10 Advanced Luxury Instagram Marketing Tips
Anish Bhatt (@watchanish) told the New York Times that, back in 2011, “no one believed social media was a platform to talk about luxury goods… It was a place to share pictures of your lunch.”
It took 4 years after Mr Bhatt’s comment before Rolex posted their first picture to the platform.
Fast forward five years and the chart below (2016) shows the extent to which luxury brands embraced Instagram.
And consider how heavily brands lean on Instagram as a key communication platform. Things have changed, and not only for brands. Mr. Bhatt now has 1.7 million followers to his luxury watch brand Instagram account; he can certainly be called an influencer.
And it’s not just the big established luxury brands benefitting from exposure to followers on the platform.
As reported by Livemint, Nanushka, once a struggling brand based in Budapest, Hungary, saw turnover grow to £28.5m in 2020 from £860,000 in 2015 following the involvement of a private equity firm and by creating a niche for itself on Instagram and on other social media platforms. “Without social media it would have been almost impossible to build a global fashion house from Budapest,” according to the company’s chief executive Peter Baldaszti.
The advantages to luxury brands for starting and maintaining a presence on the platform are clear. In this article, we share our 10 advanced Instagram marketing tips for maximum engagement and return on investment.
Tip 1: Profile optimisation and consistency
Your profile will be the first exposure most users have to your company and its products and services on Instagram. Other than your logo, there is space for a short biography where you can briefly share your brand story and history.
This is the beginning point for engagement. Your profile needs to reflect how your brand expresses itself aesthetically and linguistically. It is as much part of your external communications and marcomms as your website, your advertising, and your retail outlets. It and every item of content you create and upload to Instagram needs to be recognisably you.
If applicable, you may wish to use your biography to promote other Instagram accounts which focus on a particular range of products.
Tip 2: Know who you want to reach
Instagram is owned by Meta, the ultimate owners of Facebook. Instagram uses the expansive Facebook advertising platform allowing companies to reach precise audiences.
You can target by location, age, languages spoken, relationship status, sexual orientation, income, education level (and areas of study), industry worked in, type of home (including home ownership), generation, parental status, politics, interests, and more.
The more precise your targeting, the lower the level of campaign redundancy (reaching people you don’t want to reach) and the lower the cost per new follower acquisition.
If you already have a presence on other social media platforms, you should promote any new Instagram feed to your existing followers to increase your number of followers.
Tip 3: Create a content calendar to achieve the goals you set
Now that you’ve selected the type of people most likely to be interested in your products and services regardless of whether they’re currently aware of your brand or not, what do you want to achieve from your presence on Instagram?
For most companies, they want one or more of the following:
- Announce upcoming events, products, and services
- Build brand awareness and loyalty
- Direct engagement and interaction with followers
- Drive more traffic to their website
- Establish and grow an online community
- Sell product and services direct to followers
Whatever your goals, you need to create content that encourages followers to take the course of action you want.
To determine how successful you are, you can use a number of different metrics including but not limited to:
- Impressions – how many people saw your posts
- Engagement – the number of saves, shares, and comments an individual post (or your entire account) receives
- Hashtags – covered later in this article, the number of times your hashtags are used by other people on Instagram
- Clickthroughs – you can add your brand’s website address to your profile and track the number of people which click through
- Follower growth – how quickly the number of people following you is rising (although some marketers aren’t certain that this is particularly useful)
- Story insights – stories are videos or photos which are only available for 24 hours. You can track success by the number of people who viewed your story in full, by the number of people who saw each story, and by the direct messages you’ve received from a story.
This information is available in the “Insights” section of Instagram.
Tip 4: Posting frequency
In a similar way to how YouTube channel owners need to post new content on a regular basis to gain traction and increase subscriber numbers, you’ll need to take that same approach with your Instagram feeds.
How often depends on how popular your feed is. According to Laterblog:
- Less than 1,000 followers – 14 posts per week for optimal engagement and reach
- 1,000 to 250,000 followers – 14 to 20 times per week for the best reach or once per week for highest engagement
- For accounts with 250K+ followers – 1 post per week for optimal engagement and reach
Others believe that consistency is more important than frequency and that the types of accounts most likely to suffer are those which launch with very regular posting only for the frequency to drop off over time.
In our experience, it’s best to post when you have something of value of interest to your audience. Quality over quantity.
Being successful on Instagram starts with understanding your audience and then creating a content calendar to drip fun, engaging, thought-provoking content into their feeds often enough so they feel a connection but not so much that you become a nuisance.
Tip 5: Vary your content & know your formats
More damaging to a brand than posting too frequently or at the wrong time is posting poor, repetitive, sales-driven content. In the way you’ll unsubscribe from an retailer’s emails if all they do is try to sell to you every day, your followers will be certain to unfollow you if you do the same on Instagram.
Offer variety in your content. The types of posts you may wish to think about in your content strategy could be:
- Behind the scenes – show followers what happens at Head Office, on the shop floor, or when travelling to meet suppliers or clients. Involve them in the life of your company.
