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4 Brands Already Using Instagram Direct for Marketing

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Instagram Direct just arrived, and brands are already seizing the opportunity to create special connections with customers.

Just a few hours into Instagram’s new version which includes private messages, 4 brands have already managed to catch our attention with it.

Hyatt’s social media team

marketing instagram direct hyatt

Today, we received this Christmas greeting card on our Instagram inbox.

Forget the so-called personalized emails sent en masse to clients! Instagram Direct makes for a truly personal message.

You can be sure that the TOTEMS team saw this message. What’s more: the inclusion of Hyatt’s holiday hashtag and its official Instagram account in the post got us scrolling though their branded content as well: an invitation for us to come and taste the Holiday spirit with Hyatt on Instagram.


instagram direct marketing

Gap posted this photo, accompanied with the following caption:

Join our #WIWT @Instagram Direct challenge: first 15 people to comment below will get a message from us to participate!

GAP was the first brand to get international coverage in the press for a marketing initiative using Instagram Direct. With this simple call to actions and reward (a free macbook satchel from the brand for the first 15 people who commented), GAP managed to get people excited and got our undivided attention.

Fashionista reported on the story’s development, showing the photo that was shared with the 15 people.

Kardashian Kollection


Repost and hashtag #KKDIRECT — we will share an exclusive pic with 15 followers!

The Kardashian’s fashion brand used the same method to get people excited about #KKDirect: the hashtag was used in 4,400 Instagram posts in the past 19 hours (yes, it means that this number doesn’t include the 600+ comments left on the Kollection’s original post). An impressive adoption rate and engagement.

What differs with GAP, and the genius behind this simple campaign is how Kardashian Kollection turned its most avid followers into insiders by giving them the opportunity to share the freshest news about the brand with their followers. That’s how the Kardashians show their Instagram expertise. Being followed by millions of people must be a good way to get marketing ideas with the photo and video sharing app.

The brand then delivered on its promise, sending out the picture and Instagramming a glimpse of the Instagram Direct:

Michael Kors

instagram direct marketing michael kors post

An early gift from @Instagram! The first 50 people to post a pic and tag it #MKDirect will get a special message from Michael Kors tomorrow.

Michael Kors is taking it slower, and bets on this extended timeline to let the buzz build itself. By announcing a gift delivery to 50 people tomorrow, they’re making sure to get mentioned a lot beforehand. Sending a message only to a few doesn’t mean it won’t reach many people by getting reposted.

It’s actually what social media author Gary Vaynerchuk experienced: one day, he shared a Snapchat photo with a handful of his fans. The event was so unusual that many of these receivers shared a screenshot on Twitter, which got Gary trending for the first time, even though he has 1 million followers there.

What about you? Have you seen other brands doing one-to-one marketing with Instagram Direct? Let us know in the comments!

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