marketing roundtable

Digital Marketing

A Tale of Two Audiences: The Results Are In!

Brandon Jones

On Part 2 of this special case study episode of the Marketing Roundtable podcast, hosts Tatiana Knies-Smith & Rachel Rhodes discuss the results of niching down on Instagram while defining success and managing the challenges of virality.

Previously, on Not Your Average Marketer…

In the fall of 2023, the BrainDo social team noticed that our main Instagram account had built up two different audiences, fragmented between interests in thought leadership and workplace comedy content. The solution: niching down and creating a separate account focused solely on comedy content. And thus, Not Your Average Marketer was born.

In Part One of this case study, we explored the strategy behind making this shift. In Part Two, we explore the results and key takeaways of this move.

So, let’s dive in.

Defining & Measuring Success

In order to properly quantify account performance, we had to define success metrics that reflected the client’s priorities. In this scenario the client was Brian Cosgrove, principal at BrainDo. And he wanted to see account growth as quickly as possible.

To achieve this objective, we tracked three key metrics: followers, profile visits, and Reel plays. Although it may be common practice to use followers as a primary metric for account growth, upper-funnel metrics such as profile visits and Reel plays are crucial for building a holistic view into the consumer journey.

To properly inform social media strategy, however, a significant sample size of these metrics must be captured. We decided to set our goals over a 12-week period, to allow for enough data to accrue. We stuck to a 6-week reporting cadence, along with brief biweekly client check-ins to report on smaller trends.

“A month felt too short,” explains Rachel, “We were testing so much and it’s so important to have a good sample size to test against.”

Tatiana also notes that a defined, quantifiable goal for each KPI is crucial for informing any needed strategy shifts as the account grows. The following goals were targeted over a 12-week period: 1,000 profile visits, 500 followers, and 1 Reel to break 100,000 views.

Results & Pivots

So, how did we do?

After only six weeks, the Not Your Average Marketer Instagram account gained 903 followers, drove approximately 9,700 profile visits, and had one Reel go viral with 1.8 million views. So at first glance, we blew our goals out of the water. However, with most data sets comes an outlier or two.

Due to the rapid success of our first six-week period, we significantly increased our KPIs to adjust for the virality we had achieved — to mixed results in the long run.

“We adjusted for the virality, and I wouldn’t always recommend doing that right away,” Rachel shares. “I think giving things more time to really analyze trends, and see how things age … don’t immediately re-adjust (the strategy) because one thing went viral.”

As amazing as it is, treat going viral as an outlier. From an analytical view, an individual post’s virality should not define a large shift in strategy.

And yes, going viral feels amazing. Everyone and their managers want to go viral. But while achieving virality should be a focus, planning for what happens after is just as important.

Going Viral: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

The Good

Well, this is self explanatory. Going viral means your account and voice have been vaulted into the visibility of hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of people. You may even achieve minor celebrity status. Go treat yourself to a nice meal!

The Bad

Although virality can be an extremely quick way to achieve set goals, the data collected is not practical for defining or pivoting strategy.

In the wake of a viral hit, pay attention to the bigger picture. Within dashboards for reporting, instances such as this may skew the overall numbers if you are not careful.

The Ugly

Believe it or not, this was not the first time BrainDo has gone viral.

Back in 2022, an “Elder Emo” Reel went viral on the main BrainDo Instagram account. In fact, that success was one of the first instances in which we started to see the fragmentation of our audiences.

“It was a totally different audience, it was people interacting with that post as part of a music based subculture, and they were not interested in sticking around for marketing talk,” observes Rachel. “So that post got a ton of plays, a ton of engagement, but not a lot of converted followers at all. They liked the post, they didn’t like the account.”

The Instagram algorithm also began pushing the BrainDo page out to more people within this audience, creating further fragmentation.

Going viral is a massive achievement. Just make sure you’re targeting the right audience.

Only the Beginning

We explore many topics in both parts of the Not Your Average Marketer case study, and we’ve learned a lot on this journey so far.

For the full discussion, including more topics such as boosting strategy and seasonality, check out the episode on YouTube. Watch the video below, or stream the episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

If you have not yet tuned in to Part 1, you can watch the video here or stream it though your preferred podcasting platform.

Need help building a new social media account from the ground up? The BrainDo social team is always ready to collaborate, from management to competitive analysis. Reach out to BrainDo today!

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



Meet the Author

Brandon Jones

Brandon Jones

Paid Media

Brandon's expert understanding of digital channels makes him our go-to person to help manage our clients' business challenges and paid media accounts.

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