Lara Jefferies, Managing Director of Plug PR, is sharing in exclusivity with Retail in Asia her Top 5 tips to create Instagram-worthy retail experiences.
Tip 1: Plan With Instagrammers In Mind
Shoppers are social media users and this should always be front of mind. When planning a pop-up retail experience, it’s important to consider social media in the planning phase. Work with the designer and ask, what part of this experience is sharable? How does it create unique content opportunities?
It’s important to think about both the space you’re creating and the activities guests are exposed to. Lately, Plug has seen great success tapping into the DIY trend, even with the experiences we’ve crafted for high-end brands. Social media is about creativity, so it’s a natural fit for influencers to embrace an activity where they can put their skills to the test and create a unique item.
At Plug, we’ve worked with the city’s most famous Instagrammers to create custom jewelry, cocktails, floral bouquets and decorations, Christmas ornaments and more – all as part of a unique retail experience. Not only does the end result offer up some great instagrammable content, but the process can be captured on video as a time lapse or instastory.
Tip 2: Build A Stage To Create On
Think of the experience you’re creating as the set of a brand film. Influencers will be shooting themselves from all angles on your brand’s set. No one wants the same shot, and that means your set needs to work from as many angles as possible. Consider lighting, décor, catering, branding and props – they all need to work in more ways than one. They each need to be attractive, shootable and be able to tell a unique story.
Lighting has the power to set the tone of a space; it can help deliver the brand’s message or its personality. Today, every experience is a potential photo opportunity, so it’s important we ensure any experience offers visitors enough light to get their shot. Don’t make your guests rely on editing to save a poorly lit shot.
Tip 3: Space, Space, Space
Creating great content takes thought and time. It can’t happen immediately, this means you must give your guests space – both physical space and enough time to do their job. I’ve never met a creative person that likes to be cramped or enjoys having someone looking over their shoulder. It’s important to show guests respect, to let them have an uninterrupted and unrushed brand experience. As your guests, they’re looking for inspiration in the space you’ve created; give them enough time to work through the process of creating their content.
It’s of utmost importance to understand that influencers don’t want to post the same shot. Their followers are looking for a personal recommendation, for their unique take on a brand. This means a unique shot or video. Our role is to help facilitate this customised communication for a brand. We do that by providing options – multiple product variants, different textures, an array of props, and more. I recommend ensuring at least one section of any event is unstructured for aid the content creation process.
Tip 4: Inspiring A Customised Shot
Top-Down shots, known as a flat lay, are popular with food and fashion influencers, but it’s also a fresh approach for those not working in this space. It’s a great canvas to tell a story about a brand. The person taking the shot needs to get above whatever they’re shooting and have good lighting. Consider these needs when setting up products for shots.
At Plug, we used this approach for an event we hosted on behalf of kikki.K exploring #DeskGoals, beautifully styled desks using kikki.K’s gorgeous stationery and home wares. We helped our guests create customised flat lay shots of their dream desks. They were able to browse through kikki.K’s range of inspiring products and merchandise to create their dream desk and then shoot it. It was very successful, the created content was extremely sharable and great fun for our guests.
Every Instagrammer is popular because of their unique, individual style. That creative currency needs to be respected when brands partner with influencers. Provide your guests with the tools and time to let their personal style shine.
Tip 5: Texture, Colour and Props
Surfaces with natural (look) fabrics or walls with texture provide a great backdrop for photos. Don’t be afraid to use strong colours, or even opt for an all-white event, this allows Instagrammers to capture very defined shapes and lines. Props can bring a pop of colour, make a space fun, facilitate personalisation, and are a great host for branding.
Props come in all shapes and sizes; they can also be alive! Our experience working with fashion brands including Jack Wills and Bonpoint has proven that using real-life models is an approach a lot of influencers will embrace. Rather than a traditional, structured fashion show, we’ve used models in an unstructured setting that has allowed influencers to interact and use them to create unique and personalised shots. For luxury children’s fashion house Bonpoint, we worked with mum and baby models to create more candid shots – a fresh and visual approach that guests loved.
Lara Jefferies is the Managing Director of Plug PR, an award-winning independent PR agency (HK Based) that has hosted the city’s top Insta-celebrities at retail experiences for brands that include Perrier-Jouët, Nespresso, DFS, Stella Artois, kikki.K and Jack Wills.