The Elements of Content Marketing

The Elements of Content Marketing

Just what exactly constitutes effective content marketing in the luxury market? There are several key elements that need to be in place in order to guarantee successful results for your luxury brand.

  1. First and foremost, you need to develop a content strategy. This is the core element upon which everything else depends. Your strategy needs to be well thought-out in order to be a firm foundation for your content marketing project.
  2. Define the exact format that you are going to use. Will it be in the form of articles, a webinar, or even a game or an app? There are several options from which to choose so make sure that you select the most appropriate option(s) for your needs and strategy.
  3. You then need to conduct luxury research and determine which content type is best suited to your target audience. Luxury marketing could constitute anything from reviews to quizzes.
  4. Use various social and content distribution platforms to share your content. Take advantage of options such as luxury websites, popular platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, blogs, and many more.
  5. Critically, the key metrics need to be tracked and mapped to the specific goals you wish to achieve. Everything from brand metrics to demographic metrics needs to be monitored and analyzed to improve your luxury marketing. This ensures that you can achieve what you set out to accomplish in relation to leads, sales, members, branding, shares, etc.
  6. One of the most important elements of luxury content marketing is the use of sharing triggers associated with human emotions. Anything from cute and funny to shocking and sexy will work with the appropriate content but remember to stay true to your brand's core values.
  7. Lastly, the final element is double checking. Everything – everything – needs to be checked. This includes checking your accuracy with fact-checking and improving your marketing by checking optimization. Not to mention a whole host of other checks such as tone of voice, formatting, brand guidelines, etc.

Luxury content marketing is guaranteed to be more effective in reaching that all-important target audience once all these vital elements are in place.


How to Compensate Luxury Influencers

A luxury influencer writes a great review about your product, rakes in a lot of support for your marketing campaign, alters the buying decision of his audience towards your luxury product while maintaining integrity and authenticity. The message is not "crafted" or controlled by your marketing team; therefore it resonates within the community as an opinion that is valued. As a general rule, a blog post from an influential blogger or social media leader is more trusted than a marketing campaign promoted with banners, commercials and gimmicks. Why? Because the influencer is trusted as a valuable source of information while the marketing campaign is simply seen as what it is - a way to lure consumers to spend money on your products.

Although not everyone will agree, if a luxury influencer generates a lot of awareness for your brand or products, you should let them know that their services are appreciated by finding the best way to compensate them. Saying this, you should not attempt to "buy" the love of an influencer, but simply compensate for the valuable work done. Influencers, most of the anyway, want to be noticed, appreciated and rewarded for writing influential posts.

The best way to reward influencers is by first thinking about what motivates them, finding more about their interests and making sure that the relationship is not all about money. Offering a reward that is both commercial and non-commercial will help you create friendships rather than just pure commercial relationships.

So what are the best ways to compensate luxury influencers?

Financially: Although most influencers will ask for some kind of appreciation and recognition, some of them might be a little offended if you offer them money through your initial conversation. The best way to decide on whether to pay or not an influencer is to first ask them about their editorial and marketing solutions for luxury brands. If the influencer sends you a price list, then you should understand that blogging/social media is a business - it's about the money. However, if you get a request to experience your product first hand, then don't offend with money - it's about the experience.

Shout-Outs: Since your influencers write about your brand and products in their blogs or profiles, you can reciprocate their efforts by sharing their posts about you in your social media outlets. When you share their posts on your wall, it will make them feel important and recognized. A short tweet or a comment about their influential post will do wonders for their site’s traffic. Once the campaign is over, continue to engage with them socially to strengthen the relationship.

Product Rewards: Giving away your luxury products is another great way of rewarding the work done by your influencers. Remember to give the influencer the choice to select amongst a few products, making feel like part of your team.

Giveaways - Contests: Giveaways and contests are also a time-tested way to appreciate the audience of your influencers. Partner up with them for a social media campaign that will beneficial to both influencer and brand.

Unique Experience: Offer your influencers unique experiences such as inviting them for a complimentary hotel stay, a dinner experience or to an exclusive event. Become offline friends then take the relationship back to digital.

