Using Instagram to Sell High End Products


Think Instagram is only for the middle class and not luxury consumers who’d buy your high-end products? 

Think again. 

Luxury global consumers love Instagram – probably more than even us regular folks. 

According to Instagram:

“Luxury global consumers (Instagrammers who fall into the following income brackets: €125,001+ EUR in France, Germany, Italy. £125,001+ in the UK, 450,001+ AED in UAE, $115,000–$199,999 in the US) are an international tribe of highly driven and successful individuals who seek out the best that life has to offer, and find it on Instagram. ”

instagram-luxury-global-consumers-chart

 

But, what do they do on Instagram? 

instagram-luxury-global-consumers-percentages

This is why you need a strong presence on Instagram – to engage and connect with your luxury consumer base. It’s the easiest and most effective way to introduce big spenders to your premium brand and product line. 

Don’t use Instagram for hard selling. Use it to gently nudge potential customers into your sales funnel. 

Here’s how you can do that. 

 

Promote Your Mission Creatively Through Posts and Stories

Most luxury brands have a mission that sets them apart from other brands. 

For @BrilliantEarth, it’s creating ethically sourced and sustainable jewelry. 

For @Ferrari, it’s creating unique sports cars.

For @Rolex, it’s to promote the purchase of wristwatches as a reward for key successes.

Since your market is niche and you’re targeting luxury consumers, you need to constantly remind them why they should buy from you.

– What’s your mission? 

– What’s your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? 

 

There are a plethora of ways you can creatively promote your mission on Instagram and connect with like-minded consumers:
  • Talk about mission-related products.

  • Host short interviews with your employees where they talk about your brand’s mission.
  • Record a live session with the brand’s CEO or founder discussing the brand’s history and mission.

  • If your brand supports any charitable organizations, then a trip to that charitable organization is always a nice touch.
  • Hashtag campaigns around your mission to educate consumers.

Make use of the “highlight stories option” available on Instagram. Add all these posts to highlights with the title “Our mission” or something along those lines.

 

Create Content That Demonstrates Your Product

“55% of Instagrammers in the UK and US follow luxury brands to find inspiration, stay on top of trends and learn about the latest luxury products.”

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Educating consumers about your premium products and product line is vital. Consumers use social media to discover new, trending brands and product discovery. So you need to give them what they want through visually stunning product posts. 

  • What products and product lines do you have? 
  • What’s the thought-process behind creating them? 
  • What’s your design process? 
  • What’s your creation process? 

 

“The big groups understood they had to invest more in experiences – what happens around a catwalk show, exhibits, store openings. That’s what’s expensive, not the technology. That’s what’s changed in the past five to eight years.”  – Uche Pezard, CEO of Luxe Corp, which advises brands on strategy.

 

Here are a few ways you can take customers through your journey:
  • Create behind-the-scenes footage of the product design process, events you participated in, new products you’re launching – anything that shows the effort that goes into creating the perfect luxury product for your consumers. 

@Chanel does it with perfection.

  • Take aesthetically pleasing product shots with stunning lighting and unique settings. Go through the feeds of luxury brands and you’ll be awestruck at the quality of visuals they upload. The better the picture, the better their product will look on Instagram. 

  • Exhibit your design and creation process. @tomdixonstudio created a stunning minimalistic sketch of a wingback that’s in the creation process. 

View this post on Instagram

Extraordinary Objects #1 – The Wingback. ⁠ ⁠ "I don’t think I’ve ever produced anything that turned out how I intended.⁠ ⁠ The design process is really partly about learning along the way. ⁠ It was very hard to tell from the very rough and ready cardboard prototypes [and sketches] that I made at the beginning what it would look like.⁠ ⁠ It’s been a progress of really slowly improving the tautness of the upholstery, improving the lines, and this is really version 3 of the Wingback. And maybe there will be some more later."⁠ ⁠ – Tom Dixon on the design of the Wingback⁠ ⁠ #tomdixonWINGBACK #wingback #chair #chairdesign #sketch #prototype #interiordesign #design #furniture #interior #furnituredesign

A post shared by Tom Dixon (@tomdixonstudio) on

  • Incorporate videos in your Instagram marketing strategy – add a trip to your store, a time-lapse video of a product being created, or maybe a product demonstration.  

 

@TomFord shows a short and simple video of their brand new brow sculptor being used on a model: 

  • Use Stories to constantly educate and engage with your consumers.

use-instagram-stories-to-share

 

Showcase Distinctive Elements of Your Brand 

What sets your brand apart from countless others in your niche? Luxury brands have some distinctive elements to their products that give them an edge over other luxury and middle-tier brands. There’s a certain “oomph” that elevates them. 

For @BrilliantEarth, it is their:
  • Unique designs

  • High-quality craftsmanship

  • Their mission: to create and promote sustainable jewelry. Notice how they consistently mention their ethically sourced jewelry and conflict-free diamonds in their captions and hashtags. 

All this gives them a powerful edge over their competitors.

And this is what they continuously highlight throughout their Instagram content. 

When people buy high-end products, that distinction is important. Simplify the buying process for your consumers by showing it repeatedly through posts, stories, and other forms of content on Instagram. 

One of the ways you can do that is by uploading detailed shots and videos of unique elements of your product. 

