Before you can begin marketing your product successfully, you need to know who you’re marketing to and you need to define the customers who form your target audience.
It’s not enough to imagine your ideal customer. To achieve real success in marketing your product on Instagram, you will want to know the habits and demographics of those who fall into the category of your ideal customer, as well as those who don’t.
Because market research and customer development are time-consuming and likely to favor a more limited target audience for your product, you may be tempted to de-prioritize or even ignore these tasks, believing that it’s better for sales to cast a wider net.
But as any seasoned businessperson will tell you, by attempting to sell your product to everyone, you will ultimately sell to no one.
Don’t Market Your Product to Everyone
A middle-aged married German man has very different needs and interests than a recent college graduate from Colombia and understanding how these differences affect the appeal and sales of your product will be crucial to the success of your Instagram marketing strategy.
Simply put, if you want to succeed in marketing your product Instagram, you need to have a clear vision of your target audience. Within this audience exists your ideal customer: a particular person who--according to your research--has an interest in your brand and products.
One of the main reasons that businesses fail to identify a specific ideal customer is because they fear that by marketing to too specific an audience, they will run the risk of losing other potential customers that don’t fit within the identified niche.
And yes, this is sometimes the case, but the flip-side of the coin is that if your marketing strategy is not specific enough, it will be unrelatable to the people who would have bought your product. If you're running a marketing agency, there's a 65% probability your site needs a redesign check out some marketing agency templates here.
Create an Ideal Customer
Here’s an example: imagine that you sell stylish travel backpacks.
Your first ideal customer might be a digital nomad in his late 20s who is always traveling between locations and needs a versatile backpack that fits on small domestic flights.
Your second ideal customer could be a successful middle-aged businessman who travels two weeks a month to different meetings around the globe.
While it is essential to know the gender, age, and lifestyle choices of your ideal customers, these facts are not specific enough to drive sales towards these people. You will also want to know their consumer personalities.
Studies have shown that there exist four types of “buyer personalities”: (1) competitive shoppers; (2) methodical shoppers; (3) humanist shoppers; and (4) spontaneous shoppers.
To develop a winning Instagram marketing strategy, you need to truly understand these four consumer personalities and their motivations, making your product relatable to each one.
(1) Competitive Shopper Profile:
- Prefers to be among the first to own a product
- Attracted to featured items, new products, and best-sellers
- Passive consumer of product information: responds to facts and summaries, without actively clicking or researching
- More often uses the search bar to find specific products than browsing a selection
- Is interested in cross-sells and up-sells
(2) Methodical Shopper Profile:
- Thoroughly researches a purchase before buying
- Relies on expert reviews and side-by-side comparisons to make rational buying decisions
- Attentively reads product details
- May be wary of “freebies” such as contests or free shipping and returns
- Reads the fine print for every purchase
(3) Humanistic Shopper Profile:
- Influenced by customer reviews
- Utilizes live chat and telephone support
- Shares product and purchase experiences with friends
- More likely to leave customer reviews
- Utilizes gift finders and wish lists
(4) Spontaneous Shopper Profile:
- Responds to sales, discounts, and time-limited offers
- Prefers quick delivery options, such as free overnight shipping
- Wants to see examples of the product in action
- Mindlessly browses and clicks
- Influenced by the number of customer reviews
- Curious about what other customers have bought, more responsive to cross-sells
How to Market to the Right Customer
Understanding which shopper profile your ideal customer falls into will be a crucial element in creating the type of content that will appeal to his interests, intentions, and habits.
In the case of competitive shoppers, for example, you may have more success by creating Instagram giveaways or other contests that provide first-time access to a new product.
In the case of the methodical shopper, you are more likely to drive sales by collaborating with Instagram influencers who will promote your product, or by creating detailed posts that include customer testimonials and reviews.
To target the humanistic shopper, you might want to focus more on engaging with your audience, by sharing relevant customer content, or posting live videos or behind-the-scenes Instagram stories.
Finally, you are most likely to appeal to the spontaneous shopper by creating limited-time offers or flash sale that promise to deliver your product in time for the holidays.
Don’t be Afraid of Limiting Your Audience
Of course, you will need to tweak your Instagram marketing strategy based on the buyer profile and specific desires and intentions of your ideal customer. But the key point here is to be as precise as possible when identifying that archetype.
While the market research is time-consuming, and you may fear the consequences of limiting your audience, be clear, be specific, and be selective when pinpointing your ideal customer.
Casting a wider net may attract more eyes on your product, but your goal is to find and attract people who trust your brand and rely on your product.
There’s no better marketing strategy than a loyal and enthusiastic customer.