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How the best in the game put their proof in the pudding.
Would you visit a hairdresser who had a really awful haircut? Would you hand over your hard-earned money to a mechanic whose own car would never start? Would you trust a dentist with really terrible teeth?
Probably not. It’s human nature. We don’t just want to hear how good someone is at something—we want to see the proof.
That’s the challenge of being a creative agency on Instagram. Your account isn’t just a marketing channel like it is for so many other brands. Instead, it acts as an informal portfolio of sorts.
It not only solidifies your brand, showcases your recent work, and gives some insight into what makes your agency tick, but it also shows just how well you can craft and stick with an aesthetic as a part of your Instagram strategy.
When done right, your agency’s Instagram account should help you foster a positive reputation and, as a result, attract new clients. After all, when people see what a solid job you’re doing with your own marketing initiatives, they’ll want you to replicate that success for them.
No pressure, right? Well, don’t panic quite yet.
If you aren’t sure if your agency’s Instagram account is doing you justice, we have the creative inspiration you need.
Check out these 12 agency accounts that are knocking it out of the park, and get ready to learn from their own successes and ideas!
What They Do Well: You might expect a stiff, corporate feel from the largest PR firm in the world. But, Edelman manages to maintain a highly personal and approachable Instagram strategy. Rather than being overly self-promotional, they use their Instagram account to introduce followers to different Edelman employees and share peeks at their company culture—including cupcakes and team celebrations.
The Takeaway: Because you feel so much pressure to ace your own Instagram presence, it’s tempting to become really rigid or salesy with your own content. Remember, it’s the authentic stuff that resonates best. So, don’t hesitate to be a little relaxed and personal. Give an office tour, have your employees take over, or post that photo from that company celebration—even if it isn’t perfectly staged. If it works for Edelman, it should work for you too.
What They Do Well: Huge’s entire brand identity is bold and unapologetic, so it makes sense that their Instagram strategy would follow suit. Despite having worked with tons of big-name clients (like Hulu, Google, Nike, and Pfizer), Huge doesn’t treat their Instagram account as a platform to boast about their accolades and accomplishments. Instead, it’s clear that they view it as an extension of their brand—posting bold illustrations, quirky photos, and sometimes even posts that are a bit irreverent.
The Takeaway: While Instagram can be a great place to promote your recent work (and, we’ll touch on that a little later!), that’s not all you can do. First and foremost, your account should reflect your brand. If you haven’t already, sit down and write out some different adjectives that fit your brand identity. Then, make sure that you’re always returning to those whenever you create an Instagram post. That will ensure that your account adds to your brand—rather than serving as a jarring point of confusion for your followers.
What They Do Well: When it comes to promoting a solid mix of content, SPARK nails it. They showcase their recent work, push followers to recent blog posts, toast their awards and recognition, and share behind-the-scenes peeks at their office and projects—while still ensuring that their grid feels cohesive and complementary.
The Takeaway: Sure, an Instagram strategy is important. But, don’t take that as an excuse to box yourself in. A healthy mix of content will keep your followers engaged. If you’ve previously only been sharing your recent work, give some thought to other things you could be posting on your agency’s account. Whether it’s snapshots of your office or a look at the equipment you used to shoot a recent campaign, mixing things up will keep your grid feeling fresh—while still being totally authentic to your brand.
What They Do Well: Red Antler is an agency focused on startups, and their Instagram strategy effortlessly captures the fresh, bright, and youthful vibe that accompanies startup culture. From photos of their office dogs to their staff enjoying “thirsty Thursday” celebrations, there’s so much that Red Antler does right. But, one thing worthy of extra attention? Their use of video. They use short video clips to showcase the work they’ve done for their variety of clients—which is a highly engaging way to call attention to the awesome projects they produce.
The Takeaway: Instagram may have started off primarily focused on photos, but video is becoming more compelling than ever on the platform. Think outside the box about how you can use video (whether it’s directly in your grid or in your Instagram stories) to highlight your work, your team, or really anything else.
What They Do Well: With major clients like Geico and Oreo, Martin Agency has no shortage of impressive work that they could plaster all over their Instagram grid. But, instead of being highly self-promotional, this agency opts for something different—they use their Instagram account to give followers a look at the day-to-day lives of their employees. From bike rides to rooftop celebrations, followers are granted access to get to know the agency team members on a more personal level.
The Takeaway: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Authenticity reigns supreme on Instagram. Involve your agency employees in your Instagram presence for content that really resonates and is highly shareable.
What They Do Well: With a bold and sort of gritty aesthetic to their Instagram strategy, there’s a lot that ST8MNT does right. One particular thing that’s worth emphasizing? Their Instagram stories highlights. The catchy custom covers are cool enough, but the content of the stories is even more remarkable. With those highlights, they give followers glimpses into their recent work, their creative process, and even dish out some inspiration. It’s a great way to engage people, while still staying on brand.
The Takeaway: The main lesson here is that you shouldn’t neglect your Instagram stories highlights. Identify some categories that could be interesting to your followers, and then begin grouping your clips there. With 400 million daily active users on Instagram stories, that’s a feature you can’t afford to ignore.
