Influencer marketing in the business of taste.
Great online leaders inspire greatness in others.
When influencers speak, customers are all eyes and ears. Their actions and images inspire others to dream more, learn more, and do more. Targeting key individuals rather than the segment as a whole, the use of influencer marketing is on a constant rise because it works. This type of relationship marketing is taking a lead role in how luxury brands advertise their portfolio, being one of the most cost-effective ways of reaching the right niche audience. A small percent on online leaders generate 90% of the impact online. The 2.3 billion active social media users in the world spend 50% of all online time on Social Media platforms, with 90% of us trusting peer recommendations, and 84% taking action based on the opinion of others.
- The practice of partnering with content creators and social media personalities. Influencer marketing isn’t just a trend, it’s here to stay.
An influencer is trusted by his followers and has a highly engaged and active audience on the blog, YouTube, Website, Instagram, Facebook, Vimeo, Periscope, Vine, LinkedIn, and so on. What an influencer can do for a small luxury brand? With a combination of social media marketing and content marketing strategies these key people will bring the recognition and appreciation of the brand on a new level. Direct endorsement will increase credibility, brand awareness. It is a creative way to boost sales and traffic. 75% of consumers relies on social media to inform purchase. A good amount of high-end brands now have influencer marketing strategies on the experimental stage. Social influence is a complex subject, but the detailed analytics on the overall impact of a series of campaigns can bring some insights on the ROI of this type of project.
Why a premium brand should consider this revitalized word of mouth technique as an online marketing strategy? How can an influential blogger/ Instagram or YouTube star create hypnotic content which supports a luxury brand? A social media personality is here to relate to the audience’s interests on a more personable level. A super visual and aspirational content is one of the most effective recipes to generate traffic and engagement. The tactic will earn consumers’ interest instead of buying it. Vanity metrics and wider distribution of the content will evoke the desire to have the luxury items or, at least, to be inspired by great visuals. When the marketer will seek to inspire, entertain and/or educate, a part of success is guaranteed. “Make me smile” and “Be my inspiration” are identified as top personal motivators for sharing content.
For evoking aspirational emotions, top-end brands must take full advantage of visual social networks. Top visual marketing platforms offer a huge opportunity to raise advocacy. Depending on the segment, the traffic level of the influencer could be higher or lower.
Luxury brands will always shift a part of the budget to where affluent consumers are spending their time. As “Millennials,” “Travel,” “Wealth,” and “Digital” are the forces shaping the luxury market, the brand advertisers are focused on a generation of digitally-savvy wealthy travelling millennial influencers. But the online thought leaders do not appeal only to young consumers.
The faces of influence are diverse and include different types of inluencers with different ways to engage with them. From journalists, bloggers, online publishers, forums to website owners, YouTube/ Instagram stars, and social media experts, common influencers can include analysts, activists, and insiders. How do you find the best ones? The ideal way to get involved with an influencer is when they are co-creating content with the brand. This is the case of the fashion and luxury watch industries. When a brand’s message is mentioned by influencers, it resonates better with followers. As they know that works or does not work for their audience, the social media stars must be encouraged to come up with creative concepts. The message will never sound overly promotional. Each platform will need separate strategy and different concepts.
The “web celebrity” and the Journalist influencer will offer the biggest audience size, while “the authority influencer” will create a greater value for his community, offering reach, engagement power and contextual fit.
Technology plus human vision deliver best metrics.
All of us are targeted 24/7 with information and ads. We all are aware of the difference between personal recommendation, an advertising campaign, or masked recommendation = advertorials. Optimization is enormously effective. A data partner will help to understand, in real-time, what works best for each audience, providing a solid indication of performance in near real-time. When to post, what hashtags and subjects are trending, and which images/videos perform. A set of formulas take into account all the above and rank the online personalities accordingly.
- Who is an ideal influencer for a luxury brand? A natural storyteller and sharer with targeted audience.
Going straight to an e-leader who is popular and has a lot of followers is not the success formula. The best influencers are those aligning with the target audience and campaign goals. The success can be optimized and measured. The data partner will provide detailed reporting both during and after the campaign.
According to a joint study by Twitter and analytics firm Annalect, quoted by adweek, “around 40 percent of respondents said they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine or YouTube. Also, 20 percent of respondents said they shared something they saw from an influencer, while one-third of millennials say they follow a creator on Twitter or Vine.”
There is a myth circulating around web, that only food and fashion brands are seeing more success with influencer marketing. The luxury automotive, travel, design and luxury watch industries are the best proof that influencers perform in these segments as well.
Like in every industry, the Luxury Maisons say they are dictating trends when, in fact, they are looking at the neighboring gardens and constantly “borrowing” ideas. The static luxury industry is rarely disruptive or going against the current. They continuously spend millions on major ambassadors and celebrities, while this is not actually the most constructive approach for influencer marketing. Within their highly trusting communities, ‘power middle’ social media personalities, bloggers (10’000 – 50’000 monthly visits) are providing the highest quality content while not compromising on the “exclusivity”, a paramount factor for the luxury segment. ‘Power middle’ web leaders have an audience which is more reactive and provide more valuable results. The shared personal interest is much more engaging than fame of a celebrity. Smaller influencers’ targeted audiences and strong engagement rates are offering the best success rates.