Instagram Publishes a Book of Brilliant Marketing Campaigns

Looking for marketing inspiration? Artsy social media platform, Instagram, has published a hard-copy handbook to help guide companies to branding greatness via the photo-sharing channel. 

Instagram for Business profiles the Instagram campaigns of 11 marquee brands, including Disneyland, Patagonia, and Chobani. The network also set up a Tumblr account (also called Instagram for Business) that features impactful photos from innovative brands, along with tips for businesses posting on Instagram. Which is a good thing, because Instagram has noted that the book “isn’t broadly available,” and there’s no link to purchase it at present.

“When it comes to brands and businesses, our goal is to help companies reach their respective audiences through captivating imagery in a rich, visual environment,” reads a passage on Instagram’s Tumblr site. “One way we can do this is by providing new resources and tools to educate and inspire marketers.”

A recent Instagram post from Warby Parker, one of the brands featured in the new Instagram book, introducing a new frame color way.

Complementing the fantastic visuals in the book and on the site are tips for marketing on the network. A few of our favorites:

  • Be true to your brand. Ensure that your imagery expresses a clearly defined personality and voice. Photos from eyeglass retailer @warbyparker, featured in the handbook, never feel overly staged or serious, but instead draw from trends in the Instagram community to reflect the company’s quirky creativity.
  • Share experiences. Offer a view into the world or lifestyle that your brand makes possible through the eyes of the people who use your products and services. The customer images and videos shared by @gopro prompt viewers to wonder what moments they could capture with a GoPro.
  • Find beauty everywhere. Show how your company sees the world and make it meaningful to people. General Electric (@generalelectric) showcases the beauty of their technology by transporting people to giant jet-engine factories and remote wind farms, capturing the machines with elegant symmetry and imparting the grand scale of these man-made wonders.
  • Know your audience. Learn what people love about your brand, and explore how can you capture the imagination of new customers. Mission Bicycle (@missionbicycle) takes the beautiful simplicity that customers love about its bicycles and uses imagery on Instagram to turn these everyday objects into works of art.
An image from General Electric’s Instagram account.
But the best lessons from the handbook can be found in the photographs. 

The best Instagram images highlight bold shapes and lines—the platform’s effects interface is too crude to showcase fine detail, so use broad strokes. And, above all, be casual in your approach to compositions. This can be particularly difficult for jewelry and other luxury retailers, many of whom have the instinct to present fine goods in an exhaulted way—i.e., an engagement ring on a velvet pedestal under an LED light.
Instead, try setting up tableaux that play against the innate beauty and value of your jewelry. It’s a more modern approach and one that jibes perfectly with the social generation.
Who’s to stop you from photographing that 2 ct. diamond ring on a 2-year-old’s finger—or peeking out from under a pile of dirt? Go for the unexpected and watch your imagery go very, very viral.
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JCK Magazine Editor