Marketing Firms talk about their top campaigns for Instagram

Lessons from Top Instagram Campaigns of 2016

Instagram is an incredible platform for all types of businesses and brands. You may think that your brand or product is boring, that there’s no way to promote it on Instagram and get people excited. But you can! We’ve put together some of our favorite examples of incredibly innovative Instagram campaigns from some of the top firms to show you just how it can be done. These top Instagram campaigns of 2016 succeeded because they were well researched, were laser targeted to their audience, and because they followed the tenets of Instagram success.

Lessons from Top Instagram Campaigns of 2016

Get Stylish & Creative

How to run an Instagram campaign for a boring product


Januel+Johnson (also known as J&J) had a big challenge for Instagram. Their client Bezalel, a phone wireless charger was looking to build their brand awareness with the public and influencers and increase sales while growing their Instagram following. Phone chargers may not seem like the sexiest products out there, but after the Bezalel campaign, I think we can all agree they seemed pretty hot.  We asked CJ Johnson about the creative process for this campaign. He told us: “We’re often tasked with injecting style and creativity into brands. With Bezalel, we create stylish and original content with a focus on millennials. In October we thought it would be fun to do a throwback Halloween photo campaign. We casted twin influencer artists and shot in a hedge maze. With our Kodak/Throwback style we made it look like something out of “The Shinning”. In addition we used a creepy Halloween poem and spread out our posts through the week of Halloween with excerpts from the poem. It was awesome!”

The campaign integrated a special offer for 20% off all orders with a code which made it easy to track sales stemming from the campaign.

The Results: The Instagram following for Bezalel grew by 1,000% and there has been a continuous  uptick in sales.

About J&J: J&J is the voice of the next generation and one-stop shop in creative marketing. Listed as one of the Top 50 Digital Agencies in Los Angeles, J+J empowers the brands we work with, with innovative steps and tools they need to conquer the world. In this fast-paced world, J+J is on the front lines of the growing Silicon Beach movement in Los Angeles, bridging the worlds of entrepreneurship and creativity all the while using the power of social influence to get our message across. We create contemporary strategies and then we execute them to perfection. We’re not going to do it in the same way everyone else does. We’re going to do it in a new way that showcases why you’re so special.

Run an Influencer Campaign

Instagram Influencer campaigns work great

Fossil watches is well known throughout the world. The brand brought on Upfluence in order to run an influencer marketing campaign to promote its latest watches and bracelets. The final goal of the campaign was to raise interest for their high-end products. In order to do this, they identified lifestyle influencers who received a watch of their choosing from a particular collection. In exchange, they would create animated GIFS for Instagram featuring the watches from the collection with branded hashtags to allow them to measure performance: #FossilStyle #FromWhereIStand (for women)#FossilsQ #FromWhereIStand (for men).

The Results: 60k+ views, 20k+ likes

About Upfluence:  Upfluence is the fastest growing influencer marketing company in Europe. The firm focuses on end to end influencer marketing campaigns: we help clients reaching their goals through advanced IM strategies across blogs, websites & social networks. They also specialize in end to end content marketing campaigns: we define and activate original content strategies to make sure our client’s expertise is recognized in their industries. Upfluence also has software that allows brands to identify the right influencers that matter to them so they can contact them at scale.

Be Consistent with Your Aesthetics

Use the same filters on Instagram to build an aesthetic

Shore Projects brands themselves as a watch brand inspired by beauty and fun of the British seaside. As such, they want a strong connection with some very specific seaside imagery.  This meant it already had a great foundation for image-based branding on Instagram.

The campaign for Shore projects by Grove Communication uses images that are on brand at all times. Many of the photos for the account are taken on the beaches and coasts of the U.K., and those that aren’t maintain the look and feel of the British seaside with faded colors and a lot of grey and green hues. The entire idea behind their campaign is to have very consistent branding.

The Results: The brand’s following has grown up to 46.5k followers in a very short time.

About Grove Communication:  Grove Communication is an integrated communication and brand development company specialising in accessories, fashion and luxury goods. Headed up by founding partner Marie Grove Walton and Emily Gegg with over 25 years of experience across luxury, fashion and accessories within agency, in-house and publishing, we offer all the benefits of your own in-house team combined with the creativity and flexibility of a leading public relations, brand development and marketing agency.

Collaborate with Verticals

Collaborate with Verticals to piggy back off their audience

Outdoor product company Crazy Creek wanted to increase their Instagram followers to expand awareness and reach. They brought on Carmen & Grace to implement a campaign to achieve this goal. We asked Natalie DeRatt of Carmen and Grace to tell us a bit about the process for achieving these results. Natalie’s strategy was to build collaborations with vertical brands so they could all play off each others’ audience and grow together.

Natalie told us “We teamed up with 4 other outdoor companies (Chaco Footwear, Coalatree, Gregory Packs and Nectar Sunglasses) to build an amazing prize package for 1 winner and their friend. We then organized a week long promotion, with all 5 brands publishing the contest art on Day 1. Fans were encouraged to follow all brand’s handles, comment with their favorite fall emoji, and tag a friend. They could enter an unlimited time throughout the week, and a winner was picked at random on the 5th day of the promo.”

The Results: The campaign was a great success, with everyone jumping up about 3000 followers.

Crazy Creek: 1,728 – 5,017 (+3,289)
Nectar: 51,567 – 54,969 (+3,402)
Gregory: 27,732 – 31,064 (+3,332)
Coalatree: 149,870 – 153,019 (+3,149)
Chaco: 192,672 – 194,219 (+1,547)

As with these competitions, some followers then unfollow if they don’t win, but on average everyone has maintained an increase of 1000 followers since (we ran it about a month ago). This is an incredibly successful campaign for all brands involved.

About Carmen and Grace Communications:  Carmen & Grace is an all inclusive communications firm providing years of experience in active lifestyles, outdoors public relations, and creative marketing. We specialize in the outdoors industry, run by active, outdoors women who are living and breathing the messages they’re sharing. We are based in Asheville, NC – the outdoors mecca of the East Coast!

As you can see, marketing your brand or business on Instagram is all about getting creative and collaborating with others. These key ingredients will be the key to your success in 2017.

How to Manage & Grow Your Instagram Account with Socialdraft


After checking out all this great inspiration from the Top Instagram Campaigns of 2016, and once you have come up with your Instagram strategy, you’ll need a good tool to help you manage and grow your Instagram account. This could be Socialdraft.

With Socialdraft you can:

Schedule Instagram Posts
Have multiple people work on various accounts
Search for posts in a particular industry and schedule reposts to your connected social networks

Just watch the video above to see how it works and take us for a risk free trial of our social media calendar tool.


What Else Does Socialdraft Do?

Socialdraft is more than an Instagram tool. It is an all-in-one Social Media Dashboard. It is the most robust and simple tool for agencies and teams to effectively handle social media. With Socialdraft you can:

Schedule posts to Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Business Pages (and one LinkedIn account) and Pinterest Boards
Schedule posts individually, as recurring posts, or bulk upload them as CSV
Easily re-schedule with a drag & drop action
Schedule GIFs to Facebook and Twitter
Download content calendars as PDF
Keep an eye on your online reputation and easily share the good news to social
Find content on Instagram and easily schedule reposts not just to Instagram but to all other social networks
Engage on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin
Download Facebook and Twitter reports
and tons more…

If you are curious about Socialdraft, take it for a risk-free trial. You’ll get to try out all the features and decide if Socialdraft is right for you.