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Ultimate Guide to Pinterest & Instagram Marketing for Luxury Brands

Both Pinterest & Instagram are inspirational and aspirational by nature, a perfect fit for luxury brands.

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Ultimate Guide to Pinterest & Instagram Marketing for Luxury Brands

  1. 1. 1 The Ultimate Guide To Marketing for Luxury Brands &
  2. 2. 2 The Landscape, and Why Visual Networks are Great for Luxury Brands Your Visual Content Strategy: What’s Working For Luxury Brands and What Isn’t Establishing, Measuring and Achieving Your Goals on the Visual Web 2 3 1 What’s in This Guide
  3. 3. 3 The Landscape, and Why Visual Networks are Great for Luxury Brands 1
  4. 4. 4 Instagram and Pinterest are tailor-made for luxury brands. Both networks are inspirational and aspirational by nature, and this makes them a perfect fit for luxury brands whose products are inherently beautiful and desirable. Aston Martin’s Pinterest strategy includes boards for all of their current line of cars, as well as legacy models such as their legendary DB5, shown here. As a result, their content has high levels of engagement, and more than 180,000 followers
  5. 5. 5 It should come as no surprise that many premier luxury brands are taking advantage of these platforms to further their success; in fact, a recent study revealed that 93% of them are active on Instagram. This makes sense, as our research indicates that for luxury brands, Instagram is dominant. By way of example, let’s compare the Instagram and Pinterest audiences Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry. These are three of the top luxury labels on Instagram, but they are illustrative of the broader trend. Another example is luxury automobiles; as we mentioned before, Aston Martin is killing it on Pinterest. They have nearly 200,000 followers, which is far more than they have on Instagram. However, they are the exception that proves the rule. BMW and Audi each have more than a million followers on Instagram, but Pinterest is a much different story. BMW doesn’t even have a profile, while Audi’s two official accounts (one international, one for the U.S.A) combined don’t break 2,000 followers. So why there such a discrepancy between Pinterest and Instagram for luxury brands? It comes down to three things: brand behavior, products, and platform specific user behavior. Louis Vuitton Gucci Burberry 2,754,347 53,951 2,304,259 32, 216 1,911,229 94,090 Instagram Audience Pinterest Audience
  6. 6. 6 Aimee Lauricella Marketing and PR Manager @Joe’s Jeans “People love to have a visual connection with a brand, and Instagram is the best platform for that. It performs better for us because people can relate to all of the images we post, since they always tell a mini story. Plus Instagram is the most mobile friendly social platform, so we are always in the palm of their hands; just look at fashion girls and bloggers hanging out, they are always on their phones. At times, because of the way Pins are delivered in a news feed, it’s hard to express a message through Pinterest.”
  7. 7. 7 Pinterest is a network based on discovery, and our data shows that people who Pin new products they discover have a high level of purchase intent. People generally browse Pinterest to do something, whether that’s finding a new recipe or shopping for their next pair of shoes. This makes Pinterest an extraordinarily powerful ecommerce engine, and luxury brands who do sell products online, such as Burberry, typically perform better on the platform than those who don’t. The bottom line is that Pinterest and Instagram both offer rich potential for luxury brands. These visual networks are the perfect place for 21st century window shopping, and the perfect place to create aspirational, inspirational and emotional desire in a new generation of consumers. Whether your brand is focused on Instagram or Pinterest, it’s critical that your content is both audience and platform appropriate. If not, it can easily be overlooked or fade into background noise. So let’s examine what’s working for luxury brands on these networks from a content perspective. Burberry has been in business for more than 150 years, and their glossy, stylish imagery is perfect for Pinterest
  8. 8. 8 Between gorgeous product shots, travel pictures and on the street photos, Joe’s Jeans ensures their Instagram feed is always luxurious and never boring
  9. 9. 9 Your Visual Content Strategy: What’s Working For Luxury Brands and What Isn’t 2
  10. 10. 10 Aimee Lauricella Marketing and PR Manager @Joe’s Jeans “The challenge is showcasing the quality and comfort of our products while telling the full story behind them. You can’t feel or try them on, so we have to relay through images why they’re worth every penny, and worth a repin or ‘double tap.’ Our strategy is to create an aspirational lifestyle in 75% of our Pins and posts, to give our product an environment to be seen in by our followers. We want our followers to relate to our brand and want to be an advocate for the Joe’s lifestyle, which is why we feature so many fashion influencers wearing our brand.”
