It didn't take long for Instagram's effectiveness in advertising, marketing, and sales to manifest itself. Many businesses now use the platform to entertain an audience and engage with individuals about their products or services.
But as a brand or business new to Instagram marketing, choosing the right audience to sell your products can be challenging. Even pros often come across the hurdle of finding and engaging a suitable audience.
It all starts with a good understanding of your target audience. This is a crucial aspect of any successful marketing strategy, not just on Instagram.
The idea is to learn how to locate your target audience and the best targeting strategy you can use to get to them. With this knowledge, you can also create high-converting Instagram ads.
If done correctly, Instagram ads can increase your brand’s popularity, bring traffic to your page, create sales, and keep your audience engaged. Achieving all these will be easy if you know the guidelines to follow.
Note: This is an update to our 2019 blog post - Fool Proof Ways to Reach Your Target Audience on Instagram.
Get some insights into your competitor's audience
You can learn a great deal about your target audience just by looking at the competitor’s share of the market. As you know, competition is integral in any industry. And there's no exception on this platform.
Take a look at what type of followers they have and the kind of content they post to keep their followers active. The information can help you focus more on areas of your marketing that you might've been missing. Besides, you will get some initiative on how your Instagram target audience should look.
To help with the competitor research, you can use popular analytics tools like Phlanx and Social Blade. You can discover crucial data like follower location, number of active followers, and engagement rates.
To add, you could try following your competitor's Instagram profile. Following them will immensely increase your research scope and profit from how they relate to their audience.
Use your existing IG data
Existing data from the Instagram analytics tool can tell you a lot about the type of people that visits your page the most.
Depending on the type of analytics tool you are using, there should be a section where you can find statistics about your existing followers. Things like their gender, location, and age range.
For instance, let's say you operate a cosmetics brand on Instagram and the analysis tells you that most of your followers are females between the ages of 18 and 24. Your next posts, ads, and content should center on the young female audience.
By combining this data with your buyer persona and the research information on your competitors' audience, you should be able to get a clear view of your Instagram target audience.
What are you selling? Which group of people would love it?
Evidently, your offering—whether that's a product, a service, or a combo of both—is an integral factor to consider when identifying your target audience. The type of products or services your business offers tells a lot about the type of customers and viewers you should be trying to engage.
There are different types of audiences in any form of business, unique to each of them. Take the sports industry, for example. It's well known that most of the audience consists of males. If you can properly classify your brand and its offerings, identifying the right audience on Instagram shouldn't be difficult.
Join or start social conversations that relate to your brand and industry
You can collect a lot of information about your Instagram target audience through social listening. Once you understand how your potential and existing customers think, you'll find it easy to target and engage them.
Just like any other popular social platform, Instagram is always bustling with chatters 24/7. There are different topics and pieces of content being shared all the time, so why shouldn't you listen or start some social conversations?
Social listening can give you an idea of what your target audience is talking about, their views and opinions, and the influencers driving those conversations. Utilizing social media listening tools can simplify the process, helping you find precise topics that are trending in your industry, on the platform.
If executed properly, you can develop a good relationship with influencers who can help augment and convene your brand message.
Don't be afraid to use Instagram polls and other interactive activities
With Instagram polls, you can post and ask significant questions. These questions will help improve your research on the audience and understand them even better.
Ask them questions relating to the type of content they prefer, what they should expect from you, and the best ways to keep them engaged. Also, you could create polls that solicit answers to specific questions. These are questions that inquire about their hobbies, likes and dislikes, and areas of interest. It will help in creating a more refined result, overall.
And if the answers obtained aren’t favorable for your brand, you can quickly question another set of people in your industry.
Make appropriate use of the search bar
Though it isn’t as efficient as a search engine, the Instagram search bar is very resourceful. It's powerful enough to find individuals and industries available on the platform. All that's needed is just their profile username, business name, or hashtags.
Discover new accounts and audiences when you type in your industry keywords into the search bar. Once you have a list of people you're ready to work with, you can chat them up privately.
For this method to be more productive, you need to learn the hashtags and keywords that are the most relevant to your niche.
More points to note
Use accounts that differ from your brand’s profile to follow your competitors
Create and constantly refine your buyer persona; this will render immense help to all your marketing efforts
Use the right social media research tools to obtain accurate results and data
Carry out adequate research on your niche(s) and industry; the corresponding audiences will go a long way in defining your brand's target audience
So now that you know how to select the right target audience on Instagram, converting them into buyers is the next step. Here's a quick guide on growing your Instagram audience.