Digital and social media strategies : Instagram as a revenue generation tool for brands

Having spent the last two years building’s online branding and doing all the work behind their instagram, I have an insight on what it means for a brand in this day and age to be using social medias and influencer type marketing to drive revenue. I must mention that as an instagram user myself ( ilemartini ), I was lucky enough to experience all sides of the business: from brand, influencer to the user perspective.
After the first round of interior design fairs of this fall just , I’ve started clicking on all the websites from the brands who’s stand I’ve personally visited. You’d be surprised on how only a handful, I’d say more or less the 10%, have put some effort onto social media and instagram in particular. Without generalizing, the instagram feeds were a mix of event pictures, some inauthentic sponsored re-posts, random product photos mashed together with some interior shots taken from the latest catalogues. My cold guess is that either the PR teams are also in charge of the visual media accounts, or, that the social media managers, who often come from a marketing background, are all about numbers and stats without having a clear brand strategy behind the day to day actions. I’m sure there’s plenty of exceptions but at the end of the day it’s all about budgets, budgets, budgets, am I right? Mixup number one.
The brands who’ve come to realize the potential of curated content, seeing instagram not only as a sharing app but as a powerful revenue-driver tool with low financial risk, have left behind the old school knowledge connected to the how-tos of traditional online marketing and focused on the new media making the connection with their audience as deep as it could be. Instagram becomes the relatable, personal, inspirational extension of any interior or lifestyle brand.
Here we go, tapping into unknown territory. With the word revenue, an explosion of influencer agencies followed. Worst, incoherent and unauthentic content started populating the feeds.

There’s much more to instagram than meets the eye, the strategic thinking that goes behind it it’s undervalued by most brands – to say the least. The brands who want to give ’this whole thing’ a try, end up hiring said agencies that will propose a ‘tailored’ rooster of influencers to work with. Guess what? They’ll propose the same rooster to a bunch of companies within the same field and that’s a big no-no. Huge no-no. Why? The content gets lost, as a user you won’t be able anymore to associate content to creator because everything blends together.

Where am I going with this? The same amount of attention and value brands put into their product launches, campaign photoshoots, brand identity and such, needs to go into the new visual medias such as instagram, pinterest, snapchat and whatnot. It’s the evolution of this generation so why are brands still so on the fence?

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