Selling Fashion Online? – Cotton ON’s Use of Instagram for Social Media Marketing

Instagram Social Media Marketing


It would be difficult to say that Instagram is not a hugely successful platform for users to post and share photos/videos of their personal lives, thousands of everyday normal people have become known as influencers from their success on Instagram. Many influencers will use the platform to promote their own range of products and services to their fanbase on the platform. Products from Makeup to Protein supplements. Even high net-worth business consulting services have been birthed out of and marketed by Instagram Influencers.  But is Instagram any good for companies that are already established and that do not have a face of  the company ?

I will be looking at Cotton On’s Instagram Page to explore how they have made use of the different features the platform has to offer. From there we can determine how profitable it would be for a commerce retailer to use Instagram for online marketing. Cotton On is Australia’s largest clothing retailer. As you would expect, Cotton On has an extremely large following on Instagram with over 917 thousand followers on the platform. Cotton On also posts extremely often onto Instagram, on average the company will post to the platform 2 times per day, these posts are often made in the evening to engage with their intended audience once they have got home from their daytime activities (Uni, Work or School) and have a chance to relax and have less distractions.

Although Cotton On sells clothes for  Men , Women & Children, they clearly only use Instagram for targeting their younger female customers (15-25)  which are more likely to be body conscious and  want to engage in the latest fashion trends, this audience is also more likely to buy clothing online. The feed consists of primarily lifestyle posts, usually women wearing cotton on clothing. These photos have all been edited to have very similar lighting and colour tones which gives off a very summery vibe to the photos even during the colder months of winter.  Similarly to Culture Kings on TikTok, Cotton On only uses photos attractive women, this is because sex appeal sells, even thought the products are not being sold to men, by using attractive girls in advertisements towards women, the posts reinforce that the viewer will be as attractive as one of the girls on the feed if they purchase clothes from Cotton On.

Targeted Hashtags

Hashtags have always been an important way for companies and users to reach a wider audience that just those that are following them. It acts as a great way of free advertising to reach those that are looking for a certain item. Cotton On has also used these hashtags to create their own branding by using the tag #MyCottonOn which customers can post photos of them wearing Cotton on clothing in. Other tags they have used such as #Denim365 are a great way to reach people who are looking for denim clothing

Instagram Shop

Instagram has recently added a new platform which allows companies to link directly to products inside their Instagram posts. In the US currently users can also complete the checkout process completely from within the Instagram Ad. This has opened up a new way for companies to monetise and sell through the platform. Cotton On has fully embraced this new feature and linked to all the products that the model is wearing to make it easier for its audience to purchase the items of clothing that they like.