Instagram turned 11 years old in 2021. From a platform where people share photos, it has evolved into a powerful social and commercial platform. This year, users spent about 30 minutes a day on Instagram, a 13.8 percent increase over 2020. And that’s just one of many indicators of the app’s growing popularity. In this environment, a brand presence on Instagram is almost a necessity. But how do you attract and retain an audience? Let’s take a look at 13 successful accounts.
1. Recess – 94,500 followers
This is a relatively new soda water brand. If you believe the description of the account, “it’s the antidote of our time. drinks and instant powders that help keep calm and confident.” Given how turbulent the past year has been, this message was just right. The brand mainly publishes content that entertains the audience and distracts from the daily grind.
The founder of Recess himself explains his approach as follows: “I see our Instagram strategy as a social commentary on the existence of millennials. We talk about the issues that make many of us stressed and anxious, Recess style.”
The brand uses organic audience engagement to motivate users to sign up for an email newsletter with a 25% view rate (with an industry average of 14.5%).
2. Teva – 585,000 subscribers
In 1984, Teva created sports sandals, which millennials have long associated with “grandpa sandals.” In recent years, however, the younger generation has come to appreciate not only the comfort, but the aesthetics of Teva shoes. In its account, the brand uses a mix of professional photos with user-generated content under the hashtag #strapinfreedom ( #beltinfreedom ).
For companies in the fashion and beauty industries, it’s important that consumers see themselves in their products. And Teva manages to do this. They demonstrate how diverse their audience is, thus promoting the message that Teva sandals are for everyone.
3. haus – 61,300 subscribers
Alcohol brands selling directly to consumers were on the rise in 2020 when, because of the pandemic, many stores were closed and people had to stay home.
But the Haus brand went a step further. It launched The Restaurant Project, in which it partnered with restaurants whose chefs helped design aperitifs for each of the establishments. Bottles were sold online, and 100 percent of the proceeds were sent to partner restaurants.
This campaign performed well because consumers felt they were doing a good deed by helping their favorite restaurants in tough times. As a result, advertising ROI increased by 250% and overall brand value increased by 500% from January to April.
4. Girls Night In Club – 133,000 subscribers
Girls Night In is a lifestyle brand and community that helps busy young women spend their free time in a fun way by providing advice on culture, leisure and self-care. The brand was launched in 2018, and in just one year they managed to achieve a 50% email views rate.
Last year, the brand’s relevance skyrocketed. In their account, GNI shared the content they knew best: how to spend time in a pandemic. This allowed for even more subscriptions and even a brand launch at the end of 2020.
5. Bala Bangles – 150,000 subscribers
Bala launched their line of stylish weights in 2017 and gained recognition very soon. The brand’s Instagram account doesn’t look like other fitness industry pages. They approach their shoots from an aesthetic standpoint-the result is that their photos and videos make users stop flipping through the feed and get the attention of major retail partners.
When demand for home exercise equipment increased with the arrival of the pandemic, Bala didn’t invest in paid marketing channels. They continued to engage audiences with workout videos that didn’t necessarily involve branded products. That’s how Bala both increased sales and expanded the community
6. Madewell – 1.4 million subscribers
The Madewell brand was created for modern girls who prefer a sophisticated but “boyish” style. This audience is perfect for promoting the brand on Instagram: 510 million women use the app, and 67% of users between the ages of 18 and 29 open it daily.
From a visual standpoint, Madewell’s content encourages the lifestyle of the target audience. Additionally, even though the brand originally focused on denim, Madewell has expanded its homewear offerings to focus on “homemade” content in 2020, when everyone is homebound. To drive sales, the brand uses trade tags, tagging multiple products in an image at once.
7. Tiffany & Co. – 12.5 million subscribers
Tiffany & Co. – is a great example of how a brand with a history can use Instagram to further develop its image and attract new consumers. The brand uses its signature blue color to achieve image integrity and form lasting associations. In doing so, the content has a fresh approach. Given that Tiffany is part of an industry focused on luxury, today’s marketing activities look unusual.
The result is an account that is visually instantly associated with Tiffany, but leads the audience deeper into the world of the brand with the help of storytelling and modern aesthetics. Thanks to this approach, the ER of Tiffany & Co. posts is 11 times higher than that of the average brand in the industry.
8. Away – 561,000 subscribers
While most travel accessory brands focus on the features of their products, Away’s account focuses on the experience that the suitcase makes available.
Certainly, 2020 was not a great year for travel-related brands. But Away has continued to engage audiences by developing a love of travel theme and commenting humorously on the current state of the industry.
The Away account keeps travel dreams alive and keeps the brand itself in spite of the situation. In this way, Away presents itself more as a travel brand than as a suitcase manufacturer. After all, people haven’t fallen out of love with travel
9. Glossier – 2.7 million subscribers
Glossier is a beauty brand that, since its inception, has taken a path that sets it apart from its “sleeker” competitors. This is clearly visible on their Instagram account: the posts seem human and down-to-earth. Glossier’s approach to content creation – lots of memes and posts from users – gives the impression that people subscribe to their friend rather than the brand.
Instead of creating a product and building a community around it, Glossier first formed a community and then created a product that meets the needs of that community. Glossier’s pink-packaged products feel as if they were designed to be posted on Instagram.
10. So Worth Loving – 75,100 followers
So Worth Loving is a clothing and accessory brand that promotes the idea of self-love. Through their Instagram account, they share positive thoughts and talk about their products. To maintain a balance between mission and promo, So Worth Loving often posts graphically designed quotes between product images.
In 2020, subject matter content was found in a lot of companies’ communications, but So Worth Loving seemed especially sincere because of the brand’s clear mission statement. Even though the account has more than 75,000 subscribers, the brand responds to every comment and regularly communicates with its audience.
11. beardbrand – 193 thousand subscribers
Beardbrand is a line of premium grooming products with a niche audience – men who live in the city and wear beards. Their mission is to “change the way society perceives bearded men,” and Instagram serves as a tool to create and share a sophisticated lifestyle for their target audience.
Visually, Beardband’s content combines professional modeling shots and product photos that not only look appealing, but change the perception of the category as a whole. Beardband is regularly reminded to receive exclusive content via email newsletter, a key sales driver for the brand that has enabled them to generate $100,000 in monthly revenue.
12. Chubbies – 576,000 subscribers
Another brand that successfully engages with men on Instagram, Chubbies, emphasizes customer uniqueness and authenticity when creating content.
The brand’s launch in 2012 was a response to the lack of diversity in men’s swimwear. Chubbies has taken the approach that they communicate with customers as if they were friends. They use humor to increase engagement with their target audience – men ages 18 to 40 – and cast real customers as models.
This approach, which brings the brand closer to users, has allowed Chubbies to gain 3.5 million subscribers on their official website without using traditional media.
13. GoPro – 18.3 million followers
GoPro uses an Instagram account to tell stories through the lens of their products. The page is full of photos and videos taken by customers themselves with GoPro cameras, so the account serves as a source of inspiration for users. The brand’s goal is to show how a camera can be used in life and thereby motivate users to buy.
GoPro has also started several regional accounts that publish local content in more than 10 markets. This decision expanded the total subscriber base to 15 million.
Does your brand have an Instagram account? Send links to your companies’ accounts in the comments.