Learn ad strategies that drive quality traffic and generate consistent sales for adult stores, without getting rejected or banned.
Starting a business is tough, but starting an adult toy business is even tougher.
Even though the sex toy industry is one of the most lucrative and fast growing industries in the world (estimated to reach $35 billion by 2023) it’s not easy to advertise these products online.
With strict rules and regulations surrounding ‘explicit content’ advertising, many businesses in this space struggle with finding winning marketing strategies that get past the review teams of Google, Facebook, etc.
So, if you’re just starting in this space, or you’ve tried to advertise your adult store website and products online, but you’ve faced ads being rejected, accounts being flagged or in the worst case your account being banned, then this article is for you.
We will share strategies that well known adult stores are using to effectively and safely advertise their products online, along with our own trade secrets which we learnt from managing several adult stores over the past 5 years.
To give you some background, here at Marketing Lab we’ve helped businesses generate leads and sales for over 14 years.
We’ve had first-hand experience dealing with the complexities of selling adult toys online, as we’ve managed several business in this space.
You can check out how we helped a luxury adult store triple their sales here – https://marketinglab.com.au/case-studies-luxury-adult-e-comm/
We’ve also consulted with Kiiroo, and smaller adult stores based in Australia, UK and America.
Why Is Advertising Adult Toys Extremely Difficult?
Before we dive deep into the ‘How’ let’s talk about why advertising platforms make it super difficult to advertise adult products.
Although many feel like the internet is the Wild West, over the years advertising platforms have cracked down on ensuring the safety of minors who freely surf their platforms.
Their goal is to ensure that users who are under the age of 18, don’t accidentally stumble upon content that might raise an eyebrow or two.
And with their algorithms getting smarter, it’s even harder to get ads approved for adult products.
If you’re running your own adult store online, it may feel like these platforms have an intricate set of rules and regulations that can never be deciphered.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, there are many ways in which you advertise your products successfully online. You just need to know what you can and can’t do.
So let’s take a look at some of the profitable ways to advertise your adult store online.
Organic Educational Content
When it comes to sex and sexual exploration, education comes first. It’s one of the most powerful ways you can showcase your products.
And with over 2 billion viewers watching videos on Youtube each month, a large portion of those people are viewing sex educational content.
Love Honey, a large adult store has capitalized on this traffic stream, by creating a channel that is focused on educating their target audience. Capitalizing on spokespeople, and various sex educators within the industry, they’ve carved a large pool of people who digest their content, which they can then monetise..
Love Honey’s YouTube account has over 206K subscribers and 1000 videos on the platform, with their most popular video racking up an impressive 5.6 million views.
Their channel is broken down into various styles of videos, including sex tips and tricks, product reviews, and a podcast named Camp Love Honey.
To capitalise effectively, Love Honey places links to their online store within the descriptions of their videos, and even promotes discounts.
Now you have to remember, that this is FREE advertising for Love Honey. It costs them 0$ to advertise these videos, and to be honest they’re probably getting paid by Youtube for the amount of views they receive per video.
It’s a win, win for the brand!
To create a Youtube Channel as successfully as Love Honey, my suggestion would be to study their YouTube account. Analyse their top performing videos, and see how you can replicate their format.
Take into account everything. From the design of thumbnails, to how they write informative video descriptions (which boosts ranking), the subject they’re talking about, length of video, and even the spokesperson they use.
Creating successful Youtube videos in general is a science, and Love Honey seems to have boiled theirs down to a formula that’s worked.
But, before you go posting your sex educational content on your Youtube channel, let’s make sure you’re aware of the rules and regulations surrounding this type of content.
- Make sure your videos are age restricted – this is a setting that is chosen when uploading your video
- Clearly label and warn viewers about the explicit nature of the content
- Even in a product review, avoid displaying explicit sexual content or nudity.
- Avoid using disrespectful language.
Youtube community guidelines
Okay, so now that you’ve added Youtube to your advertising arsenal, let’s talk about the second way you can capitalise on promoting educational content, which is through the blog of your website.
Again, this strategy is totally free, but super effective.
With keyword traffic tools like Google Keyword Planner showing a mind boggling 95,000 monthly searches for terms relating to sex toys, you’d only need to capture a small portion of this traffic to turn this strategy profitable.
Let’s get one thing straight though. SEO is a long term game, and results aren’t generated overnight. But if you have a good SEO strategy in place (Eg blog articles), you’ll reap the rewards of generating large amounts of high-quality traffic to your business.
The reason why this is so powerful, is because the traffic is searching for you. That means they have a need, have a want, and are looking for ways to fulfill it.
