How Maybelline NY Used Google Data to Build a Content Strategy in MENA

December 2016

With a world of information at our fingertips, people are increasingly using the Internet to research and discover new products, styles and trends when it comes to beauty. Here, we use Google data to showcase a series of trends and how Maybelline NY, the number one makeup brand in the world, was then able to build a successful content strategy on YouTube in the MENA region. Makyaj wa banat by L’Oreal’s Maybelline NY stands as a best in class example of how consumer's needs are met online.


Searching for Beauty

Beauty means big business in MENA for brands that are catering to what a consumer wants online.

Here, we showcase recent trends related to beauty in the following categories: haircare, skincare, oral care, shaving and grooming, perfumes, nail care and make-up.

The number of beauty related queries on Google and YouTube search in MENA have grown over the last three years, with query volume rising 30% in the first half of this year (H1 2016) when compared to the same period last year. Of the aforementioned categories, haircare, skincare and make-up are the biggest components of beauty. Make-up related queries in particular have grown 41% in the first half of this year versus the last. It is clear that consumers are looking to digital even more so brands have to present the right message and content to connect with their target market.

 Makeup and Mobiles

We no longer “go online” – we live online. This is especially true since the proliferation of mobile, which has made it a lot easier to search, learn and discover quickly, easily and on the go. The growth of smartphones in the region is a large driver of growth seen in the beauty categories. Across all beauty categories, queries on mobile accounted for 71% of queries in the first half of the year and queries on mobile across beauty categories have grown 59% this year compared to last. This means brands have to adapt their ideas for mobile by making information quicker and more convenient to access. One example of this would be building a mobile website. It is a useful investment as it provides a hugely improved user experience for mobile users, which can make a big difference building brand favorability.

 Video Inspiration

More and more people are going to YouTube now with their beauty questions: ‘What are the 2016 hairstyles? ‘How to apply make-up?’ These are common questions people are taking to YouTube. Some of the most searched groups of beauty related queries on YouTube are How-To videos, YouTube influencers and celebrity styles. The category ‘make-up & cosmetics’ makes up 36% of watch time on YouTube across all beauty categories. Top searches on YouTube include Huda Beauty, Taylor Swift, and how to master eyeliner. Furthermore, the term ‘make-up tutorial’ is the second most searched term across all beauty categories behind ‘make-up’ (in Arabic) in the GCC. And the brands are paying attention.

“We realised that YouTube creators, beauty tips and tutorials were becoming increasingly important for consumers in Saudi Arabia and in MENA, so we launched a YouTube Beauty show to answer to consumer’s appetite,” said Sahar Farhat, digital manager of the consumer product division at L’Oreal Middle East. “We partnered with an influencer and created “Makyaj wa banat”, a weekly YouTube beauty show.”

Since the launch in September 2016, the show has proven to be very popular in terms of viewership and engagement. The show garnered more than 4 million views on the web series playlist and a watch time equivalent of 5 million minutes. Also, 70% of these views came from non-advertising sources, which means that users come to learn about the web episodes from suggested videos, search and featured videos on YouTube. Through Makyaj Wa Banat, subscribers to Maybelline NY’s YouTube channel increased 4 folds after the show went live in September and brand search grew 10 fold.

As more people turn to YouTube, brands have a great opportunity: to be there and provide useful content when people are looking for new styles, products and tutorials. With YouTube creators gaining more subscribers and Google data showcasing key trends to leverage, a world of new opportunities has opened up for brands to reach their target audience.

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