 

Here is an example of @Chanel winning again on Instagram with excellent product posts: 

 

@Hermes creates incredibly simple, minimalist, artistic visuals of their products: 

View this post on Instagram

The art of fishing #Hermes

A post shared by Hermès (@hermes) on

 

@Rolex shows a detailed shot of a thousand diamonds:

 

Also, check out this amazing video highlighting the unique elements of the Rolex Sky-Dweller:

 

Hiring an In-House Social Media Manager vs. Outsourcing

In-house social media manager vs. outsourcing your social media? 

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There is no definite answer. It all depends on how equipped your brand is to handle social media – if you can hire a team of experts who can easily create high-level Instagram content, analyze it, and develop the perfect Instagram strategy for your brand, then you’re better off working with them. 

They’re intimately acquainted with your products, they can work closely with your design and creation teams, they can brainstorm with the creatives who work for your brand and use the data generated to create a highly effective and efficient social media plan. 

@BrilliantEarth has its own team of social media experts and they create all of their own Instagram content. This gives their products the authenticity a luxury brand needs.

However, if you’re a small team and don’t have a social media manager, you can outsource it to a team of experts like Jumper Media.

They’re skillful, have professional equipment to create high-quality content, and are experienced working with similar brands. They know what will work with your consumers and what won’t. In short, if you don’t have expertise on hand, you can outsource your social media to experts. 

Authenticity is everything in the world of luxury products. 

 

Using User-Generated Content (UCG)

A great way to add authenticity to your brand is by using user-generated visuals with moments that pertain to the product authentically. Stories of real people and real moments resonate well with consumers of all kinds –, especially luxury consumers. 

Statistically, UGC does a lot better than content created by the brand itself – UGC fan videos get 10 times more views than brand content. It not only provides you with great content but also boosts your engagement levels on Instagram. 

For example, since Brilliant Earth is a jewelry brand, pictures of engagements, weddings, and impromptu proposals in dimly lit, high-end restaurants work well for them. These pictures are usually of great quality since they’re professionally taken. 

Customers are generally excited to get their pictures reposted on brands’ profile pages. All you need to do is find creative ways to encourage them to take pictures and videos displaying your products.

One of the best ways to do that is by running sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways. 

#ShareYourEars

Disney’s #ShareYourEars campaign is a great example of encouraging consumers to share their content with Disney and use it to engage others.

According to their official website, “Disney has helped grant more than 130,000 wishes during its 40-year partnership with Make-A-Wish, including one out of every two wishes in the United States.”

The campaign has not just generated user content, it has also highlighted their mission. 

 

Partner With Influencers Who Align With Your Mission 

#EveryRolexTellsAStory

Rolex started a hashtag campaign on social media and collaborated with top-tier influencers who’ve achieved tremendous success in the different facets of their lives. This campaign reiterates the fact that Rolex is not just a watch, but an award, an heirloom to be passed on for generations to come, and a possession to be cherished. 

View this post on Instagram

Michael Bublé grew up dreaming of one day becoming a famous singer. Before selling 50 million records worldwide, winning four Grammys, and having four consecutive albums reach number one on the Billboard 200, Bublé struggled for 10 years to make his dream into a reality. After countless nights singing in front of little more than his family and friends, Bublé’s breakthrough finally came. Upon the success of his first album, his record label offered him a Rolex watch, which he came to see as a measurement of his hard work and dedication to reach his dream. On the occasion of Michael Bublé receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Rolex is proud to share his story. @michaelbuble #Rolex #CosmographDaytona #EveryRolexTellsAStory

A post shared by ROLEX (@rolex) on

Since Rolex is a luxury brand, they associated themselves with highly-successful individuals – people that their target audience look up to. And it was a roaring success.

 

Life with Libby

Brilliant Earth partners with influencers who are interested in sustainable fashion and clean beauty. They recently partnered with Libby Vilner of Life with Libby to celebrate her engagement. 

They chose to partner with her because she’s a huge supporter of clean beauty and her views align with Brilliant Earth’s mission statement. Here’s her story in her own words. 

Find influencers that are interested in your mission, your unique personalized designs and who can authentically display that design and show how it fits into their lifestyle. Be really picky about choosing the right influencers – it has to feel authentic and the content needs to be of really high quality for it to resonate with your audience. This is especially true with your premium products and services. 

 

Cast a Wide Net for Inspiration

Instagram is not just for selling – it’s for learning from other brands and constantly evolving. 

  1. Make a list of young brands and well-established companies that are faring really well in the ultramarine oceans of Instagram. And cyber-stalk them. 
    • What are they doing differently? 
    • How are they communicating with their audience? 
    • How are they engaging their consumers? 
    • What kinds of paid and free strategies are they using?
  1. Look at millennial brands and how they’re engaging their audience and creating a community around their brand. Brands like @WarbyParker and @Anthropologie are doing extremely well on Instagram, so learn from them. 
Here’s a cool giveaway by Warby Parker that can help you create one for your own brand:

  1. Make a list of influencers in your niche that are doing really well. Influencers are influencers on Instagram for a reason – they know the art of selling on social media really well. Learn from them.
    • What are they doing differently? 
    • How are they engaging their audience? 

For example, Brilliant Earth started using the “Q & A” and “Polls” features in Stories way before other brands gave it a try, because they were inspired by influencers. 

 

Use Social Media to Predict Emerging Trends and Stay on Top of Your Game

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Lastly, don’t forget to use Instagram for data-collection.

Find out what type of products consumers are seeking, what resonates with them and what type of things they want to see from you by going through their comments. Gather data from consumers interacting with your brand. They take the time to respond because they care.

Once you start doing that, it’ll get exciting to see positive trends emerge in real-time. 

 

What are you doing to promote your products on Instagram?

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