Content: Everyone wants insider information about top brands, and your influencers are no different. Offer your influencers some information about forthcoming products, VIP events, and more. Make your influencers feel important.

Product Discounts: Offering product discounts is a really old method of garnering public interest, and its charm hasn’t waned even in the social media days. Offer your influencers a discount on their favorite luxury item, but remember to make the offer really alluring - 5-10% probably won't cut it.

Remember this: if you want luxury influencers to promote your brand and products, play by their rules and offer something irresistible. Stand out from the mass by getting to know them and listening to their needs.


To Pay or Not To Pay an Influencer

To pay or not to pay an influencer – this is one of the most difficult questions to answer as the start of an influencer outreach campaign. Most luxury brands have trouble understanding whether or not it is acceptable to pay an influencer. These are two sides to the coin; and as a luxury brand it is important that you understand the importance of the work done by influencers. Gaining digital popularity is not as easy as 1-2-3. Influencers often spend years building their own brand as a digital influencer in their marketplace. Obviously the decision depends on your marketing strategy and budget, but to help you make the choice whether to pay or not to pay an influencer, read on.

Say Yes
Studies show that nearly half of all influencers expect money, and less than a quarter of them expect product discounts and freebies. Surprise? You shouldn't be. If you accept the fact that purchasing ad space in a luxury magazine, on a highway billboard or even on a bus is acceptable, then so should paying a digital influencer. The main difference will be the costs. A luxury magazine will likely request a payment of tens of thousands of dollars for an ad on the cover, while a luxury blogger will request a few hundred dollars.
Although many influencers anticipate to be rewarded for their efforts, most of the time, it is not just about the money. There are different ways to reward your influencers – compensate their efforts with money, spend time on their social media outlets, offer them free products and discounts.

Say No
Influencer’s opinions should be unbiased and original therefore buying influence might not always work for your luxury brand. Giving away your luxury products to your influencers as a token of appreciation for their work and effort seems like a blatant effort at buying their word. Giving product discounts and freebies might seem like influencing their comments and opinions about your brand.

Make the Decision
While some influencers have come to expect to be paid for their services, there are many others who might look down on you and might even get a little offended if you offered them rewards for something they do voluntarily. To pay or not to pay an influencer is a tough decision every luxury brand has to make sooner than later. Need help deciding if you should pay or not pay an influencer? Reach out to us for a complimentary consultation.

Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview Cover

Luxury Spotlight: Andra Oprea, Editor-in-Chief & Project Manager of Stylezza

With years of experience in the field of journalism and editing, Andra Oprea offers an insight into the world of luxury with her digital magazine – Stylezza. As the Editor-in-Chief & Project Manager of this famed magazine, she has come across the best in class experiences when it comes to fashion, beauty, art, photography and myriad other subjects.

Her experiences have led her to believe in quality over quantity – something reflected in the selection of which events and news feature in her magazine. And with her flair for the artistic expressions of life, it isn’t a surprise that Stylezza has become one of the beacons in the French Riviera/Monaco fashion and art circuit.

Let’s get a glimpse at what she has to say about her contributions to the luxury niche.


Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview 1

1. Every editor has a different story on how they got started writing. What is yours?

My story with writing starts when I was little or maybe from another life. I have always been connected with written words, poetry. I remember I used to invent and compose poetry in my mind holding a hand upside down when I was about four years old. With time, the passion has grown. When I first discovered love, I got so inspired that I started writing my first essay at 17 years old. The essay was awarded at an international competition in Tokyo. I continued writing children books, essays, never got the time to start a book although the idea has always haunted me. But, I started Journalism and it got me going ever since. I can use writing in a modern way now, especially on the digital format. It is my way of expressing, of choosing what to do in order to leave something behind me that is made by me and not an echo.

2. Like most successful fashion magazine, you probably received hundreds of emails per month from luxury brands who want you to share their story. What makes you decide to work with a brand over the other?

