Since its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram has well and truly defined the relevance of social media in the marketing of businesses.
With just a simple account set up, small startups have grown from virtual unknowns to recognized brands in a matter of a few years, some even months!
Fashion brands are some of the most to benefit from Instagram due to its visual-first approach. You can post both images and videos and combine that with Live sessions to grow your audience. In its early years, most fashion brands found success by simply posting pictures of their products.
But with the rising number of startups in such a highly competitive niche, it’s almost impossible for your brand to stand out and grow by simply posting product pictures (everybody does that).
With the right strategies, consistency and a little bit of patience, your African fashion startup can also find success on Instagram.
We’ve put together 6 great ideas to help your fashion brand dominate Instagram.
1. MOTIVATIONAL/INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES
You can never go wrong with some inspiration. Everybody can do with some inspiration once in a while for moments when we are doing or just need something to lift our spirits. Unsurprisingly motivational quotes are one of the most popular posts which can work in any industry. Hashtags such as #Motivationmonday, #Wednesdaywisdom and #tuesdaymotivation are linked to millions and thousands of posts. It works and you can incorporate this as well.
2. UTILIZE VIDEOS
Videos are by far the most popular form of visual content preferred by consumers and the real engine driving quality engagement and time spent on Instagram. Also, good videos have a high retention rate, which means it makes people stay on Instagram for longer. Knowing this, Instagram rewards such posts by showing it to more people. But don’t make it too long though. The average time a viewer spends on a video is between 2 to 3 minutes.
3. OPTIMIZE STORIES FOR ENGAGEMENT
There’s no better way to build engagement with your followers than through stories. The interactive feature that was invented by Snapchat and perfected by Instagram is now an easy way to reach people with your posts quickly especially with the short human attention span on social media. With the brief 15-sec limit you can post a variety of content. Do you want to find out which of your fashion products are popular with your customers? Create a poll! Launching a new product line? Use a promotional video or create the hype days ahead of time with Insta Stories. Don’t be afraid to use the opportunities in store.
4. USE INSTAGRAM LIVE
Live videos are a solid way to enhance your brand. Use Instagram Live to build credible engagement with your followers. You can try ideas such as behind the scenes sessions to give your customers a tour of what goes on to bring them their favourite posts. Another good post is Ask-Me-Anything sessions, usually done by the CEOs or Head of Branding etc. This gives your fans and customers the chance to ask their burning questions on anything related to your brand or industry and it’s another way to build your brand’s credibility.
5. SHARE VALUABLE TIPS FOR FREE
When it comes to content, your aim is to inspire, entertain or educate. The first two are used moderately but the latter is almost a certainty to be included in your strategy. When you share valuable tips with your users, they will keep coming back for more. Next thing you know, you’ve become a brand authority.
Is there an interesting history behind a type of apparel you sell? Do people confuse the names of fashion styles? Are there any useful tips you know which customers can follow for preventing their clothes from fading? Share it for free! Thank me later.
6. RUN INSTAGRAM ADS
You didn’t think we would forget about this, did you? Lol.
Well, to calm your fears, Instagram ads are one of the cheapest ads to run in comparison to the other major social networks. Paid advertising still remains one of the most effective ways for new users to discover your brand.
A smart way to make your ads cost-effective is by boosting your most popular posts. The rationale behind this is that, because that post was well received organically by your existing audience (based on likes, comments and shares), chances are, it will also be well received by the wider new audience and this can win you some new followers.
BONUS: USE HASHTAGS
Alright, I know we promised you 6 ideas, but we decided to be extra kind to let you in on another Instagram success secret. And that is simply to use hashtags. Including hashtags in your post captions can make them reach a far wider audience, all things being equal. Because hashtags are like hyperlinks used by the Instagram search engine to return results when a user searches for those keywords. If you want to learn more about how to use hashtags effectively, check out our comprehensive guide to using hashtags on social media right here.
Have you tried any of these strategies yet? Which ones worked best for you and which ones are you learning about for the first time? Leave a comment below and let’s hear from you.
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