We’ve all read time and time again that Instagram is a platform for young social media users. In general, the statistics back this up: while less than 20 percent of online adults over the age of 50 use Instagram, nearly 60 percent of those in the coveted 18-29 age bracket use the platform. For teens, those user numbers are believed to be even higher.
Because of this, it’s not surprising that most brands that seek the help of an Instagram growth service have a younger target audience in mind. After all, those sponsored posts on Instagram can have quite the impact.
But are the younger demographics really the ones who will be most influenced by your Instagram ads? Recent findings may come as a bit of a shock…
The REAL Top Demographic for Instagram Ads
In a recent story published by AdWeek, research on the behaviors of Instagram users found that the oldest demographic—individuals aged 65-74—are actually the “most likely to search out products after seeing Instagram promoted posts.”
Surprised? So were a lot of other people. In fact, 65-74 year olds were twice as likely to look up a product as their more coveted 18-24 year old counterparts on Instagram.
Not only that, but the next-most engaged group for this particular measurement was users aged 45-54. While the study did note a sharp drop-off in ad engagement for those aged 55-64, overall, the trend remained steady: the older the demographic, the more likely they were to want to learn more about a product after viewing a sponsored Instagram ad.
While you might be able to get a lot of likes and comments from your younger users, if leads and sales are your goal, older Instagram users are far more likely to provide the results your company is looking for.
So Now What?
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should completely throw your sponsored Instagram post strategy out the window, but it does raise a few interesting points.
After all, what is the goal of your sponsored Instagram post? For some brands, the goal is simply to increase awareness for their account and grow their followers—so you probably don’t need to tweak your strategy much.
But for others, you might be hoping to increase leads and sales through your sponsored Instagram content. As these findings reveal, targeting an older demographic could be an effective way to improve your ROI.
Of course, not every product and service is really geared toward older citizens. However, many products can be just as appealing—if not more so—to these older demographics.
For example, let’s say you run a yard care service. While there’s nothing wrong with targeting young, busy millennials, you shouldn’t forget that older people can also greatly benefit from this type of service. In many cases, elderly citizens could be even more interested in this particular service, as their declining physical health prevents them from caring for their yard as they’d like.
Your solution? Obviously, you need to take advantage of Instagram’s ad targeting options to focus on your older demographic, but you’ll also need to adapt your messaging strategy to keep your content relevant and engaging. Selfies and glamour shots probably aren’t going to be your best bet for older users—but according to AdWeek, product-only images have been found to be more effective with an older demographic.
While the idea of targeting older users on Instagram may feel like a foreign concept, there’s no denying that these demographics could be more likely to respond positively to your sponsored posts. If your product or service has some potential appeal to these older demographics, it could be well worth your effort to make them an area of focus in your next Instagram ad campaign.