Luxury brands trade in tradition and integrity; over many decades of experience they’ve developed a tried and tested way of perfecting what they do.
So it’s probably fair to say that digital marketing and social media don’t come as naturally to luxury brands as they might to, say, a trendy tech start-up.
But all that means is that there’s plenty of potential for the companies that can make the best use of it to become leaders in their respective luxury industries. One of the companies that has done a particularly successful job ‘going digital’ is British car manufacturer Bentley.
Here’s everything you need to know about their international digital marketing strategy.
Like many luxury brands, tradition and long-term expertise are at the heart of Bentley’s brand. Founded in 1919, they’re one of the oldest car manufacturing companies in the world. Despite being purchased as a subsidiary of German company Volkswagen in 1998, the business maintains its distinctly British brand and premises.
Since being founded, Bentley has gone on to sit among the most internationally-recognised luxury car brands. To say Bentley is a major player in the luxury car sector would be an understatement.
Competing at such a top level and with such success has required a change in strategy over the decades the business has been operating. Today, as well as being active on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, the brand also runs a stunning website that’s both interesting and interactive, putting many of its rivals to shame.
What makes Bentley’s digital game so strong?
It might initially seem like a bit of a contradiction, but luxury brands translate surprisingly well onto the internet. Why’s that? The internet offers many strong visual channels, and luxury items generally look pretty good! Once they’re over their fear of tampering with their traditional and integral brand, many luxury brands have a certain knack for digital marketing.
Bentley is certainly no exception to that rule. A brief browse through their Twitter and Instagram feeds will tell you that they certainly know what they’re selling and how to present it in a tactile way (despite it being digital). Take, for example, this picture of a Bentley car interior.
It presents what’s distinct about the Bentley brand through the lens of what’s successful on social media. A synthesis of these two features gives Bentley’s content marketing an edge.
The interactive element
But of course it’s not just as simple as taking some pretty pictures and calling it a day. If it were that easy, we’d all be doing it. Move on from Bentley’s social media sites to its website and we reach new levels of digital marketing sophistication.
It starts out with a wealth of information about their current and previous ranges of car models, including heritage models, classics and even blueprints and concepts. This won’t be to everyone’s taste, but for car and mechanics geeks, there are endless hours of browsing on this page alone.
Once we’re past that point, you’ll quickly find yourself directed to the car configurator. In fact, pretty much wherever you are on the website you’ll eventually find yourself directed to the car configurator – because Bentley clearly have a pretty good idea of where they want you to go – there’s something we could all learn from in building sites for a global audience: know where your conversion points are.
The car configurator is an interactive tool that lets you, quite literally, build a digital version of your own perfect car, on screen, right before your eyes. Taking inspiration from video games, this tool allows you to customise everything from paint colour scheme, to wheels, interior seat and veneer material and much more. Most companies do this, but we feel that no one does it quite as well as Bentley.
Not all of the people who have a go on the car configurator will eventually find themselves buying a Bentley – or even buying the exact Bentley they configured. But after five minutes playing around with the impressive graphics on the configurator,they’ll surely want to and that’s the point!
What makes this such a successful digital approach?
Content marketing expertise dictates that direct marketing of a product or service should come second to the creation of interesting, informative and engaging content. We made this point when we looked at the success of digital marketing campaigns from the likes of General Electrics and Tesla.
In a world increasingly saturated by, and cynical of, traditional advertising, wisdom says this is one of the most successful ways of maintaining and growing audience and customer interest.
Bentley’s success is in considering the content and the product as two sides of the same coin, rather than priorities which must be ordered. The interesting and engaging content is itself directly marketing the benefits of a Bentley car. In short, buy a car with Bentley and you can have the real version of that car you just spent half an hour digitally customising. It’s a tantalising prospect.
Of course, the car configurator is not the only great thing about the Bentley’s website – and you should definitely have a browse around if you want to find out more about their marketing tactics.
Expert language translation services
The thing with successful content marketing is that it’s a bit useless if you’re trying to sell to an international audience all in the same language. Bentley clearly know exactly who they’re after; one of the main menu tabs in the footer takes you directly to the Russian version of the website, which not only uses language translation services to switch the copy to Russian, but also alters some of the branding images (it would appear Russians have a thing about yachts – who knew?).
If you want to translate all your creativity and genius on an equivalent level to Bentley, you’re going to need something a little more sophisticated than Google Translate to help get the message across.
Find out more about our specialist language translation services right here and discover how to get your message out there.