Behemoth B2C brands like Coca-Cola and American Express have been producing digital content like branded content videos for years now in an effort to increase sales and brand affinity, but luxury brands have been slow to jump on the content-creation bandwagon. That is, until recently.

The Agency [Real Estate]

The Agency Screenshot

Real estate company The Agency has racked up over a billion unique impressions through its digital channels.

The Agency, a relative newcomer to the real estate scene that is revolutionizing the way real estate is bought and sold, is a great example of a luxury brand that has embraced content creation with open arms. The Agency has used traditional PR as well as blogging, e-mail marketing, video production, industry reports, and social media, to reach over a billion users in its short history. It focuses on the luxury lifestyle, sharing events, trends, neighborhood reports, videos, and much more with their discerning readers. In 2015, we worked with The Agency to produce its overall brand film, which projects its mission, ethos, and business structure in a manner befitting to one of the top real estate companies in the world. Check it out right here:

Equinox’s Furthermore [Fitness]

Another luxury brand that absolutely nails the creation and dissemination of engaging content is Equinox. They were one of the first companies to produce truly engaging digital ad campaigns and videos on a regular basis, and in January of 2016, they launched an online magazine called Furthermore. The digital publication provides a diverse range of branded and curated content to its high-income readers, including videos, recipes, photo slideshows, and advice.

Equinox Furthermore Screenshot

The high-end aesthetic and voice of the magazine is not like what you’d expect to see or hear from a gym. This is in large part due to the makeup of its editorial team, all of whom who were trained at traditional magazines.

Unsurprisingly, the magazine engages its target audience by combining storytelling about fitness and the connection between the mind and the body, with its unique, high-end, premium aesthetic. Furthermore caters to the true needs and desires of its target audience by providing readers with both scientific and lifestyle content that they can use in their daily lives, as well as aspirational content that motivates consumers to push their boundaries.

One of Furthermore’s defining features is that its branded video content is second to none. For example, The Contortionist, an uber-engaging, hypnotic meditation that is simultaneously relatable and unattainable, has racked up upwards of 10 million views since 2010:

So how are they affording to do all of this? By making the magazine a revenue-generating source of its own. Furthermore sells advertising space and some and sponsorship of its content by likeminded brands such as SmartWater. True to its nature as a luxury brand, Furthermore is extremely selective when it comes to its marketing partners. “The model we’re creating is very custom, and the plan is to only partner with a few select brands each year,” said the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Liz Miersch.

Equinox’s maximizes its editorial content by integrating into its overall marketing and PR strategies. The content is re-used in e-mail marketing social media to drive channels to foster relationships with readers, drive traffic, and increase brand awareness and loyalty.

“Content will continue to be a huge piece of how we market the Equinox brand,” Miersch said. “It’s a major differentiator for us.”

The reality is that branded content creation is vital to the success of all companies, not just the Equinoxes of the world. Consumers are tired of being sold to with cheesy ads and push marketing. They want to consume content that is useful to them. They crave authenticity, advice, and emotional connection, all of which can be satiated in some way by branded content. By utilizing platforms like online magazines, web series, and social media, companies can target consumers where they spend a great deal of their time: online.