  11. 11. 11 Visual networks, and especially Instagram, are vehicles for forming emotional bonds between you and your audience. Luxury brands especially have a huge leg up in this regard, as their products are designed to connect with people’s passions. But how you show your products is as critical to success as what you show. “Part of any highend brand is managing the customer’s experience. Luxury products aren’t sold or valued simply on their technical quality, they’re sold on exclusivity and their ‘specialness,’ so brands go to huge lengths to ensure that every part of your interaction with their products in their stores is incredible. But that creates the big question of how to replicate that experience online,” said Jason Edelman, who has led merchandising and commerce efforts for brands including Restoration Hardware, Frontgate, and WilliamsSonoma. The answer is that it doesn’t have to be the same. Online audiences don’t expect the same experience as walking into a store, but if you can capture even some of your brand’s distinct, exclusive ‘feel’ and culture on Pinterest or Instagram, you can spread that experience around to a much broader audience. “In the end, luxury brands fulfill wants, not needs. A Omega watch that costs thousands of dollars doesn’t really keep any better time than a $15 Casio; but that’s not the point. That’s not why you buy these kinds of things. You buy them because you want them, because LOTS of people want them, because they’re beautiful, cool, and desirable. So when you’re marketing these products, you have to create that desire, that WANT.” ­—Jason Edelman
  12. 12. 12 Liselotte Kirkelund Digital Marketing Manager @ Vero Moda “For us, Instagram is a bit more spontaneous and fun, but we still put a lot of thought into every picture. We like to show a bit more of the “Vero Moda” world, such as photos from around the world, pictures of our staff traveling, shots from fashion shows and a lot of behind the scene content. At the same time, we want to showcase our products, but in a different, unique and appealing way. Which is why we feature so many fashion influencers wearing our brand.”
  13. 13. 13 “On Instagram, we try to build a story around our products and how they fit into the bigger picture of our brand. Even though it’s great for inspiration and fashion products, we try to keep a mix of 60% product focus and 40% “atmosphere pictures’ that contain behind the scenes shots like food, hairstyles, stylists, models getting ready, and our employees having fun. I think customers love to get a glimpse of the life behind our brand. It gives us a personal touch, and puts on eye-level with the customer.” —Liselotte Kirkelund, Digital Marketing Manager @Vero Moda As a luxury brand, your products are the gold standard that people strive for and desire, and your visual content should reflect this. This means going beyond simply presenting your catalog online; you should invest in visual storytelling that communicates the vision of your brand and showcases an idealized world of elegance, quality, class and style. Vero Moda’s Instagram profile is a great example of luxury visual content done right. The brand’s highly engaging posts regularly generate thousands of likes, and each post is created with a story in mind to capture the imagination and passion of the brand’s followers.
  14. 14. 14 According to our research, the images that generally create the most engagement for luxury retail brands are pictures of products, as opposed to ambience pictures of models, exotic travel locations etc., and this holds true for both Pinterest and Instagram. This might sound like it runs contrary to conventional thinking, which would dictate that lifestyle photographs would perform better on Instagram, while product shots would perform better on Pinterest. The thing is, for luxury brands, product images are lifestyle images, as their Instagram and Pinterest profiles should paint a picture of a life lived for the finer things. As an integral part of that lifestyle, luxury product pictures become “destinations” unto themselves, and in many cases the best performing images showcase these brands’ products in beautiful surroundings, rather than as standalone “hero shots.” Gucci’s top performing content on Pinterest is generally product shots, but they showcase their products in beautiful and creative ways. Piqora’s platform can help you track which of your content is performing best on Pinterest and Instagram
  15. 15. 15 Burberry’s Pinterest content is heavily product focused, but displays these products in creative, distinctive and glamorous environments Of course, Instagram and Pinterest are separate and distinct networks, and brands need to specifically adapt their content strategies to maximize success. Burberry, for example, is a leader among luxury brands on both Pinterest and Instagram. Their boards are filled with a rich mix of products, celebrities, and pictures of London, but the vast majority of their top performing Pins are more traditional product shots. Typically, Burberry showcases their products on Pinterest in glamorous settings such as fashion shows or against rich, beautiful backgrounds, and nearly every Pin links back to their ecommerce store. On Instagram, however, their strategy is different. They still show product shots, but they do so in a more dynamic, natural, and human centric way, which is exactly how Instagram audiences like their content. By adopting platform specific creative strategies, Burberry has succeeded in creating an exclusive, luxurious online experience around their products. Burberry perfectly illustrates the advantage of avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach to visual content. Each platform is unique and requires specific strategies, but for luxury brands in particular it’s important to provide variety in your content. Although product images deliver the most engagement, diversity of content is key to creating a rich user experience on visual networks.
