Instagram is often used to post pictures of new places you discover while on a holiday, a special dish you have prepared or another selfie with a cute dress, a new lipstick or the developing abs for the beach season. But have you ever wondered how you could employ Instagram for your own brand?
There are tons of businesses out there who are using Instagram to promote their brands, to showcase their products and to reach new potential customers. They are using their own images, recurring to hashtags to make their images more findable, connecting with influencers to speak on their behalf and also making use of the advertising opportunities that Instagram (or Facebook) offer nowadays. Let’s take a closer look at how you can use the social media platform Instagram for your own fashion brand.
Showcase your collection
The most straight-forward usecase of instagram is showcasing your own collection.
Show the pictures of your clothing items, show the details of the patterns and the happiness on the models faces wearing them.
However, you can also communicate more about your brand such as the creativity behind it, a transparent line of products and the customers who are wearing your clothing. Images speak more than words and Instagram is an excellent tool to make even quick shots, , or example pictures taken with your mobile phone at your booth at a tradeshow, look good. It depends on how much you want to show to the world and in any case, Instagram will give you an easy to use platform to do so.
Connect with influencers
Big brands hire famous singers, actors or sportsmen and women to represent their brand, to be the face of a limited edition collection or to even co-design selected clothing items with them. And you can do the same, even on a smaller scale. Find out who has the best reach among your target audience and who creates contents which you feel are aligned with your own. You can individually reach out to influencers to ask about doing a joint campaign, about prices and conditions or you can use already established platforms. Per country or language in cases such as Belgium or Switzerland here in Europe, and per audience you will most likely find a wide selection of agencies or platforms offering influencer marketing, connecting brands and bloggers. In some cases, these platforms have fixed prices but most likely they’ll let you do the negotiation with the influencer and will then take a commission (e.g. 10-20%) on top of the price you pay to the blogger.
Find your own brand ambassadors
Maybe your brand already has a lot of avid fans, who take pictures of their outfit and create entire look books of how they combine an item of your collection with something they already owned or with clothing from other brands.
Why don’t you use the connection you already have and put it to work for your brand. These fans are already on their own happily showcasing your products, with a little incentive they can go a long way.
First you need to identify them, though. Find the users who have shopped most frequently online, those who have spent the most time on your site, those that are liking your posts on Facebook and retweeting your comments on Twitter. Get to know your audience first and then research their presence – Maybe they are already talking about you?
Then send them a message, it’s as simple as that. Tell them that you have seen how engaged they are with your brand and that you are really flattered, that you have liked how they have combined your clothing and hey, why not give them a public shout-out about it? Most people will be proud to be complimented and even more so if it is done publicly.
Offer something special on Instagram only
Do you offer discounts or special sales in your store? Have you tried offering such discounts only to a selected audience, such as only your Instagram followers? This will make it more interesting to follow you, to like and share your posts and most likely keep your followers more engaged.
Offering a coupon will also be useful in seeing if any of your Instagram fans actually buy and in consequence, in deciding whether to invest more in this channel.
Advertise using Facebook insights
Another method of increasing the visibility of your brand is recurring to an advertisement. Through the tight bond with Facebook, you can place an advertisement on Instagram as well. You create and manage your ads through the Facebook ads manager where you can activate Instagram as a placement for your existing ads or create new campaigns that will be visible only on Instagram. Based on the personal information on the user you can show ads in a very segmented way and measure your successes easily with Facebook’s insights.
What are you waiting for? Get started with a business profile on Instagram right now and start by publishing pictures of your items, of last Friday’s team breakfast or of the sketches on the wall of the design team of possible future collections. Grow a little closer to your customers and let them be part of your brand!
And while you are at it, why don’t you stop by at our Instagram? Take a look what FashionTrade.com is up to:
In short: How to use Instagram for your brand
We have seen a lot of ways in which you can make use of instagram for your brand or company. Now it’s time for you to choose the methods that best suit your brand and that will most likely be most beneficial for you. Showcase your products, connect with influencers, find your already existing brand ambassadors and empower them to speak about you, offer something exclusive to your instagram followers or recur to advertisement options through the facebook platform.