The Rise of Influencer Marketing for Luxury Brands
While brands have long used social media influencers to increase the visibility of their products and services, increase brand authenticity, and generate sales, many luxury brands have resisted leaning on influencers until recently. Every industry was changed by the onset of COVID-19, but few were as impacted as the luxury industry. The cornerstone of many luxury brands is their exceptional and personal customer service, but when stores were forced to close, that competitive edge was put on pause.
But the pandemic hasn’t been all bad for the luxury industry. It’s pushed brands to experiment and find new ways to reach customers, with many investing more in their influencer strategies. But, there’s an art to using influencer marketing for luxury brands, says Marine Perrot, E-Retail & Digital Manager for L’Oréal Luxe.
Joël Gaudeul, Chief Marketing Officer at micro-influencer marketing and customer advocacy company, Hivency, sat down with Marine Perrot to learn more about how the leading luxury cosmetics retailer is approaching its influencer strategy differently this year and what advice she has for other companies looking to explore influencer marketing for luxury brands.
Here’s what she had to share on how L’Oréal Luxe is leveraging influencer marketing for luxury brands:
Joël Gaudeul: What impact do you think social networks have on luxury shopping?
Marine Perrot: Even though it’s not the biggest way of selling luxury products just yet, social media is becoming an increasingly significant traffic driver. The digital acceleration over the last few months is encouraging many brands to move toward integrating an influencer strategy into the core of their online approach. We used to be happy enough with a basic level of influence, but today’s brands are reinventing themselves to find influence mechanisms that sell. In addition to thinking about ways to improve their retail store, luxury brands need to think about new and shifting playing fields, like affiliates and influencer partners such as Lucette by Hivency that can help them design their strategies. Don’t be afraid to act quickly. Always test new things – you must always be learning!
JG: Nano-influencers are gaining ground in the luxury sector. How can brands incorporate it into their existing strategies?
MP: Brands should look at influence as a pyramid, with every level just as important as the next. A luxury brand needs to keep working with top influencers because they help boost its image. Nano, or even micro-influence, compliment this strategy while also localizing a brand’s message and even adding a layer of extra authenticity. Brand-influencer relationships are also symbiotic. They often become stronger because a brand can help influencers’ reputation and vice-versa. It’s a balancing act and no one should be overlooked.
JG: What are your marketing concerns when it comes to consumer reviews?
MP: A product page without reviews doesn’t inspire customer confidence. It’s important to be authentic and mindful of your brand image by being sincere. Lucette by Hivency is ground-breaking because it lets us connect with a community of beauty lovers who share audio and video cosmetic reviews. It’s a super innovative solution that allows us to increase the number of quality and genuine product reviews on our site. What could be better than an audio or video review: a tester who talks to you like a friend?