Luxury brands have long relied on the in-store shopping experience to lend the majority of sales. Statista found that in 2018, only 10% of all global luxury good sales were made online. But, as we’ve seen over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more consumers to shop online across all verticals, luxury goods included. And, more recent studies have shown that these online shopping trends won’t slow down post-pandemic. So for luxury brands who have historically relied on a memorably lavish in-store shopping experience, the question becomes how they can replicate this sought-after experience in a competitive online environment?
Luxury brands need to implement personalized, data-driven digital advertising campaigns to reach audiences and stay a step ahead of the competition. Utilizing strategic tactics across relevant channels will create a seamless omnichannel experience that digitally mirrors that of which buyers are used to experiencing in-person.
At Digilant, we know that every successful digital marketing strategy begins with thoroughly researching and understanding your audience, so before we jump into our channel and tactics recommendations for luxury digital marketing strategies, let’s consider…
Expanding (and reconsidering) Your Target Audience
As luxury buyers shift to an online format, it will be more difficult for brands to benefit from the browse and buy, sales representative support of in-store shopping. Meaning, it is essential to thoroughly understand who your audience is and where they spend time online.
Even for brands who have traditionally had a clear understanding of their target market, in the fast-paced, trend-shifting environment we live in, it’s important to ask yourself these questions about your audience continually:
- Who is buying my brand? What are their demographics and psychographics
- What triggered them to buy from my brand?
- Where can I reach them? Where do they spend time online?
This practice might reveal audience segments that you weren’t targeting previously, opening a wider pool of potential buyers. For example, traditionally, one thinks of males as the largest group of diamond purchasers. However, The Plumb Club found that today women ages 25-40 represent one-third of US diamond sales, and over 50% of millennial women with a household income of $75,000 or more make their own luxury jewelry purchases. Driven by a desire to get precisely what they want, reward themselves, or simply just because this is a clear indicator of shifting luxury brand buyers.
5 Luxury Digital Marketing Strategies to Reach Buyers
1. Creative Strategy and Planning
Luxury brands are synonymous with glamor, polish, exclusivity, and digital ads need to evoke all of those emotions. It can be challenging to pinpoint precisely what ads will resonate with consumers. Still, a data-driven creative strategy will ensure the best messaging, visuals, and ad format are used to drive audience engagement. Investing in innovative ad formats such as dynamic creative optimization or social to display ensures that consumers see the best of the best content, which they expect from luxury brands.
2. Email Marketing
Email marketing has been a long-time friend of digital marketers as 82% of consumers open email from brands, and this channel achieves an estimated ROI between 2500-3600%. Luxury brands have the power to use this tool to separate themselves from the vast email spam and create powerful, personalized, and informative experiences with their customers if appropriately executed.
Luxury brands need to think of their email marketing strategy in the same regard as their in-person assets. The templates and imagery should be as customized as a brochure or magazine. The content should be as helpful as an in-store sales representative. The offer, incentive, or product highlights should be as memorizing as an in-store display. Finally, and most importantly, these emails need to feel exclusive and personalized, straying away from generic email blasts that customers are accustomed to from other brands.
3. Paid Social
As mentioned above, the luxury buyer is changing, and one of the most significant changes is that the buyers are skewing younger. In 2019, 39% of luxury spending was from Millennials and Gen Z, and by 2026, as their income and disposable income increase, they’ll make up 60% of the expenditure. With a younger audience comes a greater opportunity to reach them on social media – both organically and paid social advertising placements.
In 2020, Marketing Charts found that millennials spent over 2.5 hours browsing social media every day. This time isn’t just spent connecting with friends; this age group (and Gen Z) are looking to interact with brands, discover new products, and, more recently, actually buy directly within the app. Shoppable content is one of the technologies consumers are most excited about.
4. Influencer Marketing
In similar regard as paid social, influencer marketing gives brands a window into younger millennials and gen z audiences. For example, 66% of consumers ages 18-29 and 61% ages 30-44 trust product reviews from influencers online, more so than celebrities, even. But, consumers aren’t just admiring these influencers; they are actually driving them to make purchases. A recent survey by Twitter found that 40% of respondents actually had purchased something online based on seeing it used a social media influencer on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, or Vine.
Influencer marketing is a highly effective tactic for brands to use as it provides authentic, personalized stories to the younger buyers on a channel they trust. But as luxury brands explore this channel more, they need to be diligent in who they choose to represent their brand. Companies need to strike a balance of authentic storytelling while also ensuring the influencer stays true to the brand’s image. Once luxury brands find the right fit – an influencer that their audience trusts and looks to for guidance, which also correctly represents their brand – will be a powerful tool for luxury digital marketing strategies.
5. Paid Search and SEO
Although the exact reason for purchase varies with each luxury buyer, shoppers trust luxury brands for quality and expertise – they are the leaders in their category. The expertise, craftsmanship, and industry knowledge can all be digitally attained through effective paid search and SEO campaigns.
Only 7% of shoppers start their searches with a manufacture or retailer’s name. Therefore, finding the top keywords for your sector ensures that shoppers continue to see your brand at the top of the search results as they browse, promoting your brand as the leader in information, expertise, and resources.
Finding a Digital Marketing Partner for you Luxury Brand
As you begin to research the benefits of investing in a digital-first strategy more thoroughly, you’ll quickly realize the intricacies and expertise required for each unique channel and tactic. This may prompt you to consider investing in a digital marketing partner. Just as you provide the top products and services for your customer, so does a quality digital marketing partner. Whether content strategy, audience data segmentation, technology partnerships, or platform expertise, quality digital marketing will provide top-tier service to meet your growing and changing needs. Learn more about the value of an except digital marketing partner in our blog post here.
Digilant’s Luxury Digital Marketing Expertise
At Digilant, we understand the challenges luxury brands face in a digital-first world – maintaining solid relationships with your customers across different channels while not losing the quality of your brand image. That is why our approach starts with consumer research to define target audiences, which leads to the development of an integrated marketing strategy and sets the stage for measurable performance. Interesting in learning more about how we can create custom-built luxury digital marketing strategies for our clients? Let’s talk.
Interested in learning more about the changing world of luxury brands, specifically in the jewelry industry? Download our playbook that covers:
- Critical insights
- The impact of seasonality
- Audience analytics
- Changing consumer behavior
- Imperatives for brands
Download The Advertiser’s Guide to the Changing Jewelry Consumer here.