Successful luxury brands have embraced the opportunity of social video, writes Blake Cuthbert, chief digital officer at OMD EMEA.
The luxury industry has started carving its own space in the social sphere, setting its own behaviour, managing consumer expectations and showcasing its personality. It is by understanding the data behind this landscape, and through partnerships like Tubular Labs, that we are unlocking preferences and uncovering emerging behaviours.
Genuine and relevant
Adverts and premium content currently deliver the lowest return in engagement compared to the volume uploaded. Mystery is no longer enough, consumers are craving more entry into the exclusive world of luxury to observe the beauty, craft and story of every angle of luxury brands. It is this genuine content – fashion shows, montages and behind the brand access – that is driving 74% of all luxury video engagements.
However, brands also need to harness the power of digital content. There is an opportunity for luxury brands to deliver content solutions dynamically, serving more relevant videos based on data such as age, interest and behaviour.
Looking specifically at the luxury watch category, as expected, 73% of YouTube engagement is driven by those under the age of 34, who are mainly luxury owners in waiting. Perhaps surprising, luxury watch videos are also generating 18% of their engagements from those over 55 years old, which is 14 times the YouTube average.
Nevertheless, how these audiences engage with luxury watch video content is different. Those under 35 year focus on beauty and entertainment influencers, concentrating on how luxury brands make them look. Older audiences, meanwhile, engage with influencers who concentrate on craftsmanship and in-depth luxury product reviews.
Authenticity and originality
The new influencer authority is authenticity and originality. As tempting as it is to seed products for visibility, luxury brands need to be selective. The rapid adoption of influencer strategies for categories from FMCG to luxury automobiles has also left consumers more sceptical of the true relationship between brands and influencers. As a result, only 16 luxury lifestyle influencers made The Sermo Digital Influencer Index cut.
Choosing the right influencers is absolutely critical, involving in-depth research identifying a profile of their background, beliefs and audience to ascertain if they truly fit the brand’s vision. For luxury brands it is not about volume, it is about the right contextual fit, originality and innovation which an influencer partnership can generate.
For example, as the official watch partner of FC Barcelona football club, Maurice Lacroix’s ‘Unique Fans Watch’ campaign invited the team’s players to design their own Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Extreme watches. The partnership has resulted in 20 videos, generating more than 9.8 million views and over 404,000 unique engagements or interactions. Additionally, the campaign generated 41% more visits to the partnership site and increased Maurice Lacroix social media fan base by over 11,000 fans.
“Luxury brands are always leading and setting the standard, that’s why people are eager to see what’s next”
Despite the niche nature of luxury, brands still need to produce content for the masses. By utilising popular themes, events and culture, brands can create a universal understanding to build brand desire and convert demand. The balance brands need to strike is between humanising their influencers and still driving views and engagement with topical content, such as unboxing which accounted for 72% of the luxury watch topics viewed in 2017.
Luxury brands are always leading and setting the standard, that’s why people are eager to see what’s next. Just like film studios, luxury brands have anticipated releases and consumer expectations to meet. Whether it’s their collections or showcases the bar for luxury has always been set high and that’s no different for their social channels.
The most successful luxury brands have embraced the opportunity of social video to truly immerse people in their unique stories, building authenticity and equity in this redefined category.
To access a summary of the study, click here (PDF).