As Instagram adverts are run through the same platform as Facebook ads, many brands are guilty of lumping the two types of paid social together and rolling out a single strategy to incorporate both. Whatever they promote on Facebook, they also run on Instagram and vice versa. However, the ways in which many users engage with Instagram are completely different from their behaviour on Facebook, meaning that fashion retail brands who fail to define a distinct strategy for each social platform could be missing out on significant revenue by not quite hitting the right note on one, or both, of these channels. Treating each platform individually is the best way to maximise your campaign impact.
We have compiled some of the latest ways in which Instagram users can be reached with promoted fashion and lifestyle content to drive more relevant traffic and generate sales.
Utilising Instagram Story ads
As well as the traditional feed ads that have been around since the beginning of paid social on Instagram, brands can place their ads in Instagram Stories either as standard images, or video content. You get slightly fewer options in terms of available call-to-action buttons and objectives, but ‘Stories’ can act as a mini-vlog or blog, so utilising this increasingly popular option is worth testing by any fashion brand. Videos must be 15 seconds or less in length and captions are not available as they are with organic vids, but these little video clips can be super-engaging and a great way to capture the attention of potential new customers.
Tracking the success of your Instagram Stories is key to turning a test into a profitable ongoing strategy, targeting the right people with the right messages at the right time. Using a combination of Instagram’s own analytics insights, and third party platforms, like Google Analytics, brands can build a picture of how the campaign is working.
Instagram Shopping ads (rollout started in Q1 2018)
Shoppable ad capabilities were rolled out to the UK in March 2018, but at the time of writing are not available to all brands. UK fashion retailers that want to be prepared for a wider rollout of ‘Shopping’ ads can get their account ready by ensuring they have their Insta ducks in a row.
Brands must have a catalogue of products associated with their Facebook page (and thus their Instagram ads account), which can easily be done through Shopify. In the US, brands must wait to be approved for Shopping ads before they can create posts with tagged images that allow instant shopping by users, without needing to leave Instagram at all. Up to five products can be tagged in a single image post (or up to 20 in a multi-image post).
Using Shopping ads on your brand’s own images is one thing, but imagine the possibilities of using UGC or influencer posts as fully tagged-up shoppable ads too!
Whilst waiting for further rollout of this functionality, UK fashion retailers can still take full advantage of standard Instagram ad posts using a compelling CTA button, such as ‘Learn more’ to drive people to product pages to buy there.
Instagram are continuing to evolve their ads offering, providing new opportunities and ways for fashion retailers to get their content in front of a highly-targeted audience and transforming this platform from simply a ‘brand awareness’ and top of the funnel channel, to one that can make a real difference to the bottom line.