High end marketing demands different strategies than more general advertising. Consumer marketing strategies that are used for broad appeal can often backfire and devalue a luxury product. The recognition your brand earns across a large group of people won't translate into value the way recognition across a narrow and precise market will. That's where we'll start:
1. Implement Negative Keywords
Negative keywords can be plugged into your AdWords platform. Create a CSV file that will apply these negative keywords across the entire account. Negative keywords are, of course, search terms that will disinclude your web page from a search engine's results.
You don't want to have to pay for using terms such as “cheap,” “free,” “discount,” “generic,” or “sale.” Any term that would result in someone with no interest in buying your product finding your page will cost you. Negative keywords applied across the entire account can cut associated costs dramatically.
2. TARGET BY INCOME
This leads directly into a simple concept. Use income targeting. AdWords can do this relatively automatically with a few parameters. There are other tools out there as well. IRS data is used to create lists that fit your parameters, and you can cross income parameters with a variety of others with ease.
3. SEO MATTERS, TOO
Across all demographics, the majority of internet activity is conducted through search engines. Given that there are almost 200 million active websites and competition for the first page of search engine results is fierce, visibility is key in driving qualified traffic to your domain, especially for high end and luxury brands. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process by which you can increase your website’s rankings and visibility to search engine users through a combination of onsite and offsite processes.
While a well established SEO strategy differs from paid advertising in that it doesn’t serve your website in search results based on targeted parameters such as income level or age, it still allows you to “claim” traffic that is looking specifically for your product or service by displaying your site on the first page.
Keyword optimization is an integral in any SEO gameplan. SEO keywords are words and phrases that your audience is searching for in search engines in order to connect with the products and services they need. By optimizing for keywords, your website essentially begins to speak the same language as your target consumer. First, it is important to understand and research the type of search query your customer is inputting into search engines as it relates to you or your competitors’ offering. Long-tail keywords, which contain three or more words, are better to rank for as short-tail keywords are more broad, and therefore, more competitive. Be sure to research the search volume of these phrases, as you don’t want to start optimizing for keywords that no one is searching for.
Best practices for keyword optimization include optimizing each page on your site for 1 or 2 keyword phrases, avoiding “keyword stuffing”, and incorporating keywords into headings and subheadings.
4. Use Bing, Really
Bing is interpreted as an utter failure of a search engine. It's extinct! Who uses it? Actually, the very wealthy do. Thirty-percent of Bing's users have an annual household income of $100,000 or more. Furthermore, Bing is less expensive per click than Google is.
This offers you a rare intersection between advertising access to wealthier customers and cost savings as a rate. That's the Holy Grail of consumer marketing strategies, but the perception of Bing as defunct when it's still very much alive allows your brand to take advantage of this.
5. USE SPECIFIC LANGUAGE
Brand recognition is boosted through precise language. If there's a “limited amount left,” who cares? If there are “only 12 left,” I better click on that now or I may miss something. Specific language evokes in customers the desire to have more information. Customers crave context. The more precision you give them, the more they'll want to fill in the story.
Don't say, “Learn more about our efficient process.” Say, “This process is more efficient.” The suggestion they'll want to know how is already there. If your brand craves customer attention, you're not offering luxury. If your brand acts as if they should crave it, people will seek it out.
If a sale ends at a precise time, include a live countdown. “Soon,” translates the idea that there's still time left. Two hours, fifteen minutes, and ten seconds...wait, nine seconds, now eight seconds, pushes people to click now lest they miss out.
6. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR BEST CUSTOMERS
Now, depending on your size, you may want to add a personal touch to this. Chances are you have some very, very good customers. It's worth it to create more consistent communication with these customers so that they become even better customers.
Run some internal analytics to identify customers whose spending varies greatly by year. Chances are you can increase that spending to the higher end more consistently, and perhaps even have them bring other great customers to your business, with just a little bit of extra customer care.
When you run a limited or exclusive, make sure you inform these customers first. “You're one of our best customers and we feel compelled to inform you before others....” Whatever version of that message best fits your brand, send it to your top customers by total spending, and by yearly potential spending. Don't be their best friend, but underline the reality that they're one of your best customers and that you'd logically expect them to continue being so (without saying this out loud!).
Create that connection and they'll reliably bring friends and family to your store, commission custom orders, and snap up limited runs on various products thanks to your high end marketing tactics.
If you need more consumer marketing strategies for your luxury brand, or help implementing them, do not hesitate to contact THAT Agency.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.