Boosting growth is (or should be) the concern of every serious social media marketer. But sometimes, it can be hard to find our segments out there in the wild world of social media. Sometimes, it can feel like each platform is hiding different segments that could be extremely lucrative—if only we knew what they were and how to reach them.
Different people, for whatever reasons, flock to different social media platforms. News junkies tend to favour Facebook and Twitter. Comedians and musicians like Periscope. Each of these platforms represents unique opportunities for marketers to connect with different niche markets. And, with 700 million users (and counting), Instagram is a platform that needs to be understood and respected if marketers hope to tap into this user base. In this article, I’m going to discuss three lucrative niche demographics that are best targeted through Instagram, and what unique marketing lessons can gleaned from them.
Of course, not all of these niches will be suitable for every company’s brand, but just knowing that these segments are embedded in Instagram may prompt your marketing team to think a little more deeply on how it can reach your company’s desired markets.
1. Makeup Aficionados
The first group I want to look at are makeup aficionados. And I suppose it’s not that strange that cosmetics enthusiasts tend to be extremely receptive on Instagram. After all, what better platform could there be to share content that depends on photo-centric details? Makeup fans like Instagram because they can immediately engage with a product and see its effects. What’s also interesting about the cosmetics community on Instagram is that it has shown huge and encouraging engagement numbers with different makeup brands.
These numbers reflect a number of factors. As an example of how they work together, consider the beauty startup Glossier, which founded in 2014 and currently enjoys around 602,000 followers. Its beauty products are colorful and photo-friendly, and so they prove to be perfect subjects for Instagram photos. Glossier also depends a lot on user-generated content to develop an intimate relationship with its customers. The company also works with local influencers without many followers along with more prominent celebrities, promoting a grassroots appeal that speaks to its demographics.
The lesson here is simple: niche markets can engage easily when they’re involved in the story of the brand. Invite your users into the conversation and put them in the driver’s seat.
Food enthusiasts also flock to Instagram. And again, this is no surprise. It’s not very exciting to read about a beautiful meal, but seeing the presentation for yourself is often enough to get you salivating, and probably the best way to enjoy a meal vicariously. Think about it: a tweet like “really enjoying my meal here @mcfilthsrestaurant” is unlikely to get anybody’s salivary glands going. But to see the meal in all it glory—that’s an entirely different thing.
Much like the beauty industry, those in food and restaurants have turned to influencers to reach their demographics. (And this will be a common thread throughout this article). This is upending the customary restaurant reliance on traditional media to promote its food. Foodies like influencers because they feel it to be more honest than media or advertising—how many of us have been disappointed by the deflated burger on our plate that clashed so strongly with beautiful tower of beef we saw on a TV ad? Poetic odes to the patty aside, the point here is: invite organic interaction with your product, and that honesty will speak with more authority on your brand than any clever ad copy could.
3. Fitness Buffs
The fitness community is also a major player on Instagram. Exercise is often a solitary affair, and so the opportunity to share progress and connect with others trying to meet their goals is very attractive. Those actively engaged in fitness likely find motivation in seeing others doing the same, and so content gets perpetuated that way, creating a niche of people rabid for supplements, equipment, and exercises that will give them a leg up on their peers—make no mistake: though supportive, this is a competitive community.
But the fitness community’s ties with Instagram go even deeper—and they teach us something fundamental about social media marketing. According to Katie Rose Hejtmanek, a cultural anthropologist, it ties in with a wider concept of performance. Fitness is already so much about performance—the body performing various feats of endurance and strength—and sharing photos provides an extension of that performance to a wider community of peers. If I’ve lost you, suffice it to say that the key takeaway here is a foundational one: know what platforms are a natural extension of your customer segments’ life. For beauty buffs, foodies, and fitness fanatics, this is Instagram. Understanding this point will allow you to hunt for your segments and cultivate relationships with them that are natural and rewarding. Authenticity is the key.