It wasn’t that long ago that a simple sunset shot or morning brunch smoothie was enough. One of these simple pictures could send both brands, bloggers, and civilians alike into a like-filled frenzy on Instagram. The novelty and newness of the platform helped matters, as simplicity triumphed all. Brands experienced a gold-rush of engagement shortly after bringing their high-quality photography and imagery to the platform. And then users quality stepped it up. And then models. And now your feed more resembles a September Vogue rather than a look into your friends’ lives.
This struggle is where fashion brands find themselves stuck today. Forced to keep producing better content and finding new ways to stand out from the crowd, as this Digiday article points out beautifully. And when the resources left to the community managers and digital directors runs dry, they are forced to search for new resources of likes and engagement, tapping influencers and celebrities for ways to humanize their brand in a new way. It’s the new mobile equivalent of drilling for oil.
What the article failed to address was the struggle for new/up-and-coming fashion brands on the platform. The main case study they mention is Vogue, but that is a publication with 120+ years of brand equity. What about the new designers in New York and LA looking to reach an audience beyond their local reach – how can they have a similar impact that these major publications are seeing. There is hope, designers like John Elliott, Yumi Kim, and Ronnie Fieg are all great examples of how you can creatively showcase your offerings in order to stand out from the crowd. While Instagram did start as a sunset and brunch photo sharing platform, it is now much bigger than that – a place where people go to learn about new products or events and, for lack of a better term, “stay in the loop.” Just think of how many times you have been at a party where a conversation started with, “I saw you were in [INSERT LOCATION] on Instagram, how was that?”
A photo posted by JOHN ELLIOTT (@johnelliottco) on May 17, 2016 at 2:22pm PDT
Instagram at its birth may have been a platform focused on quality over quantity, but those times are long gone. It’s now a place where quantity and quality are valued hand-in-hand, and where a brand wanting to stand out has to be more strategic than ever.
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