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Why Knowing Your Target Audience's Interests is More Important Than You Think

A strong Instagram strategy means a really strong understanding of your target audience. Target audience isn't just how old and where they are, it also expands and heavily involves an understanding of their interests.

Whenever I'm consulting, one of my first questions is always, "What are some of the interests of your target audience members/personas?" Sometimes I'm met with a lot of feedback, other times and more often honestly, I get a resounding "what do you mean? Our products/services!"

So, we're talking about audience interests.

First off - what is an interest? It's basically a category or a general theme that your audience is interested in that isn't specifically your products/services. It could be the larger industry, it can also be entirely other things. Take for example, an independent bookstore. Their audience members are interested in literature and reading, sure, but also - vegan food, small businesses, shopping local, oddities and curiosities, poetry slams, literary events, the city the bookstore and antiques.

Again, these are just a few examples.

So, why did we do that work? Why do these matter? Here are three ways that you can use that interest information to help you with your social media and digital marketing strategy:

First way - Hashtags. Yeah. That's right. Hashtags. If you know what other interests are of your target audience members are, you can use those in hashtag strategies on your posts and engage in those hashtags. It's that simple. Hashtags are an incredibly valuable tool for increasing visibility on your content and also reaching new people.

Second way - Brand Development.

People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. - Simon Sinek

You aren't just the items or services you sell. And it's important to develop that out on the social media sphere especially because 1) developing your brand helps people differentiate you from others in your industry and 2) social media is an engagement tool - and while e-commerce is continuing to grow on the social media platforms, it's actually google shopping that will be taking over catalogues of yesteryears. It's proven that people want to follow the brands they want to buy from, but they also want to learn about those brands.

TLDR: make sure to do brand development that includes some of these interests that you share with your target audience, its a wonderful way for you to create a deeper connection with your audience.

Third way - Targeted Advertisements

I know we don't talk about targeted ads at all, mostly because the ROI is all over the place and budgets are slim within this industry. But when you do decide to make that push, that initial decision to run some ads, targeted people through their interests is an INCREDIBLE way to differentiate yourself from other brands (as we have said before) and really connect to the right people.

Let's take that bookstore from the beginning of this email. One of the interests was shopping local/small businesses. Look into that more - independent bookstores, small business bureau that's local, perhaps there are some particular groups for your city that help spread awareness about small businesses in the area. This can also apply to copy - making sure you start with a lead that uses a keyword like shop local/independent/indie/small business/shop small/local/etc. You have to be thinking more than just what your product or service does for your target audience - but also what sorts of interests do they have outside of your products that are similar to your interests, or interests that you could indirectly fulfill.

Questions? As always feel free to email me: hello(at)sigilmarketing(dot)com.

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