I daily receive a great amount of emails from different brands around the globe. What makes me choose one brand over the other is the inspiration and the idea behind the concept. I do not like very much the commercial type, the mass quantity information. I prefer the quality and the information that inspires the reader and makes him widen his vision. I like the mix between art and fashion, the stir of ideas and the things that have value, originality. There are so many brilliant minds and brands that are in the dark because they do not have the marketing behind them, and so many futile brands that have the money but not the worth. So, I prefer choosing the value. Not everything that has created a name during the years because it was supported financially has to be chosen just to make clicks. No, I prefer to make value. And that is why I appreciate my readers!


Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview 2

3. What is the best pitch you have received from a luxury brand? What is the worst?

There are so many that I can`t classify them. I don`t have a best pitch in mind, but the worst are those who are poor in information and quality and try to hook you no matter what.

4. What is your take on press releases? Do you like receiving them or do you simply discard them?

I like receiving press releases; it is a great source of information. Still, it depends on the message it wants to convey or the way it is done. I like to see good content that has all the ingredients for a good article. What makes me click and read the press release is a good title or idea worth spreading.

5. What would make you choose to work with a brand on a giveaway campaign on your site?

A giveaway campaign is always a challenge for my readers and the main focus is on them. We organize this type of campaigns when the prize fits our target and the magazine`s profile. It has to be interactive, to involve the readers and most of the time they do get involved by commenting on the article, on the social networks.

6. If a brand wants to reach you, what channel should they use? Do you prefer email, social media or another means of communication?

I prefer having the information by email. It is more complex, it can have more accurate and precise information, all we need just in front of our eyes. Of course, if we want to develop even more the partnership, we can meet or discuss over the phone. The email, I think, it is now the most important form of reaching and connecting, spreading the ideas, creating partnerships and collaborations.


Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview 4

7. Of all the social media channels you engage on, which one do you prefer and why?

Every social network has its own particularities. But, for spreading the news over social media, I prefer Facebook: it has an easier way of connecting and reaching, sharing the info in a complex way (text, photo), it can be interactive and you can control the views and reactions. Then, I prefer Instagram for another side of the story – the message through an image, simple as that!

8. Which social media channels does your audience interact with the most?

Our readers interact differently on our social channels. It depends very much of the geolocalisation. If they are from US, they interact a lot on Twitter, while the Europeans like Facebook more. Also, it depends a lot on the time of posting, on the same criteria as above.

9. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful on social media?

On social media, just like on every other digital platform, you have to inspire but also you have to reach your target. Many prefer posting frequently once every hour, others prefer less quantity. It depends very much to whom you address to, which social category, status etc. It is known that young people will tend to be more active on social networks and want as much information as possible, while other categories like top managers will be interested in quality information over quantity, to have the best news of interest to them even if they enter late at night, so to say. So, for me, is having the right information delivered to the right category of readers at the right time.

10. Do you monitor your Klout score on a daily/weekly basis? Do you think this social ranking is of any real value to luxury brands?

I do not use Klout very often. I think, though, that being on platforms that help you reach your readers can be a great step towards a wider audience.

11. Do you sometime receive compensation from luxury brands, whether it's in the form of cash or incentives, to write about them?

Yes, it happens often to receive products in order to write about them. Sometimes, it is a great thing because you can test the product yourself and write about it. Of course, you have to maintain your neutrality. This is one of the factors that differentiate blogs from digital magazines. Blogs can express their opinions towards products, brands in a personal way while digital magazines publish the news following deontological codes, and objectivity is one of them.

12. Apart from promoting brands through your magazine, do you offer additional services to luxury brands who choose to work with you?

Stylezza is a digital magazine that focuses also on branding on the French Riviera / Monaco and on high class events. We have contacts with important people in the area who are always interested in partnering with us to create events (and here, we have some secret ingredients that can assure the uniqueness and originality of the event). Also, there are international brands that are interested in having visibility on the French Riviera / Monaco and here we can help them. There is a mix of editorial, photography, events, all focused on the partners that we collaborate with.

13. Do you manage more than one magazine/blog? If so, which ones?

I manage Stylezza magazine. It is a digital platform located in a very beautiful area of the French Riviera. We cover the most important news and events in the region, especially Monaco, Cannes, St Tropez. It is both in English and in French as it reaches an international audience with worldwide news.

