How Luxury Brands Are Tackling UGC
When it comes to embracing authentic marketing, many luxury brands have been hesitant to make the shift. However, with more and more emerging luxury brands garnering attention thanks to social media, and with consumers not only wanting but expecting better engagement from the brands they love, figuring authenticity out is going to be a key focus for most luxury marketers. Check out some common misconceptions people often have around UGC and tactics other luxury brands have used to tackle the trend effectively below!
1. My audience doesn’t post content
Actually, luxury is one of the biggest trends across industries for UGC. Throughout 2016, we saw it emerge at the beginning of the year to then becoming one of the most posted-about topics by the year’s end. We foresee this only growing as social sharing in general continues to grow.
2. The content isn’t any good.
A look at what the brands below have achieved should quickly dispel this idea. Also, ensuring brands can find the best content related to their brand or current campaign, whether by text search, geo-location, or image recognition, is easily done in Chute’s own platform. Even without a platform, remember that people want to put the best of themselves forward when sharing visual content – they self-curate. This is especially true of those who share around luxury. Honestly, if you invest in a $5k bag, are you going to post an ugly photo of it on Instagram?
3. But my brand has a legacy, so people will always love it.
Many brands have thought this in the past, and many brands have lost out on huge audiences thanks to this mentality. For example, there was a time when a certain luxury makeup brand was the ONLY brand anyone creating on Youtube, for blogs, or for social media cared about or talked about – every product launch was a massive event both online and offline. This brand not only completely ignored the fervor around their products and launches, but they also forbid prominent makeup artists who were employed by the company from sharing about the brand too. Fast forward to 2017, and this brand is almost never mentioned on social media and has been eclipsed by brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, which made social media engagement and authentic media both key focuses of their entire marketing strategy.
First, the Ritz-Carlton took the time to learn from and listen to their customers – something all brands should strive to do. Through social listening, they discovered that customers were organically using #RCmemories to share their experiences at the luxury hotel group’s locations. Instead of fighting against an organic action, the Ritz-Carlton adopted the hashtag as their brand’s main hashtag. The content they gather resides on their homepage, while destination-specific content is easily tagged and added to each of their individual property pages.
The Ritz-Carlton’s #RCmemories is basically a perfect hashtag – it’s branded but not just the brand name alone. Using the hashtag shows a real desire from the consumer to share with the brand. For brands looking to create a new hashtag, make sure your brand is represented in there somehow, otherwise it’s just confusing for the audience of your creators and fairly useless in the long term. For more about hashtag creation and promotion, get our hashtag guide!
Benefit Cosmetics has been truly at the forefront of the authentic content movement – tapping into authentic content for years. They know that not only is their customer’s content amazing, but it’s also their best sales collateral. After all, according to our UGC report, authentic content from peers is the most likely form of media to inspire purchases across industries.
Today, one of the evergreen ways that they use UGC is to inspire customers to purchase by including real photos of people using their products across their social media channels and on each individual product page. This is also a fantastic method to share ideas for using the products.
What do you do if your demographic is made up of affluent jet-setters and those who aspire to be, but you’re still a marketing team with a set budget, number of employees, and offices? Turn to those same people who are purchasing your cars and proudly sharing their best photos of them on social media to be your content stream. By doing this, Mercedes-Benz has consistently not only been one of the top automotive-related accounts on Instagram, but is also one of the top accounts that post about fashion and travel based on engagement. Plus, the user-generated content they get for free and repost to Instagram performs 3x better than the branded content they pay to create.