Are you attracting the right audience on Instagram?
Do you know what type of content inspires them? Or what problems are they currently facing? If not, then you’ve probably learned the hard way that selling to a cold audience is EXTREMELY hard.
But don’t worry. You’re not alone! We’ve come across many brand owners who have the same issues. Most of the time they’re targeting the wrong audience who isn’t interested in their offer. Other times they’re posting without having an effective Instagram marketing strategy. Luckily, we now have Instagram analytics tools to help us learn more about the people we’re targeting online.
In this post, we’ve lined up a step-by-step process to help you identify your Instagram target audience and turn them into customers:
- Step 1: Pick a profitable niche
- Step 2: Find the perfect audience size
- Step 3: Create buyer personas
- Step 4: Analyze your competitors’ audience
- Step 5: Use the search tool to discover new audiences
- Step 6: Use analytics to keep track of your followers
Ready? Let’s get started!
Step #1: Pick a profitable niche
Here are some profitable Instagram niches to inspire you:
Do you love to travel and you’re able to do it frequently? Bring your followers with you on inspiring journeys as @travelikeagirl does.
Health & Fitness
Passionate about inspiring others to live a healthy life? You can share healthy recipes, fitness routines and mindset posts like @popsugarfitness.
Love makeup? Is creating tutorials and reviewing beauty products is something that you’re fascinated with?
Instagram is perfect for photographers (below: @gaborestefan) as it’s a visual platform. Beautiful and eye-catchy pictures get re-shared and have some of the best reach. Just figure out what kind of photography do you enjoy doing more: wedding, pets, lifestyle, business, etc.
People come to Instagram for fashion inspiration and product inspiration. Instagram fashion influencers are so abundant, they’re now categorized into nano, micro, and giga-influencers. If you’re a fashion designer, retailer (example: @skims), or influencer you’ll be able to build a community.
PS: Want to become a social media influencer? Check out this guide on how to become a social media influencer.
Small and large businesses are now using Instagram. Regardless of what you’re selling, as long as you can present your products/services in a visually compelling way you’ll find your audience on Instagram. Below:@nealschaffer
Who doesn’t love cute pets? Images of cats (below @hosico_cat), dogs, and other lovely creatures will stop anyone from scrolling through their feeds.
So, how do you pick a niche?
Start by listing 5 things you’re passionate to talk and write about. Then do a quick search on Instagram and see what type of content people post in that niche. Is it something you’re comfortable posting about? Are there people who are successful in your niche? If yes, then, you can go ahead with your topic idea. If not, back to the drawing board.
Examples of niches:
- Industry: Health & fitness
- Niche: Vegan recipes, Yoga for teenagers
- Industry: Marketing
- Niche: Instagram marketing, Pinterest marketing, Tiktok marketing, Ads for e-commerce business
- Industry: Handmade products
- Niche: Custom engraved pottery, Custom printed T-shirts, Coconut oil cosmetics
Pro tip: Don’t confuse your niche with your industry. A niche is a small fraction of the entire market you’re in. The more specific you are with your targeting, the easier it’s going to be to appeal to the right group of customers.
Step #2: Find the perfect audience size that’s not too broad but not too small either
Now that you have selected a few topics, it’s time to test the audience size for each of your niches. This is important because if you pick an audience that is too broad, you’re not going to be very successful in targeting. I like to use the Facebook ads targeting tool to test audiences. The tool allows you to do a detailed targeting by demographics, geographical location, income level, and interests.
You might be thinking: ”I already know my Instagram target audience. It’s American women, aged 20 – 40 who own a business”. In reality, what you have is a very broad audience. That’s 22 million people! Even if we discount the 40% of people in your target audience who aren’t on Instagram, you still have a broad audience that’s going to be difficult to target.
So, you’ll want to niche down even more and start thinking: Who is ACTUALLY your ideal customer? And what interests do they have?
Step #3: Create buyer personas
One method that’s been very effective to narrow down on your Instagram target audience, is building buyer personas. A buyer persona is an avatar of the common characteristics your ideal buyers have. The more detailed it is, the more effective your marketing actions will be. If you’re selling products/services to all genders and age groups, you should create a few different personas.
Here’s how to create a buyer persona
First, decide on the demographics traits your ideal buyers have:
- Monthly income
- Education level
- Other interests
Second, take note of your ideal customer’s preferred sources of information. Who are the top bloggers or websites they follow? Who are the gurus they trust? Do they read any books or magazines? These are all important factors that will influence their buying decisions.
- Social media channels
Next, use social media polls to ask your audience what are their main challenges & pain points, and what’s stopping them from achieving their goals? These challenges will help you decide on a product/solution you can offer that’s tailored to their needs.
- Customer challenge 1
- Customer challenge 2
- Customer challenge 3
Finally, it’s time to think about which problem can you help them solve. People may have a wide range of problems. And you may not be able to address everything in the content you share on social media. And that’s okay! You just need to find one solution that you can offer that’s going to make your audience’s life better.
