Instagram is a primarily visual platform and Instagram marketing has become an increasingly important medium for brands. What is cushioned by thoughtful captions, methodic strategy and what seems to be an endless amount of social hype is a highly visual core. If not for the sense of sight in the Instagram space, you’re left with very little to build and play off of. This can make the process of persuading a potential buyer feel incredibly constricted.
It can become challenging when your biggest goal as an Instagram business owner is to leverage the platform to secure sales and you’re given a very narrow channel to do so. However, the secret lies in learning to keep your audience engaged and stimulated through potent, high-quality audio/visual content. This matters because with such a limited scope in terms of the type of content you can put out, if you’re not offering substance to your audience, you’re not offering anything. There will always be another Instagram page, another campaign, another product raising the standards for content and engagement in your niche.
Much of Instagram’s consumer-base and much of the human population at large are heavily influenced by visual stimulus. Meaning, the choices they make, the paths they choose for themselves, the people they follow, and yes, the things they purchase, are a result of visual persuasion. This is why successful marketing is often exciting to look at, whether its a newspaper ad or a television commercial. By encouraging one to visualize and imagine themselves as a part of whatever they’re consuming, be it a product, relationship, or life circumstance, you’re creating an emotional connection purely based on aesthetics. A consumer wants to be able to see, and thus feel, themselves with whatever they’re seeking to purchase, to be convinced to buy. Your business on Instagram, and thus your sales in business, are at the mercy of these buyers. Your job then becomes utilizing visual perception to your advantage and playing off of this fundamental nature of your potential consumers. If you can create the emotional connection necessary for a visual buyer to make a purchase, you are securing sales for your business at large.
Many businesses in the Instagram space have completely mastered the visual art of the platform, each doing so in their unique way. To gain a better understanding of just how dynamically you can accomplish viewer satisfaction, let’s take a look at the marketing strategy of 18 of the leading visual brands on Instagram.
The content workspace company WeWork shares have an unassuming way of getting into the mind of the consumer. Through the highly visual content they share, they encourage the viewer to tap into what it might feel like to be a part of what they have going on. It’s not so much through sharing stories that WeWork connects with their audience, rather playing off the senses of the viewer to digitally immerse them in the WeWork experience.
Australian owned sun and skincare brand, Balibody creates a golden brown wonderland in the Instagram space by leveraging the aesthetic brilliance of models and influencers. The alluring nature of their content creates intrigue amongst their audience, who largely seeks to fit into the mold Balibody presents. Understanding their consumer’s biggest desires, and calling on the impact of beautiful brown bodies to effectively play the role has them seeing over $2 million in sales a month.
The Honest Instagram page has an undeniably clean and comfortable atmosphere to it. This company, which aims to bring transparency to motherhood, beauty and home life at large, has truly mastered their messaging. On a mission to rectify leading issues in their industry, so too have they rectified their customer’s biggest needs. It’s no surprise that their content represents a pillar of nourishment and refreshment, which is exactly the goal their products hope to fulfill.
The peak of Airbnb’s visual marketing comes into play on the Instagram platform. They exemplify what it truly means to get the audience’s imagination fired up and engage the visualizer inside. By sharing sneak peeks of homes around the world, and the stories of how they came to be, they spark the creativity within each of their viewers. Of all the possibilities for what life could be like inside of these homes and their accompanying cultures, how could you not daydream?
While most food-centric content displays highly enviable meals, Postmates takes a different, more branded approach. They showcase their company in a quirky and whimsical light, sharing celebrity anecdotes, recipes, and abstract food art. While not the foodie heaven you may have expected from a food delivery service like this one, their strategy is methodical and structured. They relate to their audience largely through humor and often strategically designed contests, keeping them engaged on an intellectual level.
6. So Worth Loving
The main mission of this company is to help its audience feel included, appreciated and loved. To remind their following that they are worthwhile, important and that they have a voice in this world. Through the content they share, they consistently push their narrative forward, all the while marketing their product line to those who need to be reminded most. What they sell is very much an accurate representation of their messaging and brings the conversation full circle.
