Since it was founded in 1932, countless generations of children have grown up with Lego toys. As time and technology have progressed, Lego has created a whole new breed of Lego-obsessed youngsters – equally enthralled by its movie and video game franchise.
Social media continues to be an intrinsic part of Lego’s marketing strategy, with visual content a key way the brand drives engagement and fosters a sense of community online.
We’ve previously talked about its YouTube channel on the blog before (as well as its overall social strategy), so now let’s take a look at Instagram – and how Lego uses it to increase love for the brand.
Education vs. inspiration
Lego posts a variety of creative content on its Instagram channel, however there appears to be an overarching focus on two things – inspiring parents, and educating and entertaining youngsters.
The aim of inspiring parents is an obvious one, with parents having both oversight of the social media activity of their children and control of their funds to buy Lego products.
The brand is particularly clever at engaging adults by using relatable and subtly humorous content. If you’ve seen the Lego movie, you’ll know that this strategy was also used to ensure it’d be a hit with all ages.
Some content is directly geared at parents, with clever Lego displays illustrating common and relatable family scenarios. At other times, its posts are a little more off-the-wall, designed to be impactful in the feed.
With kids and youngsters being a core part of its target audience, Lego also uses Instagram to focus on ideas for education and play. The account typically makes use of video in this instance, using Lego for learning.
This has value for both children and parents, encouraging users to refer back to the channel as a regular source of inspiration and information.
While hashtags are typically thought of in relation to Twitter, Instagram’s recent update to enable users to follow specific hashtags have upped their importance on the platform.
Lego has traditionally relied on hashtags in order to collate and categorise content, mainly so that users can easily find and upload related posts. Its hashtag #legoideas – which is related to the Lego website that allows people to share ideas for new sets – is one of the most popular and commonly used.
The use of hashtags also means that Lego can capitalise on user generated content, re-posting the best ideas in order to reward loyal fans and create a continued cycle of brand advocacy.
Lego has also partnered with other companies in order to drive interest from elsewhere on the platform. For example, on the back of electronics brand Belkin creating a special, customisable Lego phone case, the brand asked their customers to show off their own personalised cases by tagging their Instagram photos with #LEGOxBelkin.
Promoting Lego Life
With an audience of 2.4 million, last year Lego decided to replicate its success on Instagram with the launch of a new visual app – this time specifically designed for young users. Lego Life is a place where kids can share their Lego designs, with the app bearing a striking resemblance to Instagram and its news feed.
There is a visualised hashtag system which allows users to quickly find their favourite Lego sets, as well as the ability to like and comment on posts.
The idea is that kids can feel safe and secure on the network (there are a number of safety features, as well as a ban on personal info or photos) to enable them to further engage in the Lego community.
Alongside its similarity to Instagram, the brand has also used the latter to cross-promote Lego Life and drive downloads of the app.
According to reports, Lego Life has proven to be a success, with the brand finding a distinct correlation between the number of times kids return to Lego Life and an increase in the sessions of playing with Lego. In turn, this is also said to increase the number of bricks bought.
Alongside regular brand content, Lego has also entered Instagram’s advertising arena, seeing success with its paid-for campaigns. One in particular, created to promote its new ‘Boost’ playset, used the platform’s Canvas ads in Stories.
The ads involved a mixture of full-screen images, video and calls-to-action in order to display various features of the product. This meant the ads were highly immersive, grabbing the user’s attention to showcase how they could replicate their very own Boost robot.
Instagram itself has suggested that the ad campaign was highly successful, generating greater levels of awareness alongside a 58% lower than average cost per click and a 45% lower CPM.
Meanwhile, the use of Canvas also helped to make the ads feel native to the platform. This is a key component of any successful advertisement, but even more so on Instagram, where users are likely to be particularly wary of branded and sponsored content.
What can we learn?
So, what can marketers learn from Lego’s use of Intagram? Here’s a few key takeaways:
Consider parents a target. While Lego typically appeals to children, the brand recognises the importance of engaging with parents and adults who are likely to impact decisions on digital access and purchasing. This doesn’t only mean posting ideas for activities and games, but creating humorous and quirky content that solely appeals to an older demographic.
Focus on user interaction. Likes and comments are important, but Lego recognises the value of real user involvement on Instagram and other social channels. Its focus on user generated content is key, as is posting content that encourages action or communication.
Ads don’t have to be off-putting. Most brands have a presence on Instagram, but not all venture into advertising due to fears over putting off users or interrupting organic interest. Lego’s use of Canvas shows that not all ads have a negative impact on the user’s experience. With a highly immersive, quality campaign, it shows that Instagram advertising can actually increase brand sentiment and even have a real impact on sales.
Other Instagram success stories: