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Instagram's new tools for fashion retailers

In partnership with Instagram, Drapers explores the platform’s range of recent new tools - including the launch of IGTV last month - and how they are boosting consumer engagement. 

Instagram has become an important source of style inspiration for shoppers throughout the globe. More than 532 million posts were tagged #fashion worldwide as of the week ending 6 July, and in an average month, 180 million Instagrammers visit a brand’s website, email or send a message to learn more about a business or product.

Two recent launches will enable brands to capitalise further on this engagement. Instagram Shopping launched in March and allows direct purchasing on Instagram. IGTV launched in June as an app and a space on the platform for videos up to an hour long.

Time spent watching video on Instagram soared more than 80% year on year in June 2017, and brands have responded to this increased interest.

Fashion retailer N Brown Group, which posted a travel-clothing edit featuring plus-size blogger Chloe Elliott for its Simply Be brand, and style advice from rapper Wretch 32 for Jacamo, says IGTV is useful for engagement.

N Brown Group creative director Beth Lowry says: “This new channel allows us to streamline really great content where our customers, both old and new, are already engaged.” The Simply Be channel has 72,000 UK customers.

Instagram Stories lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours and has changed how people use Instagram. Users are posting more real-life moments instead of perfectly filtered images, and so are brands – Gap’s Logo Remix campaign on Stories, for instance, paid homage to its logos of the past. The additional frames that users could tap through allowed the brand to tell more of a story. Fashion brands and retailers are leading the way with impactful Instagram content. 

Asos boosts awareness

For its first creative advertising campaign on Instagram Stories, Asos created a series of ads that immersed its fashion-conscious, digitally native target audience into the brand.

The ads did not push sales messaging, and instead combined high production values and the style of a fashion shoot to create an engaging mobile video to build brand awareness.

This led to 14-percentage-point lift in ad recall and three-point increase in brand awareness in the UK, and an eight-point jump in ad recall and seven-point rise in brand awareness in the US.

Global director of content and engagement Leila Thabet says: “We wanted to deliver a strong brand message, and help drive awareness and engagement in an authentic and sympathetic way, and entertain our audience in a moment that’s really capturing their attention.”


Chinese Laundry’s Instagram-only Sale

Footwear distributor Chinese Laundry wanted to convert the substantial traffic that it generates from an Instagram campaign into sales, so it decided to launch a Sale that was only available on the platform.

Working with agency Taktical, Chinese Laundry targeted customers who had visited its website within the preceding 15 days but had not purchased within the last three days.

The ad was placed in Instagram Stories and, to ensure it blended in with other posts there, it used the Boomerang looped video feature to create a short story with a text overlay promoting the Sale.

Chinese Laundry increased its return on ad spend by an average of 32% and, overall, the campaign brought in an 8.8 return on ad spend.


Myer’s merchandise matters

Instagram’s Canvas feature allows users to create full-screen “immersive experiences” for users on mobile devices.

Australian department store Myer used Canvas ads on Instagram Stories to show customers content from its spring 17 womenswear events. The interactive ad showed inspirational photos and videos of the latest collections and encouraged shoppers to click through to Myer’s website.

The six-day campaign reached more than 852,000 women, who viewed the ad for an average of 17.1 seconds, and it achieved a 2.2 return on ad spend.


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