10 Best Practices For Your Next Instagram Campaign

Posted by Alex Ditty on Oct 3, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Tips from these top brands will change the way you approach Instagram marketing.

Instagram campaigns encourage people to share content which allows you to engage them and leverage their content for authentic user-generated promotion. The campaigns that we’ve run with our clients have taught us a few best practices that we’ll share with you to maximize the effectiveness of your Instagram marketing. Follow these 10 tips to grow your Instagram following, engage your audience and increase your organic social promotion.

1. Get involved with your customer’s activities - David’s Bridal

David’s Bridal launched the #FallingforDB campaign to connect with brides-to-be through their inspiration for their big day. The David’s Bridal team knew that individuals who are planning their wedding often share the bouquets and decorations that inspired their own wedding design. They joined their fans in this sharing and encouraged them to include the hashtag #FallingforDB on their wedding inspiration pics for a chance to win gift certificates towards their dream wedding. Connecting with your community through a campaign can be accomplished simply by joining in on the conversations you know they’re already having. David’s Bridal understood what their community was sharing and took that opportunity to connect with them.

To grow the content generation for your next campaign, learn what your community is already sharing and use that as an opportunity to connect with them through your campaign.

Learn what your community is sharing with SEEN Insights


2. Showcase your community’s creativity - Barnes & Noble

Because campaigns are used to connect with fans and gain content to promote your brand, what better way to achieve those goals than by letting your fans get creative? Barnes & Noble took advantage of this opportunity by running their #GetPopCultured Costume Contest. They encouraged their fans to go to their local Barnes & Noble to share a photo of themselves in costume for a chance to win gift cards. And their fans got very creative with the costumes! This gave Barnes & Noble the ability to both identify their most passionate fans as well as generate some inspiring content from within their store.

Your next campaign can give your fans an opportunity to get creative and produce their own ‘moments’ with your brand to share with their followers.


3. Provide a lot of opportunities to participate - espnW

espnW launched the #98daystoshine Instagram contest to connect with their social audience and give them an opportunity to showcase their fit lifestyles all summer long. This campaign excelled in its ability to give participants multiple opportunities to participate. The campaign consisted of 98 daily challenges with prizes enticing fans to share. This became an effective way to encourage an increased amount of content.

When you’re activating your next Instagram campaign, consider giving your community several chances to participate by offering different prize categories or various challenges.


4. Offer a great prize - Maui Jim’s & Sunglass Hut

Maui Jim’s sunglasses are known for the clear vision they provide - once you try them on, you’ll see the difference. To get more people to experience the difference in quality, Maui Jim’s and Sunglass Hut ran a campaign encouraging their prospective customers to come into the store and share a picture of themselves trying on the sunglasses for a chance to win a trip to Maui. To up the ante on the sharing and the fun of the campaign, Sunglass Hut also included a Maui backdrop in the store providing a great photo op. Running campaigns with a large grand prize like a trip to Maui is certainly enticing enough to encourage people to participate in your promotion.

For Maui Jim’s this prize was included as a way to get people to try on their sunglasses. For your campaigns, consider ways you can offer a grand prize to encourage prospective customers to experience your product or service.


5. Provide clear calls to action - Indy 500

Every year the Indy 500 is one of the top sporting events with thousands of loyal fans traveling from all over the country and world to get to the race. To showcase their enthusiasm, Indianapolis Motor Speedway ran the #Indy500orbust campaign encouraging fans to share photos of the build up to race day. Leading up to the race, they inspired photo worthy moments for their fans by sending them #Indy500orbust “hitchhiking signs”. At the race, the IMS leveraged “Instagram Spots” showing off the best vantage points to take photos and videos. Showing their fans what moments to capture and where to capture them was an easy way to get people to participate.

For your brand, consider what moments and experiences you can create to encourage fan participation and sharing with your campaigns.


6. Event Activation - Ford

At specific events you have the opportunity (and some would argue obligation) to engage your audience with social media. There is probably no better example of these activations than Ford Motor Company at their auto shows. Ford engages their audience by displaying their hashtag all over their booth and highlighting the posts from fans, making the experience just as much about these fans as it is about Ford.

When your business is running an event, consider ways to display your promoted hashtag and your fans’ content to engage them and show off your brand through their eyes.


7. Influencer Activation - DICK'S

The content that’s generated from your campaign is largely dependent on how well you’re able to get people involved in the content creation for the campaign. One of the best ways to activate these campaigns and get people involved with is through authentic influencer promotion. DICK’S Sporting Goods used influencers to activate their #runfor campaign. The campaign centered around the Pittsburgh marathon, and DICK’s tapped Snapfluence influencers to activate their followers with posts sharing the reasons they run and encouraging their followers to do the same.

The activation of your campaign is a critical component not to be forgotten. Consider promoting your campaign with influencers to grow the involvement through their targeted influencers.

Amplify your Instagram Marketing with Snapfluence

8. Continue the engagement - University of South Carolina

One of the most difficult aspects of engaging your community on Instagram is continuing the engagement longterm. The University of South Carolina solves for this by continuously running multiple campaigns. All over UofSC’s Horseshoe and the rest of campus you will find various hashtags promoting initiatives the university is running. The campaigns are a great way for UofSC to continue their engagement with their current and prospective students.

We always encourage brands to not just run a single one-off campaign but rather look for ways to build long term engagement with their audience. Building interactions from several campaigns may be the answer for you.


9. Leverage UGC for your marketing - Pocono Tourism

The content from your campaigns is very effective in providing authentic promotion for your brand. Pocono Tourism utilizes content from their #TakeOnPocono campaign to showcase the Pocono Mountains in a more authentic light with visuals from their community. We recommend this with all clients who are looking for content to highlight their brand. But before you decide how you’ll leverage this content, decide how you'll gain rights to this content. Like many other clients, Poconos utilizes SEEN Registration to gain permission from their participants for utilizing the content shared with their campaign.


10. Gain targeted leads from Instagram

By leveraging SEEN Registration, you can use your Instagram campaign as an opportunity to gain valuable targeted leads for your business. The participants in your campaign are people who are clearly interested in your brand. A registration process gives you the ability to capture those individuals’ contact information including their email address to grow your relationship with them for future marketing initiatives. With a typical campaign conversion rate of over 40%, nearly half of all participants in SEEN Instagram campaigns are coming back to build a stronger relationship with that brand. 

Instagram Campaign Planning Guide

Instagram campaigns are valuable ways to connect with your fans and promote your business. By leveraging these 10 tips, you can take your social media marketing initiatives to the next level. These tips are best leveraged with a well thought out Instagram campaign. Utilize our Instagram Campaign Planning Guide to launch your next fan engagement promotion!


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