[WATCH] How Can Influencers Maximise Luxury Brands Sales – AGS Europe
In an AGS Europe 2021 panel which was held in Malta, the moderator Mike Prasad, Founder & CEO of Tinysponsor, and the panelists Leanne Bartolo, Owner & Head Coach of Warehouse Fitness Studio, Salah-eddine Mimouni, Digital Marketing Expert at Richmedia Digital Agency, and Dominik Lebersorger, CEO & Owner of Lebersorger Media discuss “How Can Influencers Maximise Luxury Brands Sales”.
During this panel, we shall have a discussion about how can influencers maximise luxury brands sales. Prasad starts the panel by introducing us to this panel’s topics: understanding from the agency’s side, the content creator’s side, and the influencer’s side what goes into marketing, luxury brands, driving sales, techniques, and strategies that can execute around that.
Prasad says that “when it comes to luxury brands, it’s not about getting massive visibility; it’s about the right customers, it’s about the right purchases”. Prasad asks Mimouni how do they approach influencers for luxury brands. Mimouni says that to select the good influencers, there are various criteria. The first one is that it is always about quality and not quantity. The second is about the previous work of this influencer. The third is about the analytic indicators in the influencer’s account. The fourth and last criteria is what they call the socio-professional categories, whether your audience really fits the brand. They then create a report which they give to the brand. As for the budget, Mimouni says that when influencers hear that the brand is a luxurious one, they start asking for a lot of money because they think that the brand can pay any sum but this is “very mystical”. Therefore, they act as moderators between the influencer and the brand.
Prasad says that this is “interesting because [they] act both as the agency for the brand and almost as a talent manager for the influencer, which is smart, bridging the gap between brands and influencers”. Prasad adds that Mimouni mentioned some important elements, such as brand safety competitors that the influencers previously worked with. From his own experience, Prasad also found that the qualitative elements of the influencers’ content, their audience, and themselves, must match the qualitative elements and the values of the luxury brand they will represent. He adds that when everything aligns you get the best conversion and as a result the budget becomes more flexible because the brand knows that the results will be there.
Follow the whole panel discussion here:
Prasad turns to Bartolo saying that when she’s “connecting with people as an influencer, as a creator, both in person and online, a lot of the things that drive [her] content are probably tied to psychology” and to how she motivates her followers. He adds that this is very critical with luxury brands because it is not only about money or the product itself, but about the value that is attributed to the brand. He asks Bartolo to tell us a bit more about this.
Bartolo says that what she noticed from her followers is that when it comes to luxury brands, they look for credibility, identity, and a strong brand name. She says that she tries to collaborate with brands that she identifies with, brands in which she believes because this way her approach and promoting are genuine. If she promotes a brand, her followers believe that she is being genuine and as a result they will order from that brand.
Prasad says that there is the element of trust from her audience, which is the same element of trust with luxury brands: trust in the quality, trusty in the story and in the narrative around the brand. Bartolo says that influencers are becoming the new partners in business and that in her opinion influencers could be cheaper than other media/social media platforms. Mimouni adds that in addition to being cheaper, another advantage of influencers is a conversion rate that can be tracked and the company will know what the influencer brought.
Prasad asks Lebersorger how does he decide what narrative is good for his audience. Lebersorger says that when marketing a luxury product, it’s important to not push that product too much. Otherwise, it might lose it’s prestige. He says that he believes that there are two types of content creators: idea driven creators and personality driven creators. When marketing a luxury product, he tends to go to the floggers “because they have a following of people who watch them for their everyday life”; followers who tend to want to imitate them. This means that you do not need to push the product or to advertise it. He says that when working with luxury brands you can do a product placement like in movies, so they are not as clear and as defined as in social media. Otherwise, you always need quality content and a luxury experience, just like the brand. Before working with luxury brands, he thinks about the concept for a long time in order to keep the prestige and the trust alive.
Prasad asks Mimouni to speak about, from an agency’s perspective, the idea of aligning content with brands, which puts the creator first and then the brand associates with the creator’s native content. Prasad asks whether brands are in agreement with this approach.
Mimouni speaks about brand safety. He mentions two points. The first is when a brand and an influencer collaborate and after this collaboration starts, the influencer gets into some problems which will put him/her in negative lights. What would the solution for the brand be? How can the brand and influencer compromise and stop their agreement? The second point is about the brand content itself because for luxury brands it is difficult to make product placement.
Mimouni says that what they try to do is work on inbound solutions. They start with brand content to produce a good brand content: product communication and brand entertainment. He suggests avoiding games as people who are looking for luxury brands are not willing to play games.
Prasad adds that when it comes to luxury brands, the value is not in, for example, what the bag can hold. The value is in what that bag represents, a lifestyle and a way of living. The influencer is not trying to sell but to instill the brand values into the audience. The message has to inspire the viewer to want that lifestyle.
Prasad says that when talking about brand safety, there are two interesting things. The first is how to ensure the relationship with an influencer and the second is how to ensure that the message is communicated properly. In his experience, he has seen companies buying out the influencer’s rights for a competitive or vertical for an X number of months. Also, in contracts, there are categories that the brand cannot be associated with and if the influencer violates one of these categories, the contract ends automatically. Potentially, there might also be penalties.
Prasad says that he differentiates between ambassadors and influencers. An ambassador is someone who has a long-term contract, someone who singularly represents the brand. Influencers typically have a short-term contract and they do not rely on one contract; influencers can become ambassadors. So, a brand might have multiple influencers across the campaign that might all be notable, but a brand does not necessarily rely on a singular influencer, unless it is an ambassador.
Prasad asks Bartolo how does she translate a brand’s messaging into something that would be appropriate for her audience. Bartolo says that she did refuse to promote certain runners because she did not like them. She knows herself and her followers so the most important thing for her is honesty and that is how you gain trust. Then Prasad asks Lebersorger how does he integrate the messaging from a brand. He says that if the content fits the brand, he does it in “a symbiotic way or in a very close way”. Then, he says, there are videos in which he puts placements from a brand that do not fit the content but fit his person. In his opinion, the best way and the most organic way is to “integrate the brand in the video concepts”. He adds that the “best way to do it is to really sit down with the brands; take more time, come up with good concepts, good ideas, and integrate the brand”.
To conclude, Prasad asks Mimouni which methodologies or tactics they use to track the ROI of luxury brands. Mimouni says that when talking about tracking conversions and results the first thing they do is to always work the script with the influencer. Secondly, he tries to include “the link with the correct UTM, and then once they swipe up they are automatically directed to [his] shop”. Mimouni adds that they have a platform specific for influencers which compares the result of each influencer to see which influencer works better for them. He says that they never sign long-term contracts; first they test and learn. They start with one story or two story contracts, with a minimum budget, and then they measure the results for each campaign. Based on these results, they decide with which influencer they will work. They go for three / four months contracts with specific conditions. In his view, one of the most important conditions is that when working together, that influencer should have a completely empty schedule.
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