With 300 million daily users and 95 million photos uploaded each day, Instagram is now hard for any brand to ignore. It is changing consumers’ expectations around the type of experience they want from retailers and, as a result, ‘Insta’ influencers are quickly becoming a ‘must-have’ in any marketing toolkit. They give brands the ability to promote specific products and build brand associations in a more immersive, authentic-feeling way than is possible via overt digital advertising, and the method has the added plus of bypassing the growing issue of ad blocking! Linking up with influencers can give instant access to a vast audience and more control over reaching your target vs. programmatic options. Here we take a look at some great examples of how brands are harnessing this phenomenon.
Getting really vast reach by getting real
Fashion brands are ditching models and, in order to get that crucial Instagram reach, making social media stars the kings and queens of the catwalk. Dolce and Gabanna filled its Milan Fashion Week show with a whole host of influencers, getting 1.2 million likes from a single picture – far more than the brand would muster by posting a model alone. And it’s not just high-end fashion that’s using influencers. Brands across all sectors are getting in on the action – from Birchbox through to Motel Rocks, Virgin Active to Bacardi.
Standing for something – connecting with beliefs and style ambitions
For a company, linking up with influencers who connect emotionally with their audience, take a strong stance on topics and speak in a convincing, authentic voice, is a great way of helping it become a trusted advisor or style authority. The kudos rubs off and brands can dial up a sense of #Belonging by coming to stand for the same attitudes and beliefs as the individual promoting their product. For example, Mother Pukka, who has strong views on improving flexible working for UK parents, connects her followers with the likes of M&S and Little Dish. This ultimately supports these brands’ attempts to bond with parents on a higher level than just selling them kids’ products. Thenativefox (edgy female fashion), thedesignchaser (interior design) and Discerning Man (male fashion and grooming) are just a few other examples of influencers who have significant power to enhance the image of the brands they promote.
Building partnerships with ‘tiny influencers’
We’ve also seen more brands trialling partnerships with smaller influencers who may have a smaller reach, but enjoy a more loyal base of followers. Finding these influencers allows brands to offer them something in return by means of great coverage to help grow their following. For example, NOTHS harnesses the beautiful imagery of rockmyfamily to talk Easter.
We believe influencers are becoming a cornerstone of retail brand strategies and a commonplace consideration within the marketing mix. With Instagram still booming, their influence can only grow
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