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HiSmile shares insights from Instagram Stories campaign

HiSmile is a Gold Coast-based e-commerce company that sells teeth whitening and toothpaste products to customers around the world.

Since launching in 2014, HiSmile has used social media and influencer marketing to achieve rapid growth. The business is on track to turn over $40 million this year.

Internet Retailing editor, Heather McIlvaine, interviewed HiSmile’s head of marketing, Justin Gaggino, about its recent move to advertise on Instagram Stories, a new format that has delivered impressive ROI for the startup.

Read the full interview below.

Heather McIlvaine: Can you provide a snapshot of the size of the business?

Justin Gaggino: We are on track to turnover $40 million, and we have 30 people in our team! Our major markets are Australia, the UK, USA, Canada and New Zealand. We are a business that prides itself on social disruption [through] punchy video campaigns and a vast influencer marketing strategy. We have between 3,000-4,000 influencers at any one time. A good example of this is the campaign we are running with Conor McGregor [Irish MMA fighter].

HM: What was your approach to developing the creative for Instagram Stories? How was it the same or different to other formats?

JG: Our approach was very much similar to our mantra with videos that play on the Facebook and Instagram feed. Grab the viewer’s attention as fast as possible. The theory is the same, you only have one second to keep someone’s attention with “thumb stopping” content. The same holds true for Instagram Stories ads. If you don’t provide immediate value and entertainment, the end-user will simply skip over your ad without a second thought. Punchy, entertaining content is the key to content across all of our campaigns, this holds especially true for Instagram Stories where the time frame is sub-15 seconds.

HM: What is your goal with the campaign?

JG: The aim of our most recent campaign is to bring brand awareness to a new demographic (18-45 year-old males), as well as customer acquisition within an existing demographic (16-34 year-old females). As an e-commerce business, the immediate goal is always conversion. However, we feel that you are able to accomplish both brand building and conversion with the Instagram Stories ad product. This is largely due to its intimate nature. There is no outside noise and it is a very immersive ad experience, which allows you that one-on-one connection with the customer that is very rare in advertising.

HM: What’s your understanding of the types of campaigns that work best in this format?

JG: Our understanding is that you need to fit your entire brand and what it represents into a 15 second-video. That’s a lot of information to fit into a small amount of time. This means that the punchier the content, the better. More than any other ad product, your content on Instagram Stories needs to be of the highest quality because of the shorter time-frame you have to present your case to end-users.

HM: When did you roll out the campaign and where?

JG: We rolled out the campaign to our major markets over the course of a month and a half. It is still going presently.

HM: What has the impact been so far?

JG: The impact has been great! ROI has been great, and it allows a different avenue to advertise where potential customers have tuned out ads. Because of the nature of advertising, when you’re one of the first to “land grab” the attention where there is less competition, you usually win out.

HM: How does it compare to campaigns you’ve run elsewhere?

JG: It compares favourably to our Facebook and Instagram feed advertising in late 2016. There’s less competition and saturation by advertisers, and the audience isn’t starting to tune out ads.

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