Let’s start with one of my favorite Instagram content creators, Candice Kumai. Kintsugi Wellness took me a lifetime to write. I took ten trips to Japan to develop, to photograph on my own & honour my story, my family, the Japanese. #matchamonday #matchagreentea #matchaholic A post shared by Candice Kumai (@candicekumai) on Mar 19, 2018 at 8:05am PDT What You Can Learn: There are several concrete lessons your brand can learn from Candice’s Instagram strategy. Make sure you’re inspiring audience with words and telling them a story with pictures. REI: Everyone Is an Influencer Let’s turn to a brand for our next Instagram influencer marketing lesson. That said, Johnie’s posts with longer captions, which talk about global ecological issues, are her most successful. If you can find a cause that fits with your brand’s mission and product, make sure to show it off loud and proud, and partner with influencers who can help. #theriveter #thefutureisfemale #imstillwithher #hillaryclinton #Seattle A post shared by The Riveter (@theriveterco) on Mar 19, 2018 at 4:55pm PDT The Riveter is very clear about its mission, and uses Instagram to publicize its events and call for progress. #IWD #IWD2018 #equalityforeveryone #womensrightsarehumanrights #Seattle A post shared by The Riveter (@theriveterco) on Mar 8, 2018 at 2:44pm PST What You Can Learn: There are several lessons your brand can learn from The Riveter’s Instagram strategy.
You can learn a lot from the influencers who built their personal brands on Instagram from the ground up, without the support of digital teams and budget. These are the people who understand their core audience needs and content proclivities better than anyone else, because it’s their ability to meet those needs and proclivities that made them.
You can also learn a ton from the brands who partner with influencers and personalities in unique, innovative, and successful ways. I’ve thrown a couple of those here for good measure. You’ll definitely walk away from this blog post with ideas for your brand’s own creative campaigns and/or inspiration for upcoming influencer campaigns and partnerships.
Let’s start with one of my favorite Instagram content creators, Candice Kumai.
1. Candice Kumai: The Multi-Dimensional Hustler
Candice Kumai is the author of a very personal wellness book, Kintsugi Wellness: The Japanese Art of Nourishing Mind, Body, and Spirit, which is based on her Japanese heritage and nutritional expertise. She is also a columnist for Girl Boss and Elle, but much of her engagement, exposure, and fame comes from her highly active Instagram profile.
we all have a story to tell. where we come from is who we are. Kintsugi Wellness took me a lifetime to write. I took ten trips to Japan to develop, to photograph on my own & honour my story, my family, the Japanese. This is not a basic wellness book, there is no honour in playing safe, anymore. The pain, devout time, the struggles, that was what this book was made of. If you want to know more about my book, please click the link in my bio. Kintsugi Wellness will also be translated for the world: Brazil 🇧🇷 , Portugal 🇵🇹, Netherlands 🇳🇱, Saudi Arabia🇸🇦, Turkey 🇹🇷, Greece! 🇬🇷 … when I found out these countries picked up the rights and translations to Kintsugi Wellness, my heart filled with love & my tears with joy. The tough times are worth it. This is a first for me, my other work wasn’t globally shared.. I honour and thank you! Japan, Spain, Germany, France, Mexico!, you’re all next. The world deserves KINTSUGI. For the full book trailer, stay tuned for more here + Preorder now!!!! xx ck 4.17.2018 #neverbasic
A post shared by Candice Kumai (@candicekumai) on Mar 21, 2018 at 6:01am PDT
But Kumai doesn’t just Instagram about plant-based recipes. She posts about female entrepreneurship, travel, and her family. The central lesson here? Don’t turn your Instagram profile into a one-trick pony. Include all the parts of your brand that make it appealing to your target audience, from background story around your products and brand, to inspirational content, to works-in-progress. Show your audience how multi-dimensional you are, while keeping images and voice streamlined.
💎 🦄 matcha monday’s are back!🍵 guess what!? You can also shop my fave @danielwellington watch here at 15 % off code: CANDICE + we’re giving away even more prizes + goodies, all of my favorite things this month for the launch of Kintsugi Wellness, the book that will get your whole life to the next level. Matcha master that like the Japanese do 🙏🏼 . Check my IG stories for even more! #matchamonday #matchagreentea #matchaholic
A post shared by Candice Kumai (@candicekumai) on Mar 19, 2018 at 8:05am PDT
What You Can Learn: There are several concrete lessons your brand can learn from Candice’s Instagram strategy. I recommend scrolling through her Instagram profile for a master class in content creation, but here are a few takeaways.
- Leverage off-social content on Instagram. Notice that on Candice’s Instagram profile below, she tags @girlboss @iamwellandgood, both online publications that she writes for. She also links to her latest offering, her book, and includes the hashtag for her book.
Make sure that you are clear about the top priorities for your business and brand right now, and are pointing to those top priorities in your Instagram profile, as well as showing off any partnerships you have going on.
- Invest in PRODUCED video. While Candice also heavily relies on Instagram Stories, she and her team have invested in produced video to tell her story in a more polished manner, as you can see in the clip above. Make sure you are complimenting more “raw” video formats like Instagram Stories with produced video around major launches.
- Don’t ask influencer partners to oversell. While Candice definitely promotes her partnerships, she also doesn’t flood her feed with obviously salesy content. In the second post above, Candice pairs content that is typical for her and attractive to her audience—matcha tea—with a watch promotion with a partner. Make sure your influencer partners are creating content that matches what their audience expects, to avoid negative or lackluster reactions to branded content.
2. Angi Greene: The Storyteller
Angi Greene, a self-described “✩MOM σf вσуѕ ✩13 x Cover Model/Athlete/Trainer ✩Health & Wellness advocate” according to her Instagram profile, tells great stories. In fact, almost every one of her Instagram posts includes a long caption that tells an involved story, even ones advertising product.
|| here’s a short story • I was shopping online for a friend of mine who lives on the east coast and I wanted to buy her something to make her smile for her birthday • I was literally looking for a “box of happiness” to be delivered to her door • then I stumbled upon @naturallife • they had EXACTLY what I was looking for! So as I was ordering the gift I reached out to them via social media and asked if they would be interested in doing a giveaway box for my followers • they said yes ☺️And so here we are….I am absolutely obsessed with this adorable company and the happiness they spread with these thoughtful little gifts 😻🙌🏻 so here’s the deal • Make sure you follow @naturallife and tag someone below who could use a little pick me up box of happiness 🤗 I know I talk a lot about depression and wanted to share a simple gift of love with you guys! I will choose a winner on Friday 💕🎉
A post shared by A N G I ❤️ F L E T C H E R (@angigreene) on Feb 21, 2018 at 12:02pm PST
This is one of my favorites:
|| I have felt like a victim almost my whole life • I don’t know the psychology behind it • maybe it started when my dad died as I was going trough puberty? All I know is I became very familiar with the role and took it on for way too many years into adulthood • I am now in my 40th year of life and so much has changed in a few short years • This was the last picture I took of my mom and I before she died • actually the last picture of her standing • this picture is an insanely strong image for me as I look at my moms eyes looking at herself in the mirror for the last time • as women we look at ourselves numerous times a day and how many of those times are we kind to ourselves? Or are we looking for faults, wrinkles, folds, grey hair • my mom was skin and bones when she died but this photo shows her grace and compassion and faith all in one • her words and poems during her entire battle with cancer was not “why me”…it was “why not me” • she didn’t concern herself with why this was happening to her • she was concerned with much greater…