With Instagram’s recent algorithm change making it more of a pay-per-play platform (similar to its big sister Facebook), a lot of marketers and small business owners are scratching their heads when faced with the exponential decrease in engagement rates across the board. This means fewer likes, fewer comments, and lower visibility to followers and non-followers alike. Just in the real estate industry alone, we noticed a 30% ~ 50% decrease in the amount of engagement in this month compared to February earlier this year.
So how do we build organic campaigns that can create a ripple effect by generating more awareness of our brand through our users?
In our latest campaign for our client The North Face Vancouver, we were able to achieve a 112% increase in followers gained per week, a 227% increase in reach, and a 350% increase in engagement with NO ADVERTISING SPEND. How did we do this? The key is to know what your audience’s passions are and create a campaign that lets them do what they love. We know that the key audience and the majority of The North Face Vancouver’s followers are passionate about adventures and the outdoors. So what better way to get them involved than creating a Summer Hike Challenge series where they can hike to their favorite peaks in British Columbia and win prizes?
We first created hype and anticipation for the hike challenge by releasing a teaser post on Instagram sharing the details of the Hike Challenge and the associated prizes. The challenge runs for the entirety of the summer hiking months and consists of five local hikes that get progressively more difficult.
The teaser post was customized by our graphic designer to reflect the challenge and The North Face brand, incorporating details like mountain elevation and destination lines.
A hike location is then announced every other Friday, and for a duration of 2 weeks after each hike is announced, people can complete the hike challenge, snap a picture of it, and use the branded challenge hashtag to enter for small prizes or e-vouchers, which translated into foot traffic to The North Face Vancouver's stores. At the end of each challenge, we also randomly draw three participants who will each receive a goodie bag filled with The North Face merchandise. We also decided to release the winner announcement as IG stories to simplify the sharing process from the tagged user, a tactic that can increase our reach further when they repost the IG story to their existing followers.
Through the first hike challenge alone and within a 2-week campaign period, the campaign generated 20,923 impressions and reached over 15,000 users organically across 3 posts and 2 IG stories on our Instagram platform, not including the 34 users that shared this content to their own social media platform. The 3 posts alone also generated over 1150 likes, 106 direct shares, and 138 comments. That is a 350% increase in engagement from our previous posts. We also saw a 30% increase in users tagging us on their pictures in general, which further benefits our brand awareness and provides user-generated content for us to share on The North Face Vancouver's Instagram account.
At the end of the 2 week campaign period, we measured 192 followers increase on the account, which is a 112% increase compared to the 2-week period previously.
Want to increase organic engagement for your social media and content marketing efforts? Reach out to our Social Media Strategists today at email@example.com.