First months of the year came with a lot of excitement for Instagram users, brands and influencers, as the platform’s popularity continues to grow. And, if you’re like us, you’re already planning on how to spice up your profile and infuse some frenzy in those engagement rates. However, don’t despair if you find yourself short on ideas. Instagram creator’s block is not unusual. Breathe, relax and have a look at some of the most successful Instagram campaigns in 2017.

Keeping an eye on the big players on Instagram is a great way to gather insights and inspiration for your endeavors on the platform. Thus, while we’re having a throwback to last year, make sure to follow your favorite brands’ accounts and turn staying up to date with their latest marketing campaigns into a habit. We guarantee you’ll draw a lot of valuable lessons from them. So let’s not waste any more virtual ink and dig right into the precious insights that will get your creative juices flowing!


  1. Say more with your photos

One of the most discussed campaigns in 2017 is Samsung’s #unboxyourphone, which makes us think that the saying “a picture is worth a 1000 words” might be quite exact. Samsung leveraged Instagram’s essence and boiled down to its most creative form: it used photography to tell a clever story about its features. And they nailed it!

Samsung wanted to highlight Galaxy S8’s ultra-thin bezels and communicate this in a way that will resonate with Instagram users. It did do by creating a series of stunning photos in which the images within the phone perfectly line up with the surroundings in an immersive experience. At first glance, these create a single, whole picture, demonstrating just how thin the bezels are.

So what’s the lesson here? You might say that you already know how important photos are on Instagram. They are, in fact, its foundation. But posting stunning pictures, perfectly edited and embezzled with the best filters is not enough. Go one step further and consider composition, consider visual metaphors, consider photo-techniques that could say more about your brand, without words.


  1. Support a social movement

Strong marketing campaigns are those known for taking a stand and backing-up causes that are true to their values. Airbnb elegantly underlined one of their core beliefs at a moment of social turmoil. While the campaign could have worked at any given time, it was even more so successful as it came in the middle of the heavily politicised debate on US immigration.

The Airbnb #weaccept campaign sent a message of love and strengthened the company’s global position and values. Not only that, but it managed to accomplish this noble objective by using a series of highly appealing and creative visuals that attracted a lot of appreciation. Each post was accompanied by an equally strong caption that shared a beautiful story and helped the campaign become an inspirational social media movement.

While jumping in conversations that have political ties is a risky affair, doing so with high integrity and truthful values account not only for a successful campaign but also for socially responsible behavior. Thus, don’t be afraid to capitalize on highly discussed topics or social causes, as long as these come as a true integral part of your band or essence. Be sure to always thread respectfully and with a #weaccept mentality, participating with insightful, mindful and meaningful initiatives. If you follow these rules, you’ll have nothing but benefits to enjoy by leveraging attention to your brand.


  1. Get personal with live-videos

Live-videos are making a name for themselves on Instagram. And it’s no wonder, as they provide a more genuine and flexible way of interacting with your followers. Not only does it promises more engagement, but it brings a new range of possibilities to your marketing efforts.

The famous singer John Mayer worked all these advantages in his favor when launching his “The Search for Everything” EP. While the promo marketing campaign was far larger, spreading all across channels, one tactic that hit the target was the use of live-videos. John Mayer used Instagram live to perform songs, answer questions, tell stories, give insights on his creative process and have genuine conversations with his followers. These direct interaction brought the singer a lot of attention and, most of all, appreciation, creating true connections with his fans.

No matter what type of brand you’re trying to promote, live videos could definitely be a game changer for your marketing strategy. By going live, you get the chance to truly interact with your target and, on top of promoting yourself or your brand, gain valuable insights on your audience.


  1. Tailor your story

It’s no secret that Instagram stories are what you should be placing all your bets on. While ensuring guaranteed visibility in front of your followers, the story feature also allows for some very creative posts thanks to their versatility.

Just glimpse at Lowe’s  innovative social video content created by their advertising agency, BBDO. The campaign comprises 64 micro-videos, no longer than 1 second, and make for a creative visual representation of a vertical room transformation. The room’s dimensions match the Instagram story window, perfectly sending out the idea of small rooms that can be beautifully put together with Lowe’s. That’s brilliant, right? The kind of idea we wish we’d have come up with.

However, while we might have missed our chance with this one, it did make us wonder what else could be accomplished by putting a twist on the Story features. Now, we pass that challenge on to you and we hope to see a ton of great ideas implemented on your profiles.


  1. See the bigger picture

While Instagram has been crafted in filters’ heaven and prides itself with some of the most stunning photos on social media, there’s more to it than meets one post. Brands and influencers all over the world are in on the secret and they are introducing a creative way of displaying their photos.

Want to know how? Just have a look at Victoria’s Secret #XOXOVictoria campaign. Kickstarting the year 2017, the campaign began with a series of photo uploads that compose a bigger picture. While each photo is great individually, it also becomes a piece of another image that speaks even more powerfully about the brand.  But Victoria’s Secret is not the only brand to use this ingenious technique. Shiseido, the most famous cosmetics company from Japan, has also found a great way of using the “bigger picture” ensemble. Taking advantage of the symmetry in Instagram’s feed, the company announced new products by posting three images at a time.

Now, these are only a few ways of seeing the bigger picture and enhancing your feed. By carefully analyzing your brand and your audience, you can unveil new methods of making use of patterns in a creative way and boost your engagements rates.

Inspired? Then get creative!

So there you have it, a few valuable lessons we’ve learned by following our favorite brands on Instagram. While this list is not, in any way, an exhaustive list, it does bring in the spotlight some of the best techniques you can use in order to boost your engagement rates and stand out.

By all means, don’t stop here.

We’re eager to hear what campaigns have influenced you the most and what valuable lessons you’ve noted down. And we’re also extremely curious to see how brands will impress us this year. Hopefully, you’ll be among them. We’ll definitely keep a close eye on the best Instagram marketing campaigns and, when we see something we really like, we’ll be so kind as to share.

But enough with the talk! Time for some good old thinking. Put your creative cap on and start thinking about your next campaign. Think influencers, think social movements, think creative placement, think bigger. The challenge is on!


Ilona Iftode is a copywriter with a taste for adventure. She lives to write, travel and explore new concepts in the realms of advertising, marketing, SEO and beyond.

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