marketing roundtable

Digital Marketing

A Tale of Two Audiences: A Case Study for Niching Down on Instagram

Back in the fall, our organic social media team had a major revelation that resulted in our main Instagram account being split in two. Thus, the birth of Not Your Average Marketer.

On Part 1 of this special case study episode of the Marketing Roundtable podcast, myself and fellow host Tatiana Knies-Smith are joined by podcast producer and paid media specialist, Brandon Jones. We recount the past six months of trial, error, and success on the experimental new workplace humor Instagram page.

At Odds

Imagine attending an indie folk concert, only to sit through several openers playing experimental noise rock. You probably wouldn’t be very comfortable. You might even consider leaving—or at least hiding in the bathrooms until it was safe to emerge.

As with music preferences, people enjoy different genres of content on social media. That sounds obvious, right? But what happens when one creator begins cultivating two clashing crowds?

For BrainDo’s organic social team, disparate audiences became apparent last October. A spike in users unfollowing the Instagram account directly correlated to two posts: one showcasing BrainDo’s agency culture, the other a humor-based sketch.

Essentially, we had built up two separate audiences that no longer felt like sticking around for the others’ interests.

The answer was clear: we had to niche back down.

Niching Down on Instagram

“You hear about niching down all the time when talking about social media,” I offered several minutes into the episode, “So with brands or companies where the (product/service) niche is already predetermined, what you can niche back down in is the tone and voice of the content you’re posting.”

And so Not Your Average Marketer was created as a way to channel our humor content away from the industry, culture, and thought leadership pieces of BrainDo’s main account.

Of course, we weren’t just rushing into a brand new account; this was an opportunity to craft something bigger. So we did what we would do for any client: we launched a proper project kickoff.

If you have no idea what a kickoff phase for a social media account looks like, keep reading. Or, better yet, watch the full episode below.

Kicking it Off

With BrainDo assuming the role of client, we hit the ground running with several standard marketing deliverables: a creative brief, an executive summary, and a competitive analysis.

While discussing the creative brief, Tatiana points out that there are not many true visual assets to account for within an Instagram account—primarily just a profile image. But a creative brief for Instagram can encompass much more, from filming expectations (lighting, blocking, locations, etc.) to defining which native editing features to use and how.

The executive summary outlined everything from personas to brand voice, content pillars, objectives, and reporting. While visual identity should be persistent, executive summaries are living documents where anything may change and develop as clients (and platform-specific best practices) see fit.

The kickoff phase lays a solid foundation for any creative project. And for organic social media, competitive analysis is an integral part of that story.

Meeting the Competition

In the endless sea of Instagram content, the key to success lies in navigating the competitive tides. For Not Your Average Marketer, this meant studying other workplace humor accounts to assess how brand tone related to audience engagement, post cadence, content pillars, and overall user behavior.

“How we structured our competitive research was by growth phase” I detailed in our discussion, “So we had people at the beginning of their growth journey—Build Mode—Peak Growth, and Post-Growth.”

To learn which criteria placed peers within their respective tiers, tune in to the full episode!

We also shared a very thought-provoking quote from our Post-Growth representative creator on why she never cared to gain another follower ever again. Crazy, right?!

As with the executive summary, competitive research requires periodic updates. We performed a second round of analysis directly after the holidays to assess where, what, when, and how our creators fared during the same time frame.

Did they post less? More? Modify their classic content pillars to reflect seasonality? As a result of Q4 follow-up research, we now have several key takeaways stowed away for next winter.

Not So Average After All

Amid going viral, launching collaborations, and personalizing a data dashboard, there are still so many more stories to hear in the full episode! Watch the video below, or find us on Spotify and Apple Podcasts to listen and learn on the go.

And stay tuned for Part 2, where we dive deeper into the data and lessons learned from our first three months.

The Marketing Roundtable is available to watch on YouTube or listen to on every major podcast platform.



If you think you may benefit from building a new Instagram account from the ground up (or even just taking a slice of competitive analysis to-go) please reach out! The BrainDo social team is poised and ready when you are.