This post was written by our talented intern Natalie. Check out her on Instagram and give her a follow! @swinging60s
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I’ve been an intern at True Voice Media for about a month now; fumbling around the office, offering donuts as olive branches. My tasks mainly involve internal social media management and client research, unless I’m partnered with Jessie or Caroline, and learning something entirely new.
The team here doesn’t know all that much about me, but one thing they were curious about was my Instagram.
Why do I Instagram?
I’m a 5’3 introvert from Bethlehem, PA. There are literally cows in my backyard back home, so you can only imagine how big Philly seems to me. No cows, no corn fields, but a whole city of opportunity. And while my voice isn’t loud yet and I’m often stumbling on my words, Instagram allows me to express myself in a way that I verbally can’t.
Instagram offers quiet people, like me, a platform to be heard. The photos I post are just bits and pieces of beauty and humor that I find myself surrounded by on a daily basis and are often clearer and more personal than any thought I could share with actual words – although I do sometimes include captions.
I Instagram because it’s a way that I can connect to my surroundings. I’m not someone who will rave about a beautiful mural I saw on my way to work, or about some artistically crafted donuts that I devoured two nights before. This platform allows me to show you how these things made me feel.
Instagram is most appealing to me when compared to other social channels like Facebook or Twitter because it’s more visually oriented. While this is a platform that’s used differently by millions of people, we all share the same desire to look at the world through each other’s eyes.
From a Marketing Perspective
As an advertising major and intern, I also wonder, isn’t this something that most advertisers also desire – the ability to see the world through the eyes of their target audience?
What better way to understand your audience than to look at how they use this platform: what they post photos of, how they take these photos, what captions they include, and what tags they may add.
The opportunity Instagram offers people in advertising is obvious; with 60 percent of its users saying they discover new products through their feed and 75 percent of users saying they take action after seeing these ads.
From that perspective, we can use Instagram for more than just advertising; let’s use this platform as a way of understanding what our audience really wants. A user’s account allows you to see their life day to day, what’s important to them, and what grabs their attention.
And this data reveals what kind of content they like; what brands they follow, represent, or have no interest in. Insights like these can help marketers customize their advertising to reach their audience in a more effective, relatable, and personal manner.
While I often see ads for brands and products that I like, I feel like advertisers are missing the real opportunity here.
Instagram is such an inclusive platform; you can tag people in your posts, share other people’s content, and post personalized comments on photos. Advertisers are getting better at posting ads that seem to blend in naturally with my usual feed, but that’s it. These ads blend in, they remind me of a brand, but they don’t feel personal or engaging.
So, let’s try something new. Advertisers can do so much more than just raise brand awareness and get clicks on their ads on Instagram. Advertisers who get it understand that Instagram is an opportunity to make real connections that feel like an experience rather than just a reminder of a brand.
Millenials make up more than half of Instagram’s user base, and 78 percent say that they prefer experiences over physical things. Advertisers could create experiences through the use of Instagram stories, carousel photos that show the creation of a new product line, or of the company’s culture. These things raise brand awareness, but also engage with the audience by sharing a more accessible link to the brand.
Whatever your target audience may be, perhaps a quiet, millennial, city dweller like myself, you can gain a world of insight on their interests through their activity on Instagram. This is a platform that allows you to be personal with what you share, so why not take full advantage of that and create that experience for your audience?