Long gone are the times when luxury brands could communicate sparsely, letting the audience wait for the big commercial. Customers have been trained to wait for new content on a regular basis, and feeding them (well) is crucial.
How to think about content strategy for a luxury audience
If fifteen years ago someone told luxury brands they would soon need to become media powerhouses, they would have never believed it. But look at what happens today: brands like Gucci, Burberry and the rest publish so much content to their social channels every week. This is, of course, unavoidable. Staying silent is not an option anymore: content has become a necessary tool to keep the audience constantly engaged.
Doing it right, though, is another thing.
Social media is your playground, not your prison
When we talk about content, we think (mostly) about social channels. This is where the game is played, of course, so all the rules of the platforms apply (for example, videos are probably the most engaging format).
The social channels, though, can be limiting for a luxury brand: while you control the content, you don’t control the platform, which means not having control on the overall user experience. As luxury is mostly about the experience, you should plan for an integrated journey where social is but one of the touchpoints.
Minisites and other immersive digital experiences where you are in control of every detail are a good complement to social content. Think about Gucci’s latest venture, called Guccifest: an online fashion show with live streaming events that will play on social channels and on the operation website.
Don’t worry about going small
If you plan on posting often on social media, you will need to accept that your content won’t always be high value. Content professionals usually refer to the three types of content: hero, hub, hygiene, where “hero” is the big commercial, “hub” is a mid-value piece of content, “hygiene” is quick and easy.
This can be hard to assimilate for luxury brands, who are used to producing few but very expensive communication materials.
Even the wealthiest brand, though, needs to come to terms with the economics of content. This, though, doesn’t need to be a limit to creativity. Just think about different forms of content: you might repurpose some existing photos from a shooting into a new material, or produce a video that is nowhere near as expensive as a commercial, such as an interview.
Break the wall between social and the rest
A very important concept for all brands – but especially for luxury brands – is not to differentiate too much between what is “official” communication and what is meant for social. This distinction is mostly in our heads. Truth is, all content should be scripted and produced with a social mindset. Some brands are acing this approach.
Think about Moschino’s puppet catwalk with designer Jeremy Scott. Not being able to stage a real catwalk, the brand produced a 9 minutes jewel of a show, using high quality marionettes in the place of models. The format is clearly unfit for TV, but you couldn’t call it just social.
Again, think about Gucci’s “The Ritual”, a video produced for the FW2020 collection. The video is intentionally lo-fi, and has been shot by the models themselves, locked at home during the pandemic. A strange hybrid between user generated content (model generated content?) and brand communication, the video was perfect for social channels but was also a strong aesthetic statement.
Customers of luxury brands always expect a special treatment and this applies to content, too. But remember: special doesn’t necessarily mean over the top. A different idea is sometimes all you need.
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