In Content Marketing, Social Media

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has quickly grown to be one of the most relevant social media platforms. Differing from other social networks, Instagram allows for quickly digestible content that makes engagement accessible and provides repeated touch points for consumer brands to connect with their customers.

With more than 300 million active monthly users, it’s obvious why many brands are attempting to capitalize on the reach of this social network. Instagram also boasts higher rates of engagement than all of its social media competitors. According to a Forrester study, six of the seven social media platforms they studied had engagement rates of less than .1%. Instagram, on the other hand, generated an engagement rate of 4.21%, completely blowing the other networks out of the water. According to a study by research firm L2, Instagram also converts browsers to shoppers more effectively than any other networks. Consequently, if you’re a brand looking to capitalize on Instagram’s high rates of engagement, how do you craft your posts to drive engagement and ultimately sell your product?

We’ve dissected the top 5 consumer brands on Instagram for some of the best strategies:

Focus on the Image

Because Instagram is a photo-sharing site, it’s important to focus on the image.  People are on Instagram to see quality images, so give them what they want. Nike’s strategy focuses on letting the image do the work, catching interesting and beautiful shots that show people being active and wearing their gear. However, their product is not the main focus, there are no product descriptions or suggestions to buy. Instead the images are paired with captions and their hashtag #justdoit, encouraging their audience to be active and seize the moment.

Nike Instagram Waterfall. A map is just a suggestion. #justdoit  Nike Instagram Surfer. Catch of the day. #justdoit Nike Instagram athlete jumping on a bench. Set the benchmark. #justdoit

Make it Art

The Instagram community has been a proponent of photography as an artform that anyone can participate in and enjoy. Brands like Adidas have capitalized on this culture and transformed their product into Instagram works of art. Unlike Nike, Adidas does focus on their product. Almost all of their posts have one of their shoes in them. However, they transform their product from something you might buy into something you admire.

Circle of Adidas shoes. Instagram. NYC? Check. Where to next? #teamadidas Black and blue Adidas Instagram shoes. Ice cold energy on the streets of NYC. #ultraboost Black Adidas Instagram Shoes. And the street goes on. #kickoftheweek

Regram It

One of the best ways to engage your audience is to encourage audience participation. Both Starbucks and GoPro understand that crowd content encourages engagement and makes you more relatable as a brand. Using their brand hashtags, both companies find consumer posts that promote their brand and “regram” them on their feed. Both of these top brands have created a culture around sharing images of their products (or in GoPro’s case, images taken by their product) which leads their consumers to become their main marketing tool.

Istagram Starbucks coffee on a snowy day. Brave the cold winter, just don't go at it alone. #CoffeeLove #RegramInstagram Starbucks You and Me chalkboard. #Regram. #StarbucksDate Instagram GoPro Man Surfing. Photo of the day. Make sure to share your photos with us.

Be Relevant

TopShop, a fashion retail company, capitalizes on current trends and events in order to stay relevant and involve themselves in the conversation.  During New York Fashion week, TopShop included behind-the-scenes moments from the shows and shared photos and videos of their outfits on the catwalk. They also tailored their posts for Valentine’s Day with images of hearts and love-filled captions.

Instagram Topshop. Happy Valentines day, written on a mirror. #topshop #valentines #valentinesday #love #lips #lipstick #topshoplipbullet #redlips  Instagram Topshop model on runway. Rock seaside stripes for yourself. Head to website to shop the catwalk collection

Humanize It

The nature of Instagram allows brands to humanize themselves. Instagram provides brands the ability to capture spontaneous images of their employees and consumers making them feel more relatable and real. Involving their customers in their strategy, like with Go Pro’s “photo of the day,” allows them to capture a diverse range of experiences and emotions that are authentic and not constructed.

GoPro Instagram man skiing. Photo of the day @duelago says, "Bluebird day with 1/2 meter of powder. Epic!" GoPro Instagram couple skydiving. Photo of the day. "I love the view from up here!" #skydiving GoPro Instagram man on an icy bridge. Photo of the day. Serkan Tahir takes in the Northern lights in the daytime.

If you visit any of these brands Instagram feeds, you’ll notice that they all use variations and combinations of these strategies. Instagram creates a space where brands can engage with consumers in an authentic and exciting way, and will ultimately drive people to buy your product. And with 300 million followers, it’s sure to be worth your while.

What are some of your best Instagram tips? Follow us on Instagram!


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