In an online world that can easily begin to feel repetitive and lifeless, GoPro provides an element of excitement. Through the content they share, this brand perfectly speaks to the adventurous archetype of their audience. Sharing stories through the lens of their product, and building anticipation for what life might be like on the wild side, they create an exhilarating aura around their product.
What Charity Water packages best is empathy, compassion and the more graceful range of human emotions. By pulling at the heartstrings of their audience, they make getting involved and contributing an obvious process for their consumers. While they aren’t specifically selling any products, they are incredibly skilled at painting the picture of necessity and urgency in their projects
This tenting company taps into the stories of real buyers by largely promoting high-value user-generated content. Most of their content takes charge in the last place you would imagine, deep in the woods amongst the silence and tranquility of nature. They convey the exact experience their brand has to offer by transporting the viewer, and potential buyer, to the equilibrium of untouched land.
Life exists in a dusty rose hue on the social scape of clothing company Privacypls’s Instagram. This brand pulls from the desired aesthetics of their ideal customer to depict a compelling argument for the culture of their brand. Their ability to call on the mind’s eye and flirt with the viewer’s senses creates a cohesive and seamless flow that effortlessly calls you in.
Men’s care brand Harrys keeps their Instagram clear cut and to the point. Without beating around the bush, they artistically offer you clarity on what their products are capable of and how they might impact your life. With a focus on providing information about their products before all else, they manage to streamline their marketing process entirely. All of their content output is effective, efficient, and clean – just like their products.
Clothing brand MeUndies brilliantly strikes a balance between two different kinds of content to keep their feed professional, yet still warm and friendly. This company tends to toggle between sharing their own internal campaign photoshoots, and user-generated content. Keeping it honest, whilst maintaining an air of sophistication is what they do best, and is the perfect grounds for their customer’s satisfaction.
Cooksmarts Instagram is a seeming hodgepodge of content, from recipes and tutorials to meal plan guides, to behind the scenes content from their brand and everything in between. Meaning, their Instagram is a one-stop-shop for all information food-related. This keeps their audience coming back and purchasing, by portraying their brand in a trustworthy and reliable light.
Supplement brand Onnit has truly fine-tuned the craft of well-rounded content production. Everything their share is helpful to their clientele, motivating in the most necessary ways, and leave you feeling drawn to hit the gym and cultivate a healthy lifestyle. They provide their audience not only with exciting visual content but with the education and storytelling to back it up. They push the narrative of human optimization forward by keeping their audience engaged in both conversation and action.
15. Warby Parker
Warby Parker has long been a leader in influencer marketing and content creation. Through their Instagram page specifically, they make optometry digestible, understandable and even fashionable to the everyday person. By providing this value through clean visuals, they not only encourage their audience to get informed about what’s going on their eyes but establish trust along the way.
16. The Farmers Dog
Above everything else, what The Farmers Dog accomplishes best is highlighting their care and compassion for the health of your pets. They know more than anyone that your pets are integral parts of your family, and TFD’s mission is to support you in treating them as such. Through their content, they make their core values abundantly clear, by consistently demonstrating how they put the animals first.
This company has an obvious and intentional through-line to its Instagram branding. Simplistic graphics visuals and written content drive their content forward, while beautifully displayed recipes take the passenger seat. While basic, the potency of their message cannot be denied. They know what their product is, they know who their consumer is, and they know how to quickly and effortlessly bridge the gap between the two.
Shoewear company Teva relies on user-generated content to carry its messaging and encourages its audience to keep the ball rolling. By sharing the adventures accompanying their shoes, wherever they may go, they take a genuine approach to what their brand stands for. The rustic nature of their Instagram feed appeals to their target demographic and gives a glimpse into life through the lens of real consumers.
Visual marketing has never been more prevalent than it is now, and it’s impacting only continues to compound with social media platforms like Instagram. By understanding how to best connect with and speak to the buyer through what they see and perceive, you’re tapping into the core of what sales as a whole are truly about.