Instagram Key for Advertisers when Targeting Generation Y

Posted by: Jason Parks

Growing up, most kids slept with a stuffed animal in or next to their beds. Whether it was a teddy bear or blanket, the stuffed toy brought comfort to a young child once the lights went off. Nowadays, there is a new gadget that lies next to the bed of millennials.

According to DIGIDAY, 80% of millennials sleep with their phones next to their beds. Raise your hand if you are guilty!

This startling statistic shows just how much Generation Y relies on their smartphones and demonstrates the tremendous opportunity marketers have to target millennials in a more personal way than ever before.

One of the most popular social media platforms among millennials is Instagram. Research shows that thirteen percent of Internet users use Instagram and 51% of the high school class of 2014 use Instagram daily. If you don’t think advertisers are salivating over the native advertising on Instagram, you must be among the minority of millennials who don’t sleep near their smartphone.

Michael Kors was the first brand to roll out an Instagram ad that featured a luxury watch surrounded by a table of macaroons. This single post generated 33,000 new followers Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.03.29 PMand garnered more than 218,000 likes within just 18 hours.

The beauty with the native advertising of Instagram is that the content flows perfectly with all of the other imagery posted by your friends. Brands need to consider Instagram type photographs as a part of their online marketing strategy, specifically targeted toward millennials.

A Tampa law firm and a Nashville apartment community recently launched display advertisements targeting millennials with Instagram type photographs. The result? Their click-through rate increased by 49 percent and the average time users spent on the company website increased by 34 percent.

Instagram currently has tight guidelines in regards to advertising. On its website, it states that, “We’re starting slow with advertising to make sure we take time to get the experience right for our ad partners and the Instagram community. We’ll let you know when we’re ready to expand to more ad partners.”

Instagram advertisements also boosted brand recall for Levi’s. The classic American retailer used Instagram to style its apparel as the uniform for living in the moment, reaching 7.4 million people. In addition, 24 percent of users who saw more than one Levi’s ad on Instagram were more likely to remember the advertisement overall. This led to greater turnaround in terms of sales and product awareness.

The Levi’s advertisement showed a young male and female in a regular, “everyday moment.” Advertisers know that millennials are constantly looking at their smartphones as a part of their everyday life and are creating strategies that catch them while they are “living in the moment.” The real question is how will more brands adapt to this trend Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.03.19 PMand start implementing advertising strategies that feature Instagram type photographs in order to appeal to the generation that is so attached to their phone that they sleep with it under their pillow. If brands have yet to be accepted to advertise on Instagram, there are other unique ways to utilize creative photography.

If you are an advertiser and your goal is to generate lasting relationships with millennials, hire a professional photographer and start creating beautiful filters. The result might just shock you!

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About Jason Parks

Jason Parks is a guest blogger and Owner of The Media Captain,, a Digital Marketing Agency with a strong focus on PPC, SEO, Video Production and Social Marketing. Jason is passionate about all things...See Jason's full bio.