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Instagram, Marketing

Ultimate Guide to Instagram For Fashion

When it comes to brands using Instagram for fashion, it’s a fast-paced, competitive world that has tons of business benefits.  

A fashion-forward Instagram strategy can drive traffic, make sales, and attract a loyal community of followers.

But it’s not just about being a trendsetter — an Instagram strategy for a fashion business needs to not only captivate an audience, but also start a conversation, share experiences, and sell their brand lifestyle.

Check out these popular tips, tricks, and industry-favorite features to help you create your own successful Instagram for fashion marketing strategy!  

Table of Contents

Instagram For Fashion: Why is it so Successful for Brands?

Fashion brands continue to pave the way of “cool” on Instagram.

In fact, Instagram is a “powerful fashion force, that is setting trends and boosting sales,” according to global fashion search platform Lyst’s Year in Fashion Report 2018, charting findings from 80 million shoppers in 120 countries.

It makes sense – the highly-visual platform is the perfect place to inspire new trends and promote a lifestyle beyond the rack.

“By nature, Instagram is well suited to fashion brands to whom the visual and “community” dimensions are essential: purchases generally linked to a feeling of belonging to a group, or through the imitation of stars, etc,” reports The Conversation:

The Lyst’s Instagram fashion report also revealed that “celebrities, and their outfits, remain the most powerful influencers, shaping what customers look to buy online.”

To no surprise, celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian drove some of the biggest spikes in search, influencing shoppers around the world:

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ready for the weekend

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

Influencers are even partnering with brands to create their own fashion lines, because of their mutual success on the platform.

For fashion brands, features like shoppable posts and influencer marketing make it easy to showcase your brand on Instagram.

But the challenges lie in getting your products seen and sold to your target audience — competition is high and the fashion world moves fast. So having a strong fashion-focused Instagram strategy is important.
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How Instagram Became the Fashion Trendsetter People Can’t Get Enough Of

Instagram is now a driving force in the fashion industry, paving the way for new trends and fashion inspiration. And its trendsetting powers show no sign of slowing down.

From bike shorts and belt bags to “ugly” sneakers and tiny sunglasses, the latest fashion trends have a viral effect on Instagram.

And while we can’t deny that most fashion trends are born from supermodels on the runways of Fashion Weeks and celebrities’ red carpet looks at the Met Gala, there’s still a huge amount of fashion-forward conversations and trends being led by Instagram.

Spotting something on Insta is the modern equivalent of a great recommendation from a friend,” Grazia’s fashion news and features editor, Laura Antonia Jordan tells The Guardian. “It’s accessible. Aspirational but attainable – that’s the magic combination!”

A prime example includes brands like Rouje and Faithful the Brand.

Known for their recognizable “it-girl” dresses, they account for some of the most wanted brands on Instagram — you just have to look at the huge amount of brand mentions and tags to see how Instagram users are fueling their unique fashion style in the industry, and their growing sales.

Another key fashion trend that dominated Instagram feeds this year was led by Realisation Par’s leopard print skirt, known as the “Naomi”.

In fact, pieces like the “Naomi” sold out numerous times online and led to dozens of look-alike leopard print spin-offs.

But according to InStyle, this wasn’t Réalisation Par’s first experience with Instagram success.

First, the flirty long-sleeved Alexandra dress took over Instagram feeds and was seen on everyone from Kylie Jenner to Bella Hadid.  Followed closely by the “must-have” Violette wrap-dress and then the Juliet.

Successful launch after successful launch, it quickly became clear that the Australian brand was in the business of “creating pretty summer clothes that truly go viral”.

When it comes to leading conversations, sustainable fashion has been a hot topic on Instagram over the last few years. According to Lyst’s report, brands that put an emphasis on their sustainable materials and production techniques are getting noticed on Instagram.

Instagram searches including sustainable related keywords this year, such as ‘vegan leather’ to ‘organic cotton,’ saw a 47% increase reports Lyst. For brands, sustainable fashion has been the conversation to be part of in 2019.

Take Veja sneakers for example. The cool, sustainable V10 sneaker was everywhere during New York Fashion Week. After being spotted on Meghan Markle on her Australian Tour, the brand saw a 58% year-on-year search increase.

Sustainable “insta-famous” brand Reformation was another favorite among Instagrammers last year.  Their Thelma dress was among the top ten most viewed dresses of the year.

@reformation

For business owners, Instagram is taking center-stage when it comes to brand awareness, promotion and driving sales, and now is helping to shape the trends that take the streets.

