Instagram is the millennial’s favourite social tool, surpassing even Twitter with over 300 million users as of last December. If you were born after 1982 consider yourself a millennial. Instagram is only four-years-old and it has a solid and burgeoning community of users. Facebook was smart when it acquired the visual star of the Gen Ys. According to a recent study by Imply Measured, 71% of the world’s largest brands now use Instagram as a marketing channel.

Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian’s sister recently endorsed Cocoa Brown, an Irish fake tan brand on Instagram. The result? Walmart took interest and have signed them up and Cocoa Brown products are now sold out in the US.

Totem Brochures May 2013

Totem Brochures May 2013

Brands love telling their stories. And what better way to tell a story than with pictures? Instagram has been the great enabler for brands to tell stories. It has made people’s lives more visual and given us a visual vocabulary with which we can express ourselves, possibly in a better sense some might say than with mere words.

Beautiful images are the way brands are now targeting young people. Time starved youths – who are online constantly – want visual stories and they want them now! Pictures are easy to like and share and tell a story quickly.

Pictures can offer real time windows into what happens, for example, backstage on a campaign shoot or previews of secret projects – this gives them credibility and authenticity.

The Met Museum in New York has used its Instagram account @metmuseum to showcase the fine art on display, events, the space and their staff. Fine art meets technology on a level that young people understand.

Totem Brochures May 2013

Totem Brochures May 2013

The London Tourism Board’s Visit London really is the benchmark when it comes to using Instagram perfectly for travel inspiration and events in the capital. It focuses on classic London scenes including Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and Harrod’s but also pretty shots of everyday icons such as the red phone boxes and black taxis. Get down to London town.  @London

Totem Brochures May 2013

Totem Brochures May 2013

The Wild Atlantic Way has a fantastic Instagram account where the audience are exposed to the ruggedness and beauty of the coast, moody hills and the rolling countryside. It really would make you want to visit such an amazing coast line. @thewildatlanticway

Totem Brochures May 2013

Totem Brochures May 2013

Engaging the audience like this has become a key marketing strategy for almost every brand. Why? Young people today have more money than previous generations. And they’re not afraid to spend it. If a brand can hook them at this stage, then they will potentially stay with the brand for years to come.

The consumer values brands that express themselves in ways previous generations couldn’t even have thought of. We all want that unique experience.

Another factor for brands is mobile. According to InsightExpress two out of every five millennials feel anxious without their smartphone. When brands are able to harness this connection properly it leads to stronger brand engagement.

Brands that embrace Instagram attract a wider audience and have a better chance of retaining their custom. It’s not just about passing fads; it’s part of your business strategy.

Having an active Instagram feed or a collage of great images on your website – like an office behind-the-scenes – are just two simple ways brands are using Instagram to show their personality and tell their stories.

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