When Tatiana Dupond first joined LinkedIn five years ago, it was largely used by luxury brands as a human resources tool. But as the platform evolved, so too did its purposes for brand communication, particularly to its highly engaged and motivated audience of professionals – who happen to include the majority of luxury’s most influential leaders.
Nowadays, brands like Dior, Cartier and Louis Vuitton are advertising on the platform, launching new collections, sharing their brand values and live-streaming their fashion shows. In short, LinkedIn has become an essential channel for luxury brands to speak on.
“Today, the platform has really become more of a media in itself,” said Dupond. “People still use LinkedIn as a place where they're going to go look for a job, and they’re going to use it as a place to learn, but it’s also a key place to communicate with people on. I think the fact that it's an environment that's very much uncluttered and trusted by so many that makes it unique.”
The need for richer content and storytelling isn’t new, particularly in today’s luxury landscape where so much is driven and influenced by digital channels. Yet many brands seem to fail and miss the opportunity that platforms like LinkedIn can provide. This is where Dupond and her team come in.
“Often, we're asked by brands ‘what should we say on LinkedIn’ and it’s really about having a 360° communication strategy,” she added. “Brands need to think about their potential next employees, so talk about what it is to be working for a brand like Dior or Piaget, but they will also be able to reach out to their next potential consumer so it’s about brand values and storytelling.”
The luxury veteran is responsible for helping to guide luxury and fashion brands in using the social network as a communication tool for organic and paid marketing purposes, as well as reaching their marketing objectives. She also works with media publishers like Vogue Business to further develop new ways of gaining followers, as well as with collaborating with media and creative agencies and running webinars (previously, they were workshops before COVID) where she shares insights into how to make the most of the platform.
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More recently, Dupond collaborated with Piaget on a new series of Conversation Ads, interactive adverts delivered to the brand’s target audiences’ inboxes that are aimed at providing an engaging experience online without having to visit a physical boutique.
LinkedIn’s targeting function allowed Piaget to reach individuals that were most likely to interact with and buy its products, by enabling the brand to filter its audience based on job titles and seniority, which resulted in higher engagement rates than through other platforms. Message open rates were 10-20 percent higher than luxury benchmarks, and click through rates were 10-15 percent higher.
Its ability to target audiences is one of the platform’s three pillars that LinkedIn prides itself on when it comes to working with brands. “We’re able to not only reach the leaders of the world, but also people at the top. Basically, people who are already luxury buyers. But we can also target and reach the next generation of consumers like millennials and Gen-Z,” said Dupond.
And with more people spending time on its site – last quarter LinkedIn recorded a 30 percent rise in sessions year-on-year, it’s clear to see that luxury brands need to elevate their activities on the platform and tap into opportunities for more meaningful communication and the highly specific and targeted advertising that LinkedIn can offer.
“We have so many insights and data,” said Dupond. “What's very interesting on LinkedIn is that we’re be able to build an audience framework so based on your traffic and your website, and who you want to target … we can help brands build a presence around that with the right message, at the right moment, in the right environment. I think that that's where we can go a bit deeper with some of the brands.”
Indeed, LinkedIn has become a different kind of social media platform that offers a more unique experience than that of its peers. Users of the platform, which it currently measures at more than 770 million, connect to LinkedIn with a highly engaged mindset that seek not only to learn more about their values, but who are also driven to have a conversation with brands about their products and their processes.
“They're very curious,” said Dupond, who was previously in charge of the strategic luxury accounts at The New York Times. “They want to understand brands, they want to understand what's going on. The average visit is quite long. So, it obviously gives a very strong platform for brands to be able to share, their values and to create that emotional connection between a brand and its audience.”
“We talk a lot about storytelling,” she added. “Whether that’s opening the door to your atelier or sharing the behind the scenes of your latest fashion show, but also showing your products, you shouldn't be afraid to use LinkedIn to share who you are and what you stand for. It's not just a space for employees, or just telling one story, it's really a space where you're going to be able to talk about heritage, innovation, your brand's sense of purpose, where you can sell product and promote brands. It's a space for all these things.”
Indeed, when Dior wanted to develop a marketing strategy that would grow year-round brand awareness, it turned to LinkedIn to use its audience targeting so that it could address key male and female audiences separately and focus on users with an affinity towards high fashion and luxury goods.
The French fashion house used a range of ad formats, from brand ambassador storytelling videos to product-focused carousels, to create immersive experiences that grew its brand awareness and boosted engagement around its campaigns. LinkedIn recorded that Dior’s Caro bag campaign achieved an engagement rate of 8.52 percent, and that its Valentine’s Day Horlogerie campaign video and carousel reached an engagement rate of 6.54 percent, which was considerably higher than its luxury benchmark rates of around 0.8-2 percent.
What brands should bear in mind however, is not to over target, said Dupond. “Sometimes people will see LinkedIn as a complimentary platform where they will reach a very, very niche audience. This is not how it should be used.”
“We have a very large reach like 770 million members in 200 countries, in China, in the United States, in France and Italy, in all the attractive luxury markets,” she added. “So, when brands shoot, they shoot to exactly to the right people, so they can really make the most of it.”