Italian fashion house Valentino has put a lot of muscle behind its Instagram account in the past year. And the effort has paid off. Valentino posts more frequently than any other brand, sees more engagement from followers and responds to commenters at a more consistent rate than other high-end brands. As a result, Valentino has earned the spot as the top performing luxury brand on the platform.
“The brand has done an extremely good job combining high quality, professional product images, celebrity content and user generated content from influencers,” said Bryan Segal, CEO of social technology company Engagement Labs, which ranked Valentino as the best luxury brand on Instagram in a recent study. “What they do works for today’s Instagram and hits the needle for the chronological feed.”
Valentino has 6.3 million followers on Instagram, and sends out an average of 40 updates weekly. According to L2’s 2015 Fashion Index report, Valentino saw the most total engagements for a fashion brand on Instagram: about 60,000, or 10 percent of its audience, interacted with @maisonvalentino between Oct. 2014 and Oct. 2015.
According to Engagement Lab’s study, the most successful fashion houses on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are using the platforms to create brand awareness, drive brand affinity and drive sales. At Valentino, 2015 saw a big boost in sales: the company reached $1.36 billion in earnings, a milestone marker that CEO Stefano Sassi predicted in 2012 wouldn’t be met until 2017. The figure is a 48 percent increase over 2014’s earnings.
In the earnings announcement, Sassi credited creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, who joined the company in 2008, and their attention to accessories and detail for Valentino’s success. The Valentino “Rockstud” collection — heels and bags adorned with geometric studs — has become a favorite among street style stars, with the hashtag #rockstud gathering nearly 400,000 results on Instagram. Valentino was unavailable to comment for this story.
However, as Instagram plans to change its feed to be based around an algorithm, frequently posting to the platform won’t result in higher overall engagement as it has so far.
“Valentino was capitalizing on the fact that they had created this large audience, and that is a pre-algorithm approach,” said Mariana Rittenhouse, head of brand strategy at Instagram marketing platform Dash Hudson. “They were hitting people because they were always in their feeds. There’s going to be a catch-up period for Valentino where it has to scale back frequency and figure out which content performs best.”
Toni Box, senior director of social media and content at PM Digital, said that fashion brands should “step further away from self-absorbed posts,” such as lookbook and magazine-like images, and instead find new ways to engage audiences. In March, Valentino ran an “Instagram illustration open call,” asking artists to create original work reflecting their dream Valentino outfit, or an abstract piece of art that channels imagery from Valentino collections.
Segal said that Valentino’s tendency to interact with followers on Instagram will pay off. As other luxury brands avoid this strategy in order to maintain its air of exclusivity, Valentino responds to commenters and participates in its community.
“What will serve them well is that they’re not just another brand posting their content onto Instagram, they’re part of the community,” said Segal. “Anything you can do to engage on a deeper level will do well.”
Dash Hudson data showed that user-generated content — posts that tagged Valentino or mentioned it in a hashtag — helped the brand grow its organic reach to 66.2 million impressions in a week. Rittenhouse said that Valentino should do more to incorporate that content into its own feed to attract that organic reach.
“They have the ingredients,” said Rittenhouse. “It’s just a matter of pulling different levers.”
Fireball taps into streaming, Instagram to reach Gen Z of drinking age
To drive reach and awareness with Gen Z, spirits brand Fireball last month increased its digital video output on Instagram and streaming sites like ESPN, Peacock and Hulu with 15-20 second ads. It is the cinnamon whiskey’s first creative campaign to market to Gen Z, as many are now of legal drinking age. (The demographic […]
Why regulators are still at odds over ad tech data privacy standards
The problem with attempts to bring order to online advertising’s data industrial complex is how loosely written the rules are.
Member ExclusiveDigiday+ Research: Amazon holds untapped marketing potential for brands, agencies
Digiday's survey revealed a huge difference between how brands and agencies are spending on Amazon and other retail marketing sites compared with how confident they are that those channels drive marketing success.
SponsoredHow marketers are tailoring data-driven creative to engage audiences on CTV
Gabriela Maestre, vice president of creative solutions, Tremor International As the end of the year approaches and marketing teams look to finalize their 2023 budgets, many are wondering how to ensure their ads are set up for success in the months ahead, appealing to unique audiences whose media consumption habits continue to evolve. Advances in […]
How brands like Pepsi and American Eagle are investing in original sound marketing on TikTok
Pepsi announced a partnership with singer and actress Chlöe Bailey on Tuesday to release a new version of the song “Footloose,” encouraging TikTok users to join a dance challenge using the sound.
Evil Geniuses is using its DEI-friendly profile to win business from brand partners like Bud Light, HP and others
Evil Geniuses’ DEI-focused branding allows it to serve as a more palatable alternative to esports organizations embroiled in controversy.