I started the Instagram account before I even launched the website,” Lisa Bühler, founder of Lisa Says Gah tells The Guardian, recognizing Instagram as a powerful “discovery” tool for fashion.

@lisasaysgah

While previously we relied on fashion magazines, celebrities, and TV ads to push out styles and trends, now Instagram followers are free to engage, follow and even start a trend – and brands are paying close attention.

Instagram is even joining in on that conversation, with their new @shop account, curated by Instagram’s Eva Chen, Instagram’s Head of Fashion Partnerships. The account will spotlight brands that “built their voice” on the platform, and will cater to working women in their 20s and 30s.

With the launch of @shop, Eva told Business of Fashion, “People discovering a new brand and being able to support a business owner — that was always my favourite thing about editorial. I hear from business owners every day that they wouldn’t have a business without Instagram…. Now to have a place to help spotlight that.”

This year, it’s more important than ever for fashion brands to not only be present on the platform, but make sure they are also part of the leading fashion conversations.

With today’s biggest fashion influencers looking to Instagram for style inspiration and shoppers diligently browsing their Instagram feed before making a purchase,  it’s crucial for brands to go all in on a well-rounded Instagram strategy and stay ahead of the curve!

Planning Your Instagram For Fashion Content Strategy

Instagram is a highly-visual platform, giving fashion brands the flexibility and creativity to sell more than just a “look”, but rather a lifestyle.

Shoppers are no longer limited to searching for an outfit by scrolling through endless studio photos on a company’s website.

Many popular fashion brands have even created a “shop our Instagram” section on their website, as their influencers and feed pose as a perfectly-curated lookbook:

aloyoga.com

In fact, a third of all Instagram users have purchased an item of clothing they saw on the platform!

So what can we learn from these Insta-famous brands success? How do you make sure you’re catching your target audience’s eye?

Here are some of the most popular types of content your brand should be posting to Instagram:

The Types of Content Every Fashion Brand Should Be Posting

Instagram is the perfect platform to bring your brand’s story to life. Some of the most popular Insta-brands have become masters at visual storytelling and capturing the “perfect” shot.

These are the most engaging content types of images and videos fashion brands should include in their content mix:

  • Brand mission
  • Product features
  • Product updates
  • Lifestyle content
  • User-generated content (UGC)
  • Behind-the-scenes

Take Frank and Oak for example. They include a mix of products, behind-the-scenes shots, FAQs, HQ life, and more to give their viewers a well-rounded look at their business.

Here are a few ways fashion brands on Instagram are using these types of content to share their story:

Brand Mission

It’s important to think about your why when creating your Instagram marketing strategy. By using Instagram as an outlet to spread your brand mission, you’ll be able to draw in new audiences and, ultimately, attract new customers.

This year, clothing brand Marine Layer introduced a new program called Re-Spun, a revolutionary recycling program that’ll give your old tees a new life. Re-spun makes it easy to donate your old tees (you even get a $5 credit per tee), which they deconstruct and then re-spin into new, recycled tees!

When you click the link in their bio, you’re taken to an engaging landing page where you can submit your mailing address and receive a free prepaid mailer, or get directions to drop your tees off in any of their stores.

To help get the word out, the company is using Instagram to their full advantage — by spreading the message in creative ways on their feed, Instagram Stories, and with influencer marketing:

Mate the Label, another brand taking on an eco-friendly approach to fashion, also uses the platform to spread their mission to create less waste:

While still showing off their products, the fashion brand’s Instagram feed, highlights and stories all continuously work together to share an important message – their drive to “think clean” and encourage their followers to #giveadamn.

It’s more important than ever to build a relationship with your followers, and this is a great way to do it! Sharing the why behind your company helps separate yourself from the crowd and create a personal connection with your audience.

Product Features

While Instagram is a great place to show off your fashion brand’s unique style and take on new trends, it’s important to share what makes your products unique.

Many of the most successful fashion brands stick to the 80/20 rule when planning out their content-mix: 80% of your content should tell your story, whereas 20% should be promotional.

For example, Everlane has a great balance of promotional and educational content. Their Instagram feed doesn’t bombard visitors with promotions but rather includes useful information sprinkled throughout their content:

Product Updates

If you’re launching a new product, running a sale, or pushing any changes to your brand, it’s important to let your followers know!

