The social world is shrinking and with it brings endless marketing possibilities for creative start-ups, small businesses and personal brands. Technology continues to evolve at an immeasurable speed and everyday there are new apps, platforms and modes of communication right at your fingertips. Your target market is literally a swipe, click and press send away, however, unlimited opportunities to find and connect with your audience leads to confusion and indecision. Where do you begin with Instagram? How often should you post? How do you stand out amongst the crowd? Here are a few simple steps to cancel out the noise and get started:
Research Is Key
Research is the founding principle of any successful marketing strategy. You can’t find your audience without understanding them. It’s easy to presume you have them sussed, especially when it comes to creative business. Art is at the centre of what you do, you’re driven by passion. Your podcast or recent jewellery line is born from craftmanship. You can guess the age, sex, and location of your customers roughly, but think beyond your preconceptions. Delve deeper into their personality, habits, goals and values. Instagram is game changing for this! Pretty much everyone, everywhere overshares. Instagram acts as a database making individuals searchable by the descriptive tags so utilise them. What hashtags do they us? Who do they follow? When are they online? What trends are they viewing? Who inspires them? What podcasts do they listen to? If you start to answer some of these questions you will exhaust yourself less by marketing to the right people, in the right location at the right time.
Marketing is all about systems of analysis. What does success look like to you? Three subscriptions to your new online course, maybe an increase in traffic to your website or a 100 new followers? You need these goals in place to know what content is working. Most importantly your targets need to be relevant, measurable and time based whether you’re trying to build a community, increase brand awareness or sell your art
The hardest part is setting your fear aside and just starting. Perfecting Instagram is like any skill, it takes practice, and nobody is an expert to begin with. Honestly, there is no one way to post, engage or communicate your message. Trial, error, maybe some questionable filters later and you will be well on your way. It’s better to create something than nothing. Pick a theme that aligns with your brand, if you’re a sustainable clothing line for example you might use earthy colours in your feed featuring lots of nature shots alongside pictures of your product. As long as you’re consistent you will make progress.
Think of how you add extra value to your audience and potential customers. Most people use Instagram to feel inspired, educated or entertained, not to be sold to. Instagram can be a great space to showcase your artistry and also your brand story; when you let your personality and work ethic shine through in your content, people will connect more with your business.
Image taken by Pixels