14. What would you say is the best thing about being a fashion editor?

The best thing about being a fashion editor is that I write, and this is my passion. Second, is that I get to know amazing people and places, exchanging ideas and traveling.

15. Have you rub shoulders with the rich and famous through your work as a fashion editor?

Yes, I have shaken hands and discussed with very important names, with top managers, celebrity and royalty. A real honor to meet so many important people, to share ideas, to interview or to collaborate.


Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview 3

16. If you had to mentor a new writer, what is your go-to advice to become successful?

My best advice that I can give to a new writer it is to write with passion, to give his time to develop this passion. To read and write a lot! I remember one of my Journalism University Professor who used to tell us at his class that we should write everyday about every tiny thing that we see around us...but just write!

You can reach Andra Oprea with the contact form on the site, or get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Google+. If you need an introduction, just reach out to us.


What is an eBook and Why You Need to Create One

An e-book is an electronic book that is usually read on a Kindle or tablet. The advent of e-books means that aspiring authors can now become published authors without negotiating around obstacles such as agents and publishers. You can either use an ecommerce tool to sell your books on your own website, or sell through Amazon. Another sign of the times when it comes to publishing is the fact that Amazon sells more e-books than it does print books.

Almost all e-books start as print books and are then retrofitted into digital form. They are organized in a linear form with a sequence of chapters that are meant to be consumed in order and, in the case of a how-to book, are supported with the occasional photograph or illustration.

However, there is a growing movement that argues that an e-book needs to be “digital first”. Open Air Publishing, which has now been acquired by Inkling, is one among a new generation of digital publishers that recognizes that a print book and a tablet are different media that alter both the message and the experience of the reader. It becomes clear that e-books need to be designed as a digital publication from the outset, rather than an afterthought based on a print version.

All of Open Air’s books are indeed digital first: produced and optimized for the tablet medium. The authors were never encumbered by the weight of what they did before. They just did it the right way for the touch-screen medium the first time. These e-books are interactive and immersive in a way that is impossible with flat text, even if it is digital text. Content becomes more engaging and in this way publishers like Inkling pose a threat to both Amazon and Apple.

Open Air CEO Jon Feldman says that “advice for publishers would be to carve out a digital-first division that would allow them to play in that space... [then] take some digital bestsellers and see if there’s a print version that could be made downstream.”

Marshall McLuhan may have never contemplated an electronic book but he would probably be pleased that there are publishers who are making the distinction.



MTRIP: Building a Travel App White Label Style

mTrip is an intelligent travel guide that is completely customizable for the travel and tourism industry. It’s perfect for luxury hotels, tourism boards and tourist agencies. The white label apps provide extensive publicity for your brand, your hotel, or your destination, all whilst acting as an expert tour guide for your visitors and guests.

Utilizing a white label product makes sense on many levels. You can reduce your costs by taking advantage of another company’s technology. You won’t have to invest in creating new technology, developing the infrastructure, developing the product and hiring additional employees. At the same time, there are so many benefits for your brand as well as your clients and customers.




The mTrip app for hotels and resorts provides a 24/7 virtual concierge service that assists guests with hotel amenities and facilities, special offers, bookings, and other related services. It also acts as a local travel guide, providing guests with itineraries and information about local restaurants, attractions, etc. This app also features complete offline map and navigation so users can find their way around without paying roaming fees. Receive even more publicity for your establishment as guests post their photos and journal their trip on Facebook.

Tourism boards can customize the app to incorporate an unlimited amount of tourism content. It also provides visitors with daily itineraries and complete offline use of maps and navigation services to avoid roaming costs. This is a great way to enhance your marketing and boost sales because the app maximizes the visibility of your destination and generates revenue.

The mTrip app is also ideal for tour operators and travel agencies. The app can provide an itinerary, including all the necessary details about transportation, accommodation, tours, activities, etc. It includes content rich travel guides that provide your clients with everything they need to know about a destination. While offline, clients can view their itinerary and travel guide, as well as use the maps and turn-by-turn navigation. Your business will receive even more exposure as clients post photos, status updates about their trip and more on Facebook.

All in all, the mTrip is the ideal white label app for all tourism and travel professionals who want to take their brand and their destination to the next level.


