It has become a bit of a tradition for the mOOnshot digital team to take a break at the end of each year from current affairs to reflect on the past and future. One of the outcomes of this reflection are the luxury digital marketing trends that we prioritise for the coming year that we’ve published since 2014. These are essential guidelines to guide our clients through the constantly changing digital marketing landscape. They also happen to be some of our most popular posts. It is thus with great pleasure that we present to you the digital marketing trends of 2018 that every luxury business will need to master in order to shine and succeed through the year.
Why 2018 digital marketing trends for luxury matter?
Before we dive in, some of you might wonder why a high-end brand should care too much about the latest marketing trends for luxury. Many of the luxury brands that we work with are striving for a communication that is as timeless as possible, deeply rooted in tradition.
At mOOnshot digital we strongly believe that traditions can absolutely be translated into a strong and modern luxury digital marketing strategy. It takes time and serious attention to details to craft a bespoke digital marketing strategy that will resonate with your brand, but it is also essential if you want to engage with the new generation of affluent consumers. Take a look at our article on the rise of Gen Z and what it means for luxury brands to understand how important a purposeful digital marketing strategy is for your business.
Our track record in identifying and prioritising the most relevant digital marketing trends for luxury businesses well ahead of the curve has been proven since we started these reports back in 2014. Most of our past predictions are still relevant in 2018, so if you’ve been a long time reader you’ll only need to continue building up on the strong foundations that we’ve already established.
Now, without further ado, here are our top 3 digital marketing trends for 2018 that every luxury business will need to master in order to shine and succeed through the year.
1. Content is still king for 2018 digital marketing, but with a twist
We explained in our previous digital marketing trends the importance of storytelling, in particular through video. That has of course not changed, and you should start 2018 by evaluating your organisation’s progress in that regard and the results that you’ve been able to drive.
Thanks to changes in the Google algorithm, it’s time in 2018 to revisit your copywriting guidelines as well. Copywriting of excellent quality, that provides truly original and useful content to your consumers, will determine how well your web properties perform on Google.
1.1. SEO broad topics vs. keywords tactics
The search engine is now able to better understand semantic and thematic conversations. This means that you should review and update your content to make sure that it is more broadly discussing a topic, instead of narrowly focusing on a set of keywords. Think of it as a consumer-focused copywriting strategy instead of a keyword-focused approach.
Your team will dramatically improve its impact if they study your audience and the broad topic that your consumers are interested in, and then writes comprehensive, in-depth articles. Your copywriters should of course continue to think directionally about your target keywords, but they shouldn’t be the end goal of their work.
A properly executed SEO strategy remains one of the most profitable digital marketing investments that you can do as a luxury business. We see it time and again as a low hanging fruit when running digital audits for our clients. It often requires minimum investment and training the right people in your organisation to rapidly yield measurable results with a compounding effect for the future years.
Constantly reviewing and adapting your SEO is essential for your 2018 digital marketing strategy to remain relevant.
1.2. Digital experimentation and personalisation
In addition to the improving semantic understanding, Google is now also able to evaluate some user experience signals from your website. And they will be taken into account for your SEO rank.
We recommend that you take advantage of Google Analytics to understand the performance of your sales funnel and identify opportunities for improvement. Once these SEO opportunities are identified, you should run your own content experiments by testing multiple iterations of the same page and see what works best.
As part of these experiments, you should gradually integrate elements of personalisation by dynamically adapting your marketing message to different segments of your audience. For example, you could replace certain terms in your page depending on the exact search query that lead a visitor to your website.
Have a look at our Google Analytics getting started guide if you need an introduction on the topic.
1.3. Update and optimise existing SEO content
As a well-established luxury brand, you probably have a significant amount of content that has been published over the years. Chances are that your content team is constantly working on creating new materials, but little time is spent going back through their past work.
This is a mistake.
We recommend that you regularly conduct thorough content audit of your website. The mOOnshot digital team can help you with a digital audit if you don’t have the right framework for your organisation, you can request a consultation session here. These audits will help you identify articles that could be repurposed, updated, or combined to rank back up on Google.
2. Forget mobile, focus on omnichannel
Well ok, don’t completely forget mobile, but don’t get distracted by the buzzwords. Your customers are engaging with your brands through multiple marketing channels, and their purchase journey will span across different devices.
