The art of social influencer marketing in the realm of luxury brands

Luxury brands are now faced with the crucial task of solving how social influencer marketing might impact their brand’s image in the midst of dynamic shifts in digital marketing trends.

In the past decade, many high-end brands have fully embraced celebrity influencer marketing as a core strategy. While this approach has demonstrated success, some luxury marketers ponder whether its effectiveness has reached its peak and whether it is time to explore new types of influencers.

Influencer marketing continues to expand

According to Forbes, the market for social influencer marketing continues to experience significant growth, boasting a remarkable 29% increase compared to the previous year. This surge reflects the growing commitment of businesses, as they allocate more funds than ever to leverage the advantages offered by influencer marketing.

It’s essential for luxury brands to recognise that social influencer marketing will remain an important force in the marketing realm. Therefore, they should adapt to ever-changing social influencers trends in order to acquire new affluent audiences.

The rise of ‘The everyday influencers’

The significant trend in social influencer marketing is the increasing demand for authenticity. As reported by Vogue Business, 56% of consumers prefer following “everyday influencers” on social media. These nano or micro-influencers include friends, family members, and trusted online acquaintances, even if there is no in-person connection. Their trustworthiness stems from the sense of personal connection they establish, unlike aspirational influencers and celebrities, who were more popular before the pandemic.

Brands are increasingly seeking content that feels genuine and organic, and they value influencers who express their thoughts openly. Recognising the cost-effectiveness and ability to generate highly targeted content, brands are now eager to collaborate with nano and micro-influencers.

Become a part of their lifestyle

Companies are increasingly opting for long-term collaborations with specific influencers rather than one-time campaigns. This strategy allows for deeper brand integration and the cultivation of stronger relationships between influencers and their audiences.

The key to thriving in long-term partnerships with creators is to refrain from overly controlling their content style or posting schedule. Authenticity in their content consistently resonates with their audience, making them perceive it as more than just an advertisement and genuinely endorsing the product as part of their lifestyle.

Embrace the Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)

The emergence of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) or Thought Leaders has injected new energy into the realm of brand PR and marketing strategies. Across a variety of social media platforms, KOLs harness their online presence to educate their audience and convey their adept knowledge, encompassing studies, research, and discoveries. Their content portfolio encompasses a diverse array of formats, including written articles, textual compositions, visual imagery, illustrative infographics, and even video presentations.

While influencers predominantly generate income through creating social media content, many KOLs maintain concurrent full-time roles as authors, designers, consultants, entrepreneurs, and more.

Businesses can strategically employ KOLs to cultivate customer awareness and confidence, thereby driving sales growth. When KOLs endorse brands aligned with their areas of expertise, they not only capture the interest of their substantial audience in the brand but also provide a credible opinion or recommendation.

In summary

Luxury brands might be reluctant to give up control of shaping their core image. The shift from an aspirational look to a more relatable one may seem intimidating. Although incorporating social influencer marketing can offer opportunities to connect with new audiences and increase overall reach, it also means allowing influencers to collaborate and, potentially, affect the brand’s identity. This merging of the influencer’s identity with the brand could potentially distance existing fans or even undermine the brand’s prestige. Therefore, luxury brands must carefully choose their social influencers or KOLs. On a positive note, entrusting influencers with creative talents or specific niches can rejuvenate the brand and attract a new generation of fans.

Image Source & Credits

  • Courier magazine (photographer Marco Arguello)
  • Photographer Jeremy Liebman
  • The Way We Play (photographer Melanie Rodriguez)
  • @tom__morris
  • @jackiekaiellis