Luxury content marketing: Why and how to create an exceptional digital experience
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Storytelling is a powerful tool for creating a brand image and an emotional connection, which is especially crucial for luxury brands. People do not purchase luxury goods because they "need" them; instead, they do so to fulfill their dreams and aspirations, among other emotional reasons. A good story may relate a brand to these sentiments and help it connect with its audience.
If you want to make your customers feel "special" with your products, you have to create a compelling story and the proper context for your brand. To do this, you must grasp the three pillars of luxury communication: exclusivity, emotions, and innovation. Cutting-edge technology is one of the things that will help you in this way.
In this article, we'll explore the steps luxury brands need to take and the tools they should apply to provide a superior digital content marketing experience for their audience.
The luxury sector audience
Have you ever wondered who exactly all those high-end consumers are?
According to the latest research by Kantar, the so-called affluent VIPs were women and men aged 18-60, based mainly in China, the US, the UK, France, Italy, and Germany, with annual incomes in the top 5%. These consumers purchased items in at least one category in 2022, such as jewelry, watches, couture bags, leather goods, hotels, fine dining, premium spirits and wines, and so on. For 24% of these consumers, the average spending on luxury products was $10,000. At the same time, 65% intend to increase their spending in 2023.
Meanwhile, the audience of high-end brands becomes younger, which is not only a factor for growth but also a shift in the consumer behavior of this group. In 2022, "Gen Y" and "Gen Z" were responsible for the whole market's growth. Simultaneously, the buying power of the so-called "Gen Z" and "Gen Alpha" generations is expected to increase over the next few years and account for one-third of the market by the year 2030.
One of the differences between Gen Z and Millennials is that they start buying luxury items approximately 3-5 years earlier than Millennials did (at the age of 15 compared to 18-20). Since these generations are remarkably tech-savvy and feel "at home" in the digital space, content marketing represents an excellent opportunity to target them and establish an emotional connection. However, this also means that brands need to exceed – or at least meet – their expectations, as these users expect superior online experiences.
How to provide your customers with a "luxury content experience"?
High-end consumers are more demanding in all aspects, and content marketing is no exception. Hence, luxury brands need to make an extra effort to break down barriers to discovery and purchase.
What are the rules to persuade and evangelize the most refined audience and create amenities in content?
- First of all, it is a language and aesthetics that is exclusive to luxury.
- Then comes the high-quality content that will entice the customer to genuinely want to engage with the brand.
- Last but not least are the content formats that can spark and create an emotional bond with the buyer.
5 tips to leverage luxury content marketing
The eCommerce customer journey has become highly sophisticated in recent years. Buyers typically research products through 8 different channels before making a purchase (social media, website, reviews, physical store visits, etc). This demonstrates that modern shoppers want an omnichannel experience, not just a digital one. The ROBO model (Research-online-buy-offline) is a prevalent buying approach among customers, and it also applies to premium goods. So, how would brands attract high-end consumers?
1. In the digital space: The objective is to make things more convenient and entertaining for users
Now, as we know, online research matters a lot, and the goal is to make it as effective as possible. The product pages on the brand's website and marketplaces should include such data:
- Product descriptions.
- Technical info (material, color, size, product care instructions).
- Suggestions on usage (style, context, season).
- Emotional information (brand know-how, what inspired the creator/designer, story behind the creation of the item, what elements of the brand value the product conveys).
- Eco-responsibility of the product.
- Dynamic info (availability, price).
2. Create visual content that showcases luxury
Imagery and visual content have to be unique and of high quality to encourage an audience to engage with the content rather than simply consume it:
- High-resolution photos.
- 360° view media.
- Rich media (videos, live streams, podcasts, Instagram stories).
- Immersive rich content (3D imagery, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality).
3. Maintain brand consistency across all channels
When launching new campaigns, posting new content, or running promotions, make sure that you do it consistently across all the available means to provide an omnichannel experience.
- Post content simultaneously on all channels.
- Ensure the same quality of visual and audio content.
- Make content mobile-friendly.
- Adapt content to that specific channel.
- Adapt content depending on the region.
4. Sync content with external channels
When selling products on eCommerce marketplaces, it's crucial to still synchronize the brand image and create the same high-end experience as in a branded store or website.
- The style and quality should be consistent, but different. For example, you can use pictures from the same photoshoot, but the shots themselves are not the same.
- Descriptions and all other text should be rewritten to avoid duplicates and SEO cannibalization (when two content pieces from one brand compete with each other in search).
5. Intrigue and inspire consumers
According to a McKinsey & Company study, 80% of all luxury sales are in some way influenced by what consumers see online.
- High-quality ads and social media content.
- Shoppable videos (users can instantly purchase items shown in the video they're watching).
- Collaborations with bloggers and influencers who represent the brand's spirit.
- Use innovative, interactive, and personalized ways of driving interest in the brand.
For example, Louis Vuitton decided to expand its legendary baggage collection with the "Louis Vuitton City Guide" – an app that offers unique recommendations for discovering 32 locations worldwide. Meanwhile, Gucci introduced "Gucci Live" a bespoke video-shopping service that allows customers to communicate with a personal shopper remotely.
How headless content management can help create a luxury experience for your brand
In order to provide the best digital experience, luxury brands must employ cutting-edge technologies and be early adopters in many areas. Migrating to headless architecture is one of the decisions that will tackle several challenges.
A headless content management system is a relatively new technology that offers various advantages over traditional or monolithic CMSs like WordPress. The technical distinction between these two systems is that the headless approach separates the "head" – or the front end from the "body" – or the back end. As a result, headless solutions are more secure, scalable, flexible, and future-proof, as they support an endless number of technologies that can be integrated via APIs.
Meanwhile, one of the main benefits for premium brands is that they can build a genuinely omnichannel experience by syncing as many front-ends as necessary. When you press the "publish" button, the content will be published on whatever channels you specify, such as the website, mobile app, AR, VR, wearables, kiosks, and so on.
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