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Build Your Skills: Instagram Location Targeting for Local Marketers

When Instagram first launched in 2010, many marketers were just starting to understand the power of social media: testing the waters with Facebook pages and sending those first tentative tweets. But these days, even mom and pop shops know that customers are finding them via social media–namely Facebook. However, Instagram is quickly catching up in popularity, with 500 million people logging in every day. 

And while you may be thinking those numbers are nothing compared to Facebook, Instagram is a channel where users are connecting more frequently with brands than they do on other platforms. According to Instagram, 80% of its users follow at least one business, and they’re engaging with the businesses they follow. Instagram has a 2.2% interaction rate, far outstripping Facebook’s 0.22%. 

But Instagram is still a rather new channel for enterprise marketers and only being used sparingly by local marketers, which is precisely why the time is right for local businesses to leverage Instagram ads in order to get ahead of competitors. 

In this post, we’ll walk you through the location targeting options for Instagram Ads. By understanding when and how to use Instagram’s targeting settings, local marketers can reach the most desirable audiences for their ads and not waste budget advertising to the wrong consumers.

Optimize your profile for engagement

On Instagram, it can seem like followers are everything. But while it’s a nice ego boost to have a ton of followers, getting those followers engaging with posts is actually what’s most likely to get them in the door for local businesses. The first step towards inviting that all-important Instagram engagement is making sure your Instagram business profile has all the information you need to encourage direct messages and even in-store visits. 

To update your profile, first, change your count to a business profile. You can find this option under “Settings.” Select “Switch to Business Profile” if you haven’t already. Next, give followers multiple ways to contact you, be it via phone, email, company website, or DM. Once you’ve got your business profile up and running, it’s time to start making your ads as relevant to local audiences as possible. 

Location, Location, Location

Instagram ads offer multiple ways to geo-target your message, and while it costs a bit more than a standard ad, the results are usually worth the price, especially for local businesses hoping to get the word out about their goods and services. Instagram offers a few different location-based options to choose from, including:  

  • Anyone in a particular location
  • People who live in a certain location
  • Those who have recently been near a certain location
  • People traveling in a certain location

Local advertisers can select from any of these options while building campaigns, along with other audience-defining options, such as gender and age. 

But that’s not all! Instagram ads offer the option for getting hyper-specific with a location. You can simply type in an address, for example, your store address, drag and drop a pin to that location, and then select a radius you’d like to target. You can also prevent certain areas from being targeted as well as adjust the radius. Here are some other location options for your Instagram campaign:

  • Countries
  • States/regions
  • Cities
  • Postal codes
  • Addresses

Once you’ve got your location narrowed down to a specific radius and audience type, you can further edit your campaigns by audience in order to ensure the right message is served to the right customer when they’re in the right place (preferably within about 10 miles of your store). 

Define audiences

Getting eyes on your Instagram ads is important, but getting the right eyes on your ads is key to driving local business. For example, if you’re a hardware store looking to attract nearby customers, it might be nice to serve your ads to those who have just moved to the neighborhood. 

By selecting “Detailed Targeting” you can deliver your ads to specific groups; like “new homeowners” or “recently moved.” You can also target ads based on things like job titles or industry, which is an excellent option for B2B marketers with highly specific audiences. 

Don’t forget the text

And once you’ve got your audience narrowed down to exactly the right customer in just the right location, don’t forget to tailor your ad campaign to a specific location. For example, say that the hardware store is located in the River Oaks area of Houston. Customers who see “Houston’s Best Selection of Home and Garden Supplies” might worry they’ll have to drive outside the 610 Loop in order to reach the store (and if you’ve never been to Houston, no one is willing to do that). But if your ad says “River Oaks’s Best Selection of Home and Garden Supplies” then local customers are getting the message that this hardware store will probably save them time and effort by ensuring they’ll get everything they need right in their own neighborhood. 

Driving local traffic via your Instagram Ads is as simple as narrowing your location and carefully selecting your audience. If you’re not engaging with locals via your geo-targeted ads, what are you waiting for?

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