- Brand story – share information about your brand’s history and what it believes in
- Carousel – you can include up to 10 pictures in one post to showcase a new range of products or to provide multiple viewpoints on a product you’re focusing on
- Competitions – incentivise your followers to engage and interact with your brand and your posts by offering a prize
- Feature posts – you could highlight the contribution of someone who works for your brand or another person unconnected with your company who shares your values and has acted upon them
- Fun Facts – a lighter version of the brand story, showcase something quirky and unique about your firm
- Giveaways – although many luxury brands may struggle with the idea of giving away one of their core products, they could give away something which others would identify as part of the company like left-over promotional merchandise which has and will never be used
- Lifestyle Posts – your core audience will share many interests and hobbies and they will identify more with your brand if someone associated with your company who enjoys the same thing participates in it (it must be authentic of course)
- Questions – make someone from the company available to answer questions at a given point of the month to encourage two way interaction
- Promo posts – if your brand is comfortable with the idea of selling its products via social media platforms, Instagram offers a completely measurable way to do this
- Testimonials – share testimonials of customers who have enjoyed and benefited from your product
To compete with TikTok and YouTube, Instagram is seeking to feature more video content on its platforms. There are four different options – Instagram Video, Stories, Live, and Reels.
Instagram Stories last for 15 seconds and disappear from the platform within 24 hours. Instagram Video content can be up to 60 minutes long. Brands can broadcast in real-time with Live – videos are deleted 30 days later. Reel offers 15-30 second clips and they can be uploaded from the app’s Photo Library or taken with Instagram’s app camera.
We know that video content is what is driving more engagement and what the platform algorithms are prioritizing. Data suggests that Stories drive up to three times the level of engagement in comparison to static content, and in the last year, Instagram Reels is too, is increasing the content’s reach up to ten times compared to a static image post. The platform is pushing the user towards viewing shorter, snappier, and faster content.
The bottom line: Keep your audience engaged and entertained by providing rich content in a variety of ways.
Tip 6: Engagement and user generated content
The highest quality content builds relationships, increases loyalty, and adds value to engagement.
When followers comment on your content, be sure to engage with them. Many followers will be real-life brand advocates who identify with your company and its aims so make sure you try to include them as much as possible.
If you think your followers would be interested in seeing what happens at an event you’re attending or a meeting you’re hosting, allow them to follow you on Instagram Live.
With important new products or interesting company news, share it with your followers first and let the rest of the world catch up with your announcement.
Of particular value is when your followers share their experiences with your products on their feeds. Clients showcasing their love and affection for your brand and the difference your products makes to their lives is more authentic than any other type of marketing.
A great brand example is Rixo who use a lot of UGC on their grid and engage with their community in this more authentic way.
Tip 7: Getting hashtags right
Hashtags allow Instagram users to stay in touch with a topic or a story on Instagram.
If you include a hashtag in your post, you can encourage participation with any campaign or promotion you launch. For example, you could incentivise your followers to include your hashtags in their posts by offering a free giveaway or by entering them into a competition.
As hashtags give users the ability to search for all posts containing them, you could also use already trending hashtags to increase your posts’ visibilities.
The most frequently used instagram luxury hashtags are:
#luxury #luxurylifestyle #luxurylife #luxuryhomes #luxurycars #luxurytravel #luxuryrealestate #luxuryliving #luxuryfashion #luxurydesign #luxuryhome #luxurystyle #luxurycar #luxurywedding #luxurybrand #luxuryhotel #luxurywatch #luxurybag #luxurywatches #luxurybags #luxuryshoes #luxuryinteriors #luxury4play #luxuryhotels #luxuryworldtraveler #luxuryshopping #luxuryfurniture #luxuryhouse #luxuryjewelry #luxuryhair #luxuryweddings #luxurybrands #skincareluxury #luxuryskincare #luxurydecor #luxurygoods #luxurylistings #instaluxury #affordableluxury #luxuryvilla
If there is a strong and justifiable link between the content of one of your Instagram posts and a trending hashtag, many more are likely to see it even though the people who’ll view it may not necessarily be your target audience.
Tip 8: Back a cause
Hashtags may also be used to demonstrate support for the social causes your target audiences support.
Los Angeles-based Reformation creates clothing from sustainable fabrics and includes on its site details of the impact the production of their garments has on the environment.
It promoted #jointhereformation as its official hashtag and 7,073 people used it creating a significant amount of user generated content.
Tip 9: Monetise your posts if it’s consistent with your brand
Every month, over 130 million Instagram users click on shopping posts. Shopping links are specific URLs (website addresses) meaning that you’re able to identify where a particular sale has come from.
Tip 10: Act on the metrics
Some of your posts may not always get feedback from followers but what you will always get are the metrics.
Earlier in this article, we discussed the importance of knowing exactly what it is that you want to achieve with a presence on Instagram.
The metrics you receive from each post (and from your account as a whole) will allow you to measure how well you’re performing. No matter how close or far you are away from achieving your targets, you need to analyse why there is a gap between desired and actual outcomes.
If, despite all your efforts, you struggle to get the gap to close, it may be worth returning to first principles and deciding whether the goals you had set for your account were achievable in the first place or whether you should change your goals altogether and start again.
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At VERB, we have a team of experts who specialise in social media execution and management. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need some support, get in touch here. We would love to hear from you!