5 Brands That Killed It Creatively on Instagram

3 min read
Jul 1, 2015 2:02:56 PM

When it comes to social media, most marketers focus their campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, the biggest of the big platforms. But, in doing so, they miss out on what the other platforms have to offer – and Instagram, in particular, has quite a bit to offer these days. Instagram is an effective marketing tool because it’s a great place to showcase your brand’s creativity and get your content noticed. If you’re wondering how exactly that can be done, check out the Instagram campaigns from these finalists in the Shorty Awards of 2015! Here are 5 tips for compelling Instagram content, as demonstrated by five brands that killed it creatively on Instagram:

1. Airbnb – Easily Available Products
Airbnb allows its users to book accommodations in properties all over the world by matching them with property owners looking to rent. Their Instagram features photos of some of the beautiful and exotic locations and houses where users can stay. But, the reason they made it onto the final list wasn’t just because of their gorgeous photos. They cleverly added links in their description that bring users directly to the booking page for their properties. With the link right there, it’s hard to resist clicking! Making it easy for your customers to buy what they want is key, and Airbnb showed us all how it’s done.
Image credit: Airbnb 

2. Mercedes-Benz – User Interaction
It might seem difficult for a car company to successfully interact with customers through Instagram, but Mercedes-Benz made it work. They recognized the importance of the “build-your-own-car” tool that features on so many car manufacturers’ websites (including their own), but they also realized that only their site’s visitors had access to the program. To fix that, they created one new Instagram account for each step of the process, added links where appropriate, and ended up with a way for users to build their own car through Instagram. They engaged their followers, and their followers loved it. 

3. Google Glass – Hashtags and Featured Photos
Google Glass might not seem like the epitome of “marketing genius.” The product was buggy, expensive, and, ultimately, received so much backlash that it was taken off the market. However, in spite of the mistakes made with the Google Glass itself, the marketing strategy was – and continues to be – clever. Their Instagram account, which continues to be updated, invites Google Glass owners to take photos with their Google Glass, post them to Instagram, and tag them with #throughglass. The official Google Glass account then chooses some of the best to feature. Their success shows how to capitalize on the power of the hashtag, as well as Instagram users’ desire to be featured on a big brand’s account.

Image credit: Google Glass

4. Applebee’s – UGC to the Max
Applebee’s recognized the potential of user-generated content (UGC) as well, but they went a step further. In an ongoing campaign, they decided that, for a whole year, they would post only photos taken by their customers, called “fantographers.” None of their own content will appear on their Instagram until the campaign ends. Like Google, they realized that most Instagram users want to increase their followers, and being featured on other accounts is the best way to get seen by more people. Plus, they’re getting involved with their customers in a way that many other brands aren’t.
5. Expedia – Creative Contests
Unlike the other entries on this list, Expedia is not just a finalist; Expedia is a winner. Their campaign is called “#ThrowMeBack,” and it incorporates easily available products, user interaction, hashtags, featured photos, and UGC – everything on this list. But, they also have a little something extra. Expedia created a contest with a compelling prize: Instagram users were invited to share old photos of themselves with the hashtag #ThrowMeBack, and the lucky winners would win a trip back to the location where the photo was taken in order to recreate it. Having a concrete and desirable prize launched Expedia’s campaign to the top, and won them the 2015 Shorty Award. 

Now that you know the secret to success on Instagram, you can use these five creativity tips to make your brand stand out!

Want more helpful social media tips? Find out how to convert Facebook fans into customers!
How to engage your customers with facebook


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