Let’s Get Digital - Top 5 Luxury Digital Trends For 2022

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Fox Quarterly Winter 2021

Let’s Get Digital

Let’s Get Digital – The Top 5 Luxury Digital Trends For 2022

The year end is fast approaching, and the world is deep in the trenches with planning for 2022. A major factor in successful planning is to keep key, upcoming trends front of mind, staying ahead of the curve and in turn, being prepared to cater for evolving consumer behaviour and tech advancements. Sarah Keeble, Marketing Director of VERB Brands shares the top five luxury digital trends for 2022 that brands must consider when planning for next year.

  1. NFTs

This year, the term ‘NFT’ was crowned word of the year by the Collins English Dictionary, and we’re not surprised! NFTs or ‘non-fungible tokens’ have been a huge talking point in 2021, with few brands dipping their toes in this rapidly growing world, with “gaming skins” (Louis Vuitton), digital / virtual products (Gucci) and digital assets (adidas). Looking ahead, we expect to see NFTs becoming huge parts of a brand’s product portfolio, whilst also starting to become the heart of a how the luxury industry will operate digitally in the future.

NFTs in their very essence create exclusivity as they are unique and original digital assets with one sole owner. With this in mind, we will start to see increasing numbers of physical products being assigned an NFT asset, so that that product can be traced when it is resold, with blockchain technology registering that products ownership history.

NFTs are also going to start sitting at the heart of Luxury events with POAP (‘Proof of Attendance Protocol’) NFTs. Verb Brands will be sharing more on this in the new year – watch this space.

Gucci’s AR sneaker (Image courtesy of Gucci)
  1. Ephemeral Content

Ephemeral content (content that is live for a limited period of time) is having a real moment in today’s social media-centric society; including content that is live for a limited time only. A trend that started many years ago with the launch of Snapchat – Instagram Stories were soon to follow – brought about the ability to display visual content with a life span of only 24 hours. These days, Instagram Stories has overtaken the usership of the Instagram feed and has triggered an urgency in viewers to interact with this content in the moment and share with friends; a theme that influences another trend – lo-fi (low production) content.

Furthermore, in a few instances, we’re seeing content being approached in the same way as a limited-edition product drop. Balenciaga have recently started taking the bold approach by leading with ephemeral content on their Instagram feed, uploading content to Instagram in line with campaign moments. Once the campaign is complete, the content is archived and removed from the public eye. This creates suspense and excitement over any subsequent content (and product) “drops”.

Balenciaga’s ephemeral content gets archived as soon as the campaign is over (image courtesy of Instagram)

  1. Influencers Will Become the Heart of Social Content

Now, more than ever, brands are putting influencers and content creators at the heart of their social strategies. With the sharp rise of new social media platforms such as TikTok, ‘lo-fi’ (low production) content, featuring real people is a major driving factor in engaging and connecting with the consumer.

In order to fully and effectively use this as a strategy, brands must start to place more trust in these influencers and content creators, allowing them more freedom to get creative and generate content. Where influencers were previously recruited to drive awareness, now, more than ever it is the subsequent content that is at the core of the influencer partnership.

That being said, in addition to creating interesting content, influencers (or ‘creators’ as they are now being referred) are giving brands increased reach, with a new and engaged audience – a win-win! Some brands have gone as far as putting creators at the heart of their creative direction in generating hero content pieces. Celebrating influencer talent will only continue to grow.

  1. Shoppable Social

Earlier this year, TikTok announced their partnership with Shopify, introducing TikTok Shop. Similar to Instagram, this development will enable brands to have a dedicated in-app shop on the platform and allows for the products to be tagged and linked directly in videos. At this stage, the shop is still in the testing phases and is only rolled out to the UK and USA.

A contact at the social media platform mentioned that TikTok Shop will be further rolled out to other markets in 2022, which will see the digital space become that much more ‘shoppable’ in the near future. As part of this we will see more shoppable live videos being used by brands.

Especially following the pandemic, consumers are that much more acquainted to purchasing online and social ecommerce is only going to grow in 2022.

TikTok Shop (Image Courtesy of HootSuite)
  1. Content Strategies Will Dominate Search

In 2021, our research found that 46% of all affluent consumers use Search as their first platform for their “pre-sale” product/brand/service research. Google is often the first port of call and as such, SEO has proved an incredibly valuable tool when looking to reach the affluent audience.

Technical SEO, (optimising ones website technically to make it as readable and searchable by Google) will remain incredibly important, but in 2022, content will really dominate how one’s Search performs and brands that jump on this quickly will set them apart from their competition. Clever and bold campaigns that drive buzz and talkability will be vital, but so will on-site content that relates to the ever-dynamic consumer search behaviour. Brands that learn how to create and use their audience-relevant content online to their best advantage, will be the ones that succeed in the long term.

If you want to learn more about these trends or speak to a digital expert, get in touch with VERB Brands.

Winter 2021

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