There’s no question about it – Instagram is the king of social networks for fashion brands. And it makes sense, right? Instagram is all about visuals, which makes it the perfect platform to show off the latest trends in fashion.
Instagram is said to be the main reason we’ve seen such a surge in online fashion startups over the last few years. UK-based t shirt printing company Shirtworks have seen orders double for aspiring fashion moguls in just 12 months.
The annual fashion report from Lyst said “This year we’ve seen Instagram develop as a powerful fashion force, setting trends and boosting sales. To succeed in the feed, brands have honed in on streetwear’s graphics and logos as transmittable memes, causing a huge logomania trend and a 90s/00s aesthetic revival.”
So how can fashion brands get the most out of Instagram and turn their small startup into a global force of fashion? Here are 4 of the best strategies to get more out of Instagram for your clothing brand…
Influencers are the kings and queens of Instagram. With millions of engaged followers scrolling through their every word (or image), it’s no wonder brands are willing to pay 6, sometimes 7, figures for a simple post.
For fashion startups with smaller budgets, influencers can still offer a lot of value. The trick with smaller budgets is to work with smaller, more niche influencers, some of which will be happy to share your brand simply exchange for free merchandise.
Building a network of these ‘micro influencers’ can help to catapult a small startup fashion brand in to the 10’s or even 100’s of thousands of followers within a few months.
For startup fashion brands, influencers also offer an opportunity for product imagery. Rather than paying for an expensive photoshoot + model, many smaller fashion brands are simply using their influencer images as their main on-site product photos, which cuts out the cost of a photoshoot, and uses a more familiar face on the brands ecommerce site.
2. User Generated Content
Getting customers to take photos of themselves wearing your brand and uploading them to their social channels isn’t as hard as it may sound. Many fashion brands on Instagram reward their customers for doing so, either with ‘ambassador perks’ or straight up free clothing.
The latest trend in with UGC (user generated content) appears to be for brand ambassadors, whereby customers of a brand can sign up for heavily discounted products, in exchange for promoting the brand with their own UGC.
Some brands go a step further and allow these ambassadors to earn a few quid for each sale they generate by providing them with unique affiliate links to go alongside their latest Insta-snap.
3. Stay On Brand
As a brand owner on Instagram, it can be tempting to post a whole range of images, simply to keep up with your commitment of 2 – 3 posts per day. However, this approach can dilute your brand’s profile.
Instagram is like many other social platforms, in that it’s design to tell and share stories. Successful brands know this and use the platform to craft their brand story which allows the brand’s personality to shine through. This means keeping a consistent theme throughout all images and posts. If you don’t already have a theme – get one!
Simply posting products, company updates and even curating relevant content is not enough. The brand personality is what will set it apart from competitors on the gram.
4. Utilise Features
When Instagram added the ‘stories’ feature a few years back, it was an absolute game changer. So much was this the case, that almost all other social platforms quickly followed suit. Stories allow users to share images and videos which appear for 24 hours and are then removed. The beauty of stories is they’re positioned right at the top of the news feed – no scrolling required!
Brands who have managed to amass over 10,000 followers can also get access to the more recent ‘swipe up’ feature, which essentially allows brands to direct their audience to a sales page built for conversion, and mop up a good amount of impulse buys. This is according to https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/swipe-up-instagram-story-link-feature.
The latest feature added in 2019 had fashion brand owners smiling from ear-to-ear. Product tagging, as it’s known, allows brand owners to post a typical fashion image, and ‘tag’ up to 5 products within the image, each of which is linked to a sales page for the particular product.
So there you have it. If you’re a fashion brand owner who is not currently utilising these four strategies, chances are you’re falling behind the competition. Neither of these tactics cost money (or at least not a lot), and don’t even take a great deal of time to setup and test – so what are you waiting for?