Luxury retailers say they will increase social media marketing spend, but should they focus on content creation?

Businesses will increasingly use internet marketing practices to attract and convert new and existing customers online. According to a survey of over 130 luxury marketing executives conducted by Worldwide Business Research and ShopIgniter, 85 percent of brands plan to increase their digital marketing budgets in 2013. This suggests that consumers feel comfortable purchasing high-end items online, and 72 percent of retailers indicate they will allocate additional resources toward social media marketing.

While the report shows that luxury merchandisers will focus their campaigns on social channels, a study from nRelate may sway their decisions. According to the November 2012 report, 76 percent of online consumers prefer to avoid product guidance from Facebook friends when it comes to checking out web content. These internet users prefer to rely on algorithms and content recommendations.

Luxury Social Markets

Online consumers depend on website content over social media publications because of credibility. According to the report, quality still plays an essential role in finding appropriate custom content, and survey respondents indicate that multimedia elements make articles trustworthy. For example, if the publication is known in the offline world (60 percent), articles include images (24 percent) and individual posts feature author images and bylines (23 percent).

More, consumers say they trust media from brands’ websites (44 percent) most of all, followed by SEO content (31 percent) found through basic searches, blog posts from industry experts (28 percent) and mainstream news sites (20 percent). Social media lagged behind, with only 10 percent of respondents trusting published stories.

Companies, especially luxury brands, may succomb to the bells and whistles of social media content – and it’s a worthwhile channel to explore – but website content still builds stronger rapport with shoppers online. Brands should continue to optimize their websites before going all in with social media marketing.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.