Instagram Outreach Marketing Trend of the Week: How Brands Can Leverage “InstaMeets”

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of authentic brand advocacy here at GroupHigh. Everyday we teach our clients about the value of fostering ongoing relationships with bloggers and outlets that align with their brand’s values and style.  I mean, who better to promote your brand than someone who genuinely believes in it right?

Weave Blogger Outreach with Instagram Outreach

A great way to foster authentic brand connections for word of mouth mentions is to weave together a variety of channels that lift your brand the most.

Something I’ve seen marketers do a lot lately is work with bloggers on multi-channel campaigns. Meaning, the blog is the springboard and avenue for reaching out to influencers but the strategy encompasses a variety of social channels.

Although we know that a solid blogger relations strategy is still a valuable component of online brand presence, leveraging Instagram for influencer marketing can yield equally passionate advocates with untapped reach.

Inviting bloggers with a strong Instagram presence to participate in events with others in their niche can be a lucrative way to showcase a brand’s identity on a variety of social outlets and build personal relationships with best-fit influencers.

Introducing an InstaMeet

Many brands are now leveraging the idea of “InstaMeets” where Instagramers who share common interests come together first via a hashtag and then an in person event.

Visually driven brand coverage is a great way to capture both a cool brand experience and the waning attention spans of consumers.

An industry I’m seeing go above and beyond with Instagram is fashion, being that often times marketing is geared with an aesthetic focus.

An Exemplary InstaMeet to Notice

One particular event that caught my attention was Madewell’s photo contest last month. The women’s clothing brand asked Instagramers to tag creative photos of their Madewell jeans using the hashtags #denimmadewell #contest.

Six photos were then hand selected to be displayed at a one night, multi-city “Insta exhibition” event hosted at various Madewell stores on October 2nd.  Teaming up with Artifact Uprising, a (really cool) photo printing company, they were able to create displays of each winning Instagram photo to be showcased gallery style on the night of the event.

Participants were able to interact with each other via Madwell’s hashtag and again later at the exhibit leading to a whole other layer of visually driven brand coverage. Brilliant.

To get influencers to participate in your event, it of course needs to be mutually beneficial. Everyone needs to win—not just your brand.

In this example, the winner received a $1,500 Madewell gift card and the 5 runner-ups received $250, and all 6 selected photos were made into Artifact Uprising prints.

Another powerful thing about leveraging IstaMeets is that the buzz and coverage can be ongoing.

In the case of Madewell, they have an online gallery and followers are encouraged to continue using the #denimmadewell hashtag to show their love for the brand and for a chance to be featured on the site.

You Can Do This Too

So how does a brand unite people with common interests on Instagram, and encourage them to want to connect with one another face to face?

  • Choose your focus wisely and be creative with what you’re asking to be submitted in the contest or shared Instagram experience.
  • Search Instagram hashtags for existing brand mentions or related terms and see who has already advocated for your brand. If they’re already taking pictures of your products, they’ll likely want to participate and tell their entire network about it.
  • Create a new contest or campaign specific hashtag and encourage Instagram users to showcase their love for the brand.
  • Incentivize your participants. Everyone loves free stuff. Offer a winning prize for a photo contest, or invite participants to take Instagrams of an organized brand experience. This could be anything from a shopping day at a retail store, to doing an activity that most people don’t associate with a brand’s product uses.  In Madewell’s case, they were able to both drive traffic to their stores and gain insight into how their customer base wears their jeans.

Have you heard of any cool InstaMeet campaigns lately? Please share in the comments below!

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