Digital Marketing for Luxury Brands

Effective Digital Marketing for Luxury Brands

The word ‘Luxury’ is being used very loosely these days. It seems it is now important to start working on redefining it so that most mundane products will stop receiving the status of luxury items and mere functional will stop being touted as phenomenal.

With the reuse and abuse of the word luxury, it is important for marketers to know that marketing a luxury brand is not only about setting the highest price for its products or making it beyond the reach of people. Besides the pricing and the advertising, effective marketing of luxury brands involves a lot many concepts.

Marketers of luxury brands, rather than aping the successful digital marketing strategies of other brands should concentrate on developing multilevel and multichannel strategies that suit their individual products and brand identities. Moreover, what works for a single product or a brand, might not be completely successful for other brands. While luxury brands strive to be seen as unique and distinct, their digital marketing efforts should also be unique and individualistic, to be successful.


Being Seen On Multiple Channels Is the Key

Until a few decades ago, marketers used a single concept to market their products. Sometimes using a single tagline or even a single word, marketers were able to push their products into the market. However, the times have changed and, unless you are marketing automobiles or beer, you have to be seen on multiple channels to compete in this competitive market.

From a supplier, the luxury brand marketer has gone on to become a receiver; opening various doors of customer communication and relationships. Marketers, these days, have to be ready for the communication, ideas exchange and create unique experiences to clients. Nowadays, customers are searching the internet for products and ideas; it is imperative that luxury brands position themselves as a viable online brand as well.


Focus on Customer Loyalty

When building the perfect digital marketing strategy for marketing luxury brands, one must take into account brand loyalty and customer loyalty as well. Customers who are loyal to brands advertise your brand effectively; they bond deeply with the brand and tell the rest of the world about its virtues. In addition to concentrating on customer awareness, sampling, trail and purchase, marketers of luxury brands should also take into account brand advocates. Brand advocates are passionate believers in a brand. So, as a luxury brand marketing strategy, it is important to encourage brand advocates, create ways to improve communication between brand advocates and others and try to create new advocates.


Connect With People Who Visit You

Using a number of free analytical tools such as Google Analytics, it is possible to connect with people who visited your website. You can easily follow these visitors to your site, regardless of where in the world they are from, you can accurately know the time they spent on your site, the places they meandered to, the products they searched for, the products they best liked, and more. So, when they eventually come back to your website, you will be better equipped to handle these returning visitors with better choices and better strategies to convert these casual visitors into sales.

In addition to these points, to be able to portray your brand as a unique luxury brand, you have to create an online identity that reflects your brand’s offline signature style. Everything from visual elements, graphics, colors, typography and more should be able to enhance motivation of customers and eventually turn visitors into customers.




Engaging Influencers Beyond The Campaign

Most luxury brand marketers reach out to popular and influential bloggers for a one-time outreach campaign that is aimed at boosting popularity and spiking interest during product launch. However, these same luxury brands will stop the relationship with the bloggers immediately after the campaign gets over, and only reach out when they need another spike in interest. This is where most of the luxury brands falter.


Influencers have the ability to drive action and shape the buying behavior of others. They can help the business establish authority, increase brand awareness, drive interest towards the brand's products and keep the trust levels high. Keeping the doors of communication and engagement open and real is important; think about incorporating some of these strategies into your marketing mix.


Reciprocate – Any relationship demands reciprocation and appreciation. If you want to maintain a healthy and long-term relationship with your brand advocates, you should be ready to be involved, and be willing to offer benefits beyond the campaign. Offer regular gifts; give discounts, and deals so that your brand advocates are willing to give you back more in return.


Surprise to Satisfy – Everybody likes a good little surprise; why don’t you use it to your advantage? Surprise your brand advocates simply mentioning their name on your Tweeter feed or in a blog post – at a time when they are not expecting a reward. The surprise element can work wonders to your brand image, it will create an additional buzz within your brand advocate's fan base. Your pleasantly delighted advocates might share their experiences with others, making it easier for your brand to garner more exposure.


