Instagram for Business: 5 Ways to Make Your Next Brand Activation More Instagrammable

Instagram Branded Activation Unicon

Experiential Marketing Ideas

When it comes to showcasing your business or medical practice, make sure you stand out from the clutter and create something that is Instagrammable.


Marketers are taking a cue from the success of pop-up experiences like The Museum of Ice Cream and Rosé Mansion.  The new trend? Creating Instagrammable experiences on a micro-level for small to mid-size businesses for branded activations.

As publicists and social media marketers, we often ask clients, “Where do people want to take photos?” and “What is the photo opportunity for social media?” prior to launching any new experiential marketing business activation for an upcoming event, industry conference, or tradeshow booth.

Figuring out how to make something more Instagrammable for social sharing is now built into the initial business or new product launch plan. It is no longer an afterthought.

If it’s not memorable enough to share on social media platforms, did it ever even exist?

What is experiential marketing?

Experiential marketing firms specialize in creating branded experiences between brands and consumers. This can include immersive experiences, publicity stunts, in-person events, or even digital activations such as virtual corporate headshots.

Ideally, the activation will help the consumer to “experience” a brand firsthand.

Research shows that consumers that have a positive experience at branded events are 74% more likely to purchase from that brand.

If you can’t hire a Westchester Public Relations firm to create press-worthy activations for you, steal these tricks from us to make your corporate brand activation Insta-Worthy:


Leverage social media for corporate event ideas. If you have already chosen an event theme but need more ideas to bring the activation to life, search relevant hashtags on social media. For example, search “Corporate Event” on Pinterest, #CorporateEvent on Instagram or the full phrase on Facebook. If you are going with a unicorn theme, try searching under #unicornparty and create a mood board of everything you find to pull inspiration from.

Make it experiential. Think about how you can make the event more Instagrammable with user-generated content (UGC). Turn the brand activation into an experience that people want to share on social media. Add visual elements to make the activation pop, such as a flower wall, a balloon wall, or even a colored background to take photos against. Consumers today crave shareable social experiences, so think about how you can create this for them.

Create a custom hashtag. One way to capture photos and event content is to create a custom hashtag that attendees can use on social media. Be sure to make the hashtag visible with signage at the event. You can follow the hashtag on Instagram to keep up with all of the tagged images so people can view the images post-event.

Think visually. Sometimes the greatest ideas come from visual elements that are trending in pop culture. For example, we recently did a brand activation for Crowne Plaza White Plains for Westchester Magazine’s ‘Best of Westchester,’ which included a pop-up bar and over 3,000 unicorn drink floaties. We promoted the drink floaties on social media before the event and during the event. Everyone wanted photos with the unicorn floaties and they were the hit of the event.  Plus, people kept them after the event for pool parties, which was an added bonus! Think about how you can create a branded visual item that people will want to put on their own Instagram feed, and that they will want to keep long after the event has ended.

Don’t forget the swag. The best part of any PR event is always the swag bag. You can create custom swag bags and include branded items with the name/details of the event. For example, if you are planning a corporate event, you can give guests custom branded cookies with your logo.

Last but not least, don’t forget to invest in a good photographer.

Do not make the mistake of spending money on swag and brand activations and forgetting to photograph all of your hard work. These branded assets can be leveraged long-term for other press and marketing materials if you capture them on camera.

PR Tip: If you want to compete in a saturated Instagram market, you need a high volume of fresh content, which comes in the form of branded images.

More marketing dollars are being deployed for traditional photographers than ever before.  In fact, there is a resurgence of hiring traditional photographers for Instagram marketing because having strong visual branding and fresh creative is key.  Photographers working alongside social media marketers can help your business by creating a professional agency appearance on your social platforms without paying agency fees.

Sure, you can take some of these yourself on an iPhone, but if you want to make your Instagram feed stand out, you will need to invest in a photographer quarterly for branded assets.  The photos should be distributed across all of your social media marketing platforms after the event.

Experiential Marketing Firm Checklist: 

  1. Maintain a core brand aesthetic with your chosen event theme and swag.
  2. Make an impression with the digital assets you distribute.
  3. Choose a theme that reflects your company’s core mission statement.
  4. Divide and conquer. Assign every component of the event to your social media marketing team. If everyone in the agency has ownership of a piece of the puzzle (set-up, registration, catering), details are less likely to slip through the cracks. Use a project management tool like Teamwork or Asana to keep track of all of the moving pieces.
  5. Pictures are the best way to showcase your companies brand activation at an event. Hire a photographer and create a specific shot list that includes room shots, creative shots, branded shots, team shots, swag shots, and more. Don’t have a budget for photography? Assign a team member to the task and equip them with a high-quality camera.

How are you making your customer experience memorable or Instagrammable? Let us know! 

The Vendry: View our event portfolio here