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Do-It-Yourselfie Guide: How to Market Your Brand to Millennials on Instagram

Though they’ve recently lost their brief status as our country’s largest generation to Generation Z, if you’ve got something to sell, millennials are where the money is. Born (arguably) between 1981 and 1996, the average millennial is smack in that 25-to-40 age range that brands love to court. They have money to spend, and thanks to that newfangled internet, they’re our first major audience that we can talk directly to.

With more than 90 percent of millennials using some sort of social media, marketers live in a world of possibility. Given the bandwidth, it’s conceivable that we could open a one-to-one dialogue with every single member of our most coveted audience. It’s truly a great time to be alive — and have a brand to talk about.

But if there’s two things we know about the internet in general and social media in particular, it’s that our targets are always moving, and the landscape is perpetually sloped toward change. As a brand, you have to be ready for the next thing. Remember MySpace? Seemed bulletproof, right? This isn’t to say that you should ignore those flashes-in-the-pan like Facebook and Twitter. Using them to reach your audience should be more than a given. But the thing with the obvious is that a) everyone else is on them and b) maybe one day the “given” isn’t quite so easy. To protect yourself and prepare for the change that millennials are known for, you gotta diversify your social targets.

You gotta get on the ’Gram, man.

We think these are (currently) the four best ways to use social media to connect with millennials:

We’ve talked about the first three points in other posts, so for this one we want to paint a picture. A picture of pictures, arranged in a grid and built to speak to those who enjoy a more visual version of social media. Yeah, we’re talking about why and how to make the most of Instagram for your brand.

Why Instagram? Like my arthritic hips, the numbers don’t lie. More than 67 percent of people aged 18 to 29 use Instagram. That’s two-thirds of grown adults under 30 on the ’Gram! They say “go where your audience is.” Well, this is where they are. And chances are, if you’re talking to an Instagram audience, they’re in that sweet spot anyway, because 60 percent of Instagram’s users are between the ages of 18 and 29. This is a (meticulously hashtagged) snapshot of why you should be on the internet’s “most engaging” platform.

Another good reason to jump into Insta is that it’s, uh, easy. Relative speaking, anyway, if you know what you’re doing. (And we do!) Instagram’s hashtag system makes it simple to expand your reach while targeting very specific topics, and, unlike on Twitter, you can very easily and visually get your point in front of the right eyeballs. Use the right hashtag and create a compelling visual, and you will be seen.

That combo of photos and hashtags means you can cast your net as widely or as specifically as you want, and you can create a message that is perfectly suited for your particular scope in a specific instance. You can get personal, get local, attach your brand to topics (we’re not ashamed to ride some digital coattails) that are trending today, right this very moment, all at the same time. If you want. Wherever your audience might be, you can be there, too.

Tell your Stories

The best part of Instagram is that it’s not just photos and hashtags. You can, quite literally, tell your story every day through Instagram stories. These short, lightly produced videos and slideshows really strum the chords in the millennial audience, as 60 percent of them watch and/or post IG stories. And since more than a third of the stories on Instagram are created by businesses, it’s almost expected that you’re there. It’s a chance to advertise your wares to an audience that not only isn’t cynical about marketing but is welcoming it with open arms.

Obviously, to truly harness the power of IG, you have to create compelling content. Instagram stories are opportunities to make sure that that content connects. If you provide your audience with stuff they want — knowledge, tips, info about your products or services that they can’t get elsewhere — and you can do it quickly and efficiently, the audience will ride with you until the end. For instance, 70 percent of IG story viewers stick around for stories that last up to seven frames. If you can get your point across in seven frames or less, that point will retain a lot of eyeballs.

The tenets of Instagram are easy to understand, but the nuances are endless. To really maximize its capabilities and speak effectively to your audience, you need a partner who has been there and done that. Give us a call. We’ll fly with you.