How to Identify Your Instagram Target Audience and Create Customers

How to Identify Your Instagram Target Audience and Turn Them into Customers

Are you attracting the right audience on Instagram?

Do you know what type of content inspires them? Or what problems are they currently facing? If not, then you’ve probably learned the hard way that selling to a cold audience is EXTREMELY hard.

But don’t worry. You’re not alone! We’ve come across many brand owners who have the same issues. Most of the time they’re targeting the wrong audience who isn’t interested in their offer. Other times they’re posting without having an effective Instagram marketing strategy. Luckily, we now have Instagram analytics tools to help us learn more about the people we’re targeting online.

In this post, we’ve lined up a step-by-step process to help you identify your Instagram target audience and turn them into customers: 

  • Step 1: Pick a profitable niche
  • Step 2: Find the perfect audience size
  • Step 3: Create buyer personas
  • Step 4: Analyze your competitors’ audience
  • Step 5: Use the search tool to discover new audiences
  • Step 6: Use analytics to keep track of your followers

Ready? Let’s get started!

Step #1: Pick a profitable niche 

Here are some profitable Instagram niches to inspire you:


Do you love to travel and you’re able to do it frequently? Bring your followers with you on inspiring journeys as @travelikeagirl does. 

Health & Fitness

Passionate about inspiring others to live a healthy life? You can share healthy recipes, fitness routines and mindset posts like @popsugarfitness.


Love makeup? Is creating tutorials and reviewing beauty products is something that you’re fascinated with? 


Instagram is perfect for photographers (below: @gaborestefan) as it’s a visual platform. Beautiful and eye-catchy pictures get re-shared and have some of the best reach. Just figure out what kind of photography do you enjoy doing more: wedding, pets, lifestyle, business, etc. 


People come to Instagram for fashion inspiration and product inspiration. Instagram fashion influencers are so abundant, they’re now categorized into nano, micro, and giga-influencers. If you’re a fashion designer, retailer (example: @skims), or influencer you’ll be able to build a community. 

PS: Want to become a social media influencer? Check out this guide on how to become a social media influencer.


Small and large businesses are now using Instagram. Regardless of what you’re selling, as long as you can present your products/services in a visually compelling way you’ll find your audience on Instagram. Below:@nealschaffer


Who doesn’t love cute pets? Images of cats (below @hosico_cat), dogs, and other lovely creatures will stop anyone from scrolling through their feeds. 

So, how do you pick a niche? 

Start by listing 5 things you’re passionate to talk and write about. Then do a quick search on Instagram and see what type of content people post in that niche. Is it something you’re comfortable posting about? Are there people who are successful in your niche? If yes, then, you can go ahead with your topic idea. If not, back to the drawing board.  

Examples of niches:

  • Industry: Health & fitness
    • Niche: Vegan recipes, Yoga for teenagers 
  • Industry: Marketing
    • Niche: Instagram marketing, Pinterest marketing, Tiktok marketing, Ads for e-commerce business
  • Industry: Handmade products
    • Niche: Custom engraved pottery, Custom printed T-shirts, Coconut oil cosmetics

Pro tip: Don’t confuse your niche with your industry. A niche is a small fraction of the entire market you’re in. The more specific you are with your targeting, the easier it’s going to be to appeal to the right group of customers.

Step #2: Find the perfect audience size that’s not too broad but not too small either

Now that you have selected a few topics, it’s time to test the audience size for each of your niches. This is important because if you pick an audience that is too broad, you’re not going to be very successful in targeting. I like to use the Facebook ads targeting tool to test audiences. The tool allows you to do a detailed targeting by demographics, geographical location, income level, and interests. 

You might be thinking: ”I already know my Instagram target audience. It’s American women, aged 20 – 40 who own a business”. In reality, what you have is a very broad audience. That’s 22 million people! Even if we discount the 40% of people in your target audience who aren’t on Instagram, you still have a broad audience that’s going to be difficult to target. 

So, you’ll want to niche down even more and start thinking: Who is ACTUALLY your ideal customer? And what interests do they have? 

Step #3: Create buyer personas

One method that’s been very effective to narrow down on your Instagram target audience, is building buyer personas. A buyer persona is an avatar of the common characteristics your ideal buyers have. The more detailed it is, the more effective your marketing actions will be. If you’re selling products/services to all genders and age groups, you should create a few different personas. 

Here’s how to create a buyer persona

First, decide on the demographics traits your ideal buyers have: 

  1. Age
  2. Gender
  3. Location
  4. Occupation
  5. Monthly income
  6. Education level
  7. Other interests 

Second, take note of your ideal customer’s preferred sources of information. Who are the top bloggers or websites they follow? Who are the gurus they trust? Do they read any books or magazines? These are all important factors that will influence their buying decisions. 

  1. Blogs/websites
  2. Social media channels
  3. Gurus/influencers
  4. Books
  5. Magazines

Next, use social media polls to ask your audience what are their main challenges & pain points, and what’s stopping them from achieving their goals? These challenges will help you decide on a product/solution you can offer that’s tailored to their needs. 