Let Them Be The First To Know – When you keep your brand advocates in the loop, by informing them about any company change, new product launches, new offers and new events to attend, you are letting them know that they matter. They deserve the right to know about your company and your products before it is launched to the general public. Think about reaching out to them on a one by one basis rather than with a copy/paste press release. If you want them to work with you on an ongoing basis, you need to let them know you care.


Be in Touch – Everything is about maintaining relationships. So, it is important to continue building rapport to keep the conversation going. It is rude to contact them when you need a favor and then forget all about them once the work is done. Be in touch, check on them every now and then, send them an email, ask about their work, leave a comment on their blogs, and appreciate their work - anything to keep the conversation smooth.


Show your Appreciation – Everyone likes to be appreciated and recognized. Your brand advocates deserve appreciation and recognition for the work they do. Make sure they know that their efforts at spreading word about your brand are duly appreciated. Plan events specifically to celebrate them and their efforts.


At LuxeInACity, we have seen brands go out of their way to make us feel special and be our friend for years to come; others seem to be only in it for the short term. We strongly recommend you engage influencers beyond the campaign.



LinkedIn - The New Publishing Platform For B2B


Earlier this month, LinkedIn expanded its publishing platform, in a move that will allow all of the platform’s users to write long-form posts and share them with their connections. This change will be helping to transform LinkedIn into a comprehensive publishing platform, and one that businesses will be able to use to create informative content to educate their audiences with. While LinkedIn has previously offered the publishing feature to a select group of industry professionals, also called LinkedIn Influencers, with the new update, the feature will now be offered to all LinkedIn members. Will LinkedIn become the preferred publishing platform for B2B?

According to an announcement from LinkedIn, the Influencers’ posts have been doing well, receiving more views and comments than average posts. This first group of Influencers included big names within the financial industry as well as Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Barack Obama, among others. After the initial group of “Influencers” were selected to pilot this new effort, LinkedIn has found that these posts receive an average of 31,000 more views, 250 more likes and 80 more comments per post. Even with the new platform in place, LinkedIn is still maintaining its Influencers program to help bring attention to some of the most influential users on the site.

There are currently more than 277 million users on the LinkedIn network, and now all of them will be able to access the publishing feature right from their home screen.

LinkedIn members who are looking to enhance their B2B transactions will find that this new feature can be instrumental to their success. LinkedIn is already one of the top sites for B2B content publishing, and the most used social media platform by B2B marketers. The addition of the open publishing feature should only expand the influence of LinkedIn within the B2B marketing industry, and should help LinkedIn become the leading professional publishing platform in the market.

Now that the new update is officially available, members who are interested in taking advantage of the new publishing power will find a small pencil icon to the right of their Share Box. By clicking on this pencil, any user will be able to access a screen where they can create their long form posts and content. They will also be able to add titles and links in order to publish their article. Once an article has been crafted, it will be part of the public profile of the publisher. With the platform in place, members will be able to share their expertise through videos, images, photos, articles and presentations. Many members hope that this new feature will help them grow their business and develop a stronger online presence.

The new LinkedIn update offers members the ability to deliver more personal insights along with their profile. The social media site has launched the blogging feature to help increase user engagement, however, different users have found different benefits of the new platform. While some companies may be focused on the B2B marketing component of the new rollout, others are seeing the benefits of this addition when it comes to hiring decisions. No matter what the reason is for utilizing the new LinkedIn feature, it is clear that this platform is ushering in a new era for all of the social network’s users.

It might be time for us to focus more of our energy on LinkedIn as the new publishing platform for B2B. What do you think?



How To Sever Your Relationship With A Luxury Blogger

How To Sever Your Relationship With A Luxury Blogger In One Step

Today is a day where I vent a little as it seems like one luxury travel brand we have been promoting for nearly a year has completely lost their way. To put you in context, let me explain the nature of our relationship.

The brand is a reputable luxury travel brand that became one of our monthly contributors on LuxeInACity, our luxury travel magazine. Since we value the opinions of travel experts, we published 10 original blog posts from them that included several SEO links back to their website. We even took it a step further and shared everything on our social media channels and randomly interacted with them throughout the year.

