How to create in-store experiences for Instagram

February 3, 2018

 

A little while ago I found myself standing outside a giant ballpit. It wasn’t just any old ballpit however, it was Ballie Ballerson, the ballpit aimed at adults and the young-at-heart.

 

I was stood outside Ballie Ballerson for quite some time. Enough, at least, to see that the majority of people who walked by would stop and take photos of the giant, multicoloured ballpit in Ballie Ballerson’s window.

 

This is marketing at its finest.

 

The main ballpit (yes, there’s more than one) is downstairs and hidden from public view. However, the window ballpit sits front and centre and, when open, people can frolic in there in full view of passers-by.

 

Apart from the cost of the balls, Ballie Ballerson’s window display didn’t really cost them that much. But it pays off every single day. Imagine just how far and wide their brand presence now goes, simply because of some selfies and well placed balls?

 

A few years ago, would we have stopped to take selfies in front of quirky window displays? Perhaps. But selfies weren’t really that big a thing until social media really took off.

 

Ah, yes. Social media. That’s the crux of this. We’ve become a species addicted to taking photos because of it. There are whole industries and jobs created off the back of it.

 

If it wasn’t for Instagram, would we even have had the ballpit?

 

Actually, I’ll take that a step further. If it wasn’t for social media and the FOMO it induces, would Ballie Ballerson have been as successful as it was?

People are constantly seeking the next big thing to show off on their feeds. Tapping into this, brands are discovering so many ways to encourage people to take photos and share their brand message.

 

It’s marketing, but not as the traditionalists know it.

 

I was in a workshop a few weeks back where we were trying to brainstorm the perfect in-store experience. What came up time and time again? Instagram.

We tried to find many different ways to encourage people to take photos of their experience in-store. The reasoning behind it was that it, firstly, spreads brand awareness and secondly, might encourage the poster’s friends to visit the shop and take their own photos.

 

But what makes an Instagram-worthy picture?

 

Well, first of all, it has to be unique. There’s no point in a copy-and-paste style feature across all stores and branches of a business. People will cotton onto that pretty quick. It should be special enough that people will notice it online and basically get jealous that the person who posted it, well, posted it.

It has to tap into some deeper seated emotion. For Ballie Ballerson, it speaks to our inner child. Make sure it invokes something. Preferably excitement.

It has to be visual. Instagram is a highly visual platform. Your feature must look stunning to encourage people to share it.

 

It should be relevant to your audience. There’s no point encouraging people to take a selfie with a pair of shoes if you work for a restaurant chain. Besides, they’re unlikely to take photos of anything that’s out of keeping with your brand. 

 

And an optional one: find a way to track and measure it. Use a hashtag or encourage people to tag your business in their post so you can see just how successful it is online. You can even reply to posts and begin building up a community around it.

 

Instagram and the other social media platforms are a great tool to spread brand awareness. Plan out a visual installation in your bricks-and-mortar store and your marketing could make the leap online for little-to-no cost. Before you know it, you’ll be #instafamous.

 

 

Instagram and the other social media platforms are a great tool to spread brand awareness. Plan out a visual installation in your bricks-and-mortar store and your marketing could make the leap online for little-to-no cost. Before you know it, you’ll be #instafamous.

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