Instagram Audience 101: Finding and Growing a Target Market

Profile photo of Karen Lin, author

Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Feb 29, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

One exciting thing about having an Instagram brand is the opportunity to talk to people and form meaningful connections. But as a brand, you also can’t talk to every single person on the platform. You’ll spread yourself too thin and won’t have an impactful, specific message to put across online. Having a specific Instagram audience in mind that you want to engage and activate is a must.

As Entrepreneur magazine’s business encyclopedia puts it, having no target audience is like firing bullets in random directions. You’ll talk to all social media users who are willing to listen, but it’s difficult to get a bullseye. It’s a must to pinpoint a target market you want to speak to directly and focus your efforts on them. Only then can you build a sustainable online community with tons of growth potential.

Identifying your intended audience is a key social media best practice to help you succeed on Instagram. By deeply understanding your target market, you can craft an effective digital marketing strategy. Do you want to discover how to find your niche audience and get targeted Instagram followers within that group? Keep scrolling to learn more!

A crowded stadium audience taking photos of an on-stage performer with their phones.

Why Is It Important To Have a Specific Target Audience on Social Media?

According to Statista, there are currently over a billion active users on Instagram every month. This number is forecasted to grow yearly until 2028 when there will be around 1.5 billion users monthly.

With such an astounding number of people on the platform, it’s impossible to talk to every person on Instagram. That’s why brands and creators must have a specific target audience. It allows you to set clearer, more realistic Instagram goals for your brand and meet them more easily.

A niche online audience allows you to build an effective digital content strategy that connects with people. It lets you become more precise and intentional with your messaging since you’re speaking to a specific group. Instead of generic messaging across the board, you can speak about certain people’s pain points that you’re willing to solve. This creates a stronger relationship with your audience in the long run.

For example, say you own a hair care brand on Instagram. You can create content targeted to a mass audience and deliver the message of “beautiful hair” with your products. But it’s not specific enough to be relevant or compelling for potential buyers. It’s just another forgettable post about hair products.

But if you narrow down your target market to, say, women with curly hair, things will be a lot different. You can launch products and digital marketing plans focused on these women’s top concerns, like hair moisturization and curly styling.

This makes your page that much more relevant to this niche audience, making them more likely to support your brand. The more targeted your audience and the type of content you post, the more engagement you’ll get on posts. 

How To Find Your Audience on Instagram: Identifying Your Target Demographic

Before crafting a digital content strategy, you must know how to find your audience on Instagram. Now, defining a specific target audience may sound intimidating. But with the right amount of research and strategic planning, you’ll find the best target market for your brand.

First, conduct as much research as possible on the best niche audience for your brand or products. This can be as simple as evaluating the target market of your key competitors or doing full-on market research studies. The goal is to identify gaps in the market and who is most impacted by those gaps. Then, think about whether your brand can provide solutions to them.

When you know the relevant pain points in your industry and how you can help, craft a buyer persona. Buyer personas are pretty much your blueprint of what your typical target market looks like. In them, you detail your ideal customer’s demographics, psychographics, buying behaviors, and more. It gives you a clear picture of the type of person you want to reach on social media.

Demographics refer to the statistical information that defines a person. This includes their age range, location, gender, income range, life stage, and more. Meanwhile, psychographics refer to their interests, emotions, and aspirations in life. Don’t forget the pain points and needs your buyer might be struggling with. Consider all these when creating your buyer persona to bring your target audience to life.

Let’s say you’re launching a fitness brand for busy professionals who want to focus on their wellness. Your buyer persona could be someone in their twenties, living in an urban city. They’re interested in outdoor activities, vegan food, and athleisure fashion. With this persona in mind, creating a content strategy to reach your target market online is easier.

Someone drawing arrows with a marker to point to the word “Audience” on a whiteboard.

How To Build an Audience on Instagram as a New Page?

When you’re starting a new profile on Instagram, it’s important to get followers fast. Without a sizeable fanbase, no one will see the posts you put out, putting your content creation efforts to waste. A significant follower count also gives you more credibility as a brand or creator. So, it’s best to reach your niche audience and entice them to follow your page ASAP.

That said, don’t just lure in any potential follower for the sake of growing your page. Attracting targeted Instagram followers that fall under your niche audience is important. So, when executing growth strategies, keeping your target market in mind is important.

Are you unsure where to start to gain the followers you want for your Instagram page? Here are three tips on how to build an audience on Instagram as a new brand. 

1. Optimize Your Profile To Catch Attention Quickly

First, you’ll want to optimize your Instagram profile to make a good first impression when people check out your page. That means choosing an interesting profile picture to represent your brand and filling your bio with pertinent information about you. Don’t forget to add a link to your website or other important landing pages in the bio as well!

