How to find your future customers on Instagram, even if you’re not an expert
If you are a brand or a company, chances are you have already developed a buyer persona which basically involves creating a profile of your ideal customer that you want to market your product/services to. Relying on your existing buyer persona is a great place to start. However, marketing on Instagram might be somewhat different from the typical customer that buys from you offline. Below I have compiled several key steps to help you validate your buyer persona and help you find your future customers on Instagram:
1) Check Instagram Insights Data
A good way to check whether your existing followers are aligned with your buyer persona profile is to access Instagram Insights where you can get an overview of the demographics of your who your followers are, including age, gender, location. Besides audience demographics, you also can check when (day and time) most of your audiences are engaging with your post - this will give you an idea of when it is best to schedule your posts. Note you can only access all this information if you have an Instagram business account.
2) Keep an eye on your competitors with a similar target audience.
Once you have identified who your main competitors are, you can go to their Instagram profiles and research the following information:
- What kind of content are they posting? Do they post captions? And if yes, what do they say there and what tone of voice do they use?
- Do they use other functions on Instagram like Stories, IGTV, Instagram Shopping? How do they use them to engage with their followers and attract new customers?
- What hashtags do they use to attract their key target audiences?
- Do they do any giveaways, competitions or collaborate with influencers?
But don’t just mirror your competitors, identify what they are doing well, and of course, not doing well, this is an excellent way to identify any opportunities or gaps you can take advantage of and apply it to your own Instagram account.
3) If you want to know something, just ask!
Instagram is all about social interaction after all. You can simply ask your existing audience about their favorite kind of Instagram content or even ask for suggestions. You can either post it on your caption when you create a post or you can post an Instagram Story to ask your followers via a "question" sticker.
You can even create a “Poll” sticker on your IG story asking your audiences the kind of content they prefer seeing in the feed.
4) Research well-targeted hashtags
As explained in detail from my previous article on hashtag strategy, you can leverage the search bar to find similar hashtags in your niche that are performing well. While searching for the relevant hashtags, take an active approach to research the contents of the top-performing niche hashtags (Top), visit the user’s profile and see whether their followers are similar to your target audience.
You can even initiate a relationship with some successful IG accounts by ‘liking’ or ‘commenting’ their photos or follow their account to show your appreciation of their account - in return they may follow you back and also repost some of your images/videos.
5) Conduct influencer research
Research both well-established influencers and micro-influencers that share similar target audiences as yours and analyze the type of content they are posting.
One hack is to even ‘stalk’ some of their more engaged followers (those who like/comment/tag) and see whether they have similar target audiences as your brand. If they do, you can also research how they are collaborating with other brands. Influencers will usually provide their email address on their profile where you can inquire more on how to collaborate with them
So what’s next?
You now know all of the above. It’s time to reassess your buyer persona. Does it align with your initial customer profile? If not, what can you do from the learnings and research to re-define your strategy? Also, think about your content strategically. Don’t post for the sake of posting, stick to your brand ‘look’ and your style of posting. Consistency is key and that’s what makes your brand memorable and stand out from competitors.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you can also read my previous article where I detail how you can effectively utilize #hashtags on Instagram:
Need help growing your Instagram account? Feel free to reach out to me or via my website at www.naivedigital.com for a free 30-minute consultation today.
Thanks again for reading!