This is a great way to generate excitement around new launches or updates to your company. You can even tease an update, by giving your followers a “sneak peek”:

You can also take the opposite approach, like Sezane. The pretty, Parisian clothing brand takes to Instagram to give their followers the exact date, time, and location of their new launch:

By using Instagram to announce any company or product updates, you’ll give your followers a reason to keep coming back to your profile to check in for more.

Lifestyle Content

Lifestyle content is king on Instagram, especially when it comes to the fashion industry.

In fact, in a recent article by The Guardian, when comparing traditional e-commerce sales tactics to successful strategies on Instagram: “Instagram brands specialize in showcasing their wares “in the wild”, or within a stylized set-up that fits their overarching vision of how potential customers might aspire to dress”.

Insta-famous clothing brands like Faithful the Brand have mastered the art of creating the ultimate jet setter style on their Instagram feed, and will give you some serious wanderlust.

Seen on influencers like Lucy Williams and Vanessa Hudgens, the brand has seen a 12% increase in searches year over year.

Clothing brand AllSaints has also started to move their shoots outside the studio to show off their product where its creation was inspired:

The announcement came as a simple caption “we’re going to Hawaii” with a video of dreamy beach scenes, followed by sneak peeks of the new collection over the following week.

Instagram has become so much more than sharing a perfectly styled post – but rather has become a source of inspiration for shoppers and a place for brands to bring their story to life.

“Instagram lets us see how an outfit goes together rather than seeing separate items on a rail,” fashion psychologist Carolyn Mair tells The Guardian. “For some people, this is very helpful, even if the outfit looks very different on them.”

User-Generated Content (UGC)

By sharing UGC, you’re not only able to tell your followers what your most popular products are, but you’ll be sharing testimonials and showing your product in action. So it’s perfect for helping undecided shoppers convert into customers!

If you’re having trouble sticking to your fitness goals, you’ll want to take a look at Outdoors Voices’ Instagram profile.

They’ve built a loyal community of followers who love to show off their favorite products while they’re out #DoingThings. The brand’s UGC is seriously inspiring, and encourages followers to get moving and have some fun:

The ultra-stylish Scandi fashion brand, Ganni, frequently shares fans posts on their feed to show off their latest arrivals:

The effortlessly chic shots are a great way to show off their product in different environments, as well as take credit for their A-list fans.

TIP: Just remember to always follow the rules when reposting UGC. If you’re not sure how to ask for permission, we have a whole blog post on how to search for and legally repost UGC!

Behind-the-Scenes

As more and more users turn to Instagram to search for businesses, it’s important that you share as much information as you can with your followers — and using Instagram for fashion is a perfect new opportunity for this!

Boyish Jeans promotes their brand by sharing behind-the-scenes footage, showroom shots, influencer spotlights and more across the platform on Instagram. Their audience has an opportunity to really know the brand inside and out:

Don’t be afraid to show off your brand from all angles. Your audience will appreciate the honesty and transparency, and are more likely to form a deeper connection to your brand. It’s important to remember you’re here to build relationships with your audience, not just promote your business to them!

Instagram For Fashion: Using Shoppable Features to Drive More Sales

With 500 million people using Instagram Stories every day, it was only a matter of time until Instagram brought out an easier way to shop to the platform.

Shopping through Instagram Stories isn’t a new phenomenon, as many brands and influencers have already been priming their followers to “shop their stories” by adding product URL’s and “shop now” CTAs in their stories over the past year.

If you’re just starting out in the world of Instagram for fashion, here are 4 features for brands looking to sell on the platform: 

#1. Shoppable Posts

While there are lots of different ways for brands (especially fashion brands) to weave sales opportunities into their Instagram marketing strategy, having Instagram shopping posts in your feed is a feature you definitely want to take advantage of!

In a nutshell, Instagram shopping posts make it easier for people to shop the products they find on Instagram by “tagging” products in posts.

Instagram’s latest shopping feature will likely have a big impact on both brands and shoppers: the ability to buy products without ever leaving the Instagram app.

Known for their affordable “It” bag of the year, Staud Clothing has created an entirely shoppable feed using the tagging feature:   

Followers can also click the ‘Shop’ button on their profile to see each item tagged individually, and easily bookmark products to shop later:

According to Instagram’s announcement, now when you tap to view a product from a brand’s shopping post, you’ll see a “Checkout on Instagram” button on the product page.

You can tap it to select from various options, such as size or color, and then continue to payment — all without leaving Instagram! All you have to do is enter your name, email, billing information, and shipping address the first time you check out.