- The problem I can help my audience solve is … [insert customer challenge]
Did you nail that? You’ll find it easier to convert your audience into paying customers! Because now you’re focused on the SOLUTION to their problems.
Step #4: Analyze your competitors’ audience
With 75% of US-based businesses planning to have an Instagram account this year, you’ll hardly be the only business offering the product/service you do. So, in that case, if you’re not sure who your ideal audience is you’ll find success in analyzing your competitors’ audience.
- Who are the people that engage with your competitors’ Instagram posts?
- Where do they live?
- What type of content attracts them?
- What inspired them?
These questions can be answered by doing a competitive overview.
But you don’t have to do it manually. You can spy on your competitors using analytics tools. Sharemyinsights.com allows you to see what your competitors are doing. You can check how often they post, what hashtags bring them most likes and get insights into their followers’ demographics.
This is another reason why you should keep your competitors close: you can find your ideal audience on their profile.
Go to your competitor’s profile and tap on Followers. From there, start looking at their followers’ accounts and follow them back. Scroll through their posts, reply to comments, and start engaging in conversations with your ideal buyers. Just be careful not to follow more than 50 people a day, or Instagram may think you’re a spammer/robot.
Pro Tip: Want more exposure? Switch on notifications for your top competitors. Just make sure you leave a meaningful comment so your potential buyers might notice and come over to your page and follow you back.
Step #5: Discover new audiences through industry hashtags
Did you know you could search for keywords on Instagram? While the platform is a far cry from a search engine a few things are searchable: your profile username, business name and hashtags. So how can that help you find your audience? Try typing your industry keywords into the search bar to discover new accounts. Once you’ve found people you’re interested to connect with, you can follow them and send them a DM/voice note introducing yourself.
Pro Tip: Want to market your business locally in your town? Then search your industry + city name to narrow down your search. Now you can get connected with people in your town.
Step #6: Use Instagram analytics tools to track your audience insights
Lastly, you want to monitor your follower’s insights. Instagram offers insights into your followers which can tell you whether your content strategy is attracting your ideal clients. Below are the top Instagram metrics you should track and what they mean.
Target audience metrics to track on Instagram:
This metric tells you the number of followers you gained/lost since the previous week. If you see sudden spikes or drops you need to double-check your content strategy. Is the content relevant to your audience? If not, change it.
Instagram allows you to track your top 5 countries & cities your followers are located. This is important to note if you are targeting a specific country or city. Use this information to help you save money on Facebook ads.
This shows a breakdown of your followers’ age groups. This will help you understand what age groups find your content more appealing. And you can change your voice/content to fit your audience best.
This metric indicates the balance between female and male followers. This is important if you’re trying to target a specific gender. For example, you’re a fitness coach for women, you’ll want to attract a larger portion of your followers who are women.
This metric tells you the hours and days your followers are most active on Instagram. Use this metric to find out the best times to post on Instagram and schedule your posts in advance.
To take advantage of the marketing opportunities Instagram offers, you need to be clear of who your audience is. And who it isn’t! So now that you know how to identify your Instagram target audience, you’re ready to convert them into buyers. Good luck!
Hero photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash
Instagram Target Audience FAQs
Instagram is a young adult’s social channel. In fact, brands prefer Instagram as their medium to connect with millennials but it continues to extend to older generations. Statistics show that 71% of Instagram users in the age range of 35 years old and below while 16% are between 35-44 years old. If you are looking to know what age group to target on Instagram, it is still best not to focus on a single generation.
The Instagram demographic shows that younger generations tend to use the platform more than older generations. 71% of IG users are below 35 years old and only 16% are 35-44 years old. In the United States, 75% are between ages 18 and 24 years old, and 57% of US adult users are 25 and 29 years old. These numbers imply that the 18 to 24 U.S. age group who uses Instagram is almost the same demographics as Facebook.
The auto audience is a feature on Instagram that helps brands target their ads to a specific audience. Instead of sending ads to a general audience, it will send the ads to the people who are relevant and more likely to be interested in your product/service. They execute this by creating an audience using diverse signals like location, interests, and demographics. This is helpful especially with billions of active Instagram users.
Getting Instagram followers is not easy, however, we got some tips for you on how to grow your Instagram followers today. First, create a hashtag relevant to your brand, product, or service and make it a habit to always include it in your posts. You also need to consistently engage with your followers. This will help you build relationships with your audience. More than that, socializing with your followers and other Instagram accounts works too!
The most followed person on Instagram is the famous Portuguese football player, Cristiano Ronaldo. March 2021, he has a massive 268 million followers. This makes him one of the most sought-after influencers on the platform. Brands are willing to pay huge money to reach his audience. Recently, he topped the Instagram Rich List Sports where it is reported that he takes home $889,000 per sponsored Instagram post.