How AI is Changing PPC for Beauty and Wellness Brands

- 5 minute read
Senior Digital Content Specialist​

John is Foundation's Senior Digital Content Specialist. Passionate about all things content and AI, John enjoys getting deep into the data to create interesting stories that audiences love. John plays a key role in orchestrating the content strategy for our beauty and wellness clients, and loves learning about trending skincare techniques and products.

AI (artificial intelligence) is often touted as being the next step in technological progression.

First, we had the internet. Then, came the proliferation of mobile communications and smartphones, and now, we have AI.

Whether you’re an AI lover or hater, it’s hard to argue against the fact that this progression is on course to continue for a very long time. It’s here to make lives easier, and more productive.

This applies to almost every function of digital marketing. Strategisation, content creation, ideation; all of it can be made better with AI, including PPC.

In recent weeks, Google has been rolling out a litany of new AI tools for PPC teams to play with. In this article, we’ll take a look at how those tools (and others) are changing the game for PPC in the beauty and wellness industry.

Machine Learning: Performance Max & Smart Bidding

Performance Max

When Google introduced Performance Max as a goal-based type of campaign in November 2021, it came promising a lot of improvements to your usual PPC activity.

Enhanced with machine learning, Performance Max firstly asks for a few main things prior to launching a campaign: goals, actions, and values. Your goals are set up in predefined categories chosen by Google, actions are the outcomes defined to achieve said goals, and values are used to make slight adjustments to different types of conversions, which are broken down by things like geographic location, demographics, device usage, etc.

For example, if you’re a skincare brand looking to promote a sale on an existing product, your campaign would set an objective of ‘Sales’, with your actions revolving around product page visits, and potentially “Add to Basket” clicks. For your values, you could instruct Performance Max to prioritise basket additions over landing page visits. Doing this will result in some slightly different bidding strategies and creatives being displayed to users.

Smart Bidding

Speaking of bidding strategies, Google is helping brands take the guesswork out of their PPC marketing with something called smart bidding.

Smart bidding is essentially an automated bidding approach for paid advertising that relies on Google’s in-house AI technology to automatically place new bids and adjust existing ones for your desired keywords. It monitors multiple metrics, including user behaviour, historical data, the time of day, the devices used by that user, and the current season.

For example, if you’re competing for a highly competitive keyword like “best lipstick in uk” for example which, at the time of writing, has a CPC rate of around 57p, smart bidding can be a real game-changer.

In terms of how that looks with the aforementioned metrics:

  • User Behaviour: Smart bidding analyses user data, like device, location, and browser, to predict which clicks are more likely to result in valuable actions, such as a purchase of that lipstick.
  • Historical Data: Smart biding considers your account’s historical performance data, identifying patterns and trends that can guide bidding decisions.
  • Time of Day: Adjustments are based on the time of day when conversions are more likely to happen. For a beauty and wellness, this could mean increasing bids during peak shopping hours as identified via your conversion tracking.
  • Cross-Device Performance: Recognising that users often switch between devices, smart bidding optimises bids to capture the full customer journey.
  • Seasonality: Smart bidding accounts for seasonality and trends, so if “best red lipstick uk” is trending during the holiday season, it can adjust bids accordingly.

Strategy: Higher Competition

While AI does undoubtedly bring its benefits, it’s worth remembering that these benefits aren’t just available to you. If you’re using AI, it’s likely that your competitors are too. Large language models (LLMs) can be instructed to critique or even write ad copy with keywords in mind, which leads to more advertisements, and higher CPC rates.

This means that it’s not necessarily a case of just using it; to really get ahead, you’ll have to use it better. Of course, better is quite a subjective term, but not if you think about the productivity enhancements.

Being able to write higher quality copy in less time frees up more mental space that can be used to focus on budgets, bidding strategies, and keyword targeting. These attributes are crucial to putting together a high quality campaign that knocks your competitors out of view, placing your beauty and wellness brand front and centre.

Text Generation: Dynamically Adjusted Ad Copy

Generating ad copy is a significant step of the PPC process.

First, the material needs to be written, then ideally it should be proofed by another team member, and then it needs to be approved. From steps one to three, brands could be looking at anywhere between one week to one month depending on the size of their organisation.

Historically, such delays have been unavoidable. But, with tools like large language models being used by seemingly every working industry, this process is about to get a whole lot quicker.

We want to make it clear that we do not advise using an LLM to produce every ad you publish. Very often, LLMs will make mistakes that aren’t immediately apparent without strict scrutiny. However, for getting to an initial starting point, AI-written content is a very useful tool.

Asset Creation: Generative Fill

The performance of ad campaigns, especially shopping campaigns, is sometimes heavily dependent on the quality of visual assets.

Bad images can be enough to completely detract from all of the otherwise strong aspects of your ad campaigns, and can sometimes even be down to something as tenuous as a slightly lower resolution.

Whether it’s upscaling old assets, or creating new visuals with them, AI photo editing software plays a vital role in creating quality beauty PPC campaigns. Tools like Adobe Photoshop’s generative fill are great at injecting new elements into existing imagery, or manipulating them in seconds without the need to wait for a graphic designer.

Sure, if you go pixel peeping you will spot some errors. But, as a placeholder image until you’re ready to fully launch the campaign, generative fill will indeed get you there. From adding your products to seasonal images, to improving the quality of your older product shots, generative fill and upscaling techniques are extremely useful in the beauty world.

Need Help Unlocking AI’s Full Potential?

It’s great to marvel at the promising developments AI has taken over the years. But, it’s another thing entirely to begin harnessing those developments into your marketing team.

We at Foundation have been using AI in all sorts of ways to make our team faster and more productive. It’s helped us work faster, freeing up precious time for creativity and out of box thinking.

Want to get your internal marketing team clued up on AI? Contact the Foundation team to and set up a 30 minute consultancy call with our beauty marketing and AI experts.

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