3 Bold Instagram Experiments to Boost Engagement

Whether B2C or B2B, Instagram is more crowded than ever before with brand content. Thanks to a consistently growing user base and a massive amount of photos posted each day, people have access to a seemingly endless amount of content. So how can you as a marketer make your brand rise to the top? We knew you’d ask, and we have three ideas for embracing new approaches to Instagram.

1. Design with Instagram in Mind

Need proof that this concept is the way of the future? Just look at Glossier, a rapidly expanding beauty brand that used Instagram to build a cult following. One essential tactic to their success? Designing products with Instagram photography in mind: Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss told Fortune, “We spent an enormous amount of time with an illustrator designing a really ornate, colorful illustration and sticker for the top of the product. You’re so excited to see that and take it out and take a picture of it, like you would food — the perspective of holding your iPhone over a plate of food.”

Glossier may be the current it-girl of brands going after the Instagram market, but they certainly aren’t the only brand to take this approach. Last year, Dotcom Distribution found that 39% of online shoppers posted an image or video of their purchase to social media, and smart brands are figuring out how to encourage even more social sharing. Stylized shipping boxes, like those by Birchbox, Net-a-Porter, Matchesfashion, and Reformation, create shareable moments the minute your latest order arrives on your doorstep. And when it comes to product packaging, surprise and delight moments go a long way. Think: the interior flap of a Glossier package which declares "Everyone says they're ‘low maintenance' (it's ok, neither are we)" or the bottom of Warby Parker's pool-inspired Home Try-On box which features an almost hidden swimmer.

2. Ask for Direct Feedback

In the last decade there’s been a seismic shift in the way companies collect product feedback. The always-on focus group of social media allows for a constant source of feedback, which equals huge opportunities for brands that know how to listen effectively. Couple this with the unique ability of Instagram to foster what feels like an intimate experience, and you have the perfect match for gathering feedback that can inform your product strategy.

By giving consumers influence over new products, brands can more effectively create products that consumers want. Lays struck this balance with its “Do Us a Flavor” campaign, which crowdsourced new chip flavors from social media followers three years in a row. The winning flavors are manufactured by the brand and given a place on the shelf in supermarkets across the nation.

3. Put Your Social Content IRL

In our increasingly social world, it’s no longer necessary that social media be isolated to an online-only experience.

Photos and reviews shared by peers can affirm the potential of a product to an unsure consumer.

 

In fact, bringing user-generated content to life through large-scale, interactive displays is a tremendous way to not only showcase continuously updated content but to also build brand trust through peer recommendations. Retail shops of all kinds can capture the attention of shoppers with a screen displaying aggregated UGC of products in use, and the consumers who enjoy them enough to share. In the “go big or go home” mindset? Model your approach after Foot Locker—they employ a 60-foot, two-floor UGC screen in their flagship Manhattan store. The power of UGC is undeniable: Consider the fact that 66% of people trust consumer opinions posted online—that’s 20% higher than the 46% of people that trust ads on social networks. So why not bring that power front-of-mind for in-store shoppers? It could mean the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity.

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As a digital marketer, Jennifer Goff spends her days amplifying the Spredfast brand and building meaningful connections with our community.