#2. Instagram Stories Shoppable Stickers

When watching your story, your followers can now tap on each sticker to learn more about the product and, ultimately, make a purchase.

Tagging products in Instagram Stories stickers can be a more organic way to promote shopping on stories, and allows you to showcase product details without seeming too sales-y or spammy:

For smaller, emerging fashion brands, the shopping sticker is a great marketing asset.

Currently, only Instagram business profiles with more than 10,000 followers can add links to their stories and drive traffic to their products from their posts. 

But, the shopping sticker is available to everyone!

This means that by using shopping stickers for Instagram Stories, small businesses with under 10,000 followers can now lead their viewers to their products shopping pages through their stories!

And given the success of Instagram Stories, shopping stickers could be a huge tool for brands looking to drive sales on the platform.

Plus: If you’re looking to drive sales through the link in your Instagram bio, you can get started by linking your existing Instagram posts to product pages via a shoppable, clickable landing page like Later’s Linkin.bio.

With 90 million Instagram accounts tapping on a product tag on Instagram each month, with Later you can now tag products in Linkin.bio posts too!

Later’s new Shopify integration makes it easy to connect your store and import your product catalog to your Later dashboard.

By connecting your Instagram directly to your sales provider, you can create a faster check-out experience and get better visibility into what is driving your sales.

Shopify stores using Linkin.bio will also be able to track sales from Instagram and see exactly how much revenue each post generated through the link in your bio.

You can track revenue from your Linkin.bio management page, or view your revenue per post alongside your Instagram analytics in Later.

Note: Not using Shopify? No problem. You can still add multiple links to each Instagram post and link your followers to product pages using Linkin.bio, so your followers can find the exact product they’re looking for from a few posts back in your feed.

Want to drive and track your traffic from Instagram? Upgrade to a Later business plan today and start using Linkin.bio as part of your marketing strategy!

 

#3. Shopping From Creators 

Starting next week, users can shop directly from a creator’s account without ever leaving Instagram. With the ability to tag products in their posts, creators can make it easy for their followers to shop their favorites directly from their feed.

In a blog post about the new feature, Instagram wrote, “Instead of taking a screenshot or asking for product details in comments or Direct, you can simply tap to see exactly what your favorite creators are wearing and buy it on the spot.”

Until today, shoppable posts were only available to retailers driving sales from their accounts. With the new release, influencers will be able to tag brand products and make sales directly from their own account.

Last month, Instagram introduced Checkout, a new feature that allows shoppers to make a purchase without ever leaving the app. Prior to the update, viewers would be taken a product description page after tapping on a product tag.

Together, these new shopping features will create a completely streamlined and seamless approach to shopping on Instagram.

While this new feature is great news for fashion brands looking to drive more sales, it’s great news for creators, too!

Instagram also commented, “Today, creators tag the brands they are wearing, add details in the caption and respond to countless comments and DMs. With the ability to tag exactly what they’re wearing, creators can get back to expressing themselves and sharing what’s on their mind, which will make their followers happy too.”

Note: While there is no news on when the feature will be widely-released, we expect to see it make its way to more accounts later this year.

#4. Instagram Shopping Channel

And now, Instagram has included a Shopping channel to help you find product-related posts from the brands you follow and brands that Instagram thinks you might like.

This opens up a huge opportunity for online retailers and e-commerce brands to tap into new audiences and show off their products to a really wide and engaged audience of over 200 million people each day.

Instagram’s topic channels (which launched in June this year) allow you to browse content that pertains to your specific interests, such as Sports, Food, Fashion, Travel, Music, and more.

And with Instagram’s new Shopping channel, you’ll now be able to find product-related posts from the “brands you follow and brands you might like.”

The new Shopping channel on Explore essentially offers a more centralized way to shop on the platform. And, since the Instagram algorithm knows who and what you follow or engage with, it works hard behind the scenes to show you only the shopping posts that it thinks will be of interest to you!

For fashion brands, this means that with the algorithm putting in the work, your product posts could be placed in front of potential new audiences.

How to Create Engaging Instagram Feed Content for Fashion Brands

The good news is there are tons of great tools on Instagram that makes it easy for fashion brands to build brand awareness, connect with their audience, and drive more sales!  

So when you’re next brainstorming for your Instagram content strategy for your feed and your Instagram Stories, think about incorporating some of these ideas:

#1. Use Carousel Posts to Show off Multiple Pieces or Product Angles

Businesses of all sizes have picked up on the Instagram carousel trend and discovered new and creative ways to incorporate them into their Instagram marketing strategy.

