HNWI targeting depiction

The Ultimate Guide To Targeting UHNWIs on Paid Social

Paid social campaigns are a vital part of digital marketing, perfectly complementing organic posting on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. However, like with any audience, ultra-high-net worth-individuals (UNHWIs) have unique needs and require a specialised approach when trying to reach them with social media targeted advertising. 

All the research points towards affluent consumers being big fans of social media, with 99% visiting social platforms and spending almost 90 minutes per day on them. With social sites forming such a significant part of the modern buyer’s decision-making process, luxury brands are now coming round to the idea of social media advertising as a way of reaching their target audience. Yet with ever-changing possibilities for the way these ads work it can be hard to keep up. That’s why I’ve put together some tips for a kick-ass social ads strategy that will reach all the right people. I’ll also take you through why they work and how they differ from channel to channel, due to the different targeting options available. Let’s get started… 

Social media for HNWI - building sign

1. Location 

Targeting locally is an essential aspect of social media marketing for luxury brands. Find out where HNWIs live and then further refine by postcode looking at the wealthiest hotspots of these cities. Targeting options vary between platforms; for example, on Facebook you can target by postcode, but LinkedIn can only target by city. On Twitter you can target more than 200 markets at the country level and focus on certain countries on a granular scale (including the Americas, the UK and Australia) to create more specific social ads aimed at regions, cities and postcodes. Think places like Monte Carlo, Dubai and the Cayman Islands, where the wealthy tend to congregate.

2. Demographics 

Social media platforms collect data on their users, which brands can use to their advantage to target their key audiences and prospective clients. This gives social media sites obvious advantages over other media channels. Beyond targeting locations, this allows marketers to sort HNWIs into personas by gender, age, marital status, the number of children they have, etc. Demographics are very helpful in targeting specific groups, such as wealthy women of a certain age for premium skincare products and those with large families for luxury villas. 

3. Career 

In addition to demographics, social media allows you to target UHNWIs based on their high-powered job roles. Social sites gather info about the areas of work their users are involved in (eg. finance, entrepreneurship), businesses they own and how many people they employ.  This information can include everything from where the user studied to the name of their employer, with sites even collecting data on income levels in some countries. This qualitative targeting is a way for luxury brands to ensure they are only advertising to those who can afford their products, meaning it has a much higher potential for conversion.

LinkedIn is the obvious choice for career-based marketing as it allows you to target by company size, company name and company followers. It allows you to reach the 1st-degree connections of employees at targeted companies with more than 500 employees. LinkedIn can also target job experience, titles, seniority and years of experience. But the truly unique feature of LinkedIn comes in the form of members’ listed skills, groups they’ve joined and endorsements. While more expensive than Facebook and Twitter’s social ads, LinkedIn is an ideal platform for when you have a very specific audience in mind, based on job roles and industry sectors. 

Your guide to targeting UHNWI by career, location & more

4. Interests 

Social media users often share information about their interests, either directly or indirectly. For example, on Facebook they might follow pages of hip-hop artists or certain fashion brands, while algorithms can pick up the links they are more likely to click on, read and share, so sponsored content can be targeted better. YouTube uses the same interest-targeting options as Google and has added an extension of custom intent audiences and a new ad format (TrueView for Action). This means advertisers can set up an AdWords video campaign to reach people on YouTube who have recently searched particular keywords on Google.

LinkedIn has countless vocational and shared interest groups, covering everything from marketing and hospitality to luxury commerce and technology. On this platform, brands also have the option to target users that are already following them – or exclude them from targeting if they feel they have already won these users over. This can allow companies to focus instead on targeting followers of their competitors or similar luxury goods and services to try to gain new customers. Specific subcategories for targeting reduce the size of your target sample, with a smaller audience but more potential for conversions.

5. Education  

Social media targeted advertising can also be applied to education if the platform user has listed their school or university. For example, if you wanted to target London-based HNWIs, private schools such as Harrow and Eton would be a good place to start. You can also search by degrees and diplomas studied, (for example, finance, engineering, business or interior design), as well as filtering results by alumni from targeted higher education institutions. 

6. Travel

Most HNWIs frequently travel for business and leisure. They research, plan and book their trips online and this means social media and user-generated content have a great role to play in where they decide to go. Interests play a large part in luxury travel social ads and usually focus on the lifestyle of the wealthy consumers they are targeting. You can make use of interests in golf, prestige automobiles, private aviation and sporting events such as the Monaco Grand Prix to catch the interest of HNWIs.  You can also choose luxury locations like the Maldives, Bora Bora, St Moritz, Aspen and Cannes when targeting potential high-net-worth consumers.

Elite travel brands have an opportunity to create engaging digital experiences across a variety of social platforms and devices, bringing potential customers closer to the point of purchase. Millennials and Generation Z travellers in particular want personalised content that is relevant to their interests and they prefer it to be authentic, seamless, shareable, and very ‘instagramable’. 

Facebook and Instagram are the best platforms for travel posts due to their visual nature and the sheer amount of time people spend on them. These platforms use the same targeting, running social ads for both from the Facebook Ads Manager. Facebook can also target relationship statuses to inspire couples seeking a romantic getaway or target singles for group tours. 

Social media in high net worth locations

7. Exclusions

Exclusion marketing is an essential part of distinguishing between consumers. Now, you can exclude unqualified audiences who search for words like “cheap”, “budget”, “discount” and “free” from viewing your ads.  Facebook in particular makes it very easy to implement an exclusion strategy that allows marketers to exclude users by their interests or specific demographics. For example, you probably wouldn’t promote a luxury restaurant in London to a teenager in Manchester who has ‘liked’ pages by McDonald’s and Subway on Facebook, as it would be a lot less likely to be relevant to them. You certainly don’t want to waste your money on audiences that clicked but took no action after a certain amount of effort, or that never click at all. 

Social media targeted advertising also enables exclusions of people who have recently completed an action on your website, particularly people who have just bought your product when it’s a one-of-a-kind service or item and so it’s unlikely they’ll buy more. Whereas if you provide lots of complementary services and products, you’d be more inclined to keep previous and current customers interested. You can also exclude people who have messaged your page since many dissatisfied customers engage with brands in this way. Exclusivity is an important part of marketing to HNWIs and differentiating luxury brands. 

I hope this has given you an idea of how social media ads can help improve conversions and increase your ROI when targeting HNWIs. Of course, it can be a time-consuming and difficult to keep track of changes in paid social, so hiring specialists to manage and run your social media campaigns can greatly ease the pressure and bring impressive results. A compliment service which is growing in importance alongside specialised targeting is social listening, which is essentially monitoring your social platforms to understand why a trend or user behaviour is happening. For example, you may notice the affluent members of your audience are posting photos with or mentioning a specific item more in one region versus another. Taking that knowledge, you can use it to your advantage by advertising that product or service in the region where it is being talked about more. If you would like assistance in growing your luxury brand and reaching your maximum audience, please get in touch.

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