Instagram & YouTube Influencer Case Study: Canon Vs. Nikon

canon nikon case study
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Instagram & YouTube Influencer Case Study: Canon Vs. Nikon Photography Influencers

It’s no secret that Canon and Nikon are competitors. But when it comes to concocting the secret sauce of both brands’ marketing strategies, it appears the photography product manufacturers tap the shoulders of social media influencers. While we don’t examine each brand’s influencer marketing as cohesive campaigns, we can gather insights into individual influencer initiatives to understand how each brand leverages and execute this tactic.

Examining Canon & Nikon Through The Lens Of Influencer Marketing

jamie chung canon

Canon has multiple Instagram accounts representing different countries across the globe, and each handle has worked with different sets of influencers. In one of their largest influencer initiatives in 2016, they launched the #TagYoureIt campaign in partnership with Jamie Chung and 11 other influencers. Since then, they’ve also partnered with Instagrammers, such as actress Zoe Kravitz, to support their #LiveForTheStory campaign, as well as talented photographers, like Chelsea Kauai, for their #ShootForGreatness campaign. Further, they’ve worked with YouTubers, like photographer, Jessica Kobeissi, for professional photoshoots and product reviews.

Nikon has dabbled in the influencer environment as well, partnering with Warner Music Group for the SXSW Music event in the past. This gave Nikon a massive platform to display the camera’s versatile and high-quality features. The brand has also designated some of the world’s top photographers as official brand ambassadors, such as Daniel Kordan, an Instagram travel influencer.

Related Post: Exclusive Interview With Instagram Photographer Kyle Huber



Connect to a diverse audience to highlight the agility of Canon products and boost brand awareness to encourage other photographers to share their visual stories.

  • Campaign Hashtags:
    • #TagYoureIt
    • #LiveForTheStory
    • #ShootForGreatness


View this post on Instagram

Waves and endless shores.

A post shared by Nathan Walborn (@nathanscloud) on

Establish a unique connection between photography and music to showcase the product in action, as well as increase brand awareness by generating buzz on social media among a group of photography enthusiasts.

  • Campaign Hashtags:
    • #NikonWarnerSound
    • #NikonAmbassador


  • Channels: Instagram and YouTube
  • Influencers: Diverse range of creative photography influencers and storytellers.

For the most part, the sponsored influencers could be categorized as experts in photography, but some fell within the ranks of talented social media influencers with an emphasis on imagery. Looking at the content, a couple patterns are clear:

  • They rely on either Canon or Nikon camera equipment to fulfill their job or hobby requirements.
  • They receive a Canon or Nikon camera for use and review.
  • They use personal storytelling to share how the camera equipment enables them to capture life’s special and breath-taking moments.
  • This method of promotion comes across in an authentic manner, adding a personal touch to each message. In this way, fans are inclined to connect and relate to the influencers, while also growing their affinity for the product.

nikon brand ambassador

This method of promotion comes across in an authentic manner, adding a personal touch to each message. In this way, fans are inclined to connect and relate to the influencers, while also growing their affinity for the product.



  • Jamie Chung (#TagYoureIt) – Top Instagram fashion influencer with 1.1M followers.
  • Zoe Kravitz (#LiveForTheStory) – Model, actress, and world-famous storyteller with 3.7M Instagram followers.
  • Chelsea Yamase (#ShootForGreatness) – Instagram-famous photographer with 624.7k loyal followers.
  • Jessica Kobeissi (YouTube Review) – Photographer and YouTuber with over 1M subscribers.


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Which one is the most dangerous fish of the Atlantic Sea, shark or lion fish ?

A post shared by Daniel Botelho (@daniel_botelho_photography) on

  • Lindsey Byrnes (#NikonWarnerSound) – Photographer and Director of several high-profile brands with 68.6k Instagram followers.
  • Daniel Kordan (#NikonAmbassador) – World-famous photographer with 895.2k followers on Instagram.
  • Nathan Walborn (#NikonAmbassador) – A top Instagram influencer and creative photographer with 50.7k followers.
  • Jennifer Rozenbaum (#NikonAmbassador) – A boudoir photographer with 16k Instagram followers.