One of the more popular ways to use Instagram carousel posts is for revealing new product lines or collections:

 

The ability to share multiple photos and videos in a single post (rather than posting several photos and videos back-to-back) also gives you way more flexibility to share relevant content without spamming your followers:

Whether you’re launching a new denim line or a shoe company, the ability to share several product photos in a single post is perfect for driving interest and, ultimately, sales!

 

#2. Use Instagram Video Posts to Promote Your Products

While photos are still the more common format on Instagram, video is gaining a lot of traction… And not just in terms of popularity.

According to a report from eMarketer, while photos generally outperform videos in terms of engagement, engagement numbers for videos are growing at a faster rate than photos.

More to that point, according to HubSpot, 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video of it first. So using Instagram video to show your products in action could be a huge way to increase the ROI of your Instagram marketing!

Check out how activewear brand Girlfriend Collective uses video to show off their products on women of all shapes and sizes:

Many fashion brands are also jumping on the video trend to show behind-the-scenes footage of shoots, events, and anything else related to their brand:

There are so many ways to get creative with video for your fashion brand – the options are truly endless!

Luckily, there are tons of apps and software that you can use to not only improve the quality of your videos but also add branding to them, whether it’s your logo, font, or some other design element.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Instagram Video to learn everything from recording and sharing your Instagram videos to picking the right editing apps and strategies!

 

#3. Create Eye-Catching Content with GIFs  

Instagrammers feeds are flooded with posts from fashion brands trying to catch their attention. So how can you make sure your posts stand out from the crowd?

Check out outerwear brand, The Arrivals. They create quick GIFs showing off their product features:

They also use GIFs to show off their product versatility, so followers can get a better sense of how it will wear:

Video content on Instagram is continuing to grow, so now’s the time to start experimenting with your content, editing your footage to fit your feed, and sharing more engaging videos with your followers!

#4. Get Creative with Dynamic, Multimedia Designs

A lot of popular Instagram trends start with influencers, who are constantly trying to find new creative ways to express themselves on the platform (and attract new followers).

This year, collages are everywhere on Instagram, and what started as an Instagram Stories trend is trickling down into the Instagram feed now too.

Both brands, influencers, and regular Instagram users are getting way more creative with their collages, using new apps to stitch together images, videos, fun backgrounds, and more.

In fact, the Instagram collage trend is so hot right now that brands have started to collaborate with collage apps to release their own branded collage templates that users can post on their own feeds.

Fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger partnered with Unfold to release their own templates:

Revolve has even jumped on the trend, collaborating with the StoryLuxe app to create special collage templates for Coachella that were a hit with both brands and attendees:

Another fun way to add a little life to your images is with the Instagrammer favorite app, A Design Kit. The app’s packed with stickers, backgrounds, and realistic brushes that let you draw textures or colors directly on your photos.

These multimedia masterpieces are really eye-catching, and a great way to add some fun to your images!

If you’re looking for ways to boost your engagement and get more followers, you’ll definitely want to jump on these new design trends in 2019!

Luckily, it’s now easier than ever to create high-quality Instagram content – you just need to step outside the Instagram app for some extra help! Check out our blog post, 14 Apps For Creating Gorgeous Instagram Stories to help you get started!

If you’re not sure how this will look on your feed, try editing your photos ahead of time (outside of the Instagram app) so you can make sure everything looks great and fits together before hitting ‘post’!

And if you really want to perfect your feed and Instagram aesthetic, using a visual Instagram planner like Later can help you plan out the look of your Instagram feed after you’ve edited your photos.

Just drag and drop your photos onto the visual planner, rearrange them to see how they’ll look in your Instagram feed, and then save to schedule them!

Plan your feed before you post with Later’s free Instagram planner + scheduler!

 

6 Tips for Creating Instagram Stories for Fashion Brands

When it comes to showcasing your brand on Instagram Stories, there are over 500 million accounts globally tapping through stories each day, and one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses!

So you know you’re going to be showing off your products to an engaged audience from the get-go!

With more people using Instagram Stories, it’s important to have a strategy in place for sharing content if you’re using Instagram Stories for business.

But if you want to use Instagram Stories to get more followers and grow your reach, you’ll need a game plan. That’s why this year you’ll want to invest your time in creating an Instagram Stories strategy.

