If You Think Your Brand is Un-Instagrammable... Think Again

On a platform like Instagram, it’s easy to feel like only the ultra-photogenic industries stand out.

Fashion, food, jewelry, and travel all seem to dominate the picture-based platform, and influencers have mastered the art of nestling sponsorships into beautifully curated content. The broad appeal of aspirational quotes and yoga poses can leave less cinematic industries feeling forgotten. 

So how do you promote your less-glamorous products and services with influencer marketing? Surely non-visual products like adult diapers and tax services can’t be wrought into Instagrammable content? Think again! The reality is that using real voices to communicate brand benefits can work for even the least photogenic companies and the most sensitive of topics.

These days, consumers are looking for authentic marketing that employs honesty and realism to give them a break from the highly-dramatized promotional material they’re exposed to so frequently. Businesses that can find a way to present their products relatably can turn an unconventional concept into a creative and successful brand outreach, and using influencers is one of the simplest ways to accomplish this goal. Real individuals marketing products that they need makes consumers feel both heard and understood.

From windshield covers to mental health awareness, brands are executing successful marketing campaigns using influencer content despite their divergence from the classic lifestyle-Instagram photostream. Promoted with honesty and integrity, audiences find branded content engaging, and their interest can be channeled into a functioning customer journey. So, what kinds of unglamorous topics can find success through influencer marketing?


Delicate Health Issues

People deal with sensitive health issues on a daily basis, facing problems that are decidedly unphotogenic.

Everyone is looking for solutions to things like rosacea, incontinence, hairloss, and dandruff-- audiences respond well to influencers who seem like they can connect with their followers over difficult topics like these. With 83% of consumers trusting recommendations from their peers over traditional advertising, an influencer who understands and can personally relate to a given health issue is not only a credible source, they can be a lifeline in a world that tends to avoid the subject.

Forbes engaged health-focused influencers between the ages of 20 and 50 to share their own stories about living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as part of an awareness campaign. By bringing their personal stories to the table, these influencers were able to raise awareness and improve education on the subject. They were also able to encourage others to come forward and seek diagnoses, both because of their newfound knowledge about the signs and symptoms, and simply from an atmosphere of solidarity. Sufferers of IBS reacted to the bravery and honesty of these influencers, and the campaign fostered a series of valuable conversations that made real people feel less shame and isolation.

“Ho-Hum” Products And Services

Some products have built-in appeal-- that much is undeniable.

Beauty products seem fated to eclipse services like mortgage insurance on Instagram, thanks to their visual nature. But just because a product is less glamorous on the surface doesn’t mean it can’t launch a successful social media campaign. 

The cornerstone of all marketing, really, is to supply a demand. For instance, personal finance topics such as investment services, home loans and credit card perks are relevant to a great number of consumers. Those consumers are very likely on Instagram, and when you put your product into the hands of content creators, they can craft engaging narratives about what it means for them. 

One such successful campaign involved promoting a prepaid debit card by engaging lifestyle influencers, who creatively demonstrated how the cards allowed them to focus on the things they love while staying on budget. Millennials in particular are always on the lookout for money management solutions and any way to reduce financial stress. Not only did the content from these influencers pique interest from their followers in recognition of a shared difficulty, the stories provided by the Instagrammers offered insight into their daily lives and boosted relatability. Followers responded to both the benefits of the card and the chance to get to know their favorite influencers better.

Novel, Unfamiliar Or Complicated Products

Some goods and services are more complicated than others, and it can feel daunting to try to wrap them up into an ultra-marketable package.

Those that require an in-depth explanation or must be seen in action are at higher risk of being ignored or devalued. 

Thankfully, there is a strong place in visual influencer marketing for things like these. Step-by-step photo instructions, deep-dive video demonstrations, and careful tutorials are mainstays of the digital landscape and can provide an excellent outlet for promoting these more complicated concepts. Best of all, influencers can explain product benefits in their own words, vouching for a product and using personal examples that the audience can relate to. Barriers to purchase, like unfamiliarity or a sense that something is too good to be true, crumble when the product is presented by someone the consumer trusts. 


Digital agency Sway launched a campaign for an unusual automotive product-- a novel invention which required some explanation into how it should be used, and why.

Sway sparked engagement from its consumers using their influencer network, the content creators producing photos and videos of themselves installing and using the product. Presenting their affinity for the item led to a cascade of users tagging friends and sharing videos, leading to engagement that lasted well beyond the end of the campaign. The outpouring from real-life users pushed on-the-fence consumers over the edge. 

Marketing content successfully has always hinged on telling a good story. Crafting a narrative of an idealized lifestyle, an aspirational vision, will always lead to sales-- everyone has elements of their life they wish to improve or glamourize. These days, however, the elusive dream of a product isn’t enough-- consumers rely on real, authentic stories. Reviews, recommendations, and word-of-mouth publicity are key in the digital marketing world, and no one is better positioned to offer these things than social media influencers. Brands who prioritize realism and human connection in their marketing strategy are likely to find returns on their investments, regardless of the complexity or delicacy of their product. 

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