Welcome to Part 1 of our 3-part series intended to help your brand across the three biggest social platforms: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
With over 600 million active daily users and counting, Instagram's popularity is undeniable. However, its power as a vehicle for brands and businesses to showcase their products and services is only beginning to be realized.
This is an incredibly powerful platform for visual storytelling. When marketing on Instagram, an eye for design is a prerequisite, and a strong brand style guide is a huge plus. You’ll also want to make use of a content calendar to ensure you’re keeping your content varied over time.
We think the brands below are nailing the Instagram game, using the platform to expand their brand awareness, boost their online influence and grow a loyal community. We can all glean some takeaways from their success stories to apply in our own social world.
Dove leverages a strong, branded color scheme for their photos. The result is a beautiful, inviting feed that entices viewers to keep scrolling. What's most interesting is they also provide inspirational and motivational imagery through their hashtag #womengettold, inviting their audience to engage and share.
It's no secret that Dove has been crusading for women to love themselves for who they are for years. This hashtag extends and humanizes that fight with real stories from real people. Very Humans of New York.
Takeaway Tip: Know your brand and utilize your style-guide to create brand-centric imagery and messaging that leverages your logo and brand positioning. The result will be a beautiful, compelling feed that fans will latch onto.
National Geographic built its reputation on breathtaking, envelope-pushing photography. So it’s no surprise that the magazine’s Instagram arm is full of stunning shots. The images serve as a reminder that there’s a whole planet out there, teeming with beautiful creatures and life being lived that’s far removed from your everyday. They serve as nice little resets of perspective in a busy human life.
Takeaway Tip: Take your knowledge of your brand and determine what role your feed can play within the larger social ecosystem.
Monogram is the brainchild of Lisa Mayock (formerly of Vena Cava) and her husband Jeff Halmos, and their small collection of printed T-shirts and sweatshirts is unlike anything else on the market. Their Insta feed — and the brand as a whole — is a naughty, technicolor, high-design, decade-spanning fever dream. If most branded Instagram posts are a well-lit, meticulously curated parade, Monogram is serving a too-cool-to-care Soul Train line. They don't focus on showing you what they have. They show you who they are instead.
Takeaway Tip: Smaller brands and labels who use Instagram to communicate their aesthetic and vibe — rather than to simply shill their products — are often the most satisfying to follow. By broadcasting an aesthetic through well-curated imagery (which doesn't have to be original, and often isn't) brands become more relatable and whole, creating deeper, more meaningful connections with fans.
J. Crew does a great job at creating a feed that is eye-catching and inviting, just like Dove. Their variety of photos, showcasing everything from quotes and flowers to purses and people, proves that J. Crew is a lifestyle brand.
By curating and repurposing photos posted by customers, J. Crew shows their audience appreciation. It’s a simple, smart and effective approach — viewers interpret those curated photos as mini brand testimonials, making the brand more liked and trusted online.
Takeaway Tip: Curate user-generated photos on your Instagram feed and always provide photo credit to the fan. This will show your fans that you appreciate them, encouraging further engagement while also making your brand more trustworthy.
Check out Part 2 of the series which showcases success stories from brands that are creating meaningful relationships through marketing on Facebook.
If you still feel like you need some guidence, reach out to us!