When you speak to everyone, you’re speaking to no one. Different people have different needs, and by trying to address them all, you’ll most likely end up with a mediocre Instagram account that doesn’t hit the spot for anyone. In other words, you won’t be able to leave a deep impression on your viewers, and that is the one thing marketing is NOT about.
This is why it is so important to be clear about your target audience. Your target audience is the group of people that your marketing message wants to reach out to. This group of people should have similar characteristics or similar problems that your product promises to resolve. A perfect match between your target audience’s troubles and your product’s capabilities increases the possibility of your target audience purchasing your product, which I dare say, is the main reason why companies are so obsessed with marketing.
Now that we have a common understanding of the importance of defining your target audience, let’s dive into some of the ways to do so;
1. Check Out the Demographics of Instagram Users
Before you even set your mind on Instagram as your primary marketing platform, it’ll do you good to fully comprehend and familiarise yourself with the demographics of Instagram users. It’ll be redundant to spend money and time marketing on Instagram if your products are utterly irrelevant to Instagram users. To help you get started, here are some sites that provide pretty cool insights into the people behind screens on Instagram.
Having a good understanding of the social media platform’s demographics goes a long way. After all, how can one attract the attention of the users if one doesn’t even know who they are?
2. Understanding Your Product’s Worth
To identify the type of people who will recognise your product’s value, you have to understand and believe in your product’s worth (emphasis on the word, “worth”). Understanding your product’s features is insufficient, you have to grasp the benefits of your product to identify the specific group of people who will actually appreciate its value. To unpack all these jargons, let’s take Apple’s products as an example:
Product: Apple’s devices
Unique Feature: They sync up with one another.
Benefit: Uninterrupted access to all your works across your Apple devices
Who will appreciate it: People who need access to their work anytime, anywhere. Perhaps, students and office workers?
The most explicit distinction between features and benefits can be exemplified by the phrase, “so that”. For example,
Apple’s devices sync up with one another so that you can have access to your works across all your Apple devices seamlessly. In summary, benefits are examples of how features can be used to better our lives. Once you have a clear idea of the multitude of benefits your products can bring to people, it’s time to hypothesise a possible group of people who will appreciate your products.
3. Analyse Data of Your Current Customers
There’s no better way to circle out the type of people who might be interested in your products than to analyse the people who are already your customers. Collect data on your existing customer base and use it to deduce some characteristics that represent them best. Some data that may be useful to draw conclusions include; their age, location, interests, stage of life, spending power and patterns, etc.
Such data can give you great insights into the common traits of your customers. You can expand your target audience by finding people who share similar characteristics with your existing customer base.
4. Exceed Their Need
By now, you should know who is the right target audience for your products, all thanks to your market research. While market research does help a lot in determining who will be most attracted to your products theoretically, the actual act of attracting their attention requires more than just identifying the ‘correct’ target audience. Seeing that there are probably many other existing companies offering similar products and services like yours and how humans are hardwired to hate uncertainty, you need to rise above the rest, for people to take a leap of faith and try out your new products.
As such, you have to exceed their need. Get to know the core principles, values and characteristics of your target audience and use them to prognosticate their future needs and wants. Identify your niche so that you can capitalise on it to hegemonise the market. Get your brain juices flowing!
5. Stay Connected to Your Target Audience with Regular Market Research
Market research done on separate occasions may give you insights you’ve missed out when you first crafted your target market statement. Hence, it is only logical for companies to conduct market research regularly to make sure that it accurately represents your customers.
With groundbreaking innovations popping up left and right, your current customer base will inevitably be lured away by your rivals. Trends can change over time, and so can your target market! An excellent example to illustrate this would be Pokemon’s games. They were designed to entice kids back in the 1990s. But now, the franchise relies on its enduring, multi-generational appeal to pull in both young children and adults, who grew up with Pokemon. Remember, it is up to you to reconsider and re-define your target audience to ensure that your company’s products remain relevant and attractive!
Defining your Instagram target audience is the very first step to a successful Instagram marketing story. While it may seem more straightforward than the subsequent steps, it is the one step aspiring social media influencers cannot afford to botch as it sets the foundation for the remaining steps to build on. To spare yourself from failure, do not hesitate to consult professionals!