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Youth Targeting: The 'This Girl Can Run' Way

24th May 2016 | Jane Bond

“This is an urgent appeal. Every day, thousands of businesses post tweets and Facebook updates full of misunderstood memes, random emojis and references to Hotline Bling. In Latin, the disease is known as Millennial Stultus, though it’s more commonly known as downwiththekidsitis. It’s time for us to work together. We can stop this epidemic.” –, 2016

The notion of ‘Millennial’ or ‘Gen Z’ targeting is certainly a hot topic, trending in the marketing world for a number of months now. There are some popular theoretical patterns and applications, however it really is dependent on industry, product, messaging & creative – as always, there is not a generic one-fits-all rule.

As smooth as it would be, unfortunately, a few ‘trendy’ phrases mixed with some random emojis just doesn’t cut it anymore.

The challenge for us? This Girl Can Run – how do we apply one of the most powerful recruitment platforms of all time, [although often associated with the older woman], to a younger demographic?

Our answer? Instagram content.

There are over 400 million monthly active users on Instagram, with 90% of users under 35 [41% of these between 16 and 24]. It’s the perfect breeding ground for a potentially active, loyal and engaged youth target group.

Before investing in this channel, we knew it was key to get the content right. At the risk of sounding cliché, content is, and will remain king [with strategic thinking and demographic profiling taking the role of its trusty steed!]

And what did we find? It’s all about sassiness. We produced an entirely different portfolio of content for the This Girl Can Run Instagram channel, risking a break from the traditional high performers, targeting content solely towards the youth audience.

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The results speak for themselves, we’ve seen significant peaks in engagement on our traditionally slower growing Instagram channel, particularly prevalent through the comments metric, which has been prolific with youth based conversations and community building. All we need now is those promised demographic analytics and the case study is complete!

So our advice? Content HAS to be applicable to your target demographic, and sometimes this means risking universal applicability. If you have your sights on a particular target market, get the channel right, get the creative right, and get the messaging right – then set your sights on the quick-paced world of paid social.