It’s no longer news that social platforms have taken over traditional media for branding and promotions. And now, fashion and other industries that have traditionally relied heavily on media coverage are giving even more priority to visual sharing platforms like Instagram, to the point that its popularity among fashion marketers and events is at almost phenomenal levels. This photo-sharing platform is increasingly being used by fashion brands and fitness gadget makers to tell stories about the brands and the products through visuals.
Replacing media coverage with social visuals
Instagram is basically designed for storytelling with attention-grabbing images and visual effects. Since fashion and fitness depend heavily on stunning visuals and graphics, it’s natural that Instagram evolved as the most popular platform to showcase and portray them. Moreover, by opening up fashion to a larger audience, Instagram helped free it from an elitist, closed-door, celebrity-hazed approach. It allows brands speak to people across the world, rather than just a limited audience at a show, and helps designers’ consider how concepts and skills are received by a broader audience.
Fitness fashions and gadgets are a great example, as nearly all of the major players are trying to address their users through Instagram. Instagram enables them to describe their offerings pictorially and gives potential buyers a closer look at the item’s features and uses. Moreover, it’s inspiring for people to see images of fitness brands in use.
Instagram also makes fitness trainers’ jobs easier. Through clearly defined step-by-step visuals on Instagram, trainers can now guide us in our workout regimens. This is where most fitness brands saw the potential of the platform to catch the attention of millions of fitness fans. With visuals you can explore a device and its uses in clear detail, allowing a brand to better sell its offerings to the intended audience.
The latest take on the phenomenal rise of Instagram
The popularity of Instagram among fashion brands and events is far from hype. Last year, the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded its the annual Media Award to Instagram, making the mandate in favor of the visual sharing platform clear.
From democratizing fashion by making it accessible to a larger audience, to facilitating crisp, smart marketing avenues, Instagram adds value to the fashion industry in more ways than one. Here are six of them.
1. Blurring the gap between offline and online events
Before social media, fashion events were mainly held in closed-door venues, and communicated with a larger audience through post-event media coverage. With Instagram evolving as the most formidable media partner, that era has come to an end. Designers are actively promoting hashtags and encouraging live audiences to share images in order to bolster their marketing. This has proved to be a new way of engaging a larger audience with an event and a brand.
2. Creating hype with photo stories and blogs
Blogs give marketers a way to share more perspective and information with their audience beyond the usual promotional content. This is why blogging is such a crucial tool for Web marketers. But with the proliferation of handheld devices, users’ attention spans are shrinking and they now prefer visuals over text. Particularly in industries like fashion, visual storytelling has evolved with blogs. By allowing photo stories around events and shows, Instagram has made it easier to create hype in the audience.
3. Making a brand statement
Creating a brand personality is crucial to engaging an audience. A visual that readily depicts the culture of the brand, its lifestyle, and range of products will help to shape an identity that users associate with the brand. For instance, clothing maker Free People makes an exuberant, festival-happy, hippie statement, while eyeglass maker Warby Parker offers a dignified approach by showcasing the tastes of its users. With Instagram images, a fashion brand can vividly create an aura around its lifestyle, taste, and focus areas.
4. Reaching your audience through a community of customers
Existing customers and associates are a valuable resource to reach a larger audience by helping to spread the brand’s word. With a high level of community engagement on Instagram, brands can more easily bank upon the community of active customers to do the selling and engage with new people.
5. Liberating fashion for the masses
Social media platforms have liberated fashion from elitists’ clutches and blurred the division between the audience gathered at an event and the masses. You no longer need to wait for fashion magazines or other media to see the latest fashions. Designers, event organizers, and event attendees now share live images right from the venue, helping them broaden their reach.
6. Invigorating monetization platforms
With the huge popularity of Instagram, the platform is fast evolving as a monetizing and active selling platform for fashion brands and manufacturers. Instagram is now doing several hundred million dollars in ad revenues, and the launch of its slideshow ad feature last year continues to make it the most popular platform for fashion ads.
For more on how social media is a lot broader than the marketing function, see In a Live Business, Social Gets Its MBA.