What They Do Well: One look at Anomaly’s Instagram grid, and you’ll see everything from photos of celebrities to snapshots of their team having a great time. But, click into any of their posts, and you’ll quickly notice that there’s another thing this agency does well: hashtags. Knowing that hashtags are a great way to draw more users to their posts, Anomaly makes use of a bunch of different, industry-relevant hashtags (everything from #womenininnovation to #anomalyperks) on their photos.
The Takeaway: If you aren’t currently using hashtags on your Instagram posts, now’s the time to start. Create a long list of relevant, high-performing hashtags that you can reference whenever you’re creating a new Instagram post—and then pick and choose the ones that fit. Sked’s Hashtag Manager even allows you to save your frequently-used hashtags, so you don’t have to re-type them each and every time.
What They Do Well: Jelly Marketing does a lot of the same things that work well on other agency’s Instagram accounts—including introductions to different team members and even short clips that dish out marketing tips. But, after a bit of a summer break to revamp their Instagram presence, Jelly Marketing came back with a bright new Instagram aesthetic account and what appears to be a totally new strategy. One thing that you’ll now notice in their Instagram captions is a call-to-action. Rather than treating their captions as an afterthought, they end with a question or some sort of clear action for the user—which is sure to up their engagement.
The Takeaway: You put a lot of thought into what photos to post—don’t they deserve a solid caption? Your Instagram captions deserve just as much consideration and strategy as your visual content, so make sure that you’re giving them the attention they deserve. One surefire way to make the most of your caption is to take a page from Jelly Marketing’s book and include a specific call-to-action for your followers.
What They Do Well: As opposed to using Instagram to land more clients and projects, Ignite seems to have dedicated their Instagram presence to highlighting their company culture and drawing in potential talent—as evidenced by all of the glimpses into their fun traditions (including yoga classes and cornhole tournaments!) and even their open positions.
The Takeaway: Much like anything on Instagram, it all comes back to your goals. Make sure you’re clear on what you’re trying to accomplish through your Instagram strategy. Do you want to grow your client base? Strengthen relationships with existing clients? Attract more talent to your ever-growing team like Ignite Visibility? Knowing your objective will help you curate content that actually pushes you toward that goal.
What They Do Well: When it comes to what an agency would post on their own Instagram feed, there are plenty of things that might spring to mind. However, there’s one thing that probably wouldn’t be near the top of the list: a cat. But, Bowen Media’s beloved office cat makes up a good chunk of the agency’s Instagram post. It’s solid proof that you don’t have to be predictable with your Instagram content—in fact, you shouldn’t be!
The Takeaway: Give some thought to whether there’s something fun or quirky within your own agency that would be worth some attention on Instagram. Do you have an office vegetable garden you could share the progress of? A goldfish? A book club? Sharing a fun detail like that on a regular basis not only adds some personality and consistency to your Instagram grid, but it also inspires your followers to keep checking back for updates on the personal content they love.
What They Do Well: With such a cohesive black and white aesthetic, you might be surprised to learn that Grey Advertising has someone different running their Instagram account on a weekly basis. Each and every week, they hand the reins over to an employee to post content for that entire week. It’s compelling and fresh, while still remaining true to the brand’s identity.
The Takeaway: Stressed about always creating original Instagram content yourself? There are probably plenty of resources available to you—you just aren’t leaning on them. Get a read on which of your employees would like to be involved in honing your Instagram presence. You’ll get some awesome, authentic content without having to put in all of the elbow grease yourself.
What They Do Well: As a boutique agency who’s worked with many female-targeted brands (like Birchbox and Condé Nast), Skirt PR’s Instagram account aesthetic is what really stands out. They maintain a feminine look on their grid, without it being too frilly. It’s bold, empowering, and something they clearly put a lot of thought and strategy into.
The Takeaway: A beautiful Instagram account aesthetic doesn’t just happen by accident. It takes quite a bit of planning. First, read our guide on how to cultivate an Instagram aesthetic for your own agency and then take a look at Sked’s Visual Instagram Planner. That feature allows you to see how photos will look when they’re put together in your grid—which enables you to post content with an overarching visual strategy in mind.
Whether it’s photos of office traditions or glimpses at their recent work, all of these agencies are finding unique ways to knock their own Instagram accounts out of the park.
However, regardless of their different content, there’s one thing that they all have in common: They all make an effort to post on a somewhat consistent, predictable basis. They don’t leave their followers guessing about when they’ll see something new in their feeds.
We know that posting consistently can be a challenge. Fortunately, Sked can help. You can queue up and schedule your Instagram posts (and even Instagram stories!) so that your content can post without constant manual effort.
Not only does that help you stick to a predictable schedule, but it also allows you to plan and schedule your Instagram content with your overarching strategy in mind.
So, use these agency accounts as your inspiration, map out your own Instagram strategy, and then arm yourself with the tools you need. In no time, your agency will be deserving of a spot on a list just like this one.
To carve out hours in your social media workflow, start by signing up for Sked’s 7-day trial. As an all-in-one social media platform that allows its users to post directly to Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and more, Sked is the first step in engaging authentically with your followers.
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