Instagram is an online entrepreneur’s best friend. It’s visual, personal and full of character and brand personality.
But to be quite honest, maintaining a brand presence on the platform is a waste of time if you’re not doing one key thing - connecting with your ideal audience on Instagram.
We know how hard it is to even identify your target audience, let alone research them, connect with them and engage them with your brand. However, it’s important to understand who they are so you can find them and speak to them, especially on Instagram.
Here are a few actual steps you can take today to start learning more about your target audience on Instagram and putting what you learn into action so you can grow an engaged and thriving community.
Researching Your Audience
The first step toward connecting with more of your target audience is to conduct some foundational research.
Your goals are to figure out who is currently connecting with your brand, what is currently engaging them, and who else is attracting their attention on Instagram.
Here are a few tips to help guide your research:
Review your Instagram analytics to see what content has engaged well and what hasn’t. What does this say about the kind of content your audience wants to see?
Look at your clients’ and past clients’ profiles. What hashtags are they using? What kind of content do they publish regularly? What does this say about what they value? How can your brand produce content that further serves those values?
Send a survey to your current clients and past clients. Ask them what books and podcasts they’re currently listening to, what blogs they’re currently reading, and what influencers they’re learning from right now. This will help you highlight the type of content your ideal client craves as well as what communities you need to be present in socially.
Research your competitors on Instagram. What content are they putting out that is seeing high engagement among your target audience? What hashtags are they using and what communities are they involved in? This will help you highlight areas of conversation that are not currently being covered as well as the kinds of content and communities your brand might benefit from.
Define Your Target Audience and Create a Persona
Defining your ideal client and target audience is the next step to finding them and targeting them with your content. A helpful way to get clear on your target audience is to create an audience persona - a detailed description of an imaginary person who “sums up” your target audience.
Here are a few questions to answer in developing your audience persona:
Who are they? How would you define them demographically? What industry or industries do they work in? What phases of business and life are they in?
What are some of their highest values and beliefs?
What are their goals and desires that your brand can help them reach?
What exactly are they needing from you and your brand?
What kinds of content do they enjoy reading and engaging with?
What hashtag communities are they engaging in?
Use this information to write out in paragraph form a description of this audience member. Save it to your computer so you can access it, review it and refer back to it any time!
Putting It Into Action
Now that you’ve researched your audience, defined them, and highlighted areas on Instagram in which they’re currently engaging, it’s time to put it into action!
Develop a plan for your Instagram content that targets the content needs of your audience.
Keep a running list of hashtags your ideal audience is using and following. Begin following these and make a point to engage regularly within these communities.
Make a list of the hashtags other influencers are using to engage your target audience.
Begin building relationships with other influencers your target audience is learning from. Pitch collaborations, guest posts or guest podcast appearances. Network!
The key to expanding your audience on Instagram is to get out of your comfort zone and connect and network with other users and influencers. So, once you’ve highlighted the communities with which your target audience is connected, begin networking, connecting and establishing growing relationships!
Now, we want to hear from you! What tactics have you used to research your target audience and reach them on Instagram? Tell us in the comments below!
PSST!: If you want to know the exact hashtags that you need to use to get noticed on Instagram, check out The Instagram Hashtag Catalog.