As a fashion retailer that’s built its brand on aesthetics, Anthropologie is a company to watch on social media. With more than 250,000 followers on Instagram (not to mention 250,000 followers on Pinterest, 664,000 followers on Facebook, and 370,000 followers on Twitter), Anthropologie demonstrates by example how fashion retailers — and other brands —can generate strong communities online.
Here’s a look at what the brand is doing well, along with ways you can follow its example to leverage Instagram to meet your content marketing goals.
When Anthropologie released its January Lookbook, the company posted a photo of it on Instagram, along with a link. This built anticipation for followers about to receive it in the mail and expanded awareness of the publication, which features Anthropologie products.
Takeaway principle: From new products to new publications, Instagram is a great place to leverage content that calls attention to your most recent offerings.
Employees wearing the clothes
There’s no better way to showcase products than by showing someone using them. For Anthropologie, this means featuring pictures of staff members wearing its apparel. The ways staffers wear the clothes provide inspiration to customers, while also enhancing the value of the products — which makes more people want to buy them.
Takeaway principle: Look for visually appealing ways to create content that shows your products or services in action. If you sell cars, show people who are similar to your target audience driving them. If you clean commercial buildings, show the sparkling floors inside a happy customer’s office. Whatever you sell, content marketing on Instagram will help you show your followers what your product looks like as it’s being used, and help them see why they need to buy it.
A picture of flowers used in a Valentine’s Day shoot made its way into Anthropologie’s recent Instagram photos, giving followers a window into the daily life of the team that creates Anthropologie’s photos and other visual content marketing. The reason this is so valuable is that it builds deeper connections with your client base — the more they learn about your brand and its behind-the-scenes details, the more points of connection they are likely to find and engage with.
Takeaway principle: Show your followers what happens behind the scenes that makes your business work. If you’re a marketing company with traditional cubicles and office space, post occasional pictures of the goings-on at work. If you’re a restaurant, show ingredients being delivered the morning of a big event. Let your audience in on how you do what it is you do, and you have powerful content marketing that can help cement your bond with them — above and beyond a purchase.
Anthropologie is a master at initiating hashtag campaigns — not only do they feature particular products, but they also give followers a way to easily participate in the brand’s activities. The Anthropologie brand has been using the #HisPantsHerWay hashtag, for example, anytime it posts someone wearing its Charlie trousers. But one click on the #HisPantsHerWay link shows more than Anthropologie using the tag. Followers all over the world have joined in — and every time someone posts that hashtag, it promotes Anthropologie’s brand.
Takeaway principle: Brainstorm ways to use a hashtag to build community around your brand. You might follow Anthropologie’s example and pick a hashtag to use with a certain product you’re promoting — one that your audience is able to hashtag, too. Or you might hashtag a concept rather than a product — something that customers will associate with your brand’s image and personality.
Anthropologie gives a glimpse into its events through Instagram photos like the one above of DJ Steffi at a Made In Kind event. Tagged with #AnthroEvents, these photos give followers a chance to see what’s happening at promotional parties and gatherings, as well as a way for Anthropologie to expand the content marketing reach of those events.
Takeaway principle: Sharing photos of exciting events — from staff parties to celeb-studded galas — interests fans on multiple levels. Find ways to capture engaging, attractive images from these happenings to share with your audience and make them feel like they are taking part in the fun.
What do you think? Could incorporating some of these principles expand your ability to use Instagram as a content marketing tool? Looking at your particular industry or subject matter, which of these options would be most effective in reaching your fans?
Interested in learning more about how to capitalize on hot social media trends like Instagram in your content marketing efforts? Read CMI Books’ “Capturing Community” by Michael Silverman for more great tips.