Welcome to the Understanding series which connects readers with leading experts on any given subject. This week we’re learning about Instagram marketing from Camella Mendez, a content strategist with Internet Exposure, James T. Noble (@jamestnoble), a consultant who makes small businesses bigger, Jason A. Howie (LinkedIn), a web and social media manager, Kim Lachance Shandrow (LinkedIn) a tech journalist who specializes in social media marketing and Philippe Gonzalez who runs Instagramers.com.
Here’s my question for the group today followed by their answers:
What Are Some Great Instagram Marketing Ideas?
Kim Lachance Shandrow describes one idea that actually has an impact on the bottom line: “British clothing retailer Topshop (@topshop) uses Instagram to promote exclusive discount and coupon codes for new products and services, which drives traffic directly to their online store and brick and mortar locations. They’re doing it right on Instagram because they go beyond simply posting incredible images. They’re posting images embedded with calls to action, like discount codes, that bring in sales. All the while, they’re not beating a dead horse. They routinely break up their sales pitch-oriented photos by posting pics of books their staffers are reading, sketches their designers freehand, and peony flowers they send to new staff additions. They strike a delicate balance that doesn’t alienate their followers or turn potential shoppers off.
In an effort to boost word-of-mouth marketing, Topshop hosted free in-store Instagram photo shoots for shoppers, which shoppers were encouraged to upload directly Topshop’s online photo gallery and to their Facebook profiles.”
Camella Mendez describes a publisher who is Insta-mixing-it-up, saying, “With more than 343K followers and anywhere between 5K and 20K likes per photo, Teen Vogue has a highly-engaged constituency on Instagram. Alongside the fact that Instagram’s users are typically young and female, is the magazine’s balanced content marketing approach. Teen Vogue posts images related to fashion trends, exclusive designer/collection previews, new products, events and more. Not only do they know what their readers want to find, by also posting behind the scenes photos from around their offices and exclusive events, the magazine gives its readers something they will only find on Instagram—in other words, a special reason to connect with them there.”
Lisa Buyers offers up several brands (from personal to media to B2B) whose Instagram profiles you can check for marketing ideas: PitchEngine, The NFL, Consigned Couture, Bethany Hamilton, Clark Little and CNN iReport.
Jason Miller offers a few more: “As far as B2C goes, Red Bull, Nike, and Rosetta Stone all have genius strategies. It can be a bit more challenging for B2B companies, but Marketing Profs has a fantastic presence on Instagram.”
Kim already mentioned Starbucks in the first post in this series, but James T. Noble has more to share about the coffee retailer’s creative use of Instagram: “Starbucks. They had the foresight to get on the Instagram train early on. They use the app to tempt their followers with pictures of tasty beverages, but they also subtly highlight the benefits of being a Starbucks customer—things like the atmosphere and the helpful staff—as well as building on their company identity by showcasing their involvement in community and charity projects.” I guess it pays to watch what Starbucks is up to on social media!
Philippe Gonzalez has an example from the automotive industry: “Ford actually organized the first european Instagram content around the hashtag #fiestagram and received more than 18,000 pics. Now a lot of companies are following in their steps; 54 of the the world top brands are on Instagram.”
“@Burberry does a fantastic job at promoting their brand and balancing it with a sense of belonging and self-actualization. If you browse around their profile you will see what they’ve been doing right. You’ll see a mixture of behind the scenes, destination, and runway audience shots. The behind the scenes and runway shots help promote a sense of being there, which creates a sense of belonging with their followers. The destination and on location shots help promote a person’s need for self-actualization in that these a locations they can travel to and that these are the clothes and accessories a person should be wearing when they do,” says Jason A. Howie.
“When a brand is a designer, like Rebecca Minkoff, or a celebrity, like Tony Hawk, they have the ability to blur the personal life-photographs with more promotional photographs. Both travel frequently and have families, which contribute to the authenticity of the brand,” says Brian DiFeo.