Show Notes

Today we discuss:

  • How you can stand out in a crowded field
  • How to use Instagram's natives features to grow your following and reach
  • Why Instagram Live is grossly undervalued


Aaron: [00:00:16] Hey, howdy, and hello. Welcome to another episode of the Marketing Natives. Today is all about Instagram stories specifically how apparel companies can use Instagram stories to grow their business. Couple of topics we're going to cover are apparel companies being a dime a dozen but how to stand out so that you don't blend in, features with Instagram stories like face filters and stickers, how to use those, and live with Instagram. So let's jump into this.


Christian: [00:00:49] Yeah. So when we talk about apparel companies, and we were talking a little bit before this. We're talking about clothing, T-shirt, sort of a little bit of everything in there. So if you sell clothing, apparel, T-shirts, anything like that then you're included in this episode.


Aaron: [00:01:04] Right. We don't have any bias against people who have a T-shirt companies versus a sunglass company.


Christian: [00:01:12] Right.


Aaron: [00:01:14] All right. So the first point here is that there are a lot of you out there. Hopefully there are a lot of you guys listening here, but there's a ton of T-shirt companies, a ton of apparel companies, clothing companies. And all that means is that if you are not doing something unique like Instagram stories, it's going to be really tough for you to stand out. We know that there's a few powerhouses, you know, in the boutique levels or online that really stand out, but other than that you just kind of- You don't want to get lost. So one way that you can stand out is using Instagram stories. So for example, if you own this company- If Christian and I started a T-shirt company, we could use Instagram stories and tell our story day to day and let our personalities really shine out. Because those are the people or the face of the brand or the owners of the company, are going to be the difference between selling a T-shirt. A T-shirt is a T-shirt is a T-shirt. Maybe a cool design, but the personality and the feeling you get from buying that T-shirt from that company, that's going to be the differentiator.


Christian: [00:02:22] Yeah. So the way I see Instagram's stories being different from your feed is that, I mean, you can do a lot more with this especially creatively, and I was talking about this earlier. You know, if you're going to- I know Aaron's talking about sort of the day to day inside your shop. You can take it even a step further and just get a little bit more creative, and I was talking about if you have a new release for let's just say, you know, your fall collection is coming out. You want to give out a sneak peak on your Instagram stories. Then don't just post a bunch of images of all your, you know, your apparel or T-shirts that are coming out. Tease it first with like you know three or four or five little stories in there to build out your long story. I mean, that feature, the Instagram stories, allow you to have, you know, multiple parts in there. So you can create a really long cool story. So you can tease it. You know, maybe having just a blank screen with some text saying like we're cooking something up... And then just sort of tease it throughout the whole day. At the end of the day, you know, you publish the whole thing. Use the link because you can post links on Instagram stories. So you can swipe up. They can see the whole collection. So I mean, there's a lot of creative things that you can do with the Instagram stories that you can not do with your regular feed.


Aaron: [00:03:51] And we're using the term story kind of loosely, and I'll kind of explain that. So you may need to go back to English class. I know that some of this may be a while ago, but you learned this. And Christian gave me a weird face. Is you always have like in any good story like a rising action, a climax, and then like a falling action. So something to lead up to that point that Christian was talking about, and then you actually give the people what they want. And then there's a falling action or a follow up, and that helps you create a better story. Exactly what Christian is saying, but there is some terminology with it. And I don't know. I just feel like that understanding that instead of just going out and recording is going to do- So do some research is really what I'm saying to what you want to do and do it creatively and strategically. Then just turn on the cameras or recording. So there are a lot of features on Instagram stories. They're are coming out with new features, filters, face filters. I would say like once a month now, and so you could be pretty creative with those. So there's different stickers like lit or yass or not- I didn't say the other word. iTunes don't penalize us for that, but it sounded like it. They have the days of the week. They have emojis, and you could really play along with that especially as a T-shirt company. They have a T-shirt emoji, or an apparel company, they have apparel emojis. You can wear different face filters. You can change your voice.


Christian: [00:05:27] There's also locations that you can tag. You can also tag other people too. So if you have sort of, you know, legitimate fans on social media and they're posting about your products, that's another cool way to give them a shout out. It's to- I mean, if you don't want to ruin your perfect Instagram feed, you can do it through stories and just give out shout outs to other people who are posting images of, you know, them wearing your clothing or your apparel. And then tag them and give them a shout out that way using that feature built in within Instagram stories.


