The holidays are over and everything has returned to ‘normal’ online. The buying frenzy has passed and brands can sit back and relax for a while. That’s certainly one way to go. But the other, more lucrative path has you clicking on, “continue mastering Instagram as if my brand’s life depended on it” – because in all honesty, it does.
Let’s look at some things savvy brands are paying attention to online, and lessons we can learn from them to apply to any brand’s Instagram marketing strategy.
Bandersnatching Your Way Around
Top trends in fashion, beauty and fitness abound online, particularly on Instagram – and we’ll get to a few examples in a moment, but first we have a timely matter to discuss, as alluded to above – making choices that affect each consecutive step your brand takes. And this is precisely what the new, instant cult hit, Bandersnatch illustrates pretty exquisitely.
Not only is the show wonderfully visual, it’s shocking, memorable and fun. That last bit is the most important, with viewers wanting to be part of it.
And that’s our first lesson: Make your Instagram campaign fun and interactive any time you’re able to.
Joining in on the fun is addictive, with more than thirty thousand posts on Instagram alone. And the emotions it generates show why:
And the more folks that participate, the more awareness your efforts will generate. Sometimes you get lucky, and that ‘fun’ is entirely fan created and unintentional, as we’ve seen recently from the overhyped and majestically meme worthy, Bird Box:
The posts are all over Instagram and most social channels right now. As are videos of people taking the Bird Box Challenge.
Netflix has responded to the phenomenon with concerned warnings, covered by media outlets webwide, urging memers to be careful when participating in the Bird Box Challenge that somehow sprung up spontaneously. But warnings didn’t dissuade those enamored with the Tide Pod Challenge, and if you can’t stop kids from eating chemicals, you’ll have less luck battling blindfolds!
Finding a way to embrace audience activity (when it isn’t dangerous) is always best – and is our next lesson learned: Showcase segments in ways that surprise and delight them. And while you’re at it, it doesn’t hurt to make them feel like they belong to a group made just for them!
Rent the Runway has mastered this tactic.
They also had a holiday promotion where they combined doing good with doing more good; asking followers to “Nominate an amazing woman to win a year of unlimited clothes from RTR!”
Even if they didn’t participate, the views they were able to capture and interest the offering generated were worth lots more (financially) than the donations – though the donations created immeasurable value from an audience loyalty standpoint.
Lesson: Create ways for customers to feel good about your brand, and about themselves.
And this was held during the holidays, so participants were in that giving spirit and feeling gooey about all things kind. Smart marketing and smart timing.
Our next lesson speaks to that: Tying campaigns to social media holidays works really well with some forward planning.
It’s not just traditional holidays that require forward planning and/or can be exceptional promotional opportunities for brands. There are no less than a gazillion social media holidays in existence and looking up a few relevant options to target each year makes sense.
Take Athleta, for instance. They’re a yoga and athletic clothing brand, focused on empowering women of all shapes and sizes – and their Instagram is an awesome bit of “how to run a successful Instagram contest” business! Their #nationalbestfriendday promotion was on point: “It’s #NationalBestFriendDay. 👯♀️ Tag your BFF and let us know what they mean to you for a chance to win $100 Shop Card for each of you. After all, the bestie things in life are free.”
The sentiment around Athleta (measure of brand love from -100 to 100) says it all:
What you don’t want to do when it comes to any sort of holiday promo, of course, is wait till the last minute and create a lame yodeling cat video in hopes it will go viral. It may (go viral) – many years later, in a post referencing the many reasons why it shouldn’t exist (to sum up: it’s creepy, low budget and gives a sense that Walmart is poking fun – and pretty meanly – at its client base). Lesson: Don’t do this. On any platform.
We can help you discover lots of lessons specific to your brand marketing on Instagram and elsewhere. It requires social listening, accurate sentiment analysis and a tool able to track converged media in one place.
Reach out and we’ll take you for a spin. Or click that other option to the left, to coast through Q1 as your competitors ramp up.