Instagram is becoming the world’s #1 social network for brand engagement.

With over 800 million active users, this visual content channel is packed with exciting creative tools:

  • Live video, Stories and gallery posts allow people to tell their story in multiple ways.
  • Hashtags and user-generated content can help brands and influencers spread their message far and wide.
  • Paid and influencer marketing can also be utilized to bring in sales and interactions.

 

Experimenting with all of these different avenues have helped the following five brands make the most of Instagram. Let’s take a closer look at some of their best pieces of creative content.

Brass Clothing – Problem-Solving With Wit And Enthusiasm

Meme culture is huge on Instagram. Brands that can keep up with the trends succeed with millennial audiences. Brass Clothing is well-practiced in using memes to promote their capsule wardrobe brand.

As a female-led business, Brass Clothing uses quotes and imagery to inspire women to excel in all aspects of life and outfit selection.

Brass Clothing is also not one to shy away from getting their female staff in front of the camera. Posts of staffers in featured ensembles create an emotional connection with followers.

This form of content builds consumer trust, as viewers can picture themselves wearing the same clothes. Getting employees in front of the camera also shows the human side of running a business.

Marketing experts like Seth Godin believe that customer advocates are made when companies focus on building close relationships with audiences. Don’t be afraid to also show important non-business-related milestones in your content.

Ban.do – Looking At Instagram Feeds As A Whole

Ban.do have a fresh Instagram aesthetic that is carried through every single one of their 6,400+ posts.

The cutesy homeware brand uses color-coordinated image borders to tie into seasonal themes. For example, with Valentines Day coming up, Ban.do has been displaying their prettiest pink and red gifts to promote themselves.

They are also known for posting charming shots of their products in use. These images allow audiences to get a sense of how Ban.do’s products can fit in with their lifestyles.

Through Stories, Ban.do also gives viewers a rose-tinted glimpse of the team’s outings and exciting new partnerships. Every clip is decorated with bold text, block-colors, and cute emojis.

In fact, pretty much everything on Ban.do’s feed feels like it’s been lovingly curated in advance of posting.

Balancing product promotion posts and news content has also been crucial to Ban.do’s Instagram success, according to Director of Social Media, Christina Winkelmann.

She believes that taking a holistic approach to feeds helps brands become a trusted source of design inspiration. Make the best use of scheduling tools to tell visual stories within the details of your posts. Think of how you can give audiences a glimpse of brand life through your unique viewpoint.

Califia Farms – Driving Sales With Video Storytelling

Experimenting with video storytelling on Instagram is a great way to play on your audience’s emotions. Califia Farms do a great job of using video posts to tell their brand story in compelling ways.

Taking the format of the How-To video, Califa regularly attracts upwards of 80,000 views to their recipe demonstration posts.

Yes, you can heat up our cold brew + make it *warm* brew.

A post shared by Califia Farms (@califiafarms) on

These How-To videos include text overlays, enabling viewers to watch without sound. They also always feature Califa’s fantastic packaging designs in the center of the shot. Simple imagery and storytelling methods are enough to get the brand’s message across on Instagram.

However, Califia farms also feature more cinematic treatments for their video promotions.

In this example, the brand uses aerial shots of their almond farm in California, the inspirational quote ties the footage to the emotions they wish to create in viewers. Namely, this post builds feelings of gratitude for the bountiful hills of California.

Almond Farms, Central Valley, California.

A post shared by Califia Farms (@califiafarms) on

In all of Califia’s posts, the use of white space and camera angles creates a recognizable aesthetic. For this short video, the host talks through her favorite non-dairy pairings over cuts of Califa products. This review post, shot in the house style, offers useful advice and increases brand awareness.

What happens when our Almondmilk Creamers meet superfood chef @superfoodjules?

A post shared by Califia Farms (@califiafarms) on

Look for ways you can create a house style with your video posts and be consistent with it. Find ways you can take your style and use creative storytelling methods to bring your products to life.

Black Milk Clothing – Building Social Proof With User-Generated Content

Black Milk Clothing is best known for their funky printed leggings. However, they should also be celebrated for their fantastic Instagram profile. With over 1 million followers, Black Milk utilizes user-generated content to inspire consumers worldwide.

Customers can tag themselves in their Black Milk purchases and appear on the brand’s feed and product pages. By creating an online store through Shopify, Black Milk uses Instagram integration app, TAGGD, to collate user-generated content automatically.

Black Milk’s social media team cites Instagram as their most important sales and customer engagement channel.

Through monitoring tools, Black Milk Clothing build strong relationships with their fashion-forward followers. They also like and comment on tagged posts, and take the time to research individual follower’s feeds.

From careful analysis of all of this data, the team has come up with new ideas for products, styling, and influencer marketing campaigns. Dig into the life and style decisions of your fans and use them as a source of inspiration.

Victoria’s Secret – Influencer Takeovers Adding Value To Niche Audiences

Brands that harness the power of influencer marketing can make huge strides on Instagram.

Niche influencers attract thousands of daily views with their honest opinions and product recommendations.

Often, the most popular influencer accounts will have spent years honing their unique brand aesthetic. These social networking icons will have an Instagram posting style that’s instantly recognizable to fans.

Brands like Victoria’s Secret set up Instagram Story takeovers to bring in new audiences. Through the brand’s connections with yoga wear, Victoria’s Secret enlisted the help of yoga enthusiasts @bethcooke_flow and @stellamaxwell. Under the hashtag #trainlikeanangel, these yoga influencers promoted their takeover content to their existing followers.

Through Live Video yoga classes, Victoria’s Secret included swipe-up links in the stream. This technique allowed followers to watch and take part in a yoga class, as well as purchase the outfits featured in the clip. 

For more ideas for making an impact with Instagram influencer stories, check out this previous post.

These are five vastly different brands making the most of Instagram in ways that are unique to their business. The takeaway lesson from these examples is to be true to your brand’s ethics and values. Social proof comes in many different forms. Staying consistent with who you are as a company will give you the grounding to explore your creativity as an Instagram brand.

 

Victoria Greene is a writer and marketing expert. She writes at Victoriaecommerce. Her blog is dedicated to helping brands get noticed on social media. Big fan on social selling and video content for ecommerce.