Of course, it’s critical that your brand performs well on mobile devices. But more importantly, you need to be able to communicate a consistent message across all channels and progressively build-up a personalised interaction with each of your customers wherever they are.
We’ve seen too many luxury brands completely shift their attention to developing new mobile-first engagement points in 2017. While these applications were often brilliant as a stand alone, they failed to connect with the larger brand persona and often left its consumers confused.
Mobile should always be treated as part of a larger marketing value. It is the fastest growing channel and unlocks new opportunities for personalisation, but luxury companies need ensure that their marketing remains on brand.
How do you do this? For us at mOOnshot digital it always starts with a thorough audit of all your existing properties. You can request a consultation session here if you want. This is essential to understand how your brand is being perceived across different channels.
In most cases, it is then a matter of implementing the right internal processes and structure to ensure brand alignment and consistency across all departments. We’ve seen a few extreme cases where a particular team was so technologically advanced compared to the rest of the company that broader organisational changes were required. But these are fairly rare.
Remember that the end goal is to have a customer-centric and data-driven approach to your digital marketing strategy. The organisational structure should be defined by these principles.
Bridging the offline/online gap for luxury retailers
One important factor that we want to highlight for a successful omnichannel digital marketing strategy in 2018 is to strive for greater accountability of the impact of digital campaigns on offline retail sales.
For example, Google announced a few months ago the launch of Project Beacon to create a proximity-based experience for your consumers. Practically, it means that with beacons installed on your retails, you’ll be able to target customers when in close proximity to your stores. This opens the door to incredible opportunities in terms of marketing personalisation on mobile devices.
3. Social media advertising
Most of your competitors are investing in social advertising. And Facebook continues to dominate the game in terms of ROI, followed by Twitter and Instagram. Facebook and Instagram in particular are the clear winner of social media advertising in Asia.
While the social media platforms are constantly evolving, the core principles that mOOnshot digital recommends to its luxury clients remain broadly the same year over year. Have a look at some of our previous articles here, here, and here if you want to know more.
There are three important new trends that we’ve identified for our 2018 social media marketing strategy that are worth pointing out however.
3.1. Yes to influencers marketing, but…
2017 has seen an exponential increase in the number of brands approaching social media influencers for partnerships. We’ve also seen significant budget range differences and too often very little measurement in place to assess the success of such campaigns.
The social media influencer marketing industry is maturing in 2018. For luxury brands the timing is now right to experiment more heavily with artists and content creators that can resonate well with their brands.
Our experience at mOOnshot digital shows that the best results come from working with mid-tier or even micro influencers who can create authentic content for your luxury brand. That group are often established creatives in their own artistic field. These social media influencers are not looking for luxury brands as a source of income, but instead, an outlet for artistic expression and collaboration.
In addition, high-end brands have to ensure a strong alignment internally, with clear objectives and KPIs, before engaging with influencers. A single point of contact to manage the relationship with a clear message and transparent objectives are best.
Finally, luxury brands need to establish a strategic framework that will enable their team to think holistically about the role of influencers in the larger marketing strategy of the brand. An influencer campaign needs to be part of a broader approach, where each channel can supplement and amplify each other.
3.2. The power of Facebook Advertising and Lookalike Audiences
The mOOnshot digital team has seen dramatic improvements to the Facebook lookalike algorithm to target the right audience with the right message. Combined with the above average ROI that Facebook offers, we’ve decided to allocate larger portions of our budgets to the platform.
Lookalike audiences are audiences that Facebook’s algorithm creates to reach new customers who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers. It’s especially powerful when leveraging value-based lookalike audience features. It enables you to target customers with a higher potential purchase power, thus focusing your advertising budget to the most valuable audience.
When combined with the personalisation features discussed above, a value-based lookalike campaign on Facebook can yield dramatic improvements to your advertising performances.
The digital transformation of luxury businesses
This is not a new digital marketing trend for 2018, but rather an underlying transformation that is affecting the entire luxury industry for the decade. The organisations that are the most successful at leveraging digital marketing strategies to grow their business are the organisations most willing to undergo a deeper digital transformation. This organisational digital transformation needs to happen through every department of your organisation and bring focus and clarity to your teams.
At mOOnshot digital, most of our clients are already in the midst of such a digital transformation, thanks to avant-garde management and leaders with a strong vision. Get in touch with us if you think that you too are ready to embark on this journey and future-proof your business.