Consumer Marketing

How Instagram is Driving Consumer Trends in Healthy Living

Instagram has been a key player in the social media world over the past year, as the platform has continued to add different features to build and improve user experience. And whether you love the changes or hate them, you’re probably talking about them. But with all of these changes, the bottom line has stayed the same – visual content performs best. More and more brands are turning to Instagram for influencer and ambassador programs, building brand awareness, and marketing campaigns – and the industries getting the most bang for their buck are health and food. But why has Instagram become such a hot commodity?

Image result for people taking pictures of food

Photo: www.thewiiu.com

Seeing is Believing

With the amount of health and wellness content on Instagram, it’s nearly impossible to do a quick scan through your feed without being greeted by a photo of what your friend ate for dinner, or the ever-popular #TransformationTuesday progress photo. Recipes are now simplified with quick tutorials that can easily be bookmarked and saved for later. New or challenging exercise videos are demonstrated via Instagram Live or Instagram Stories. Emotional and mental health support communities are formed by users sharing candid stories, honesty about body image, and some of the issues that have actually been created because of Instagram’s existence.

Health and wellness is generally important to all, but difficult for most –  that’s why content in the health/wellness realm that’s primarily visual and easy to digest (no pun intended) is more engaging and valued by consumers. The majority of Instagram content is shared in a testimonial format captivating consumer attention spans and driving new trends that spread like wildfire.

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Photo: www.kix.fm

Trending in 2017

Exhibit A: Charcoal

Yes, charcoal has a ton of health benefits that are being marketed on Instagram, and I’m not talking about the masks that rip half of your face off. Research shows that consuming activated charcoal has numerous health benefits, including whitening teeth and potentially curing hangovers (you’re welcome). It’s being used in drinks that are sweetened with maple syrup and making appearances on bar menus. Despite it’s less than aesthetically pleasing look, humor tends to communicate the message well while sparking curiosity.

lemonade

Photo: Joy the Baker

smoothie

Photo: @threepeachybees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit B: Group fitness programs

Programs like Whole30 and FitGirlsGuide show that there are strength in numbers. Short-term programs are typically seen as being more feasible and made that much easier when doing it with a friend. Many influencers have turned entrepreneurs because of their popularity on Instagram, using the platform to promote and sell guides to their exercise programs. While the legitimacy is often called into question, the programs continue to gain popularity through “word-of-photo” advertising.

Other trends include overnight oats, buddha and smoothie bowls, couples’ workouts and many more. If you are newer to the Instagram game, it’s not too late to get started. Some of the best research can be done by exploring common or popular hashtags being used in your industry. A great way to tap into a community or trend is to find a larger influencer and then check who they’re following, and who’s following them. Like with any form of research, finding exactly what you need on Instagram can take a bit of digging, but even if you end up down a rabbit hole, it always pays off in the end.

What trends have you been noticing on Instagram lately? Have you jumped on board with any, or find them to be missing the mark?

About Alison Skahan:

Ali is an assistant account executive in Padilla's Richmond office. As a member of the health practice, she serves her clients with her skills in marketing, social media and media relations.

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