The unattainable desires of an Instagram fanatic

Each day I eagerly check my Instagram news feed, hungry for updates on my friends, favourite celebrities and brands. I have become so accustomed to seeing Taylor Swift beneath my best friend that my whole life seems to have merged into one. This is both fantastic and detrimental. Fantastic because where these worlds collide it means everything I need is in one feed, but detrimental as it also means that a celebrity post promoting the latest pair of Valentino shoes becomes an unachievable norm that I, amongst many others, then desire. We fail to notice that amongst the hashtags there is a common appearance of #ad or #spon appearing, where these celebrities are not purchasing the products but being paid to promote them. Stylist magazine quoted that with a following of 500,000 people you could charge from £1,000 to promote an image on behalf of a brand. In addition these celebrities in some cases have even started successful businesses using social media, allowing them further profits based on their popularity and following. As a society it seems we are all aspiring for the lives and products to make us look just like our favourite celebrities so perhaps these promotions are paying off for brands.

Now, in addition to these ‘more discreet’ marketing tactics, Marketing Week have stated that Instagram’s new offering of paid marketing is set to make Instagram’s mobile ad revenue reach $595m this year alone, allowing further deepening of content marketing. As a user I feel indifferent towards this new marketing angle, but as a marketer I feel excited at the prospect of reaching more users via new means. The key here is to become as imaginative and aesthetically appealing as possible. With so many users on Instagram it seems inevitable that we will all be sucked in eventually, whether paid or organic.

As content marketers we talk about creating meaningful experiences for our customers, making content relevant, unique, engaging and entertaining. With this in mind, Instagram is no longer just a social gallery but becoming a marketplace bursting with data that presents users with calculated suggestions on what they may like to learn more about or purchase. The combining of our everyday lives with this introduction of paid marketing on Instagram as a business proves the continuing growth and need for content marketing.

It seems clear that content marketing is set to stay and without doubt, continue to influence our lives!

Sophie Burne — Campaign Manager