This is especially true if your goal is to grow your Instagram engagement. By developing a content strategy for Instagram Stories, you can make sure you never miss an opportunity to connect with your audience again!

What to Post on Instagram Stories for Business

Like with regular posts, if you’re using Instagram Stories for business, it’s good to post a mix of fun, lighthearted content and promotional content.

The great thing about Instagram Stories is that because they’ve created so many cool tools, you can really get as creative as you’d like. There’s also a ton of new apps popping up that make designing high-quality stories easier than ever.  

When you’re creating your Instagram Stories strategy, everything you post should come back to your brand goals. Once you know what your Instagram marketing goals are, you can better determine what types of content to post!

The same is true for promotional content on Instagram Stories. It’s easy to create promotional stories that are also fun and lighthearted. And there are a ton of creative ways to use Instagram Stories for business.

That being said, when it comes to promotional content on Instagram Stories, there are a few things you can do to get the most bang for your buck:

#1. Use Links in Your Instagram Stories

If you have a business account with over 10k followers, driving traffic from within your Instagram Stories is pretty straight forward.

All you have to do is fill up your story with photos of a single product at every angle, on different people, or in different environments, and then hit your followers with a promo code or call-to-action at the end!

Viewers can swipe up on story content that contains a URL and be redirected anywhere you want them to go. The link button isn’t super obvious, so make sure to educate your followers that they can swipe up to learn more:

You can also add GIFs, stickers, or other designs to draw your followers attention to the link in your story as well!

It goes without saying that the ability to send your followers to specific landing pages from your stories is extremely useful. Whether that’s a product page or a new blog post, this is a great opportunity for fashion brands to drive more traffic and sales straight from their stories.

#2. Share Polls & Emoji Sliders in Your Instagram Stories for Business

Have you ever wanted to survey your Instagram audience about their interests, likes, dislikes, and more? Well, now you can!

Whether you want to collect feedback on your products, crowdsource ideas, or simply entertain your followers, poll stickers offer an entirely new way to engage with your Instagram audience!

Check out how footwear brand Charlotte Stone uses Instagram Stories polls and emoji sliders to gather feedback and get input on their latest product drops, directly from their followers:

Clothing brand Anthropologie similarly uses the emoji slider to find out what followers think of their latest arrivals:

Not sure how to use Instagram Stories polls for your business? Check out our post 6 Create Ways to Use Instagram Stories Polls for some inspiration!

#3. Ask Questions in Your Instagram Stories for Fashion

Unlike poll stickers and emoji sliders, both of which allow users to “vote” on questions that you submit, when you add a question sticker to your Instagram story, other users submit questions for you to answer.

The Instagram Stories question sticker is also a great way for you to start a conversation about your business with your followers! Your followers will appreciate the free advice, while giving you a chance to show off what you have to offer.

Whether you want to collect feedback on your products or crowdsource ideas, questions stickers offer an entirely new way to engage with your Instagram audience!

#4. Use the Countdown Sticker in Your Instagram Stories

Now when you share a story about an upcoming ‘something special’ (like an in-store sale, product launch, or event), you can add a sticker that counts down to a date and time that you set.

Your followers can then subscribe to your countdown event, which will send them a reminder when the time is up and your countdown is complete!

Whether you’re looking to promote a sale, event, or something else entirely, the ability to share a countdown on your stories that your followers can get reminders about is a great way to generate better results.

#5. Share GIFs in Your Instagram Stories

Last year, Instagram teamed up with GIPHY to build a library of high-quality GIFs on Instagram Stories. Now you can add fun, expressive GIF stickers to any photo or video in your story!

Adding GIFs on Instagram Stories is easy — when you tap to add a sticker to a photo or video in stories, you’ll now see a new GIF option. Tap it and you’ll find a library full of hundreds of thousands of moving stickers powered by GIPHY.

Many brands are even creating their own GIFs for Instagram Stories, and encouraging their followers to use them in their posts:

Using this feature in a consistent way can add a ton of personality to your Instagram Stories and help you build a loyal following. You can get a step-by-step Instagram tutorial about how to add GIFs to Instagram Stories here.

#6. Share IGTV and Instagram Posts on Instagram Stories

Did you know you can share IGTV and Instagram posts in Stories too?

Posts or IGTV videos shared to Instagram Stories will display the original poster’s username, letting users tap it to check out the original post.

For example, fashion brand Jacquemus uses the feature to share UGC posts from their fans to Instagram Stories:

With more and more users shifting their attention to Instagram Stories, users have been using stories to cross-promote their posts and IGTV videos. Now, instead of including a screenshot of their feed to stories, users can easily share the post with the new re-share feature.

