Updated: Oct 28
Entrepreneur, Lawyer, Author and Freelance writer
Since Instagram's inception, the platform has redfined social-media engagement. It is now the ultimate territory marketers set out to conquer, meaning competition is fierce and success has become increasingly elusive. But the good news is that thriving with Instagram marketing isn't about burning millions of dollars or hiring the most prominent influencer to share your posts. Rather, it requires more of a more nuanced approach to making an impression on the right target audience.
To learn from those who have mastered this craft to perfection, here are eight cases of Instagram marketing success that any of us could gain tremendous insight from.
The world’s most famous social-media family has its latest star in the form of young billionaire Kylie Jenner. While the 22-year-old was born into advantageous circumstances, it’s to her credit that Kylie Cosmetics blazed through a crowded market and boosted her rise to 10-figure status in a span of just three years. Part of that success was in how Kylie nailed Instagram with a heady mix of stories and live and interactive posts with a personal touch.
Remember last year's royal wedding? It was one of the most followed global events back in May 2018. But what on Earth did Lego have to do with it? After all, it’s just a brand that sells toy blocks, right? Wrong, and that’s because the company has always been at the forefront of reimagining important events. Seizing on the trending hashtag #RoyalWedding, Lego shared a video depicting the ceremony, as rendered with its signature blocks.
With more than 150,000 views of the video to this point, it's safe to say Lego struck marketing gold. The lesson for others is to piggyback on an already trending world event by making it your own with accompanying visuals on Instagram.
Rent the Runway
Product updates are always boring to users, especially if you are a fashion brand. But informing customers about them is necessary, so how can you fit them into your timeline in a way that’s filled with visually appealing images? Popular fashion-rental brand Rent the Runway has done exactly by grabbing and prominently posting user comments to highlight updates and providing more product details via the caption section in a brief, engaging and witty manner. This is a great example of how you can turn mundane info into an engaging visual if you use it wisely.
With more than 8,000 followers, Jonathan Jadali carries one of the few personal Insta-brands that not only boasts enough acolytes to earn the title of "influencer," but backs it up with expertise and intelligence. A 22-year-old, self-employed stock trader, Jadali made a fortune worth millions by investing in Bitcoin in the initial crypto boom and later selling all his crypto assets. Jadali and a lot of other micro-influencers like him are all the rage right now, but anyone with aspirations to follow Jadali's route needs to do more than just follow their passion. They also need to learn how to showcase their craft to the Insta-world. In other words, illustrate how your strategies have led to concrete results and shareable content in your day-to-day life.
What’s better than driving a gamified version of your otherworldly car? Tesla Motors did exactly that by partnering up with developers Vector Unit to integrate Tesla cars into their game, Beach Buggy Racing 2. The promotional video uploaded on Tesla's Instagram has garnered neartly two million views. The lesson here is clear: Find niche partnerships that allow you to easily identify and target an alternative, captive audience.
Most marketers wrongly hold the perception that going viral and garnering millions of views on a single post is what you should be after. While that strategy does bring dividends, you also need to learn from those who maintain steady, relevant influence. Airbnb is one such innovative company, and its Instagram timeline keeps us living the dream of global exploration day in and out. The brand continually sources user-generated content from different Airbnb locations around the world, thereby conjuring striking images that are bound to leave you yearning for more. Its timeline is beautiful and therapeutic, but it also generates a steady stream of engagement for every single post, which is a far better strategy for service-based brands than aiming for one-hit wonders.
Few companies make a more popular sneaker than Nike, that’s for sure, but can the same be said about its Insta-prowess? The answer is a definitive yes. The company recently came up with a brilliant strategy to spike interest in its upcoming new React shoe. The lauded campaign featured a React that was placed on top of pillows, springs and sponges, a unique way of conveying its universal comfort. Nike hit the sweet spot with this one, reaching seven million views once a complementary product-launch video was uploaded, and it was ultimately their most-watched post of 2018. Again, the biggest takeaway here is to understand the importance of buildups and relevant associations.
International Cricket Council (ICC)
This year's Cricket World Cup (CWC) recently took place in England, and while the action on the field was edge-of-your-seat stuff, do you know what lightened up ICC’s lukewarm Insta profile? A photo of Indian batting sensation Virat Kohli with an aged fan on the sidelines of the tournament. Garnering more than 1.7 million likes, the picture is surely the star performer from ICC’s CWC Insta-highlights. The lesson here is remember to value the power of emotions and how they can cut across boundaries.
No matter Instagram's new additions, uniqueness is a trend valued above all else on the platform, as exemplied in these eight cases. So remember to understand your audience and be creative in your pursuits. Engagement is defined not by numbers, but by how much it compels a user's attention.