Since its inception in 2010 as a simple photo app, Instagram has grown exponentially to become one the top social media sharing platforms among Millennials (who have outstripped the baby boomer generation to become the most populous demographic in the United States) and Generation Z. Instagram has grown in usage from 2013 — from 37% of young adults (18-29) to 53% in 2014, according to a Pew Research survey. Furthermore, Instagram’s success is not limited to the United States; it is reported that in 2018, one third of global internet users will be actively using the platform.
Countless brands from almost every industry vertical, including Moët & Chandon, Stolichnaya, Wendy’s, Revolve, and Capital One have optimized their social media marketing strategies to target and engage active Instagram consumer audiences by determining which visual style is the most appealing.
Instagram’s user experience, a seamless feed of personally-curated images, has reshaped the way that we perceive others, and how we depict ourselves. This is also true for brands, who have realized the immense potential to target Instagram’s 300M active users, who share an average of 70M photos daily. To capitalize on this untapped and massive advertising opportunity, brands are evaluating their marketing strategies, sometimes moving away from heavily edited photos in exchange for a more realistic portrayal, and partnering with top social media influencers for high ROI campaign results.
A subsidiary of Moët & Chandon (of multinational luxury goods conglomerate, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy “LVMH”), Chandon is appealing to female Millennials in an effort to rebrand its image. Traditionally, Moët & Chandon is known for being a luxury European champagne. Like many brands seeking to quickly build audiences and brand affinity, Chandon partners with top social media influencers (recently top lifestyle bloggers Kelly Mindel of studioDIY and Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth).
Chandon has developed their strategy by focusing on a highly visual and aspirational lifestyle approach. Brands are utilizing real-time analytics to ascertain which visual style appeals to their audience. In doing so, Chandon has discovered that the “bottleshot” method (focusing the image on the product) performs the best, designed their packaging to be highly “Instagram-able,” and encourages users to share and tag their friends.
Also using on the “bottleshot” style for Instagram, Russian vodka brand Stolichnaya has seen the most engagement on images featuring the product and an accompanying recipe. Stoli’s director of marketing, Sarah Gorvitz, revealed that because of its success, the brand has increased Instagram “bottleshots” from 50% to 66%.
In an endeavor to appeal to the under-34 demographic, fast-food chain Wendy’s is modifying their social media strategy to appear more polished, yet maintaining an air of exuberance. In an interview with Digiday, group creative director Chris Corley, says that Wendy’s new strategy will be “warm and welcoming, and a tone that still stays true to Wendy’s but leaves the silliness at the door.”
Brands in all categories can leverage the reach and engagement of top social media influencers by advertising on Instagram. It has become the preferred social media platform due to its visual nature, which makes content easy and enticing to consume. Brands like BH Cosmetics (who recently partnered with top YouTuber Carli Bybel for a new product launch) and many other fashion and beauty brands have been able to measure their success with Instagram by noting an increase of product interest in-store that have been featured on their page.
Though the fashion and beauty industry has been quick to advertise on Instagram (see our post on Top Instagram Accounts: Fashion & Beauty), many other industries (ex. travel, tourism, hospitality & adventure; financial; automotive; food & beverage) are also finding high levels of Instagram marketing success by partnering with Instagram influencers. Both Capital One and Mercedes Benz executed recent Instagram influencer marketing campaigns. In recent research published in eMarketer, U.S. influencer marketing campaigns generated an impressive median return of $6.85 (with some advertiser categories netting $11+) for every $1 dollar spent.
As one of the first and leading agencies specializing solely in influencer marketing, Mediakix strategizes and executes some of the highest performing marketing campaigns for our clients including Hallmark, Blue Apron, Birchbox, David Yurman, and Sleep Number. Globally-recognized brands, top PR agencies, and digital marketing firms turn to us for proven, longstanding results across hundreds of ongoing campaigns year after year.
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