Being able to get your marketing message out to a teenage audience is a crucial part of success these days, yet many marketing professionals have no idea which platforms are the best for reaching their target demographics. Popular social media channels come and go on a near constant basis, making it exceptionally difficult for marketing professionals to figure out which ones are melding well with the teenaged groups they’re trying to reach. Lately, most have been turning to Instagram as the default channel for reaching younger consumers.
Is Instagram really the best way to market to teens? Here’s a breakdown of how you should be analyzing which platforms to market on when it comes to a younger consumer audience.
Instagram is Famous for its Branding
Even if you don’t use Instagram, you’ve likely heard of its name once or twice due to its immense popularity. Even since the picture-dominated platform was scooped up by the massive Facebook, too, Instagram has found itself injected into the heart of a thriving tech market teaming with potential. Instagram has already established itself as one of the leading channels marketers should turn to when it comes to reaching a young audience, primarily because its strategy of introducing users to brands has proven to be immensely effective, far more so than those of its competitors.
While Twitter and Facebook are perhaps better known and respected, especially in the adult world, teenagers simply love Instagram because of its aesthetic appeal and the ease of which they can use it. According to a recent survey by Piper Jaffray, which asked some 8,000 teenagers about their social media habits, the overwhelming majority of teens wanted brands to contact them via Instagram before any other platform, including Facebook. The average respondent age was 16, making the data from said study crucial for marketing professionals who want to get their finger on the pulse of the next generation.
The study came in the wake of a major change to Instagram, as the company has recently made it possible for users to directly click on links to purchase items through the app itself, something that was previously missing from its brand-centric strategy. This immense change to Instagram’s operations has huge potential to generate impressive increases to the social media company’s revenue stream, and of course, Facebook will be taking a cut of every penny the platform earns. With this news, marketing gurus are rushing to figure out what makes Instagram so popular amongst teens who find it to be the superior channel for finding the best brand offers.
Could it be influencers?
One of the reasons that Instagram is such a vibrant breeding ground for brand awareness is that the platform is famous for its influencers, or the immensely popular celebrity users who amass huge followings for themselves. These influencers hawk and peddle brand products to their followers, posting pictures of them drinking from a sponsored coffee mug or wearing a designer outfit that was paid for by a brand. Nevertheless, there are many reasons to believe that the Instagram aesthetic is over and that influencers as we once recognized them weren’t necessary as huge drivers of the platform’s success as some claimed.
This doesn’t mean that Instagram is losing steam, but rather influencers may not be the secret as to why the platform may be the best way to market to teens. Major brands have also been turning to other platforms like TikTok, too, so even if influencers were the secret to the platform’s marketing outreach, it would thus be just as viable a strategy for any other platform that relied on such methods. The more logical reason that Instagram is such a fantastic way to market to teens has to do with the engaging content and entertainment provided by Instagram.
Users want to enjoy the fresh content
Instagram is constantly filled with fresh, engaging content that lures users in, which is doubtlessly one of the leading reasons that the platform remains perhaps the best way to market to teens. More than anything else, people who use social media channels simply want to be entertained and connected to those around them, and Instagram offers this to a much greater extent than any of its competitors. Perhaps the company is owned by Facebook helps, as the world’s leading social media platform can funnel additional users, interest, expertise, and money towards Instagram’s own operations.
With teens abandoning Facebook in droves, though, it’s also important to remember that huge popularity isn’t the only thing that counts when it comes to reaching a teenage audience. You need a specific campaign that targets unique users likely to engage with your content, and Instagram is a hub of teenage activity, unlike any other place on the web. To young users, shopping isn’t some chore that must be done, but rather is an engaging and fun activity that they often want their friends to partake in. Offering them the ability to see what their friends are sharing or interested in before clicking directly on a link to buy those items is a brilliant way for the platform to generate huge sums of revenue for itself.
Yet Facebook’s loss of teenagers should stress the important point that no platform remains dominant amongst the younger generation forever. Teenagers fled Facebook largely because older users began to use and dominate that platforms culture, so they did the thing any teenager would do – they found their own space again. We’ll see teens continuously cycling from one platform to the next to create their own social environments devoid of an elderly presence for as long as there are kids and the internet, which marketers should take into consideration when making long-term plans around Instagram.
Instagram will doubtlessly remain the best way to market to teens for the foreseeable future, though, because the platform has such a huge advantage right now with drumming up interest amongst its young user base. The awesome content and high engagement offered by Instagram will continue to make the platform a desirable place for marketing endeavors aimed at a teenage audience.