Social Reach

  • Instagram Views: 362,289
  • YouTube Views: 228,497
  • Instagram + YouTube Followers Targeted: 7,477,760


  • Instagram and YouTube Likes: 212,004
  • Instagram and YouTube Comments: 7,061
  • Canon Campaign Total Hashtag Usage: 800,746


Social Reach

  • Instagram Followers Targeted: 368,600


  • Instagram and YouTube Likes: 21,152
  • Instagram Comments: 462
  • Nikon Campaign Total Hashtag Usage: 75,393

Canon Inspires Through Instagram

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#sponsored by @canonusa//?Diving up. We woke up this morning to the calmest ocean I’ve ever seen in my life, like a surreal mirror into the horizon. Since this month’s #ShootforGreatness creative challenge with @canonusa revolved around weightlessness I knew it was the perfect time to try something with such unique conditions! I’ve always loved doing these jumping photos and wanted this one to reflect the almost disorienting sense of minimalism and floating on the sky that I felt that morning. If you want to try your own shot like this you can use any shallow glassy surface like a puddle and shoot from a low angle 🙂 – Shot on Canon EOS Rebel T7i High speed continuous 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM 
ISO 400 
SS 1/2000 
#TeamCanon #Borabora #levitation #EOSRebelT7i

A post shared by Chelsea Y.✨? Hawaii + Travel (@chelseakauai) on

Canon utilized a combination of hashtags to promote different campaigns, each centering on select influencers to amplify the message. In a sponsored Canon post, Chelsea Yamase, also known as Chelsea Kauai, featured the #ShootForGreatness hashtag as part of Canon’s challenge to capture a “weightless” moment. Her picture is a thrilling yet serene photo shot using the Canon EOS Rebel T7i. With over 625,000 followers seeking awe-inspiring adventures, Chelsea’s long-form photo caption generated over 60,886 likes and over 1,000 highly engaged comments. One fan even commented, “This is an incredible shot Chelsea!! I love Canon cameras!”

Canon Partners With YouTubers For Practical Reviews

On YouTube, Canon partnered with Jessica Kobeissi, a fashion and portrait photographer with over 1 million subscribers. In her video review, she highlights the ability to snap cool confetti shots with an easy-to-use yet professional Canon camera. Framing her photoshoot as a confetti tutorial, she demonstrates the versatility of the camera to an audience that already seeks out her clever photography tutorials. Jessica received 100,641 views and over 1,500 comments from viewers discussing the tips and tricks, and commenting about the features of the camera or the results of their own photoshoots.

Nikon Throws Event

In partnership with Warner Music Group for the SXSW Music event, Nikon aimed to reach an audience interested in both music and photography. The event led to greater exposure through Lindsey Byrne’s multiple Instagram posts covering the event, one of which featured a well-known music artist, Paramore. Through her four posts documenting the event and a following of 69,000, Lindsey put Nikon’s camera in focus for a primed audience.

Nikon Taps Ambassadors

Nikon uses a similar approach on Instagram, identifying top-tier photographers to wear a badge of ambassadorship. Notably, Nikon partnered with photographer, Jerry Ghionis, who features his title as a Nikon Ambassador in his Instagram profile. In one of his sponsored posts, he points out the effortless beauty of a model captured by his Nikon camera. He also includes camera specs within his caption, which spurs his fans to comment with questions or food for thought on which Nikon camera equipment they should use. With just over 60,000 followers, Jerry’s photo earns 2,278 likes and 14 engaged comments.


  • Instagram influencers boost awareness of both photography equipment brands, weaving the camera’s practicality into the influencer’s photography routines.
  • Canon’s YouTube influencers help fans witness the photography in action, with useful insights into prep, execution, and post-production.
  • Partnering with well-established photographers proves invaluable for both Canon and Nikon, with Nikon dedicating a more organized approach to tabbing brand ambassadors, while Canon initiates more organized hashtag campaigns for increased exposure.
  • Canon’s approach to influencer partnerships enables the brand to reach a wide audience and resonate deeply with a niche group of people looking to capture beautiful moments with a versatile camera.
  • Nikon builds upon its base of professional brand ambassadors to gain meaningful exposure among their audiences, and leverages their expertise to instill a sense of professionalism and practicality among photography enthusiasts.