Winning in Winter on Instagram

“It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.” –   Anna Wintour

Over the last few years many brands have built their knowledge of the social basics:

  • visual execution
  • #hashtags
  • @partnerships

Becoming familiar with these levers has helped brands grow their social communities into highly valuable assets. However, the increased amount of competition on Instagram and the platforms new algorithm has left many marketers asking “how can we distinguish our brand from the rest?”

The answer: Increasingly intercept the mood of followers by playing on consumer sentiment at different times of the day/week/year. 

Playing on Seasons

Unsurprisingly over the last few weeks we have seen increasing levels of engagement with winter-themed visuals. Brands that out-performed their peers often found a diverse variety of ways to incorporate seasonal elements into their content.

We used the eBench Mosaic to identify top performing posts for a selection of brands for each of the seasons.

Top tips for incorporating seasons into visuals:

The extent to which branded content lends itself to playing on Winter themes is highly variable. The below examples of top performing visuals from brands across multiple industries demonstrate that with a well devised content calendar and some simple visual adjustments, even seasonally-dependent brands like Magnum can Win in Winter… 

1) Play with props 

2) Use seasonally appropriate settings

3) Consider the colours 

4) Use lighting to set the tone

5) Look to bloggers for inspiration 

As the above examples show, it is the combined effect of all 4 of these ingredients that helps a visual become a top performer in each season. When planning your social content calendar, use these semiotic tips to play on seasons whilst maintaining a diverse range of visuals. 
*The clear caveat to the above is that Instagram is consumed globally, brands that do not have localised accounts may find it difficult to appeal to consumers in both hemispheres at any given time of year. The advice here is to build a picture of who your consumers are – having this understanding will be key – the ultimate goal is to post content that appeals to the sentiment of your unique community of followers.* 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to compliment it with data on the top performing Winter #tags to pair with visuals, and information on the most engaging times to post for different seasonal themes then please contact derek.hill@ebench.com for information on how to trial the new eBench Newsfeeds.

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