beauty store, you would ideally want to target your ads towards working professionals who are drawn towards natural living or organic products as opposed to college students who are more likely to pick the inexpensive cosmetic products from their nearest drugstore.

You can therefore target your ad campaign to Tier 1 professionals who have portrayed interest in natural living.

eCommerce Instagram ads

1. Integration with Facebook ads

We mentioned how granularly you get to target and customize your Facebook ads. Since Instagram ads are completely integrated with Facebook ads, you can leverage the same customization and targeting suite to create and run ads on Instagram as well. What this means is that you can simply set up your ads once and run them on both platforms, thereby leveraging their combined reach.

2. Colossal reach of the platform

With 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is second to only Facebook when it comes to the reach of the platform. As it gains more and more popularity among young audiences, you are probably missing out by not advertising here, especially if your target audience aligns with that of Instagram.

3. You can leverage multiple engaging content formats over a single platform

Whether it is stories, carousels, videos, IGTV, or even reels, Instagram offers a whole bunch of exciting formats that allow you to advertise differently to your diverse audience segments. Therefore, when it comes to engaging formats, Instagram is at the top of the ladder and the fact that all of these can be used for running ads as well, is a cherry on the cake. When coming up with an ad campaign, you must be mindful of which format is more actively used by which segment and similarly, which of them is more suited for what kind of promotion. For instance, if you want your copy to be descriptive and the ad to be content heavy, you can go for IGTV, however, if you are looking to just share a captain and a CTA, stories are the better alternative.

4. Instagram has far more engaged users than other social networking platforms

With about 2 – 7% of users interacting with each post, Instagram is the most engaged social media platform thus far. What this means is that users of this platform are far more active and connected on this platform, thus posing a huge opportunity for brands to advertise their products here. As users are already engaged with brands, influencers, and all sorts of content, reaching them is way less challenging than it would be elsewhere, thereby making it an unmissable paid marketing channel for the new-age consumers.

5. No better platform to share product photos and videos

Since Instagram is all about visual marketing, it automatically is the most fitting platform to advertise for beauty and skincare products as all users mostly get influenced with captivating imagery and descriptive videos of cosmetic products. Brands like yours, therefore, have a humongous opportunity in front of you to create some aesthetically pleasing ads that users are unable to just swipe through and end up engaging with your brand.

6. Instagram users have a high purchase intent

Did you know that as many as 72% of Instagram users make purchase decisions influenced by the content they engage with on the platform? If these numbers are anything to go by, they clearly indicate that Instagram users have a high purchase intent when they browse the platform and are easily swayed by the content or ads they come across. Since your target audience is already inclined to inform their purchase decisions based on Instagram, all you need to do is simply ensure your ads reach the right eyeballs.

Should you use Facebook and Instagram ads to promote your beauty and cosmetics brand?

The short answer is yes.

But the long answer is that you need to know who your target audience is, what you want your brand to be perceived as, and then create a complete end to end strategy for your ad campaigns.

Not sure where to begin? Contact us for an ad audit or consultation on eCommerce ad strategies.

Seeking other strategies that your beauty and cosmetics eCommerce brand can use for marketing? Read this guide.