Instagrammism – Visual language for Millennials

Are you on Instagram? According to Pew research, 59% of 18-29 year olds use the app, as does 33% of 30-49 year olds. This means Millennials (aged 21-37) are very well represented amongst Instagram’s users, making it a platform worth investing in for those trying to reach this target group.

As I’m a Millennial Instagrammer myself, let me tell you why people are so into it. People look through their feed because they find it relaxing, entertaining and destressing. It’s just so nice to scroll through a never ending image based feed, looking at beautiful pictures that appeal to you. It gives the reading mind a bit of a break. So whether you are on the couch with a cup of tea or on the train to work, Instagram is the to go to app.

And of course, wherever people dedicate their attention to, advertisers follow. And for some reason, Instagram sponsored post are not considered as annoying as regular advertising. Statistics show that ‘75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post’. According to Instagrams stats, ‘50% of Instagram users follow at least one business and 60% say that they learn about a product or service on the platform’.

What makes the sponsored posts on Instagram so appealing? Looking at our research on Millennials we can link the success of Insta-advertising back to three of our Millennial characteristics:

These Insta-ads really seem to know what you ‘need’. Algorithms create a very strong profile based on the feeds that you follow, making for hyper targeted ads. Me-centric Millennials expects brands to know who they are and cater to their specific needs. Ads that really fit their lifestyle and interest are very appealing to them. And this fit should not only be product wise, also when we talk about visual language. Millennials are raised in a world that is becoming more and more image focused and visual language is their second nature. If a brand speaks that same language they can relate to it immediately as this language is very powerful. The age of Instagram asks for impeccable branding – it’s all about the atmosphere, the aesthetics, to be visually appealing and speak the language of your customer. People want to follow brands that create beautiful and attractive content, and brands that know what your eyes like to feast on. A great sponsored ad should be hardly distinguishable from the actual posts you like to look at. And then, last but not least, this generation demands interactivity. So to see a product that you like on the medium that you love to watch and to be able to purchase with just a swipe really feeds into this. Instagram features are increasingly expanding to have webshop functionalities seamlessly incorporated in the app. So, everything put together – giving personalized content, offering speed and interactivity, and speaking a smart visual language, are all ingredients for Instagram’s success with Millennials.

Zepha de Roo – Trend researcher

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