Jenny Pratt

Dash Hudson aims to show there are three crucial areas that brands should focus on to grow their Instagram followings: user-generated content, Instagram Stories and product imagery.

Jenny Pratt, senior director of customer success of Dash Hudson, which is a visual marketing platform that helps brands measure their Instagram efforts, stressed the importance of brands utilizing user-generated content for their own Instagram feeds. To give an example of successfully using user-generated content, she pointed out Herbivore Botanicals, which has 60 to 80 percent of its Instagram content coming from users.

“There is an authenticity here,” she said. “There is a realness that goes above and beyond [the marketing] of a traditional heritage brand that can be very focused with polished and stylized pieces of content. A lot of brands have seen success using user-generated content because it is bringing that realness and authenticity to their Instagram feeds.”

The second best practice she stated was focusing on Instagram Stories. Similar to using user-generated content, Pratt explained that Instagram Stories also allow for authenticity.

“Instagram Stories is another space that is very raw and organic,” she said. “It can be a little intimidating for brands because a lot of the time these videos are captured in the moment and shared, but brands are having success with this at the moment. They are short lived, so as much as it can be scary, it’s actually a really interesting space to play and experiment.”

Pratt mentioned beauty brand Youth to the People as one that does well with Instagram Stories. This brand uses the platform to inform their customers on restocks, show behind-the-scenes videos and request customer feedback, among other things.

She finished her presentation by focusing on the imagery brands use to showcase their products. Pratt mentioned Moon Juice, a plant-based ingestible and skin-care company, as a brand that does this successfully by using imagery that highlights the colors and textures of the products.

“A lot of [Moon Juice’s] content is based around highlighting the product and bringing it to the consumers hands through the lens of Instagram,” she said. “Consumers are looking to get beyond those editorialized, stylized pieces of content and they want to really feel the product. They want to see those raw, organic moments that truly bring the product to life.”

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