How many times have we let our food go cold whilst we get the perfect shot, or had our friends take enough photos of us to fill the National Portrait Gallery, all in the name of Instagram?
It seems that everyone on the ‘gram has a perfectly-curated feed, filled with colour-coordinated posts that are in line with each individual’s ‘aesthetic’.
For a long time, this used to be a great way to increase your following. Even Aldi’s Instagram is a marvel to behold, with each row of images seamlessly blending into the next. However, it seems that recently influencers are opting for a ‘messier’ style Instagram feed, displaying mismatched photos that don’t look as if the user has spent hours painstakingly editing each 1080×1080 px image on Photoshop.
Take the most followed people on Instagram today – Cristiano Ronaldo, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez – even Instagram’s own account doesn’t seem to have an obvious consistent theme. So, is the ‘Instagram Aesthetic’ over?
Filtered vs Unfiltered
As businesses, we try and tailor our content to our target audience. From the perspective of an influencer, their followers want to see photos that reflect that person’s individual brand.
Whether it’s avocado on toast, flower walls, or a well-organised flat lay, influencers have capitalised on posting their apparent unattainable lifestyles to rapidly grow their vanity metrics.
Today, however, the 1bn monthly users that flock to Instagram are searching for an ‘unfiltered vibe’ when it comes to the accounts they follow. One article by The Atlantic suggests that this is due to the rise in ‘Generation Z’ (those born during or after 2000) influencers such as Emma Chamberlain and Joanna Ceddia.
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My dudes…the day has finally come. I present to you: my merch. Number uno: this launch is a pre order, so shipping will not begin until mid-May, so don’t worry if things are taking a long time Numero dos: I have to thank @pablo_picceddia for letting me use her design. It means so much to me that I can use a design curated by you guys for this! Numero tres: link for the sweater is in the bio. Thank you so much for all your constant love and support. It is because of you guys that I can even do this. I love you❤️.
Whereas ‘Millennials’ (people born between 1981-1999) opted for a cleaner Instagram feed, posting shots that had obviously gone through a rigorous editing process, Gen Z prefer candid, unfiltered photos.
So, how does this affect the rest of us?
Influencers are an integral part of PR at the moment, with an average of 25% of a marketing budget spent on influencer marketing.
With millions of followers across their social channels, working alongside social media ‘stars’ is becoming commonplace as, in some cases, it helps brands get the most exposure for their product or service.
Instagram users are looking for a more authentic experience online, so if bloggers are offering honest, gritty interactions then their followers might be more likely to buy into a product they’re promoting.
According to Marketing Week, “92% of people trust product recommendations from peers they don’t even know”.
Viva PR have seen first-hand the success of influencer marketing. Burnley.Social, which is based primarily on social channels, started in September last year and has since grown to reach over 1m. In part, this success is due to the use of social media influencers and bloggers such as Vizeh, Emma Campbell and Carrie-Ann Kay of Rene K Couture.
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Nic Parkes | Junior Accounts Executive