There is a litany of poor marketing and advertising practices remembered in a new survey from the New Statesman Media Group New Statesman Press Gazette sustainable luxury lifestyle and ESG publishers From Fyre Festival to Kendall Jenner and Pepsi to ...
Luxury businesses are masters in safeguarding their brands, so it is no surprise their approach to digital has been a cautious one.
While many luxury brands are yet to fully embrace an e-commerce proposition, it has not hindered their ability to harness digital as an ROI platform – whether it’s via media, content or purely a social status. Premier fashion and jewellery brands alike are flocking to social as a powerful vehicle to drive brand awareness and consumer engagement.
Adversely, Chanel – an iconic leader in this category – does not entrust in an e-commerce functionality, but rather relies an exclusive ‘VIP’ enquiry service as a route to sales. However, the brand’s commitment to social has not been for the faint-hearted and one that could be envied, globally.
The luxury sect, overall, has recently embraced social media as a flagship pillar, as part of its brand strategy, akin to how the brands would perhaps face a flagship store opening (whether that is on or offline).
Key players (such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Burberry, Tiffany & Co.) have realised significant returns and ‘followings’ from their dedicated social efforts – with strong investments coming mainly from the avenues of content and promotion, particularly video.
Despite its broad appeal and subjective nature, luxury brands in this panel have not just harnessed social, but thrived by using this medium.
An analysis from TheLoup.co of 10 leading brands and 1,000+ video posts on YouTube and Facebook, revealed these top insights:
The rise of social media and video for major luxury players:
- Evolution of a content strategy and adaptations for new audiences
- Types of video content
- Improvements and curation
Adoption and commitment to social and video
Unsurprisingly, the adoption rate of the four main platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube – by the main luxury brands is 100%. Significant audiences have been built as a result (counted in millions).
A careful review of these 10 brands and their individual platforms revealed an average of 6.4 (content) posts per week on Facebook and Instagram.
Their commitment to video, as a main source of content, was also clear. On YouTube alone, the brands averaged around one new post per month. The brands also embrace ‘social video’ across most platforms.
Brands in this index create regular posts and video content – averaging 100 million views on both YouTube and Facebook. Both platforms display an equitable number of video posts and are on the rise.
A close look at Instagram displays a similar picture.
Types of video content posted
Campaigns and promotional films form just as much of the luxury brand DNA as red carpet appearances and celebrity endorsements.
While films remain the most viewed content (boosted by significant online advertising budgets), the range of content is diverse. It is broadly separated into four categories:
- Campaigns/ads: generally 30-second or less than a minute long for a launch
- Behind the brand (atelier visits or creator profile)
- Runway and fashion shows (streaming of live events and behind the scenes)
The luxury beauty segment would also post regular tutorials or how-tos in similar fashion.
What can still be improved
A missed opportunity on YouTube?
From a viewership point of view, YouTube is still a priority, averaging total views of more than 120million (105million on Facebook).
However, purely on a subscription level, YouTube seems to be less relevant to the luxury sector, with an average subscriber count of around 240,000, compared with 12.5million average followers on Facebook.
However, Chanel, being the the most subscribed brand, is reaching 850,000 subscribers, ranking it the 5128th creator. Other luxury players are further behind.
So, it can be concluded that YouTube is mainly used as an advertising platform, where views may create awareness but do not necessarily convert into a tangible following.
Given the vast amount of content and promotion posted on YouTube, a greater emphasis on audience-building should reward a brand in the longer term.
One of the simplest ways brands could look to grow their subscriber count would be to post more content, more regularly. Something that YouTubers have known for a long time.
The data displays a 90% correlation between the number of subscribers and uploads. This highlights an opportunity for brands vying to overtake the poll position (via a simple commitment to YouTube and weekly posts).
Campaigns vs engagement
Engagement is becoming a crucial objective and ROI measure for leading luxury brands.
Examining the different types of posts, it becomes apparent that the engagement and feedback are remarkably different. While campaigns appear to be the most promoted type of content (with the highest view count), their engagement is usually lower than other posts.
Our independent study here at TheLoup, shows figures of an average engagement rate over YouTube campaign videos of 0.08% (based on posts from June to July 2017).
Moreover, as YouTube allows the consumer to like or dislike the videos, some campaigns appear to be counter-intuitive, although the brand is still reaching the ultimate goal of audience growth.
With a typical ratio of Likes to Dislikes being that of 10 to 1 on YouTube, many campaigns focused on advertisement-led promotions are attracting far worse.
Meanwhile, other forms of videos, i.e. runway shows, can generate very high levels of engagement and shares. Below is a 15-minute long video from Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2017/18 show, which realised an impressive engagement of 6.40% on Facebook.
This level of engagement, in turn, should create a significant organic reach, which could then be further amplified by advertising (should it be thought necessary).
Therefore, the opportunity lies in a more efficient content mix and a review of advertising budgets allocated to campaigns vs other types of content – an area most leading brands have started implementing, but which remains minimal.
Luxury brands are mastering social content
Luxury brands are the undisputed craftsmen within the fashion and watch/jewellery industries. However, it has been their ability to modernise via social, new-world media, that has been their greatest success this side of the millennium.
While many (despite being pioneers in their respective fields) were true latecomers to the social scene, their tardiness has not hindered the success shared by this sector in the digital space.
Via carefully crafted social media feeds, global luxury brands have been able to tantalise consumers in a quick, gratuitous way. Coupled with striking imagery, a strong content plan and an abundance of videos, brands are reaping the benefits of rewarding their followers online, hourly, daily – despite many of them not being ‘end consumers’.
The hope is that one day, they just may be.
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