Aaron: [00:06:03] Right, and we did talk about the locations I believe in a previous podcast. I can't remember the number of that, but when you tagged location, you have the ability or the option to be featured on a local story. So it's kind of outside of our notes, but it does give you some extra exposure in your location or the area that you're tagging that you decide to choose there. A big thing with this is just to really use and kind of humanize your brand by having fun and using it the way that people use Instagram. Like there's a reason that the filters are there. There's a reason that the stickers are there, and a brand should use those as well. And if you do do those, people can really start to look at you as more than just a company, and they consider you and start to create a relationship with you. And you can also use those stories to drive traffic back to your feed or to the website like Christian mentioned.


Christian: [00:06:59] And another quick tip here is to also use your stories - I know Aaron I think explicitly just said that - to connect with your community, but you can do it directly by asking a question in your stories and telling your following to DM you right there and then.


Aaron: [00:07:18] Direct message.


Christian: [00:07:19] Direct message. And I know Aaron actually sent me a screenshot. I think it was yesterday of Noah Kagan-


Aaron: [00:07:27] Shout out to Noah Kagan.


Christian: [00:07:28] Shout out to Noah Kagan. Aaron commented on one of his stories, and Noah Kagan responded back, which is pretty freaking cool. I mean, you don't get that-


Aaron: [00:07:36] Hold on. Christian didn't acknowledge that it was cool. He just ignored me, just so everyone knows that.


Christian: [00:07:42] I mean, yeah, okay. It was pretty cool, but you know, brands are doing this. So use Instagram stories to truly connect and have a one on one conversation with your fans and your community.


Aaron: [00:07:54] One big thing that happened last week actually - we're recording this in October of 2017 - is polls came out. So you could say "Who wore it best?" Somebody on the left wearing the shirt or somebody on the right. You actually can get real live results of people who voted, and then you can tell who voted on which one. So say for example, you could do a contest on there. Do a poll and say who or which shirt do you guys like the best? You know, the winners of the people who picked the best, the one that was picked, and then they pick one winner from that to send them a free T-shirt or something. You know, I'm just throwing out an idea here, but use polls because that could be a really creative way for you to find out which clothing to buy more of for the holidays or, you know, a season.


Christian: [00:08:38] Yeah. And the last thing here is you can have regular Instagram stories, but you can also have live within the stories feed. And any brand that's using live stories right now are benefiting from this feature. Why? Well, because Instagram is pushing live with notification straight to your followers. You may be getting these, you know, quite often now because a lot of brands are doing this and a lot of people are doing this. You get that notification that says Aaron Pearson just went live on Instagram, and another thing is that Instagram is giving priority, putting live stories, you know, before any regular story on that stories feed. Now the trick with live stories and to make it interesting, you know, is just to have really engage in content. Try to do it as often as possible, but at the same time, I mean, don't make it a chore for you to- Did I say that right? Chore.


Aaron: [00:09:35] Chore.


Christian: [00:09:35] Chore. You know, for you to do that. You know, make sure that it's interesting. Make sure that you're engaging. You know, right there within the stories, they can comment and leave hearts and stuff. You can see who's in there. So make sure you give people shoutouts. Make sure you keep them engaged while they're watching.


Aaron: [00:09:53] Yes. And you can use a couple of the other tactics we talked about. Use Instagram stories to let people know when A, you're going to go live. B, maybe you do like a contest on the live where they have to actually be in their live to do it, and those who are on live will get like, you know, something if they do it or if they jump in. So it's kind of like a reward for it. Like Christian said for the time being, they're really pushing live video. So absolutely use it, and if you're thinking about doing something as an Instagram story, maybe try to see if it could work as a live story first because that will stay on there for 24 hours as well. And you also have the ability to download that video, cut up segments of it, and you could use it again later for maybe another Instagram story in the future. So a lot of opportunities and features with the live videos. All right. So that was pretty quick, but I believe it's a great episode for you guys. A lot of these tactics can be used for people who are not necessarily in the apparel company, apparel industry, but this episode specifically for apparel industry people. So if you sell T-shirts, you own a clothing boutique, maybe you sell the coolest like wooden sunglasses online, this episode is for you. And if you know somebody who has one of those kinds of companies or is looking to start one online, make sure you share this episode with them, and as you are listening right now, if you're not running, biking, or doing something that requires your hands, make sure to go ahead and subscribe. And remember that sharing is caring. Go ahead and share this with a friend, and we will talk to you guys next week.


Christian: [00:11:31] All right. And also since we're talking about Instagram, follow us on Instagram @BitBranding.


Aaron: [00:11:37] Right. Send us a DM. That's a direct message, and mention that you came over from the podcast. And we will send you- We'll mail you guys something special.

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