Instagram is booming right now, both with users and with the businesses trying to connect with them. Brands both big and and small have found some great success with Instagram marketing (both with content marketing and with the brand new Instagram Ads), making it a strong choice of marketing platforms for businesses and brands of all sizes.
Some of the brands who have had the most success with Instagram have come up with unique strategies, or strategies they customize, to fit their brand. For inspiration on how to do this for your business, we’ve got 7 examples of some of the best Instagram strategies we’ve seen.
1. Kate Spade
Kate Spade has a ton of beautiful products to feature on their Instagram account, and lots of beautiful people to wear them (they do, after all, hire stunning models). Instead of just uploading images like Instagram is their social media catalogue, however, Kate Spade does two things well: they show their products in an interesting, artistic way (making users both notice and engage more), and they’ve been known to share incredible behind-the-scenes content through Instagram.
Sites like Instagram give brands the chance to not be “all about business,” which is how it should be; customers and fans love getting to know what it’s really like behind the scenes, and showing them that can get you a lot of engagement, and build a strong rapport with them.
Kate Spade is also sharing their “missadventure” mini-series featuring Anna Kendrick, and getting a ton of extra view because of it.
Though only for users ages 21+, Yuengling beer has still managed to get a huge following and a ton of engagement. Their strategy is one that seems to be truly theirs—they encourage user engagement by sharing it in a unique way.
Knowing users like their content to be shared, Yuengling will feature comments, Tweets, or other use content and attach it to a simple “background” image that fits their brand (and often features their product to some extent). Because the backgrounds are simple and can even be pre-created, it’s a quick turn around and doesn’t require a ton of effort of their marketing team, but can still provide great results. The user-created content remains the central focus of these posts.
They’re focusing more on getting users engaged and excited about being engaged than selling their product, and they’re doing it in a way that builds their brand and a lot of rapport with customers. When it comes to user engagement, this is a great brand and strategy to look at.
Starbucks has gotten a lot of attention for their strategies and success on Instagram marketing, and they’re doing a whole slew of things well: they feature seasonal products and time it appropriately; they share user-created content; they make great use of hashtags; and they make the focus of their images about the people and their lifestyle, not the product.
Instead of taking a picture of a cup of coffee and posting it (though there are some of those), they’ll share an image of a user sitting in a pumpkin patch with gorgeous lighting holding a drink that you just know is the pumpkin spice latte; this kind of imagery will evoke a much stronger reaction in users than just the cup of coffee would, even though there’s only a small cup of coffee in the background.
As mentioned above, Starbucks also encourages users to create content and share it using one of their hashtags; they can then find that content and reshare it, which has gotten them a lot of attention and boosted engagement.
Like Starbucks, Nike has garnered a reputation for having successful marketing strategies on Instagram. Fitness brands, in general, are doing well in Instagram, and Nike is a great example of that.
Nike’s Instagram images embrace the lifestyle instead of promoting the product directly. Most of their images feature motivational descriptions and hashtags, reminding users that it’s more important to start running than to cross the finish line in many cases; the motivational images resonate with hardcore runners who can complete 5k marathons and newbies struggling to jog around the block alike—everyone can push themselves to go farther, after all, and their diverse images (coming from all over the world and even under water) have you imaging just where you can run to.
In addition to focusing on positive, motivational images, Nike will also feature occasional images of famous athletes, tagging them in the post.
Between featuring and tagging professional, well-known athletes and their motivational approach to images, Nike has built a huge following, and they’re a great example of Instagram marketing done well.
When it comes to brands that use hashtags correctly, Gucci provides great examples of hashtags that are used by users as often as the brand itself. Gucci is constantly using branded, customized hashtags and encouraging users to utilize those hashtags, too. They’ve also used videos to increase views and engagement, featuring videos, for example, of models walking in their clothes to music that fits their brand.
Users can use Gucci’s branded hashtags to show off their Gucci products, giving them access to a slew of new, and likely highly relevant, followers.
6. Red Bull
If you’re really looking to see an example of not promoting your product can substantially help your brand, look no further than Red Bull. If you take a look at Instagram’s account, you won’t necessarily see a lot of images featuring the drink—and that’s the point.
Red Bull’s brand is all about promoting a fun, adventurous lifestyle, and their Instagram supports that brand.
Red Bull often sponsors major sporting events and will feature content on Instagram from them; by doing this, they’re put in touch with their target audience without making things about their product.
They almost never mention or feature images of their product. That’s ok. It’s not about the product, for Red Bull. It’s about the brand.
7. Dunkin Donuts
A great way to connect with your target audience is to be able to jump on trending or relevant topics that your audience is interested in, talking about, and/or following. This can be something specific, like the Super Bowl, or something more general like “beginning of winter.”
Dunkin Donuts understands this concept and has successfully grasped how to use it to its advantage. Dunkin donuts makes use of timely, relevant (and drool-inducing) images and combines them with a trending topic and hashtag to put their relevant content in front of users who are interested in seeing it.
Any time you can bring your brand or product into the conversation, it doesn’t hurt to do so—even if donuts aren’t involved (but bonus points if they are).
All of these seven brands are great examples of businesses that have found a way to successfully promote themselves on Instagram, connecting with new users and promoting their products and brand all at once. With the increase of both users and marketers coming to Instagram, as well as the potential with Instagram Ads, coming up with a unique strategy and sticking to it will help your brand stand out.
What do you think about Instagram marketing? What examples can you think of when it comes to brands who market well on Instagram? Leave us a comment and let us know!