Schedule Your Instagram Stories with Later

Timing is everything in the fashion industry, so it’s important you never miss a chance to connect with your audience!

Luckily,  you can now manage your Instagram Stories content with Later — schedule it to a time that suits you (plus add in any captions or URLs you’ll want to include in your post!) and when the time comes to publish, you’ll get a push notification from Later on your mobile!

It’s a super-simple way to plan your content in advance — which is really useful for brands and business planning a special launch or campaign on Instagram Stories!

 
Want to learn how to use your Instagram Stories to grow your business and get more followers? Sign up for our free Instagram Stories course and take your Instagram Stories to a whole new level!

Using Instagram Stories Highlights to Showcase Your Brand

Instagram Stories Highlights are an awesome way to share important information front and center on your profile.

Since Instagram Stories Highlights live right below your bio, you’ll want to make sure they stand out and grab your followers’ attention.

Plus, by optimizing your Instagram Stories Highlights, you can even make sales directly from your profile from people who aren’t even following you!

Take for example, Carbon38, the premier destination for active fashion, gets creative in their Instagram Stories Highlight by including a “Workout With Us”. The highlight helps customers get up close and personal with their fitness favorites, while learning some new moves to stay fit: 

This is a fun and unique way to show off what their known for best, and gives new followers a chance to get to know their products.

Grouping your Instagram Stories Highlights together into categories makes it super easy for your audience to watch the stories content that they’re interested in:

Along with a mix of all things related to their brand, the fashion brand Aritzia uses Instagram Stories Highlights to create a fully-shoppable, digital catalog.

The brand includes video clips of their products in action, images with Shoppable Tags and Swipe-Ups links.

They include CTAs, helpful shopping types and categorize their products in different highlights to make shopping a breeze.

By treating your Instagram profile like a landing page for all things related to your brand, you can create Instagram Stories Highlights that share your most important information with your audience. And because your highlights are up indefinitely, you can continue to drive traffic and sales with your stories!

To help you create your own Instagram Stories covers, we created free Instagram Stories Highlights icons. These icons are fully customizable so you can make them fit your profile! Get yours by filling out the form below:

 
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How to Use IGTV For Fashion

Using IGTV for business is still new territory for most brands – however many fashion brands on Instagram are already diving in head first.

Video marketing is no longer just for companies with big budgets, with an estimated 81% of businesses using video as a marketing tool in 2018. And videos on Instagram are no exception!

“Engagement numbers for videos posted to top media publisher accounts worldwide increased by 53% year over year in May, surpassing the 46% growth rate seen for photos over the same timeframe,” reports eMarketer

But beyond the growing engagement numbers, there are tons of other reasons to invest in video. Chiefly among them is that video gives you the ability to share complex, in-depth stories that can’t be conveyed in a single image.

Whether you’re trying to build awareness around a campaign, promote your products, educate your audience, or something else entirely, videos offer much more story-telling leeway than photos.

When you take the time to think about what your target audience would like to watch on IGTV, you’re much more likely to get them engaging with your content! It’s important to always be creating content that makes sense for your brand, and will resonate with your target audience.

Take Lululemon, for example. The popular activewear brand spotlights brand ambassadors, the story behind their popular products, and other fitness related content:

Take a look at how fashion designer of her self-named brand, Anine Bing uses IGTV to show off behind-the-scenes in her studio and an up-close at the work that goes into her products:

The clothing store ArticleAnd has gone all in on IGTV as well, using the new platform to show off new arrivals, color collections, and outfits “in the wild”:

Looking for some more IGTV inspiration? Make sure to check out our blog post, IGTV for Business: 10 Brands Killing it With IGTV Videos to learn tips and tricks from the best.

Instagram For Fashion: The Rise of Influencer Marketing For Fashion

When it comes to Instagram for fashion, nobody does it quite like Revolve. The company has created a whole new experience with their A-list influencers, cultivating the cool-girl lifestyle, and inviting audiences to follow along on the adventure.

This year, the company even hosted their own Revolve Festival at Coachella — a week-long, influencer-packed event filled with fashion, beauty and surprise music sets! The event is strictly invite-only and the exact location is revealed only for those with a confirmed RSVP:

From their global influencer getaways to the annual REVOLVE awards, Revolve continuously proves the power of influence on the platform with a loyal community of 3M followers.  