So how do you write engaging blog articles that not only get ranked well in search engines, but provide useful information to prospective customers that encourages them to buy?
Well it first starts with understanding the keywords you should be writing articles about.
Rank keywords on the following attributes:
- Relevance to your niche – focus on keywords that align with your target audience
- Search volumes – higher search volumes indicates more potential traffic, but balance it with relevance to avoid targeting overly broad of irrelevant topics
- Keyword difficulty – choose a mix of high to low difficulty keywords to give yourself a better chance of ranking of these terms
- Long tail keywords – these are more specific keywords, which often have lower competition and sometimes can be easier to rank for
- Intent – consider if the keyword indicates the prospect is looking for information, product or wanting to buy. Have a combination of different intent type keywords.
- Branded terms – consider the brand names of the products you’re selling and go after those
Once you’ve finalised your keyword list, you can use these keywords within your articles to help you rank.
The next step is to brainstorm article ideas. Answer the public is a great tool, which provides effective article ideas based on the searches people are making around a particular keyword. Another effective way to find great article ideas is to spy on competitors.
Either by doing a search on Google, and finding which competitors show up for articles written related to your keyword, or simply by visiting the blog section of competitor websites and analysing the types of articles they post.
When analysing articles also consider the following:
- The headline that is used for the article
- The language used within the article
- The length of the article
- The design and layout of the article.
So, who’s leveraging a strong blog article strategy in the industry? Love Honey
According to Uber Suggest, Love Honey receives a staggering 37,795 organic monthly visitors to their website. And one of the main driving forces of this traffic source, is their website blog.
Their blog has a total of 600+ articles, which focus mainly on topics such as sexual education, sex tips, and product reviews.
They also use their blog articles to showcase videos they have on their Youtube channel, which is a great way to cross-platform promote their products.
To showcase how profitable this traffic source is for Love Honey, let’s do a quick calculation.
Let’s say they converted 5% (below average) of those 37,795 visitors into sales. That’s 1889 sales.
And say their average order value is $100. They generate $188,975 per month from FREE traffic.
As you can see, the power in posting organic videos and blog articles is proven by Love Honey. The two strategies alone can skyrocket the growth of your adult store if done correctly.
But, if you’re like most business owners who want to see results fast, then paid media is going to be your best investment.
Let’s take a look at the most effective, yet safe paid media strategies for adult stores.
Top Performing Paid Advertising Strategies For Adult Stores
When it comes to advertising products, driving qualified traffic and generating sales FAST, Google is definitely the powerhouse.
And luckily for you, it’s one of the only platforms that allows you to promote adult products through its paid platform, but only through its search channel.
Google’s search channel is made up of both organic and paid listings. As you can see from the screenshot below, paid listings are indicated by the ‘Sponsored’ text positioned above the listing.
Those who are looking for something online, almost always turn to Google first. And running paid ads is a great way to position your brand and products in front of them, during these times.
To create an effective campaign to advertise your adult store products, involves creating ads that appear in the search engine results when users search for specific keywords related to your product.
But before you start creating ads, the most important part to running an effective Google paid campaign is to get your list of keywords right!
In the same way you would research and create a keyword list for SEO articles, is how you’d go about creating an effective keyword list for Google Ads.
The secret is to find keywords that have high relevance, are long-tail, and have high buying intent. Let me give you an example.
The screenshot below provided by SEM rush indicates the difference between ‘high-volume/generic’ keywords, and ‘long-tail keywords’.
Let’s say you choose to target the generic keyword term such as ‘vibrator’ because it has high-search volumes, you will likely face a substantial amount of competition who is also bidding for this keywords.
The other reason generic terms can be problematic is because you don’t know what intent the user has when searching for the term. Are they looking for information about vibrators, a shop to buy from, it’s unclear.
That’s why it’s suggested to go after ‘long-tail keywords’ as the user is more descriptive about what they’re actually looking for.
For example, instead of bidding for ‘Vibrator’, you could bid for ‘Compact Vibrator’ or ‘ G-Spot Vibrator’ or ‘Vibrator for Couples’
This shows the user has a clear understanding of what they’re looking for and has a higher intent of buying.
Once you’ve put together a list of keywords, then get started on your crafting your ads.
The goal with any search ad on Google is to get the click. Nothing else. To do that effectively, you need to stand out amongst competitor ads.
Analyse theirs, and be different. Otherwise your ad will look the same as everyone else, blend in and won’t get noticed.
These two tips should get you on track for launching a successful Google campaign for your business.
But note, Google advertising is not a set and forget strategy. It requires lots of changes, monitoring and optimising. If you have little to no experience with Google ads, I suggest investing in a good marketing team to help you with this.