Last night, my partner/sister Maxine mentioned that she felt the relationship was unidirectional and that the content received was extremely generic. She had been noticing for a while that this luxury travel brand never took any initiative to share our own content with their fans. Unless we promoted them, they never interacted with us. It was always about them. So we decided to do a test.

I adapted one of our blog posts to include several links back to LuxeInACity's content and asked Maxine to sent them a request to publish it on their blog as a gesture of reciprocity. Remember that we have been promoted them on a complimentary basis for nearly a year and have never asked for anything in return. This was their response:


"Hi Maxine

Thank you for posting our April blog – looks brilliant. I love the tulip picture. I’ve got the May blog ready to send over to you next week but let me know if you want it any earlier than that.

Regarding posting on our blog, unfortunately we don’t feature reciprocal guest blogs. As I’m sure you are aware, Google places no value in a reciprocal link so this isn’t something we would do. I will always retweet anything you put out that mentions @brandname so I hope that is of some help to you.

Please do let me know if you have any queries at all

Best wishes"

Seriously.... If this is how they act with their friends, I wonder how they actually threat their clients... Our response was simple... Delete, Delete, Delete. Yes, I deleted the last 10 blog posts they sent us and all those beautiful SEO backlinks we gave them over the year.

The reasons are simple:

1- We only promote brands we love.

2- We only promote brands we value the friendship.

3- We only promote brands we recommend to our fans.

SEO is not about building random backlinks for Google but about building strong relationships with influencers that can give you traction. Maxine and I are not vindictive but enough if enough.

Lesson learned: Be friendly and give back some love! Build a real relationship with a luxury blogger.


Note: I am certain that this luxury travel brand is very happy we decided not to give them an SEO backlink from this post ;)


UPDATE: In case you wanted to know Maxine's reply:

"Hi "Name"

Thank you for following up. I am sad to see that "Brand Name" doesn't consider us a strategic partner. Since we are in the same field but offer different services, it does make sense that we help each other out. Not all reciprocal link are bad according to Google. If you were a dentist and I was a construction worker than it would definitely be considered black SEO to exchange links for the simple matter of a link exchange but since our content is relevant to each other and our readers, reciprocal links are still valuable when done right and and the links would be considered helpful additional resources on both our end, offering our readers more insight into the luxury travel world.

This isn’t a strategy to employ as an easy SEO tool to build lots of inbound links. If the link seems forced, unnatural, or out of place, it probably is and shouldn’t be used such as the example above.

This is a strategy to use to not only gain visibility for your brand and business in a new group of ideal clients and customers, but to also help your audience connect with and benefit from other relevant service providers, businesses, and retailers.

You see, there are still instances when reciprocal linking is smart for business, especially when it’s used as an online business strategy to gain visibility in front of new audiences. Our network in the luxury world is quite extensive and since we only link to businesses and websites that are trusted and authorities in their field, we have gained our authority by working and using reciprocal links that benefit both parties. We have never engaged in any purely SEO tactics since we have been online and purely gained our authority by getting involved in smart strategic partnerships so we have to believe that our tactic is working. We often even refuse linking to websites that are willing to pay as we believe our reputation is more important that a quick buck. Matt Cutts actually states that guest blogging purely for SEO purposes is not recommended but instead he says that "There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging such as exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc"

Having said that, last year, we used to accept guest posts from trusted websites for the opportunity to gain access to free quality content. However, our business has grown tremendously in the last year and we no longer need free content, now being able to produce our own. We now only accept guest posts if it's from strategic partnerships beneficial to both parties. Every guest blogger in our repertoire has agreed to continue working with us as strategic partners at one point or another. A simple retweet mentioning your company is not beneficial in any way to us since the focus is still on "Brand Name" and the links in the article still redirect everyone to your website. We can no longer justify the administrative costs if we are not getting anything in return. I hope you understand. I am sad to have to part ways but I see no other choices. I have to also mention at this time that we have removed all previous articles from our blog. We are strong believers in building real relationships and feel a little bit like we have been taken advantage of. If "Brand Name" is still interested in getting featured on LuxeInACity or would wishes for us to republish past content, I can provide you with a pricing list for a sponsored posts.

Have a great day!
Maxine Genier"