  16. 16. 16 Burberry follows Instagram best practices and makes their images more human centric and natural on that platform
  17. 17. 17 “Instagram has to have a more organic feel. We use it as a behind the scenes approach or something to aspire too, such as a fashion influencer look,” said Lauricella. “Pinterest on the other hand is more product based, so we strategize the best way to showcase product and have it easily accessible to our followers, without losing the aspirational images as a ‘background’ to our featured product.” You should experiment with different types of content to find out what works best for you, and iterate from there. Our Fashion Marketer’s Guide to Instagram has more great information on content specific to fashion brands, while our Guide to Visual Content Strategy contains data that brands in any vertical can use to create high performing visual strategies for both Pinterest and Instagram. Regardless which visual network you decide to focus on, establishing goals and objectives for these platforms, and a concrete plan to measure and achieve them, is crucial. Stuart Weitzman does a great job of showcasing their products in natural, beautiful environments that Instagrammers love; occasionally throwing in a cute dog doesn’t hurt either
  18. 18. 18 Luxury Visual Content • Generally, showing luxury products “in the wild” i.e on the street, in a fashion show, or in a beautiful outdoor setting is more effective on Instagram, and these types of images generate the most engagement • For inspiration on photo creative, keep an eye on what other popular brands in your category are doing and take that into consideration for your own content. Pay attention to lighting, angles, stages and setting; if it’s working for them, it’ll probably work for you • If your brand is focused on Pinterest, tailor your image descriptions and primary keywords to match Pinterest’s own categories; the most repinnable descriptions are about 200 characters long • Our research indicates the best time for luxury brands to post to Instagram is early in the morning before normal working hours, or later at night. If you want to enhance the visibility of your content, you have to take into consideration your audience’s schedules and behaviors, and Piqora can help analyze and optimize your engagement with your followers • Experiment with different forms of multimedia (video and images) to see what your audiences love. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to success
  19. 19. 19 Establishing, Measuring and Achieving Your Goals on the Visual Web 3
  20. 20. 20 “Luxury brands play by different rules than their mainstream cousins. The traffic and engagement metrics that work for most brands won’t necessarily move the needle in the luxury market, so high end brands should find the key metrics that matter to them and develop a content strategy that works for those goals.” Nick Mueller Sr. Marketing Manager @Piqora
  21. 21. 21 For any brand, it’s essential to approach Pinterest and Instagram with a plan. This is especially true for luxury brands; high profile companies spend more time in the spotlight than most, and people will naturally be discussing and posting about your products. This can be a great thing, but it’s essential to engage with and participate in these conversations in the right way. Posting or Pinning just for the sake of having a presence is a surefire way to be disappointed by the results. In addition to a solid content strategy, you’ll need a clearly defined and established set of goals, and metrics to compare these to in order to track performance and make adjustments as needed. So let’s break down the Key Performance Indicators that luxury brands look at.
  22. 22. 22 On Instagram A successful Instagram strategy is driven by on- platform engagement. Brands can systematize and amplify engagement by monitoring the following KPIs. 1) New Follower Growth An expanding follower base indicates growth in your brand presence and influence. It also indicates that your content strategy is effective, appealing, and engaging. Pay attention to large spikes in follower growth, as they can indicate that certain images are particularly effective, so you can learn from those images and iterate off of best practices. Look for systematic growth over time in addition to daily spikes, which can be the result of specific campaigns or highly engaging posts “Our success metrics for Instagram are followers gained and number of likes and comments. They really go hand in hand, since you want to build your follower base, but have to provide the engaging content to grow that fan base. We focus on these because you really have to have the right balance in order to thrive on the network.” Aimee Lauricella, Marketing and PR Manager @Joe’s Jeans
  23. 23. 23 Comments don’t just reflect engagement, they also provide the perfect opportunity to talk directly with your fans and foster positive relationships, just like Joe’s Jeans did here with @modernensemble 2) Comments and Likes Comment counts reflect your brand’s ability to inspire your audience, while likes provide insight into your audience’s engagement level. While simply looking at these numbers is important, you should also take a close look at what your audiences are saying in the comments. Comments shouldn’t be one sided; this is a fantastic opportunity to engage with your fans, and build valuable relationships with brand advocates, and Piqora’s Instagram Conversation Manager can help you manage these conversations on a broad scale.
  24. 24. 24 Gucci did a good job here by adding a brand hashtag and a “manufactured” hashtag (#Gucci, #Cruise2015) but they missed an opportunity to expand their content’s reach by adding 3-5 “community” hashtags 3) Hashtag Strategy and Brand Mentions Word of mouth is a marketing force of nature, especially for luxury goods (if you need proof of that fact, simply look at how much buzz goes around the release of a new iPhone). And with more than 200M registered users, Instagram is a major conversation hub where people are actively having conversations about your products. These conversations are built around hashtags, but a lot of high end brands struggle with maximizing the potential of a good hashtag strategy. Chanel, for example, generates the most hashtags of any luxury brand, despite not having an official Instagram profile. And they aren’t alone; our research shows that 73% of brands don’t follow best hashtag practices. By opting out, these brands are missing a massive opportunity to engage in, and more importantly lead these conversations. So how can you best harness hashtags? For starters, add seven hashtags to each of your posts; doing so can lead to 23% more likes. A good mix would be one brand hashtag, one that your brand creates, and 3-5 “community” hashtags. Just beware that adding more than seven hashtags leads to a dramatic downturn in the number of likes, as people can view that as spam.
