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10 companies win on Instagram Advertising

10 companies win on Instagram Advertising

Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, tells us that users’ interactions within the platform are increasingly with people they have never met.

Whether it’s a niche influencer with a small following or a large multinational company placing ads, Instagram remains the place to be if you want to get in front of a social audience.

That said, Instagram is no place for those who lack creativity or authenticity. This is a highly competitive platform where companies live and die of the quality of their content.

In this column you will find examples of 10 companies from a wide range of industries that are definitely killing it with their Instagram advertising content today.

1. Honey book

Honeybook is a client experience and business management platform, which is not necessarily the sexiest material for most people – but they make it work!

How do they do it? By finding a good balance between useful advice in digestible form and lighter and more human content in their advertising.

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This strategy works on two levels. First, it gets people interested in Honeybook’s deals by offering free, easily accessible value. Second, it makes their company human.

Even people in the market for a business management platform will be more interested in working with you if they think your employees are happy and your mission is true.

2. Chipotle

It is possible that Elon Musk runs the Instagram account for Chipotle.

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For those unfamiliar with his infamous meme sharing on Twitter, what we mean to say is that Chipotle posts certainly lean into humor – and the more clumsy, the better.

This relaxed attitude is exactly what a large company that wants to be your local burrito shop needs. Posts are very engaging because they are fun, shareable and often contain games or contests.

3. Madewell

One would expect a company called Madewell to stick to that point, and that’s exactly what we find in their ads.

The posts on their Instagram are not the most changing or innovative, but they do not have to be. As more and more clothing shopping takes place online, customers are always looking for pictures of the brand in action.

Madewell focuses on showcasing their clothing in comfortable, relaxed and carefree surroundings.

4. Vans

Vans shoes have always been about being a little rebellious. The brand is all about getting out and doing what you love and looking good while doing it.

Their content perfectly captures the same spirit that they have carried since 1969.

Products appear throughout their feed and advertisements, but they are not just trying to sell shoes to you.

They tell you that if you are fun, cool and unique, then you should carry vans.

5. Out

Instagram has always been the place for travel inspiration. So many influential people are taking advantage of our wanderlust, and so are many companies.

Suitcase mark away makes this particularly good.

Instead of focusing only on their suitcases, they mix beautiful travel photos, product photos and cute pictures of fluffy animals. It almost feels like they are cheating on the game. But hey, if your industry is as appealing as travel, roll with it!

6. Sprouts Farmers Market

Even more than travel, Instagram is a place for food photos, and Sprouts Farmer’s Market is constantly stepping up with some really wonderful ones.

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They also mix useful recipes and inspiration, all from ingredients that happen to be sold in their store.

Who wouldn’t want to buy food from Sprouts Farmer’s Market when it was they who initially gave you the great idea for a particular (and beautiful) meal?

7. Vital proteins

Vital Proteins is not the only company on this list that uses celebrities for advertising (hey, Jennifer Aniston!), But they also do a great job of using video to show how easy it is to use their products.

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Each ad and organic post on their page has a clear call to action, making it easy to take the next step.

8. Experience Corps

Discover Corps is another travel company that plays advertising games right.

Their company has many different types of vacations – those with a focus on wildlife vs. culture, the different places around the world and family trips versus only women. They organize their ads beautifully to focus on only one aspect of a journey and then target appropriately.

Additionally, their photos are real, organic photos of those who have enjoyed their trips as opposed to stock photos (just look at their “highlights” section!).

9. OwletCare

Instagram is a great place to connect with other new moms for support and learn about the many baby products out there for each unique child (which as a new mom can be very difficult to navigate).

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OwletCare does a great job with Instagram advertising because they rely heavily on testimonials and stories from real parents, including photos and videos of their product that are in use with their previous customers.

They manage to create very genuine emotional ads without looking like amateurs, which helps give new moms confidence in their product.

10. GoPro

Last but not least, there is the GoPro. The creators of these extreme sports camcorders have been in the social media game for longer than most brands and have created compelling content that spans Instagram and YouTube and a host of crazy activities.

Their formula is somewhat simple: just post the most epic, beautiful images they can grab.

However, their execution is what separates them.

It goes without saying that all the content is taken using their cameras, but GoPro will often sponsor even lesser named athletes and travel influencers just to get this content.

In a space where you constantly need to find new, compelling images to stay in front of your audience, this investment in content creation is well worth it.

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Bonus: lush cosmetics

Great credit goes to the art director here. Lush, the cosmetic chain that we could write an entire branding article about, has posts that are so visually appealing that you feel like you can smell the product when you look at it.

Their entire profile is really just a masterpiece in product photography.

Lush also takes on major social issues as part of its brand. This pushes them beyond cosmetics and creates a bigger brand that supports inclusive values.

Although all their content is organic, we thought their site was still eligible for a shout out!

Takeaway

As you can see, it really does not matter what you sell if you have the creative mind to consistently come out with content that entertains, informs and / or inspires the people who see it.

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Your ads work well and you want to grow an audience of customers whose identity is wrapped up in your brand.

The key here is not to try to emulate those (or other) brands that have found success using a particular formula. You need to promote content that is uniquely related to your brand and has its own voice.

Be honest with who you are as a business and do not be afraid to take risks.

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Image credits

All screenshots taken by the author and used with permission, July 2021

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