2014 may go down as the Year of Instagram as the photo sharing app surpassed the 300 million user mark. This number surpasses even the mighty Twitter. Brands in 2014 have finally gotten on board with Instagram, and some exciting content has been produced over the year.
Here are five of the best brands on Instagram according to which are my favorites. If you’re short on ideas about what you can do, visit one of them and see what they’re up to lately so you know how it’s done.
The Urban Outfitters Instagram page feels like the inside of one of their stores – eclectic, but unified by a common style. This means they can get away with everything from typical glamor models shots:
To photos with a little more personal touch:
Taking a look at their overall page you can see a common theme. They are easily identifiable with a casual, eccentric, hipster style:
Like American Apparel, but with less leg warmers.
From one extreme to the next with Red Bull’s high energy, high action, highly unpredictable mishmash of the extreme sports you’d expect, along with the Red Bull girls:
To even abstract art:
What makes them one of the best brands on Instagram is that much of their content comes from organized events that they sponsor. Their Instagram strategy is to record and show all the crazy things that their sponsored riders, artists, and Red Bull girls get up to. For a drink that gives you wiiiiiiiiings, they’ve perfectly captured what their brand is all about.
If your business is selling cameras, you had better be sure you know how to take a photo! GoPro have taken the world by storm, an especially difficult thing considering how every just takes pictures with their phones now. They may have chosen the best social platform for their brand when they first started on Instagram.
With the power of their exceptional YouTube page, combined with their Instagram posts, GoPro have shown people the power of having a camera that’s ready to take pictures before the action happens, not after like a cameraphone:
Your iPhone 4 will never, ever, take that photo. It’s an idea that’s very much in line with their Pinterest goals of showcasing their product’s strengths via content curation.
In addition to photos, GoPro are sure to give little samples of the type of video you can shoot too:
Don’t try taking a picture like that with anything but a GoPro!
Herschel Supply co. started out a few years ago as a small distributor of mostly backpacks in my old stomping grounds of Vancouver, Canada. The brand exploded all over the city with nearly every UBC student owning one of their bags. I bought one of their first computer bags, and still have it now two years later.
Herschel have taken Instagram by storm, just like they did to VanCity, largely due to how cool their products are, but also by how well they use Instagram. Most images feature exotic locations with their bags, and they’re frequently user submitted. Who needs a big photoshoot budget when you get raw pictures like this sent to you, you can’t help but be one of the best brands on Instagram:
This is a perfect example of a YouTube collaboration tactic, except with your important fans.
When Herschel take the reins and create their own images they stay on trend with their fans and shoot in adventurous settings:
They even have an Instagram hashtag campaign that they encourage people to use, #wellpacked, that gets people submitting shots like this incredibly stylish one:
Remember at the top where I said that these were my favorite brands on Instagram in 2014? Well, I’m obsessed with Jordans and sneaker culture. That’s while you’ll find @jumpman23 at the top of my best brands on Instagram 2014 list! I lusted after them as a kid growing up on a farm when my family didn’t have money for Jordans. I still lust after them now – except I can afford them today!
The Air Jordan Instagram profile perfectly captures the two most important aspects of sneaker culture: the shoes, and basketball. They do this by showing current players, and frequently join #ThrowBackThursday (#tbt) with a shot of His Airness himself:
That’s Michael in a pair of Air Jordan 6s. It was wise of them to push this photo at the time (3 weeks before this writing) as Jordan 6 fervor was reaching its peak as the shoe was being re-released.
The focus is far from being all about MJ23. There are many more photos with everyday Jordan lovers with their shoes on. When I saw this photo, I am pretty sure I started to salivate and picture my feet in those shoes:
I could picture myself sitting there on that bench. When I see MJ23 wearing a pair and flying through the air…I’d like to picture myself doing that, but it feels silly. They’re appealing to both sides of their target audience – those that play basketball and want to Be Like Mike, and those sneaker heads who just want to lounge around in stylish shoes.
My favorite thing about the Jordan page is how it feels like reading SLAM magazine back in the day. I use to pay money every month for content like this – now I’m given it for free!
Feature image via Goodluz / Shutterstock