  25. 25. 25 Piqora’s dashboard allows you to track hashtag metrics such as Unique Users, Potential Impressions, Photos Posted to Hashtags, Likes, and Comments You definitely want to know how your brand is fitting into these conversations, and engage in them whenever possible. There are two ways to monitor brand mentions: A) You can track how Instagram users are tagging your brand in ongoing, natural conversations. Pay attention to the tone of these conversations, and apply these analyses into your own Instagram strategy. B) Analyze the conversations around hashtags related to your brand, whether these are official hashtags or those that are tangentially related. Download our Instagram Hashtag Report for more information.
  26. 26. 26 On Pinterest Luxury brands that sell online can obviously use Pinterest to drive ecommerce metrics, and should harness the platform’s massive potential to promote their products, turbocharge referral traffic, increase average order value, and drive sales. However as we mentioned before, many luxury brands don’t sell their products online, making direct ROI measurement on the platform difficult. Even if your brand doesn’t engage in ecommerce, Pinterest can still be a powerful tool for inspiration around and discovery of your products and services, and building relationships with your audience. Marketers who understand this will focus on creating and sharing content that makes it easier for their fans to take action on Pinterest, and a great way to measure engagement is to look at repins and repins-per-pin. Piqora’s platform delivers reports that show your precise revenue & ROI from Pinterest. See the Pins that led to transactions on your site, the value of those orders, the average revenue per Pin, and the average revenue per purchase
  27. 27. 27 Piqora’s platform helps you measure engagementand make specific, actionable decisions on your Pinterest content “With Pinterest, we focus more on the site traffic to our ecommerce site and our followers, because these allow us to see what our fans want and what works for them. We ultimately want to give our followers exactly what they are looking for, so it’s a one stop shop.” Aimee Lauricella, Marketing and PR Manager @Joe’s Jeans
  28. 28. 28 A Word on Promotions Often, luxury brands shy away from running social media promotions, but they can be massively beneficial. They can be powerful audience building tools, and are an excellent way to migrate your existing followers over from other platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Pinterest promotions are a great way to drive engagement on your Pins, traffic to your Pinterest profile or website, and identify brand advocates and influencers, while photo contests provide a fast track to increasing brand visibility on Instagram. Instagram is teeming with original, highly creative usergenerated content, so photo contests are also a phenomenal way for brands to source UGC from their fans. For more information, check out our indepth guides to Pinterest Promotions and Instagram Photo Contests. Joe’s Jeans #JustaPerfectDay contest generated massive engagement and thousands of new followers
  29. 29. 29 Measuring Success on the Visual Web • Evaluate Instagram comments from a qualitative as well as a quantitative perspective; they can be great feedback on how your content is resonating with your audience • On Instagram, look for variance in ‘likes’ between your posts to see what your followers are and aren’t responding to • Engagement is an indicator of intent on Pinterest, so tracking the content that people are interacting with most and iterating off of those learnings is a fast track to success • Piqora’s analytics platform can help you identify industry wide trends and interpret how well your content is performing, both individually and compared to the other brands in your vertical
  30. 30. 30 Wrapping Up: Why Luxury Brands Are Flocking to the Visual Web, and Why You Should Too If this guide hasn’t already convinced you of the opportunities on Pinterest and Instagram, here’s a few stats that might. The audiences on these platforms are a luxury marketer’s dream demographic. Pinterest users, for example, are predominantly young, wealthy females who spend a lot of money on the platform, and nearly 30 percent of them make more than $100,000 a year. And according to a report from L2, Instagram generates 15x more engagement for luxury brands than Facebook. Even if they aren’t officially active on these networks, luxury brand’s content is already all over them (if you wonder why, just consider that more than 90% of Pins originate from a website, not a Pinterest profile.) Omega, for example, don’t currently have a Pinterest profile, and yet a quick search reveals thousands of Pins dedicated to their watches. “A lot of luxury labels don’t invest in Pinterest and Instagram for the same reasons they don’t sell their products online; they can’t control people’s experience,” said Edelman. “But here’s the bottom line: it is going to happen. Eventually, if these brands want to stay relevant and viable, they’ll have to adopt these platforms, so my advice is to get in now, get in early, and do it right.” Every day, millions of people interact with luxury content on visual networks, and for brands can tap into these conversations and provide their customers with real, valuable content, Instagram and Pinterest to can be game changers. The information discussed here is just a small portion of the resources available from Piqora, so to learn more go to www.piqora.com and request a demo, we’d love to help you!
  31. 31. 31 Visit piqora.com to get a demo and learn more