How Condé Nast Is Using Instagram to Drive Growth and Revenue [Case Study]

Print media has been at odds with the digital world ever since its inception, often failing to recognize the invaluable opportunities presented by these online channels. This resulted in declining readership, impressions, ad dollars, and brand name cachet for multiple publishing houses that had never really had their boat rocked before.

When industry leader Condé Nast took notice of how the future was shaping up, the storied publisher switched gears to focus on driving growth through these new media platforms. Condé Nast digital charged full speed ahead by embracing innovative methods to reach new audiences, accelerate growth, and expand revenue by harnessing their brands' forte: visual storytelling. While most publishers snuffed at the thought of adopting these mediums, Condé Nast recognized the possibilities they could create. Not to mention the natural fit for the image-centric Instagram platform.

As Condé Nast's Director of Digital and Social Strategy, Rochelle Stewart, explains: “Instagram is a natural fit for us as it allows our brands to tap into what they do best — visual storytelling, beautiful photography, imagery that is both inspirational and aspirational.” This philosophical shift speaks to Condé's visionary sensibilities, further cementing the publisher's trailblazing status.

In 2016, Condé Nast partnered with Dash Hudson to help bolster the company's social efforts and maximize the resources of each brand in their portfolio. Stewart asserts that Dash Hudson has "been an invaluable tool not only for our social media managers but also for our central social strategy team to support all Condé Nast brands." Dare we say some represent the best of Instagram? We dare. 😇

We followed the stratospheric success of GQ and Vanity Fair magazine from the time of Dash Hudson's onboarding, the details of which can be found in our latest case study. Get it today to learn how both top magazines were able to:

  • Grow their audience through strategic content planning facilitated by Dash Hudson.
  • Turn Instagram into a revenue stream.
  • Leverage their reach and ROI to inform branded content.
  • Monitor and measure the performance of events like the Oscar party.
  • Segment their Instagram posts into content pillars to determine and analyze their strongest visual assets.
  • Witness concrete and impressive ROI from the LikeShop link-in-bio solution.
  • Identify opportunities to accelerate growth.

See below for a short excerpt of the case study and get the rest delivered in your inbox now. 💥




Two of Condé’s publications, Vanity Fair and GQ, have achieved notable success on Instagram. Both brands have implemented their own strategies while simultaneously embodying Condé Nast’s internal social pillars: brand identity, community, consistency, and creativity. The digital team at Condé was searching for a solution to support their Instagram initiatives and turned to Dash Hudson to make social magic happen. Let’s dive into how two of their iconic brands, Vanity Fair and GQ, cemented leadership status with the assistance of DH.

The Traffic Jam

Dash Hudson has been a strategic partner of Condé Nast since January 2016. One of the first opportunities Dash Hudson helped Vanity Fair and GQ to unlock was the ability to drive organic traffic from Instagram to their respective websites. The LikeShop solution allows publications to associate web links with Instagram posts to seamlessly redirect their followers to web content. Paired with a strong call-to-action in the caption, LikeShop streamlines the user experience. While many retail brands use this functionality to direct followers to product pages, Vanity Fair and GQ cleverly connect their audiences to articles, photo galleries, and videos, propelling web traffic and providing additional value to their audience.

Instagram is a gateway to style and lifestyle readers who are our highest value readers in terms of time spent on the site and pages and stories consumed per visit. LikeShop performs really strongly for GQ.
-Mike Hofman, Director of Digital at GQ magazine

A little b-day boogie. Happy 27th birthday to Jennifer Lawrence! Photograph by @therealpeterlindbergh.

A post shared by Vanity Fair (@vanityfair) on



The big challenge for publishers venturing into Instagram marketing has been the lack of concrete data to illustrate the return on all the resources deployed to running successful social accounts. This case study demonstrates through the Condé Nast publications just how worthwhile of an investment digital channels are.

Stewart reveals that "a year ago, we didn’t really see the return on investment from Instagram to drive traffic." She continues, "Dash Hudson allows us to measure performance across our large portfolio of brands and to identify the levers to accelerate growth as we launch new ones." Get the case study now to see how the illustrious Condé Nast magazines have done it. 🙌


Want to learn more about our solutions? Get in touch today (right after you sign up for our weekly newsletter👇).