Make sure these and all the other elements found on your profile resonate with your target audience. Ensure that every portion of your profile reflects your brand identity and what you can offer your audience. The goal is to make these users interested in following your page as soon as they visit your profile.

A phone screen displaying an Instagram profile with a complete bio with tons of information on the user.

2. Always Churn Out High-Quality, Interesting Content

Never forget that Instagram is an incredibly visual platform. Brands that succeed here always have aesthetically pleasing, interesting, and entertaining content that adds value to the lives of their audience. So, if you want to attract your target market to your page, come out with content relevant to their lives.

Only use high-resolution photos and videos on your page. Write captions that are creative and intriguing to leave potential followers wanting to see more content from you. Play around with content themes that are informative but also engaging and shareable. If you tick all these boxes, your content is bound to drive more of your target market to your page.

A woman filming a video of herself baking a cake using a camera phone, tripod, and ring light.

3. Invest in Instagram Ads To Reach People

If you have marketing money to invest in social media, consider running ads on Instagram. Ads allow you to reach more people on the platform and potentially get them to follow your page. Plus, you see results way faster with paid ads than relying on organic growth methods. The results are almost instant. Score!

What’s fantastic about IG ads is that you can choose your specific target audience when setting up the ads. You can select your preferred audience’s age range, sex, location, interests, and more. That way, you can be sure your ads are reaching the right people. You never have to worry about wasting resources promoting your brand to people outside of your intended audience.

How To Grow Instagram Audience Even More After Having an Established Presence

If you’re already an established Instagram brand, you might sometimes feel like you’ve hit a plateau with gaining followers. After running many ads and churning out great content consistently, it might feel like there’s no space left to grow.

But it’s important not to let that way of thinking get to you. Your mindset should be like this: you can never have too many followers under your target audience. You can always expand your fanbase and gain new potential followers for your page.

The key to getting more followers, even with a sizeable community, is incorporating audience engagement strategies into your content plan. Here’s how to grow Instagram audiences with engaging promotional techniques.

1. Hold a UGC Contest

A terrific way to build excitement about your brand is by holding a user-generated content (UGC) contest. Call on your current followers and people in your target audience to create user-generated content featuring your brand. Choose the best post at the end of the contest period and offer up a prize your target audience can’t refuse!

When your fans post UGC about your brand on their page, it boosts your visibility among their followers. And if these users are anything like the person who posted the UGC, they’ll surely fall under your target market. If they see their friend’s posts and check out your page, you could win them over as new followers.

2. Cross-Promote Your IG Page on Other Online Platforms

Another way to get more followers for your Instagram page is by cross-promoting it on other social media channels. This allows you to reach people under your niche audience who are active on other platforms, like Facebook or TikTok. When cross-promoting on channels like these, link people to your Instagram feed so they can check it out.

There are many different avenues where you can cross-promote your Instagram content. You can link your account to your Facebook profile and share posts there. If you’re posting Instagram Reels, consider downloading and reposting them on TikTok.

And don’t limit yourself to just social media platforms. You can also cross-promote on your brand websites, blogs, and even through email marketing. Be as creative as you can with where you cross-promote your Instagram page to gain as many followers as possible.

3. Co-Create a Product With an Influencer Your Target Market Resonates With

Collaborating with influencers that your target market admires is a terrific way to get on their radar. But you can take it one step further and do a product collaboration with a popular creator. Just make sure to choose an influencer whose followers line up with your target market’s buyer persona.

In this type of collab, a brand and an influencer co-create and develop a product together. The product can be highly personalized to fit the influencer’s signature styles and unique preferences. You can even market it as a limited edition collection so their fans clamor to buy the product ASAP. It’s an awesome way to boost sales while getting engagement and conversions from a specific target audience.

Influencers typically also help with making noise about these collaborative products with promotional content on their page. The more they talk about your brand online, the more likely it is that their followers will discover your brand. They might love your brand (and your influencer collab product) so much that they follow your page. As a result, you get more targeted followers!

A woman standing in front of a phone and tripod to record a video.

Reach Your Niche Audience Easier With Path Social

Knowing your audience on Instagram is important if you want to build a strong community of supporters for your brand. By understanding their key demographics, psychographics, and pain points, you’ll be able to make a better impact in their lives. It also allows you to build a rich content strategy that will resonate with your fanbase, leading to more engagement.

At Path Social, we take every brand’s target audience seriously. That’s why we do our best to reach them and promote your content to them directly. With our effective promotion strategies, ranging from email marketing to influencer campaigns, we can make relevant noise about your brand. The best part is that we do it aimed straight at your Instagram audience of choice. Gain more followers for your brand and see your fanbase reach new heights with Path Social today!