The Age of Discovery | Facebook at the Walpole Summit

With the 2019 Walpole Summit just two weeks away, today we hear from speaker Lisa Yeates, Client Partner, Retail at Facebook, who discusses the three guiding principles that luxury brands should adopt to stand out from the crowd and reach their highly engaged audience on social media.


8AM – 6PM


“As sales of UK Gin soared last year I was one of the many that hopped onto the trend and changed my drink from a Sauvignon to a G&T. However, I often stood at the bar looking at the ever-expanding options of Gins and then ordered the same one every time. That was until Craft Gin Club popped into my Instagram feed.

Sign up to a membership and in a similar way to a wine club they will send exclusive gins to my front door along with the right mixer, cocktail ingredients and food treats. They also send ‘Ginned’ their magazine with recommendations of cocktails and mixers, perfect for trying more gins and entertaining my girlfriends at home. Instead of Friday night fizz we have renamed our Friday drinks to Gin O’clock. I would never have looked for a gin club but they found me on Instagram where I find myself spending more and more time looking for inspiration.

Like Craft Gin Club, many businesses today are disrupting their categories by exploiting a simple strategy; rather than targeting the 20 per cent of active shoppers who are already engaged with their product, they’re choosing to target the 80 per cent of passive shoppers who currently aren’t.

From Birchbox’s parcels full of beauty products, to Heist’s designed-to-perfection tights, to Hello Fresh’s precisely proportioned meal-time ingredients, there are many examples of similar businesses disrupting their respective categories by appealing to the 80 per cent. Although different from one another, they all have one thing in common. They’re built on discovery. More specifically, they’re built on discovery via mobile.

Mobile is super-charging the discovery of new brands and products. Time spent on mobile is increasing, luxury consumers are on Instagram seven days a week and they like three times more content than the average Instagrammer. 55 per cent 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. This provides a great opportunity to build desire for your brand by grabbing their attention.”

The behaviours we observe on our platforms inform three guiding principles that should be adopted for luxury brands to stand out from the crowd and reach their highly engaged audience.”

The first is to be relevant.

“If you were to print out all content an average person consumes in their social newsfeeds every day and put all those pieces of content next to each other it would be the height of Big Ben. And with luxury Instagrammers consuming five times more content than the average user, it is essential that brands communicate with relevant, meaningful and timely content.

Advertising that’s cognisant of gender, age, location and interests has become the expectation on our platforms. A great example of how powerful this can be is when Bottega Veneta (pictured) delivered relevancy at each stage of a full funnel campaign. Bottega Veneta wanted to boost brand awareness, attract entirely new potential customers and ultimately increase sales.

Bottega Veneta worked with Facebook Marketing Partner SocialCode on the Facebook and Instagram campaign, which used an array of ad formats and delivery methods to drive awareness at the top of the sales funnel and then drill down further to its target audience of prospective and current customers

In the initial brand awareness phase, the company ran a series of 4 visually evocative and hypnotic storytelling video ads in News Feed. Then, to increase traffic to its website, it created gender-specific photo ads in carousel format: The ads aimed at men featured a variety of bags and accessories for spring/summer 2018, while the ads aimed at women featured a mix of products, or only handbags. Each photo ad in carousel format had a “Shop Now” call-to-action button that linked through to the company website.

Bottega Veneta showed these ads to a value-based lookalike audience of men and women in the US, Japan and South Korea. It also showed the ads to people who had earlier engaged with its ads and posts about New York Fashion Week 2018. The company then ran ads focused on sales to encourage people to make a purchase, either online or in-store.

Lastly the company then showed dynamic ads to people who had expressed interest earlier by clicking through to its website from the photo ads: these gender-specific ads highlighted the specific products they had viewed, along with price and availability.

This full funnel strategy led to a 68% incremental lift in sales, a 2.1x lift in incremental return on ad spend.”

The second guiding principle is about speed.

“It only takes people 1.7 seconds to consume mobile content on Facebook, compared to 2.5 seconds on desktop. People below the age of 20 consume content twice as quickly as those over 50. To capture attention content has be ‘Thumb-stopping’ within three seconds to stop a user scrolling through the feed. Facebook and Neilson research found that 47 per cent of the campaign value was delivered in the first three seconds. By bringing your brand and story upfront within the video, the better the chances of inspiring the consumer.

Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer 2017 campaign is a great example of thumb stopping content. With the aim of raising brand awareness and sales Louis Vuitton launched their spring/summer collection using a 10 second Instagram story. They shot exclusive video content to take advantage of the vertical screen and showed full length model shots, along with detailed images of the clothing. This led to a huge 28-point increase in ad recall and a strong increase in brand favourability.”

The third principle for businesses is to be visual.

“Five years ago, most of what we shared on Facebook was text. Now it’s photos and videos. In another five years, it’ll mostly be videos, and after that we believe it will be immersive content such as VR and AR.

Augmented reality is beginning to bridge the gap between the retail experience and mobile use. Thanks to augmented reality, brands can now offer experiential services to their customers and prospects on their mobile phones.

This is what L’Oréal did recently by launching an experience with its NYX brand that enabled consumers to try on cosmetics via augmented-reality integrations on Instagram and Facebook.

Brands will need to develop immersive storytelling to continue attracting customers. However, the most effective formats and tools will be determined by behavior and usage patterns of consumers themselves.

The change we are seeing in user behaviour is towards the adoption of Stories. The popularity of this format could not have come before mobile or video because it combines the best of both. The rise of the full-screen, vertical stories format comes at a time that people are seeking up to the minute, interactive and personalised connections.

In November 2017, just over a year after the launch of Instagram stories, the number of people using it grew from 300m to 400m. Now it is being used by 400 million people every day and a third of the most viewed stories are from businesses.

The emphasis on visual story telling points to a growing appetite for immersive, visually-rich content. The stories format comes with camera effects, AR and interactivity providing a richer experience for consumers and 60% of the content is being consumed with sound on. It is set to become the dominant platform to offer brands significant reach amongst an important consumer demographic. With the additional launch of shopping on Instagram in 2018 businesses have the opportunity to drive immediacy, capturing the attention of passive shoppers and taking them from the moment of discovery through to a personal shopping experience in a couple of taps.

Successful businesses aren’t waiting for customers like me to develop purchase intent. Instead, they’re on Instagram right now creating it.”