Okay, now let’s take a look at the other paid media strategies.
Advertising On Adult Sites
It’s no secret that adult websites attract a substantial amount of traffic, and it’s a fair assumption that those who visit adult sites are also somewhat interested in adult toys.
Therefore, advertising on adult sites is another great way to showcase your products.
A platform like Juicy ads will give you access to running banner ads on multiple adult sites of your choice. So try and choose the sites that align with your brand and your product.
Clicks are super cheap, but that’s because conversion rates are generally low since most mainstream brands won’t ever advertise here.
But if you’re not too worried about your brand being associated with these sites, it can prove to be a great way to drive cheap traffic to your business.
With that being said, your ads need to be super loud and obnoxious, to have any chance at grabbing the attention of those who are spending time on these sites.
My recommendation would be to run single product ads that creatively and visually show the core advantage of the product, plus include a strong offer. This will enhance your chances of getting the click.
Then drive traffic to a product page on your website, where you’re offering the same product and deal being advertised.
From previous experience, GIFs also work great, as they are more stimulating and engaging than a static image. So try both and see what works.
Dating sites offer a fascinating avenue for adult toy businesses to connect with an audience already primed for intimacy and exploration. You’ve got a couple of effective routes here.
Some dating platforms have private advertising spaces or direct partnership opportunities. Reach out to their advertising teams, explore in-app spaces for banner ads or sponsored content, and let your visually appealing ads capture users’ attention as they navigate the app.
Other dating platforms are part of Googles display network, allowing you to run banner ads within their application.
Here’s a video that shows you how you can advertise on dating sites like tinder, via the Google platform.
Another strategy involves affiliate marketing on these platforms, partnering with influencers who can seamlessly integrate your products into their profiles. Don’t shy away from sponsored content or articles – contribute engaging content related to sexual wellness or product reviews.
Now, for maximum exposure, tailor your ads to the platform’s user demographics, create interactive content that stands out, and schedule strategically during peak usage times.
Always ensure compliance with the dating site’s advertising policies, and keep a close eye on analytics to tweak your strategy for optimal results. By navigating the advertising landscape on dating sites thoughtfully, you can make your mark and engage a receptive audience ready to explore what you have to offer.
In the realm of adult stores, influencer marketing is a game-changer. Picture this: teaming up with influencers who already have a significant following in the adult community.
These influencers can be your ticket to creating engaging content, sharing personal experiences with your products, and driving traffic straight to your online store.
It’s all about finding the right personalities whose vibe aligns with your brand. They could produce videos, write blog posts, or share enticing photos showcasing your products.
Imagine the impact of an influencer’s recommendation in a space where authenticity matters. Dive into affiliate programs, collaborate with influencers who resonate with your target audience, and leverage their reach to build trust and interest in your products.
There are many influencer sourcing sites on the web, who offer a pool of people you can use for this strategy. But if you want to avoid paying their fees, I’d suggest doing some research on Instagram and Facebook to find those who are already influencers in the industry.
That way you can skip the middleman, and maximise the effectiveness of your budget.
It’s like having your brand endorsed by someone the audience already respects and trusts. Just ensure the partnerships align with the influencer’s style, comply with platform guidelines, and watch as your brand gains traction in the adult retail space. It’s a strategic move that can make your products the talk of the town among your target demographic.
So there you have it, these are the top paid strategies you can utilise to promote your adult products safely an effectively.
So, What Marketing Strategy Should I Invest In?
It all depends on your goals.
As mentioned earlier in the article, organic is a long game and paid is for quick wins.
But, it also depends on the amount of budget you have. If you’re just starting out and working with a small marketing budget, it would be my recommendation to invest in Google Advertising first.
Get that to work, and then branch out into other paid media strategies.
You can start the organic side of things on your own, as writing blog articles and creating videos won’t cost you money, but your time.
Your end goal should be to leverage multiple marketing strategies, or what we call an omni-channel marketing presence.
This is how you can be everywhere your customers are, and quickly grow your brand into becoming a dominate player within the industry.
Marketing is a tough game, especially in the adult toy industry.
Competition is fierce and traffic costs can be expensive, so it’s important you get things right.
Sometimes investing a little extra to have a marketing agency support you through this process can pay dividends in the long run.
They can help you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls that you might make through your process of learning how to advertise effectively.
And in this industry, mistakes such as having ads rejected, pages banned, or accounts disabled can easily kill your business overnight.
So, if you’re looking to gain some help and want to partner with an agency who’s been in the game for over 14 years, and has had experience working with Adult Store companies around the world, click this link to get in touch.
I hope this blog article was insightful.
Until next time.
Nikolas Jamieson – Account Strategist