By Shanna Mallon published February 11, 2013

Content Marketing with Instagram: 5 Takeaways From a Brand to Watch

watch anthropologie on social media

As a fashion retailer that’s built its brand on aesthetics, Anthropologie is a company to watch on social media. With more than 250,000 followers on Instagram (not to mention 250,000 followers on Pinterest, 664,000 followers on Facebook, and 370,000 followers on Twitter), Anthropologie demonstrates by example how fashion retailers — and other brands —can generate strong communities online.

Here’s a look at what the brand is doing well, along with ways you can follow its example to leverage Instagram to meet your content marketing goals. 

New releases

anthropologie - new releases

When Anthropologie released its January Lookbook, the company posted a photo of it on Instagram, along with a link. This built anticipation for followers about to receive it in the mail and expanded awareness of the publication, which features Anthropologie products.

Takeaway principle: From new products to new publications, Instagram is a great place to leverage content that calls attention to your most recent offerings.

Employees wearing the clothes

employees wearing the clothes

There’s no better way to showcase products than by showing someone using them. For Anthropologie, this means featuring pictures of staff members wearing its apparel. The ways staffers wear the clothes provide inspiration to customers, while also enhancing the value of the products — which makes more people want to buy them.

Takeaway principle: Look for visually appealing ways to create content that shows your products or services in action. If you sell cars, show people who are similar to your target audience driving them. If you clean commercial buildings, show the sparkling floors inside a happy customer’s office. Whatever you sell, content marketing on Instagram will help you show your followers what your product looks like as it’s being used, and help them see why they need to buy it.

Behind-the-scenes images

flowers- behind the scenes

A picture of flowers used in a Valentine’s Day shoot made its way into Anthropologie’s recent Instagram photos, giving followers a window into the daily life of the team that creates Anthropologie’s photos and other visual content marketing. The reason this is so valuable is that it builds deeper connections with your client base — the more they learn about your brand and its behind-the-scenes details, the more points of connection they are likely to find and engage with.

Takeaway principle: Show your followers what happens behind the scenes that makes your business work. If you’re a marketing company with traditional cubicles and office space, post occasional pictures of the goings-on at work. If you’re a restaurant, show ingredients being delivered the morning of a big event. Let your audience in on how you do what it is you do, and you have powerful content marketing that can help cement your bond with them — above and beyond a purchase.

#Hashtags

 

content-marketing-hashtag-anthropologie

Anthropologie is a master at initiating hashtag campaigns — not only do they feature particular products, but they also give followers a way to easily participate in the brand’s activities. The Anthropologie brand has been using the #HisPantsHerWay hashtag, for example, anytime it posts someone wearing its Charlie trousers. But one click on the #HisPantsHerWay link shows more than Anthropologie using the tag. Followers all over the world have joined in — and every time someone posts that hashtag, it promotes Anthropologie’s brand.

Takeaway principle: Brainstorm ways to use a hashtag to build community around your brand. You might follow Anthropologie’s example and pick a hashtag to use with a certain product you’re promoting — one that your audience is able to hashtag, too. Or you might hashtag a concept rather than a product — something that customers will associate with your brand’s image and personality.

Event photos

event photos - dj steffi

Anthropologie gives a glimpse into its events through Instagram photos like the one above of DJ Steffi at a Made In Kind event. Tagged with #AnthroEvents, these photos give followers a chance to see what’s happening at promotional parties and gatherings, as well as a way for Anthropologie to expand the content marketing reach of those events.

Takeaway principle: Sharing photos of exciting events — from staff parties to celeb-studded galas — interests fans on multiple levels. Find ways to capture engaging, attractive images from these happenings to share with your audience and make them feel like they are taking part in the fun.

What do you think? Could incorporating some of these principles expand your ability to use Instagram as a content marketing tool? Looking at your particular industry or subject matter, which of these options would be most effective in reaching your fans?

Interested in learning more about how to capitalize on hot social media trends like Instagram in your content marketing efforts? Read CMI Books’ “Capturing Community” by Michael Silverman for more great tips.

Author: Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a writer for Straight North, an Internet marketing agency headquartered in Chicago. She’s been writing professionally since 2004. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, and follow Straight North on Twitter and Facebook.

Other posts by Shanna Mallon

  • http://www.blog.lakako.com/ Danny Brunstein

    great post Shanna. Anthropologie has social media nailed! It would be interesting to see their social media activity as it relates to sales volume. Tying social media activity to sales is what all CEOs want to do. It’s just a matter of time before things are tracked to show the correlation.

    • http://foodloveswriting.com/ Shanna

      I agree, Danny. Would love to see those stats myself!

  • http://nitrogr.am/ Nitrogram

    Anthropologie are really mastering their visual marketing strategy. 270k followers on Instagram makes them one of the most followed brands accounts, and it’s easy to understand why.

    It’s interesting to see what, precisely, they’re doing that makes them so compelling. Hashtags, in particular, are very powerful on Instagram!

  • Derek Parker

    Instagram is the a good way to market your product…

  • Buy Instagram Followers

    Hi, I read many post on marketing in Instagram and many facts has been known from post. Thanks

  • http://writtent.com/ Sasha Zinevych

    This is lovely! Do you think Instagram is limited to B2C?

  • http://twitter.com/Resalin Resalin Rago

    Great article! As someone who used to work at Anthropologie as a sales employee, we were taught to always give customers the ultimate experience, a holistic view of customer service that includes visual displays and greetings at the door, to the charming tissue paper at the cash wrap. Anthro digital marketing is an extension of something they’ve always done extremely well–transforming customers into loyal, passionate brand ambassadors.

  • http://twitter.com/twainmark191 Mark Twain

    Informative post regarding content marketing with Instagram, thanks for sharing. socialbakers, hootsuite and socialkik are great sites for social media where you can increase to your followers and fans.