Ask any publicist, and she’ll tell you Instagram is one of her favorite tools, that fashion and Instagram are a match made in “just a quick swipe in Face Tune” heaven. In addition to offering a visual platform for story-telling, community-building and pure eye candy for whatever you’re into (men with coffee, men with beards, men with man buns, men with coffee and beards and man buns holding adorable children at Disneyland…I digress), there are three major brand benefits to visual storytelling through the platform.
- Go direct: Without requiring any media coverage or publicity, you can share news, ask for feedback and build rapport with followers instantly
- Discovery: Rather than expecting prospective clients to find your website, they can discover you on the channel where they are spending heaps of time. Whether you go for sponsored ads or strategically use specific hashtags, Instagram is another way for customers to discover new brands to love
- Influencer endorsement: Part of a successful Instagram strategy is getting in front of new audiences, and working with Instagram Influencers helps to build brand equity while extending reach through influencer-led content
Combine these benefits with the creative freedom available to define a signature aesthetic, run contests, and publish recurring features, there is simply too much opportunity not to consider Instagram as a core component of your brand storytelling efforts.
Once you’ve got a basic content strategy into place for engagement and discovery, partnering with Instagram influencers is the logical next step. Fashion brands can partner with influencers who embody their ideal customer and who, through their endoresement, evoke the brand lifestyle in action.
Instagram Collaborations refer to agreements (paid or unpaid) between a brand and Instagram account holder regarding content development, publishing and promotion for mutual benefit.
Pretty cool definition, huh? I made it up (let me know if you’d suggest a tweak!).
Now for the goodies:
1. Collaborate with Instagram Influencers to Access New or Niche Audiences
With the right influencer, brands can effectively introduce themselves to target or niche audiences, and it’s often still more affordable than traditional advertising. Collaborations are particularly handy when brands are evolving or seeking to connect with a new demographic – see if your messaging or latest collection resonates or falls flat. Unexpected partnerships can some of the most interesting, so think beyond just partnering with style bloggers on this one – perhaps your athletic brand is better suited to finding creative entrepreneurs who lead an active lifestyle.
2. Partner with Instagram Influencers for a Boost in Brand Assets
Photo shoots don’t come cheap and require a ton of coordination. By ensuring that you are able to cross-promote influencer photography across brand channels, including website and promotional materials, images derived from a collaboration can serve multiple uses. Make sure to include image-use specifics in your agreement or contract.
3. Test Campaign Messaging with Influencer Marketing
Before moving in a particular direction and rolling out a huge multi-channel effort, test the response to your new tagline, language, or hashtag performance by partnering with an influencer who reaches your ideal audience. Engagement and feedback can act as a mini focus group.
4. New brands can drive account growth and sales with Influencer partnerships
For brands that are having a hard time building momentum, or newer brands trying to add followers quickly, a multi-influencer campaign can be an affordable way to start building that buzz. With a consistent hashtag, clear value proposition or incentive, and the right partners, collaborations give brands an opportunity to go where their customers are, rather than putting so much effort in driving engagement on a brand’s Instagram channel. The follower boost will be there, but there’s something to be said for showing up at a party that’s already the talk of the town.
Instagram Collaborations are worth exploring and testing this year. The next step is to find the right partners, develop your campaign concept, secure expectations and make it happen!
PS: With the right templates and tools at your disposal, it’s easy to develop collaborations – without any confusion around finding the right influencers, negotiating budget or tracking metrics. Join me for INSTAPPABLE, a 4-week 0n-demand course for marketers and brands that will give you a painless process to max out your Instagram Collaboration results.
Photo Credit: kennysarmy