  1. Customer challenge 1
  2. Customer challenge 2
  3. Customer challenge 3

Finally, it’s time to think about which problem can you help them solve.  People may have a wide range of problems. And you may not be able to address everything in the content you share on social media. And that’s okay! You just need to find one solution that you can offer that’s going to make your audience’s life better. 

  1. The problem I can help my audience solve is … [insert customer challenge]

Did you nail that? You’ll find it easier to convert your audience into paying customers! Because now you’re focused on the SOLUTION to their problems. 

Step #4: Analyze your competitors’ audience

With 75% of US-based businesses planning to have an Instagram account this year, you’ll hardly be the only business offering the product/service you do. So, in that case, if you’re not sure who your ideal audience is you’ll find success in analyzing your competitors’ audience. 

  • Who are the people that engage with your competitors’ Instagram posts?
  • Where do they live? 
  • What type of content attracts them? 
  • What inspired them?

These questions can be answered by doing a competitive overview.  

But you don’t have to do it manually. You can spy on your competitors using analytics tools. allows you to see what your competitors are doing. You can check how often they post, what hashtags bring them most likes and get insights into their followers’ demographics. 

This is another reason why you should keep your competitors close: you can find your ideal audience on their profile.

Go to your competitor’s profile and tap on Followers. From there, start looking at their followers’ accounts and follow them back. Scroll through their posts, reply to comments, and start engaging in conversations with your ideal buyers. Just be careful not to follow more than 50 people a day, or Instagram may think you’re a spammer/robot. 

Pro Tip: Want more exposure? Switch on notifications for your top competitors. Just make sure you leave a meaningful comment so your potential buyers might notice and come over to your page and follow you back. 

Step #5: Discover new audiences through industry hashtags

Did you know you could search for keywords on Instagram? While the platfor is a far cry from a search engine a few things are searchable: your profile username, business name and hashtags. So how can that help you find your audience? Try typing your industry keywords into the search bar to discover new accounts. Once you’ve found people you’re interested to connect with, you can follow them and send them a DM/voice note introducing yourself. 

Pro Tip: Want to market your business locally in your town? Then search your industry + city name to narrow down your search. Now you can get connected with people in your town.

Step #6: Use Instagram analytics tools to track your audience insights 

Lastly, you want to monitor your follower’s insights. Instagram offers insights into your followers which can tell you whether your content strategy is attracting your ideal clients. Below are the top Instagram metrics you should track and what they mean.

Target audience metrics to track on Instagram:

Audience growth

This metric tells you the number of followers you gained/lost since the previous week. If you see sudden spikes or drops you need to double-check your content strategy. Is the content relevant to your audience? If not, change it. 

Top locations

Instagram allows you to track your top 5 countries & cities your followers are located. This is important to note if you are targeting a specific country or city. Use this information to help you save money on Facebook ads. 

Age range

This shows a breakdown of your followers’ age groups. This will help you understand what age groups find your content more appealing. And you can change your voice/content to fit your audience best.


This metric indicates the balance between female and male followers. This is important if you’re trying to target a specific gender. For example, you’re a fitness coach for women, you’ll want to attract a larger portion of your followers who are women.  

Followers (activity)

This metric tells you the hours and days your followers are most active on Instagram. Use this metric to find out the best times to post on Instagram and schedule your posts in advance. 


To take advantage of the marketing opportunities Instagram offers, you need to be clear of who your audience is. And who it isn’t! So now that you know how to identify your Instagram target audience, you’re ready to convert them into buyers. Good luck!

Hero photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash 

Actionable advice for your digital / content / influencer / social media marketing.
Join 13,000+ smart professionals who subscribe to my regular updates.
Share with your network!
Alle Ceambur
Alle Ceambur

Alle Ceambur is an expert in Instagram Marketing. Alle is a Content Marketing Strategist and Lead Writer on Share My Insights blog. She’s all about creating strategies and loves sharing her knowledge of content and Instagram marketing. She loves cappuccinos, has read all of Agatha Christie books - and is constantly on the lookout for her next adventure.

Articles: 4


  1. Super clear, organised and straight forward article and it actually made sense. Thank u. If you have more like this I want to read it!

  2. Hey Alle

    Thank you so much for this fantastic blog. You have helped me be more specific in defining my audience. Among all the information I have so far come across, your blog has been the most helpful.
    Thanks :-)

    • Hi Deb, Thanks so much for your kind words. I am so happy to hear you’ve enjoyed this article. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to know or need help with in regards to Instagram marketing – or social media in general :)

      Xo Alle

  3. Hey, Alle.

    Your blog has given me a deep knowledge of Instagram. I was looking for one such blog where I could get how to target the vast Instagram audience and turn them into potential customers.

    Thanks, it has helped me a lot. Hope to see you soon with some more interesting topics.

    • Hey Aiden!

      Thank you so so much for sharing your thoughts! I am absolutely thrilled to know that you’re learning something valuable from my article! That’s my goal – to inspire and teach others how to make the most out of their Instagram.

      Thanks again,

Comments are closed.

Table Of Contents