Many marketers make the mistake of measuring their Instagram success by the number of followers they have. While having many followers is certainly something you should aspire to, it won’t be of much use to your business if none of them show any interest in the content that you post. To convert your Instagram followers into customers, you need to focus on the right people – your target audience.
Knowing your target audience is essential for the success of your social media marketing campaigns. After all, you can’t create great content without knowing what your followers are interested in or write effective captions without knowing how to speak to them. Similarly, you can’t optimize your posting schedule for maximum engagement if you don’t know when your target audience is online and active.
Investing time and effort in audience research will bring you success and help ensure that your social media advertising efforts are not in vain.
4 Tips for Finding Your Target Audience on Instagram
Finding your target audience is much easier online than offline, seeing as all the information you need is right at your fingertips. The following tips will help you identify your ideal target audience on Instagram.
1. Create a Buyer Persona for Your Brand
Before you start researching your audience, you should create a broad buyer persona for your brand. In simple terms, a buyer persona is a profile of an ideal customer that you want your brand to speak to. Think of your buyer persona as a composite sketch based on the interests, financial circumstances, and socio-demographic characteristics of your preferred customer.
To create your buyer persona, you need to take a closer look at the products and/or services you offer and think of the people they are best-suited for. For example, let’s say you’re selling women’s luxury watches with minimalist design and a high price tag. In that case, your buyer persona is a woman who likes to wear watches, whose taste leans toward minimalism, and who has the financial resources to afford a luxury timepiece. That is the type of person you would want to have as your loyal customer.
You can – and should – go into even more detail when defining your buyer persona. For example, you can also identify their age, occupation, family situation, and life goals. Keep in mind, however, that the term buyer persona typically refers to “offline” customers. Chances are that your Instagram target audience will be at least somewhat different from your ideal buyer persona. Still, knowing exactly what type of customers you want to attract with your social media marketing efforts is a great place to start.
2. Find Out Who Your Followers Are
Now that you have your buyer persona, you should determine how it compares to the demographic characteristics of your actual Instagram followers. To do this, you should go to your Instagram Insights panel and enter the Audience tab. There you can see the age, gender, and location of your followers – three important Instagram metrics that can help you target your future marketing campaigns.
Ideally, this information should provide at least a partial match for your buyer persona. Since you’re selling women’s luxury watches, your followers should be predominantly women, likely in their 30s or above. If Instagram shows that most of your followers are 20-something males, you may need to rethink your current strategy.
3. Research Your Followers’ Interests
Once you have a better idea of who your followers are, you also need to research their interests. To do this, you will need to visit their profiles. Pick a few of your followers who have liked or commented on one of your posts and see what type of content they share on their profiles. Read a few of their captions to get a better sense of the language they use to communicate their ideas. This is important because they may find your content more relatable if you write captions in a style that’s similar to their own.
While you’re on their profile, click to see what other pages they are following. Although this may take some time, it will give you a better idea of what your followers are looking for on Instagram. During your research, you may notice that many of your followers are interested in, say, cats. They may follow accounts that post cat photos or some cat-related hashtags. Either way, you can use this information to your advantage and perhaps incorporate cats (or any other interest) in one of your future posts.
4. Use Hashtags to Your Advantage
In researching your target audience, you shouldn’t forget about hashtags. Instagram now allows you to follow hashtags the same way you follow other users. Rather than just passively researching hashtags and adding those that you think will perform well, you should take a more active approach. Look at the hashtags that your followers are following and try to identify a few that you can use in your posts.
Hashtags also allow you to actively reach out to users who fit your buyer persona but who may not have heard about you. To do this, you should identify a handful of hashtags that are relevant to the content that you normally post and see what others are posting under each of those hashtags. If you see a post that looks great and is also relevant to the content that you typically post, don’t hesitate to like it. While at it, take some time to click through to the author’s profile and quickly look at their other posts.
If you see more content that you like and is also relevant to your niche, in addition to hitting the like button, you might also consider following the profile in question. After all, it is clear that the author has an interest in the products and/or services you offer, which already makes them a great member of your target audience. What’s more, actively showing interest in what other people have to say is a great way to build lasting, meaningful relationships on social media.
The Final Word
No matter how creative your social media campaigns are, you can’t expect them to succeed if you keep targeting the wrong people. Instead, you need to do some research and determine who the people that you need to reach out to are. To do this, you need to create a buyer persona for your products and services and compare it with the demographic characteristics of your Instagram followers. You also need to investigate your followers’ interests and do your best to incorporate them into your Instagram posts.
It is also important to actively reach out to users that you think would be a great fit for your business. This can be especially valuable for up-and-coming brands, as it allows them to establish meaningful connections early on and gradually build a loyal customer base.