Marketing Luxury Via Social Channels
The rise of social media influencers has changed how we think about marketing. We no longer study traditional advertisements; instead, we watch people presented as our peers living their best lives … and we try to figure out what they have that we could acquire, so we might do the same.
Of course, on the other side of the screen, brands and marketing professionals are busily evaluating how they can leverage social channels to sell their products, particularly when it comes to luxury goods. Luxury goods target a smaller market than most other retail products, but the potential buyers are wealthier, which usually means a greater return on investment for the brand.
For those companies trying to reach high-end buyers, the three strategies below can help create demand among those who already “have it all.”
Focus On IG
The first rule when it comes to marketing luxury goods on a social platform is a simple one: Focus on Instagram. According to research by Digimind, 93% of luxury-brand engagement in the Asian Pacific region, which possesses a significant luxury market, occurs on Instagram.
The pattern travels across the globe, though, where luxury brands test Instagram’s built-in shopping capabilities and connect with top influencers as well as shoppers. It’s a powerful platform with global reach.
Follow the Trends
Luxury goods likely target a narrower market than other products, but ultimately these products also closely follow more general trends, so marketing professionals need to stay in touch with broader cultural interests. One of the hottest vacation experiences right now, for example, is going on a cruise … just about any cruise.
For travelers toward the lower end of the income ladder, this might mean a trip to Alaska or a family ride on a Disney cruise, while for the elite, the Ritz-Carlton’s new entry into yacht cruises is a hot ticket. Marketers shouldn’t limit themselves too rigidly, though; the popularity of cruises is an open door for private yacht sales, as well as the market for used sailboats.
There’s a natural flow between these adjacent markets, so you might try to ride the wave. The same social users you see talking about their suite on a cruise ought to be seeing ads for complimentary products or services that take their experience to the next level, whether that’s Gucci swimwear or a boat of their own.
Think Internationally … and Collaboratively
Breaking into international markets, particularly with luxury goods, can be a challenge for US-based brands, as well as for newer companies that are still working to establish their identity as a status brand. That being said, to be solidly successful in the luxury market, you have to achieve international reach.
One way newer brands can make that leap is to take on an exciting, collaborative project. Collaborations have been all the rage in recent years, given the millennials’ demand for innovation driving the market.
Social media is the perfect platform for launching a collaboration. Push teasers, connect with potential influencers in advance, and use the platform that celebrity partners or larger brands have already built to extend your product’s reach.
It’s hard to become a new luxury brand, but if you can build powerful partnerships — think Supreme meets Louis Vuitton (which happened in 2017) — you’ll be well on your way.
As with any other marketing endeavor, luxury brands need to invest heavily in research to break into new markets, but the buyer base is likely there. A substantial audience hopes to live like influencers and they may be able to afford it: folks who can afford to lead an even more lavish life than influencers do.
They’re out there and they want to know what the biggest names in luxury have to offer.