Instagram is one of the largest social networks in the world and thanks to its discovery feel, absolutely invaluable to retailers. If you get your Instagram strategy right, you can use the platform to drive better engagement and rack up more sales.
The idea is to use the platform, which emphasises visual content, to voice your brand personality and values, and also to keep your business at the forefront of customers’ minds. But this requires a great deal of planning and careful execution.
As an image sharing site, Instagram gives consumers the sense of having stumbled over a great new find – fuelled by influencers, ads and stories. If you’re struggling to build your Instagram tribe and aren’t seeing returns from the platform, read on for some serious inspiration from five retailers killing in on the ’Gram right now…
You’ve probably heard of Moleskine – they make amazing, beautiful notebooks and stationery.
But they might not leap out as a brand that nearly two-hundred thousand people follow on Instagram. After all, how can they use their products to engage and entertain audiences? As it turns out, they use them very well indeed to this end. Moleskine takes what their brand is good at – high quality, luxury products – and translates that into compelling visual content.
The company achieves this by showing its products in use, often featuring amazing calligraphy or sketches created by customers using their notebooks, engaging fans and showing them what they could have. Another term for this would be ‘aspirational selling’. It’s something Moleskine does very well, without ever being overly-selly. It’s a great example of a business extrapolating out their brand values to better engage with people, and it works.
Right now, Adidas has over 21 million Instagram followers, making them one of the most successful retail brands on the platform.
Instagram has accrued this vast number of followers by using their Insta account to generate and grow awareness of their brand. The tools they use to do this are photo and video content. What Adidas does is to feature its products in every post, but it makes the content unique, exciting and engaging. This usually means fit people in yoga positions, scaling walls and everything else most of us less active or stuck behind a desk users wish they were doing.
Adidas’ Insta is a masterclass in sharing and promoting products with visual content, using creative ways to distinguish itself from other brands in the same market.
One of the defining factors of Lush is its colourful, handmade products, but another, just as important part of the brand, is customer service. You can’t walk into a Lush store without a friendly member of staff helping you out. Lush has used what it’s best at to dominate Instagram.
Yes, Lush’s feed is full of colour and shows off a vast array of products, but it's in engagement where the account really excels. Lush replies to nearly every comment on its posts – if its sane and relevant, that is – and customers love them for it. This type of engagement doesn’t just mean customers feel valued, although that is hugely important, it also means that Lush can provide answers and push products when customers are interested.
When it comes to content for Insta, GoPro is in a unique position. It provides reliable, weatherproof action cameras that can traverse any environment. And, to GoPro’s benefit, this is also where the vast majority of its Instagram content arises.
GoPro runs competitions every single day like ‘Video of the Day’ to entice followers to upload their own adventurous exploits. This level of engagement is something most companies dream about, and any brand would pay a hefty sum to have product users begging to show off how much they love their purchase.
GoPro now has 14 million followers and rising, and it’s all from encouraging users to share their content and experiences.
Currently sitting pretty at 7.4 million followers, ASOS takes a unique approach to the Insta platform, and it’s worked out very nicely.
What ASOS does that’s smart is regularly partner with influencers to drive engagement, boost follower numbers and get products in front of the right audience. These partnerships work out well for both parties, as the ASOS brand gets a boost of cool and the influencer gets a reciprocal surge for their follower numbers along with a paid sponsorship or free apparel.
The idea here is to use people who can exert influence over others and ensure that their Instagram weight and tone is perfect for the brand. A successful influencer collaboration can provide enormous benefits, and it’s something ASOS does exceptionally well.
If your Instagram could do with a healthy dose of followers and engagement, give us a call to find out how we can help.