Author Archives: Georgina Heffernan
Fashion Finds A Following on Instagram.From luxury handbags to designer dresses online, a photograph is a great way to get people excited about a brand says Georgina Heffernan.
Posted by Georgina Heffernan
THEY say a picture is worth a thousand words.When it comes to fashion, the pictures and words add up to something even greater. As long as fashion has ever mattered, it’s been all about the visuals. And, since fashion is such an image based art, what better way to promote a brand than visual social media? Instagram, in particular, allows for a completely aesthetic experience and is becoming increasingly popular among the thousands of fashion followers who flock to the social media platform for tips and trends every day. Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a runway show, a style blogger posting a selfie or a designer selling dresses online, a photograph is one of the best ways to get people excited about a brand, and even specific items. And right now more fashion brands than ever are developing strong presences on the social media platform. Digital intelligence service L2 Think Tank surveyed 249 prestige fashion companies at the beginning of 2014 and found that a whopping 93 percent of them had Instagram accounts.
But why Instagram? Of all the countless apps that allow users to share photos online, why did Instagram become such a huge craze, downloaded 30 million times since it was launched in October 2010? But don’t be fooled, this isn’t just about teenage girls posting selfies ( Although- since the launch of Instagram, more than 35 million selfies have been posted!) what Instagram critics miss is its usage among a vast population of creatives .In just over three years, it has become a leading community for people for people with interests in photography, art, design and fashion, in particular.
Complete with its trademark square frames and film camera-inspired filters, Instagram has democratised the art of fashion photography, and allows us to access the sort of photo-editing software that was only available to professionals just a few years ago. It is also an instant shot at fame, provided that picture of your make-up look or hand-printed t-shirt is able to capture eyeballs within the few minutes it is on timelines across the globe.
This makes Instagram a fantastic marketing tool for small to medium business-owners allowing them to compete on a level playing field with many of the established fashion brands. And in this brave new world of visual marketing the currency is not cash – but creativity. One of the more transformative things Instagram has provided the fashion world is the ability to interject personality into a conversation and give customers a peek behind the velvet rope.
Small firms actually have an advantage over large brands when it comes to using Instagram for visual storytelling. Unlike big companies, small business owners know every detail of their business and are present every day to capture genuine, authentic, shareable content. They can record, for example, the details of how a fashion line was created, right from the cutting room table straight to the Etsy store that sells their dresses online. By adding the individual touch that big businesses lack, they can humanize their business, by showing off their creativity, quirkiness and working culture. Instagram also allows brands to showcase their creations to potential customers directly (i.e. visually) in the most appealing way.
And almost anyone can create a feed of eye-catching marketing images, aimed at fostering engagement and purchasing.The methodology is pretty straightforward — see something cool, take a picture, share it with your friends. It might sound simple, but Instagram has profoundly altered the way the fashion industry works. Crafted properly, an Instagram account can have the effect of building an audience of advocates, customers who promote a company’s message for no reason other than that they love what you have to offer and want to share it with others. Instagram has also shifted the balance of power away from traditional fashion editors into the hands of a bright new generation of style bloggers, who now hold an incredible amount of influence. (see below link) http://www.independent.ie/style/fashion/fashion-fix/10-stylish-irish-girls-to-follow-on-instagram-this-weekend-30953344.html
The beauty of Instagram, of course, is that it’s totally free, but this is causing major headaches for publishers who have depended on a hefty advertising spend by luxury brands, in particular, to fund their operations. After all, while an advertisement in Vogue costs tens of thousand of euro, an Instagram photograph is free and has been proven to increase customer base (for brands who post an average of 5.5 times a week). In fact, Instagram is generating 15 times the level of engagement for luxury brands as Facebook.And, as advertising spends by brands in traditional print media continues to decline, the popularity of Instagram reflects a broader shift in budgets towards digital initiatives that target consumers on their smartphones.
To put it bluntly, Instagram is the only game in town.“Of the 200 million users globally, around three quarters log in at least once per day. With this incredible amount of users being exposed to millions of pictures, the reach is huge and its potential can’t be denied.A study in 2014 has found out that Instagram is also the most rapidly growing social network in the world this year – currently the annual growth rate is at 66%.”
Of course, the elephant in the room is Pinterest .Although it is an enormously popular photo-sharing site, members seem to gravitate heavily towards design, decoration and party planning while Instagram has been wholeheartedly embraced by the fashion and design community who use it to promote everything from luxury bags and jewellery to dresses online. Today, Instagram has more than 200 million active users. And those users have shared more than 20 billion photos.So my question to fashion brands is this. Are you on Instagram and if not, why not? Print is so last season darling.
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