Unlike personal Instagram accounts, having a huge number of followers is not the only success indicator for business profiles. While it is important for brands to be able to attract tons of Instagram users into following them and liking their posts, it is more important to reach the right people – those who belong to your target demographic and who would actually buy your products and services. So, how do you reach your target audience? Here are the steps:
Define Your Target Audience
As business owners, it is important for you to spend time defining who you target audience is because knowing who these users are and what they are like will help you come up with a more effective social media strategy that would not only drive them to your Instagram profile, but would also influence them to try out your offer and even share your posts to other people within their circle, thereby expanding your reach even further.
Begin with your marketing persona – archetypal characters formed to represent the different user types within your targeted demographic. These could also be an attitude or behavior set that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way. Personas are usually combined with market segmentation to represent specific customers and are necessary to help guide your decisions and strategies related to your product or service, online interactions, and visual designs of your website and social media posts.
Understand Your Instagram Conversations
Use a social media listening tool to understand your engagements on Instagram. It is important to understand the social media conversations going on around your industry and target topics and not just with your brand. Identify who is talking, who drives the conversations, and what everyone is saying, then fit the various conversation types as well as their participants into your persona buckets to boost your personas and make them more relevant for Instagram.
It would also be good to do some research on a few Instagram users with a good following and post about topics that are relevant to your brand. Check out their profiles to see what they are interested and passionate about. It is important for you to familiarize with the whole persona, not just parts that are directly connected to your brand.
Reach Your Target Audience as a Whole
Before you create a strategy for each persona, you would want to reach your target audience as a whole. Using industry best practices, along with social analytics platform, determine the optimum time to post on Instagram. Also, evaluate which Instagram content and campaigns have generated the most engagement for your brand over the past year. You can also use tools like Quintly to analyze your competitor’s profile to get inspiration from their successes on Instagram.
Don’t Limit Yourself to Feed Posts
While posting optimized photos and videos on your Instagram feed is an effective way to attract your target audience, leveraging on Instagram Stories is a must. In 2018, Instagram had twice as many viewers as Snapchat, with about 400 million users compared to Snapchat’s 191 million. Using this feature will allow you to interact with your audiences on a deeper level, generate higher engagement, and stay top-of-mind among your current roster of followers. As with your feed posts, don’t forget to monitor your data analytics for stories.
Follow Relevant Hashtags
We all know that adding relevant hashtags to your content, both for Instagram feed posts and stories, is good for driving more users towards your brand’s profile. But did you know that following hashtags can be advantageous for your social media strategy as well? Yes, following appropriate hashtags allows you to target niche communities – apply current trends to your strategy, comment on posts to increase your visibility to your target users, and follow those whom you want to follow you back.
Reach Out to Influencers
Identify Instagram influencers whose followers’ profiles fit your target personas and collaborate with them. Influencer marketing an effective strategy to gain exposure with their followers and consequently convince them to follow your brand’s Instagram profile as well. To achieve a successful influencer campaign, you need to discuss with your influencer partners what you expect from your campaigns. Whether it is to raise brand awareness or drive sales, you need to make your goals clear.
Define Your Performance Metrics
Defining your performance metrics is vital in ensuring that you’re reaching the goals you have set. Determine those which are relevant for measuring your campaign’s performance, such as reach, impressions, and click-throughs. It would be ideal to create an Instagram analytics dashboard to measure the actual impact of your influencer campaigns to your brand.
Keep Tracking and Analyzing Your Metrics
Social media marketing is a continuous process of applying strategies, monitoring them, and tweaking your campaigns based on what works for your brand. Instagram has a built-in analytics tool that can help you determine your top performing posts, when your followers are most active and responsive to your posts, what content motivates them to engage with your brand, and see which posts drive followers to view your profile or click on your site link. It is important to check the numbers, compare them against goals that you have set, and refine your campaigns based on these results.
Create a Content Calendar for Your Instagram Account
After having applied your Instagram marketing strategies and monitored your social media analytics, you now have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. By now, you have everything you need to put together a content calendar. Don’t forget to incorporate any important holidays and social themes as you plan for each month, such as Mother’s Day, Mental Health Month, Super Bowl, The Olympics. etc. As you plot out when to post your content, make a list of Instagram influencers or users to mention, as well as the relevant hashtags. There’s no standard format for content calendars but, in case you need a template, you can find a lot of free content calendar templates you can download online.
Growing your Instagram followers can be quite a challenge, more so if you want to reach the right users that you can convert to actual customers. By following these tips, you can attract potential customers to not just follow you on Instagram but buy your offers as well.