While there’s no silver bullet when it comes to multigenerational marketing, Instagram just might be as close as you’re gonna get. Between Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram, Instagram is the only platform where the split of new users over the age of 35 vs. under 35 will be nearly 50/50.[1] Social networks are gunning for user attention, adding new features like live streaming, integrated marketplaces, and Stories that can include featured products or promotions.

When it comes to Gen Z, Instagram is arguably the most successful in this respect, as 85% of teens report using Instagram at least once a month, while Snapchat came in at 84%. This is despite the fact that when asked which social platform their favorite is, 46% of teens named Snapchat, while only 32% reported Instagram as their favorite, proving that in this case, perception is not reality.[2]

Source: Piper Jaffray

2018 is the first year that more than half of Americans will access Instagram at least once a month, totaling 104.7 million users.[3] As the buying power of Gen Z continues to increase, it’s necessary to understand how their spending habits are influencing overall markets. One shift to keep in mind is the great value teens place within a brand. When surveyed, 45% of teens said that “brand” is the most important factor in their purchasing decisions.[4] Utilizing Instagram as a way to speak directly to consumers can foster brand loyalty, helping establish a consumer base that will most likely be a repeat customer, as well as a brand advocate.

Let’s look at a few ways to reach your target audience on Instagram:

Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories were a big driver of overall use in 2017, and this trend has continued through 2018. On average, more than 1 in 3 self-reported daily active Instagrammers surveyed in BR, ID, UK, and the US said they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it on Instagram Stories.[5] Megabrands like Nike and Smirnoff Vodka have truly tapped into the marketing potential Instagram Stories has to offer, using Stories as an alternative to traditional commercials, sharing behind the scenes exclusives and content that provides a more organic feel, helping to further humanize the brand to consumers. Instagram users aren’t just watching, they’re taking action, as one in five Instagram Stories generates a direct message.[6] Stories can now feature shoppable products, allowing you to tag items and link directly to where they are sold.

Influencer Marketing. If you missed our deep dive into influencer marketing, we’ll give you a quick run-down now… Identifying relevant micro-influencers can help you connect to your audience through a familiar, trusted source. In general, consumers have come to distrust companies that appear too disconnected, or dare we say “corporate,” making it difficult to reach buyers using traditional media alone. Social media influencers having 10,000 followers or less have established themselves as a neutral, trustworthy source of information, making their followers more willing to spend money on the goods and services they promote.

Have Some Fun! This tip is relevant in every aspect of your marketing strategy, but it really has a chance to shine on Instagram. Because of the visual nature of Instagram, brands have a chance to show their true colors, expressing their identity and interests in a creative way that followers can connect with. Maybe everyone in your office has a dog? Share photos and videos of your pups with your followers. If you attend an animal shelter fundraiser, share that experience. Put your brand values on clear display, making your brand page feel like a friend your followers are happy to see in their feed.

[1]eMarketer, “The Social Series: Who’s Using Instagram?”

[2] “Taking Stock With Teens – Fall 2018” Piper Jaffray

[3] eMarketer, “The Social Series: Who’s Using Instagram?”

[4] “Taking Stock With Teens – Fall 2018” Piper Jaffray

[5] “Instagram Stories Consumer Research” by Sentient Decision Science

[6] Hootsuite “Snapchat, Instagram Stories, or Facebook Stories—Which is Right For You?”

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