How to Use Social Media to Target ‘Once In a Lifetime’ Luxury Purchases
Attracting the mass market consumer. It’s a never-ending temptation for many luxury brands – handbags, watches, travel and otherwise – and one that presents a very real catch-22 scenario.
On the one hand, tempting mainstream consumers to make a high-end, once-in-a-lifetime purchase, results in sales and the affirmation of an experience or brand as aspirational market leaders. On the other, it can result in the temptation to discount and the weakening of brand’s perception by their most important customers, for whom cost is rarely a consideration.
But what if you could capitalise on increased sales, without muddying the waters of your traditional customer base? We’ve found that deep audience targeting of highly specific messaging and offers is key. And social media is the only marketing channel that can deliver this discretely, but at scale.
Luxury Marketing: Because It’s Worth It
More than ever, the potential for “because it’s worth it” purchases is tangible. It’s a trend we’ve seen for ourselves and so have others.
For instance, at the end of last year we produced some deep dive insights for a major UK travel group. As usual, we used market leading data tools to analyse their social media audiences, producing insights from over a million customers to guide our content recommendations.
“…one of the most reliable and authoritative sources for travel trends identified spending more on holidays “because it’s worth it” as a clear traveller mind-set for this year.”
From the work, we clearly identified a “luxury treats tribe” among their customers – made up of low-end wage earners who gift themselves high-end luxury goods when they travel.
Fast forward to the New Year and one of the most reliable and authoritative sources for travel trends identified spending more on holidays “because it’s worth it” as a clear traveller mind-set for this year.
In a recent survey of 44,000 contributors, Trip Advisor’s formidable Trip Barometer insights blog logged “spending more on holidays” as the second most significant trend for 2016.
Clearly, consumer appetite is there and it isn’t limited to the travel industry either. It’s a trend we’ve seen across the board. But what makes us so sure of social media?
But Why Social?
Firstly, to mitigate the reputational risk with established brand customers, it’s still broadly recognised that audiences for high-end products don’t follow brands on social networks, let alone engage with them there.
Secondly, the exact opposite is true of mainstream consumers, with far greater audiences enthusiastically engaging with their favourite brands on Facebook, Twitter and other networks. Many follow luxury brands too, even if it’s not as customers yet.
“…audience targeting options offered by social media networks give luxury brands a compelling opportunity to reach the right audience…”
Thirdly, audience targeting options offered by social media networks give luxury brands a compelling opportunity to reach the right audience, exclude existing customers and enable context messaging that’s likely to appeal to once-in-a lifetime purchasers.
Finally, ad display options enable the mindful marketer to direct adverts to be seen by only their selected audience. Hidden posts on social media do exactly what they say on the tin.
Hidden from your brand’s normal timeline, they appear only in the news feed of your selected audience, removing the worry of cheapening a luxury brand through offers, or undermining long established reputations with core customers.
Targeting Luxury Purchases with Social Media
The rationale is clear and mapped out – so how do luxury brands actually target those sales using social media? How do you sell more designer handbags, more luxury clothing, top-end watches, sunglasses or even luxurious flights?
- Use data insight tools to profile your existing audiences thoroughly, and understand who in your current customer base is a potential aspirational one-off purchaser. Use their data to create custom and lookalike audiences for social media advertising targeting.
- Create an audience persona so you fully understand the difference between the behaviour and motivation of mainstream consumers and your traditional customers.
- Develop a specific offer that’s going to appeal to the mainstream consumer. It could be added value propositions rather than money off. If it is a discount, make it modest.
- Run timed and targeted campaigns promoted from a Facebook tab or brand micro site. Tailor the actual competition entry mechanic based on your direct objective.
- If it’s lead generation; keep the data capture mechanism simple.
- If it’s perception shift; a multiple choice, educational quiz application will deliver compelling results.
- Capture high quality data and information about customer preference. If you don’t reach them this time you can re-target them with key messages via email.
- Run adverts to promote the campaign and offer – especially using hidden posts – so you don’t alienate your traditional customer base.
Using these key points, we’ve shown that it’s possible for a wide range of luxury brands to target mass market audiences without weakening perception of their brand among their most loyal customers.
By using social media to laser focus targeting on mass market audiences and generate an understanding of what separates the average consumer from your traditional advocates it’s possible to sidestep alienation and siphon off only the benefits of audience expansion.
If you’d like to discuss our unique and targeted approach to social media campaigns and better understand how your brand can drive luxury sales from any demographic, please get in touch with us today…