Best practices for finding and reaching your target audience vary widely by social network. You want to break down the targeting process step-by-step for each network. We’ll begin with Instagram.
Why is it important to spend time thinking through who your target audience is?
Sidebar: This is an iterative process. You can’t just define your target audience and then never re-evaluate.
Who is talking, who is driving the bulk of the conversation, and what is everyone saying?
Pro Tip: Expand your focus beyond topics related to your brand: once you identify a popular Instagram user discussing topics relevant to your brand, dive into his/her profile to understand what he/she cares about on a general level. It’s important to understand the whole persona, not just the parts that directly connect to your brand.
Now you have a pretty good idea of who you will be targeting on Instagram. Use these personas as your guides.
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Now that you’ve segmented your various target audiences on Instagram and learned more about what they care about, it’s time to reach those audiences. That will take a different strategy for each persona, but before you develop those individual strategies and content tactics, you’ll want to do the following to reach your target audience as a whole.
Now you can begin taking this information and applying it to individual strategies for each of your personas.
Remember that just because a strategy hasn’t been used in your vertical or industry yet doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use it. Let’s say Nike rolls out an excellent Instagram campaign with massive reach, engagement, and press pick-up—but you’re a tourism brand. Just because you don’t sell the same thing doesn’t mean you can’t use similar tactics, like video, tight influencer partnerships, and simple, text-driven branding.
Next up, invest in an influencer strategy. Influencers are your way in to the communities (and likely buyers) that you’re not reaching today. Begin by:
In our 2017 State of Social Marketing report, we found that brands are using influencers for a variety of reasons, including extending their reach, sharing branded content, and promoting products and offerings. It is undeniable that Instagram is extremely effective as a medium for influencer marketing. Influence Central conducted a survey in which consumers said that Instagram influencers are the sixth most effective in influencing purchases.
Social marketing is essentially a never-ending testing process. To succeed on Instagram, your social analysis should consist of two processes:
Now it’s time to put together a content calendar based on what you know about your target audience on Instagram and how to reach them. Color-code the content you’re pushing out for each persona. You’ll add to and delete from this calendar over time as you identify which strategies work and which don’t.