Brand Breakdown

Brand Breakdown Part 4: Colourpop (Google)

May 28, 2022

Rebecca Knight


It’s no secret that ColourPop is a beauty industry powerhouse. 💅 We’ve analyzed their emails, Facebook ads, and TikTok. But any DTC brand knows that how customers find them is vital to brand success.

Keep reading to see what the Pilothouse Google team found when running an external analysis of ColourPop’s Google strategy, including Google Shopping, SEM, and SEO insights.

🛍 Shopping overview

ColourPop is active on Google Shopping and mainly bidding on branded terms, with few results showing up for generic searches.

ColourPop is widely known for colorful collaborations with popular culture happenings, so they’re wise to keep tight grips on branded traffic.

Competitors are bidding on their terms for Shopping listings, but their price points are so in line with their competitors’ that it wouldn’t cause an extreme jump in their click costs to amp up the Shopping intensity.

For generic searches, the only Shopping listings the Pilothouse Google team could get were for their accessories. 🤔

A search for “custom palette”, which ColourPop is the first organic result for, only showed results on Shopping for the empty palette holder itself with no product inside. The Shopping listing was among other competitors' offerings at much higher price points, most of them not being actual customizable eyeshadow palettes. 🤷‍♀️

ColourPop has a huge advantage here with their low price points: clicks will come at an even cheaper cost due to being the cheapest product shown… but they need to show products beyond their accessories to generate interest that will bring click costs down.

If you’re looking to re-up your makeup supply, ColourPop can be your one-stop shop (and it won’t break the bank). The brand has tapped perfectly into affordable makeup. 💸 $9 cream-based shimmery eyeshadow? $16 hydrating foundation?

ColourPop has you fully covered (literally!)

But generic searches for affordable makeup show no ColourPop products. When looking at shopping listings, we again see an accessory - hair clips. We gotta know, where's the makeup?!

Competitors in the ‘affordable makeup’ shopping listings fall at a similar pricepoint to ColourPop’s products. Meaning if they were to saturate the market with their own product listings, it would be an easy way to drive traffic and maintain affordable clicks.

ColourPop utilizes a full suite of Shopping extensions including reviews - their products shown have a lot of positive reviews which is another draw to raise CTR and CVR.

🔎 Search and SEO overview

With a brand as big as ColourPop, it’s no surprise that their approach to aggressive branded keyword bidding has them climbing the ranks for their organic search results.

Search results for their brand are not populated with Search ads for competitors, meaning that when you search ColourPop your screen real estate is taken entirely by the brand. The next step? Using enticing headlines and descriptions to drive shoppers to the website!

ColourPop capitalizes on the idea that picking makeup can be hard, especially when you’re stuck choosing colour combinations that someone else has dreamed up for you. ColourPop is giving shoppers the personalization they’re seeking in their makeup bag. 👇

One of ColourPop’s most known offering is custom eyeshadow pallets. Their site is the first organic result for “custom palette”...

and the second organic result for “custom eyeshadow palette”.

Their results, through organic search, put ColourPop in an excellent position to drive conversions from shoppers looking for a custom eyeshadow palette.

As we already saw in their Shopping overview, the only results shown were accessories. For Search, ColourPop bids on both of these results when their brand is included, but only bids on generic terms with the keyword “eyeshadow”, or another term signifying the searcher is indeed looking for makeup. ColourPop is losing out on valuable clicks while their competitors bid on this term. Taking a more lax approach to the definition of palette may benefit their keyword research term.  

They’re also not using keyword insertion in their headlines, with a search for “ColourPop custom palette” only giving the headline “ColourPop Palettes”.

Keyword insertion automatically inserts the search term into an ad’s headline. More relevant headlines will increase CTR and bring down CPCs. 👏

When “custom eyeshadow palette” is searched, ColourPop is at the bottom of the stack for ads results. The absence of keyword insertion in their headlines makes the results less enticing than their competitors’ ads.

There is more room for improvement on the Search side with Google’s full suite of extensions.

They utilize callout and sitelink extensions, but for such a colorful brand, the inclusion image extensions would really make their listings pop and reduce CPCs. 🤑

📺 Youtube and Creative Suite

ColourPop’s YouTube presence is small but highly optimized. We were only able to get retargeted after interacting with one of their ads and were only able to get shown their ads on videos about ColourPop. 🤷‍♀️

Even generic “makeup” oriented videos wouldn’t show a ColourPop ad on them, no matter how hard we tried!

They do have a large organic presence on YouTube, with 200k subscribers and millions of views in total - but the YouTube beauty community is HUGE and could be a great place to show viewers that there are cheaper alternatives than what the ‘beauty gurus’ are showing.

There is an opportunity for ColourPop to expand their branded reach to YouTube, giving their other creative attempts more data to feed on and increasing the likelihood that Google shows ads to the most valuable sections of their audience. 👍

ColourPop has established their name in the beauty industry, and the Pilothouse Google team thinks that an awareness-focused campaign would be a great way to extend their reach even further!

A clever creative strategy, paired with enticing CTAs, could boost eyeballs landing on their ads and fingers clicking on their links, broadening their future retargeting funnels for more BOF content.

👋 That’s all for this Brand Breakdown, fam! We hope you enjoyed this in-depth look at ColourPop.

What brand should we break down next? Reply to this email and send us your ideas!

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