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, influencer marketing has grown from a $1.7 billion industry in 2016, and is expected to continue its upward movement this year to potentially become a $5.6 billion industry.

In fact, influencer marketing is on pace to become an $8 billion dollar industry by 2020! So if you haven’t started collaborating with influencers to market your business on Instagram, now is the time.

Here are a few of the most common influencer marketing partnerships for fashion brands on Instagram:

Partnering with Big Instagram Influencers (100K+ Followers)

A partnership with a big fashion influencer often comes with a big price tag, but the investment can really pay off!

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@raniafawazz in Ref silk. 🎀

A post shared by Reformation (@reformation) on

Considering advertisers spend upwards of $5 million (excluding production costs) for a 30-second Super Bowl commercial to reach more than 100 million viewers — who may or may not be the brand’s target audience — an influencer partnership with a niche audience doesn’t seem like a bad business idea.

A series of Instagram posts by a fashion blogger with 500,000 followers and a cult-following could sell out an entire product line within 24 hours.

Partnering With Micro-Influencers (10K – 100K Followers)

Influencer marketing is poised to become a key strategy for promoting your business and products on Instagram, with micro-influencers (those with less than 100k followers) yielding great results for businesses in 2018.

In fact, last year micro-influencers posted 84% of sponsored posts worldwide!

As engagement rates on Instagram continue to decline, more and more businesses are seeing the value in partnering with Instagram influencers who have a small (or “micro”) but highly-engaged following.

One of the biggest benefits of working with micro-influencers is that they tend to retain higher levels of engagement than top-tier influencers.

In a recent influencer marketing study, Neoreach concludes “the larger the influencer, the lower the ROI”.

Yep, you read that right!

It’s reported that influencers with 50K to 250K followers deliver a 30% better ROI per dollar spent than macro-influencers, and 20% better than influencers with 1+ million followers.

In-Kind Influencer Partnerships

While cash is the most desired form of payment, in-kind campaigns can still be a meaningful exchange. Collectively reported, “54% of influencers say they would be more likely to post in-kind, or in exchange for free product, if they’re a true fan of the product or brand.”

Many influencers with a smaller following are happy to do in-kind partnerships, especially when they are already a brand advocate.

If you’re a larger brand reaching out to a follower looking to grow, the chance to repost an influencer’s photo to your larger audience may even be an added incentive!

Brand Affiliates

The link in your bio is prime real estate and influencers are teaming up with brands to use it for affiliate marketing.

In most cases, influencers are set up with a unique URL that offers their followers a special discount. Once followers click through to the site and makes a purchase, affiliates will receive a percentage of the sale!

While some influencers may prefer cash upfront, affiliate programs can be a real win-win for both businesses and affiliates (and followers receiving the discount!). Your influencer partner will be much more likely to continue sharing about your product with a continued incentive than they otherwise would for a one-off partnership.

There’s no doubt Instagram influencers will continue to dominate in 2019! Want to learn more about how your business can benefit from Instagram influencers? Download our free Instagram Influencer Marketing Guide here:

 

Measuring the Results of Your Instagram Marketing Strategy

As you know, the fashion industry is changing constantly, so it’s important your business is able to quickly assess how your strategy is performing.

By measuring your Instagram account’s performance, you’ll be able to better keep up with the changes, and continuously update and improve your strategy for future success!

Luckily, Later makes it easy to measure your Instagram performance right from your desktop, and our fresh new design makes it easier to understand your Instagram analytics and optimize your strategy from the Later web app.

Plus, when it comes to Instagram Stories Analytics, you’ll be able to analyze up to 3 months’ worth of Instagram Stories data, instead of just a 2 week time period in the native Instagram app.

While your analytics dashboard will provide you with the data, it’s up to you to keep testing and tweaking your content strategy. Testing different types of content on your Instagram feed can help you identify trends, monitor “wins,” and create a fine-tuned Instagram strategy that truly resonates with your audience.

Remember, truly understanding how your content performs – by tracking Instagram metrics over time – is crucial to developing a content strategy that works for your business!

Instagram is changing the game for the fashion industry – from endless creative tools, new shopping features, and a direct link to consumers – creating a well-rounded strategy is key for your businesses success on the platform!

Ready to start growing your business with Later? Sign up for a free account today!

 

Written By

Lexie Carbone

Lexie is a content marketer at Later. She’s helped dozens of brands build their social presence and take their content strategy to the next level. You can connect with her on Instagram @lexiecarbone.