How Reebok targets women on Instagram differently than Nike

Every fitness brand has a different marketing approach, depending on its status, its goals and its audience, and there’s an interesting comparison to examine between Reebok and Nike and the way they target the female audience on Instagram.

The two brands have created a separate Instagram account targeting women, in an attempt to create more relevant content for the female audience.

Both @Reebokwomen and @Nikewomen have a close number of posts, slightly more than 600 images and videos, although there is a big difference in the number of followers the two brands have.

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While Reebok has seen a significant growth during the past year, it’s still way behind Nike, which is certainly among the most popular brands on Instagram. Its main Instagram account numbers 40.9 million followers, while @nikewomen has 4 million followers.

Reebok’s main account has 617k followers, while there’s also the @Reebokclassics account with 448k followers and @reebokwomen numbers 149k followers. Reebok is among the brands that started late on social media, but the change in its marketing strategy led to impressive results.

According to Unmetric, Reebok noted a 163% increase in Instagram followers from January to October of 2015, beating all its competitors, including Nike.

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How @reebokwomen defined its presence

Reebok wanted to inspire every woman to test her limits and this is clear from the ‘about’ section:

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The account aims to inspire women to be better, stronger, more determined, forming the fitness generation that enjoys to be challenged.

The visual content focuses on effort, action (and sweat), and the use of the hashtag #toughisbeautiful gives us an idea on what to expect.reebhash

From athletes to everyday women, @reebokwomen wants to motivate the female audience to stay fit and keep trying harder to reach all (fitness) goals.

What’s more, Reebok focuses on action sports (and action images), with Crossfit and fighting being common themes for its posts, while #bemorehuman ensures there is a balance between athletes and everyday women.

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The motivation to keep trying harder is also reflected upon the hashtags used in every post, with #pushyourlimits #betterthanyesterday #trainlikeafighter #NoExcuses #trainhard being t etc.

As it’s all about the female community, Reebok is reposting content from its audience, honouring hard-working women, hosting events, always encouraging participation.

Nike’s domination on Instagram

Nike is among the most popular brands on Instagram and it certainly knows how to benefit from the platform’s visual appeal, always being ready to surprise its audience with its next creative campaign.

@Nikewomen was created in order to separate the brand’s target groups, depending on their different needs, and this account approaches strong and unstoppable women.

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As Nike understands the psychology of the Instagram user, it creates content that its audience loves, which boosts both the brand awareness, but also the engagement.

After all, its creative posts, its high quality images and its impressive videos led to the massive popularity on Instagram, serving as one of the best examples on how brands can excel on the trending platform.

What’s special about @nikewomen’s content?

Nike’s @nikewomen account blends fitness with lifestyle photography, with appealing high quality images and videos creating an impressive feed that every woman who is even slightly interested in fitness would love.

It is not focusing on well known ambassadors, at the extent that the @nike account does, highlighting the concept of being an unstoppable, busy and fit woman.

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There is a colourful consistency on its feed, with very appealing posts, both of the products, but also of women promoting the brand in their daily routines.

It’s interesting to note that users have been so addicted to the brand, that even a direct promotion leads to great levels of engagement, which significantly favours the brand and its marketing strategy.

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What’s more, there’s an increasing use of videos in the form of mini series, creating short stories that boost engagement and of course, enhance the brand’s (creative) authority.

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Comparing the marketing approaches of @reebokwomen and @nikewomen

It’s not easy for any brand to be compared to Nike’s Instagram presence, but still, Reebok earned its social growth during the past years with hard work, catching up with all the highly established brands in a remarkable growth rate.

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While @nikewomen is all about the community, the impeccable visual content and the lifestyle photography, @reebokwomen prefers to focus on the athletes, the hard work and the sweat it requires to test your limits.

There’s even a difference on the way the both brands approach their content, from the expressions to the colours and the hashtags that they use, having a distinct branding strategy.

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Successful sponsorships, highly acclaimed collaborations and the hosting of events that unite the community helped @reebokwomen create a solid Instagram presence, hoping to grow even more, always on its own branding, without trying to imitate the success of @nikewomen, or any other similar brand.

Lessons from both brands

Both brands serve as excellent case studies for the successful use of Instagram and here’s what we could keep on how a brand can use Instagram:

  • Learn your audience
  • Be authentic
  • Stay creative
  • Explore splitting your accounts to narrow down your audience
  • Come up with your own hashtags and stick to them
  • Engage with your audience
  • Don’t imitate your predecessors
  • Focus on quality
  • Build relationships
  • Measure success
  • Always think like a user

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