Instagram Design #2: Target Audience

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Designing a unique Instagram feed that represents your brand and helps you stand out is not an easy task. Especially if you're a small business owner and have limited resources. And as a lot of you have told me that you admire the looks of my feed and how everything connects, I've decided to share my design process with you and give you some of my guidelines to create a visually appealing Instagram feed.

In "Instagram Design #1: Tell Your Story", the first part of my blog series about Instagram feed design, I've taken you through my first year on Instagram. I've told you how important it is to me that my feed tells my (brand) story and have asked you to take action and think about the story you want to tell on your Instagram account.

It's important to me to be very open and honest with you. Therefore, before we start with the next chapter, I want you to know that I'm not an Instagram marketing specialist. I'm a visual pro (seven years of work experience as a Visual Merchandiser and counting) and so my focus lies in that area.
However, I'm also applying social media marketing strategies to my design process. If you want learn more about that, I encourage you to follow Buzzing Creatives on Instagram. The sisters Tript and Prabh have taught me pretty much all I know about Instagram and Pinterest (which are my two favorite social media channels) and they have so many free resources that can truly help you!


The basis for creating a coherent feed that serves your brand and business are two things: 
1. Defining your target audience.
2. Defining some key branding elements.

Instagram design is about much more than just slapping together a few pretty pictures, writing some matching captions and throwing a few hashtags into the mix. Before starting the actual design process you have to make thorough preparations. (You'll probably come to the point where you'll curse having ever started reading this blog series. But hang in there because these steps are going to save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run.)

The basis for creating a coherent feed that serves your brand and business are two things:
1. Defining your target audience. 
2. Defining some key branding elements.

 

Target Audience

Defining your target audience is neither the fun nor the pretty part, but it's the foundation for what you will do afterwards. So, don't skip this step!

Defining your target market is the basis for everything you do in your business - including the design of your Instagram feed. You can't create a feed that attracts your potential clients if you don't know who they are and what they like. 
This part of the process is hard work. But if you're not getting it done in the beginning, you will waste energy and time on things that won't grow your business. You wouldn't drive your car overland by night without having your head lights on, would you? You could do it. Driving very slowly, guessing where the road will take a turn. You might arrive. But it will take you so much longer. And you might get off the road during the process or even hit a tree...

Time to be honest again, though: I could and should focus on narrowing down my target audience myself. (My head lights are not off, but they sometimes flicker and then I'm guessing my path more than actually seeing it.) I have made an analysis of my target market and invested a lot of time in defining my target audience. However, this was some time last summer and I have not revised my analysis since then. Nor have I really looked at my definition when creating new content and products.
I've had it in the back of my mind when asking questions on Instagram, conducting surveys here on my website and connecting with people interested in my work. However, preparing this blog post, I realized it was time to take my own advice, revisit my target audience definition on a regular basis and spend some time on it each month. This way, I want to make sure I don't go astray to much and don't end up investing a lot of time and energy in a product or service that isn't of any help to you guys.

Having a very clear idea of your ideal costumer persona will make your (small business) life so much easier. Ideally, you'd be able to describe them like your best friend. Everything matters, from their age to their family situation, from their hobbies to their values. Not everything will be equally relevant to your business, but the more your know, the easier it will be to offer exactly what your target audience needs. A little hint to get you started: As small business owners, our ideal costumers often have a lot of things in common with us.

By now, you're hopefully convinced that you really need to define your target audience but are asking yourself how to go about it. I want to recommend the resource that I have used last summer and that I will continue working with: It's the Target Market Workbook by Buzzing Creatives. (Yes, this is an affiliate link and I will earn a bit of money if you decide to purchase, but that's not the reason I'm recommending it to you.) The sisters Tript and Prabh from Buzzing Creatives have been mentors to me from the very early stages of my business. I've learned so much about social media marketing from them and we've actually developed a beautiful friendship along the way. I trust them and so can you!
Their eight page workbook comes with more than 50 prompts and questions and not only guides you through a thorough definition of your target audience but also helps you discover how you and your products / services come into this pictures. It usually comes in at
$ 15.- and is definitely worth the money. But I know that, as fellow small business owners, you don't have money to spare. Therefore, I've asked my friends for a discount. You can now get it for just $ 9.99 by applying the code "NORDIC".  If you don't want or can't spend that money (I really understand the later and don't want to coerce you into anything) read their blog post on the topic.

 

Resources

Read Define Your Target Audience With These 5 Easy Steps on the Buzzing Creatives blog and, if you can, invest in their Target Market Workbook. Use the code "NORDIC" to get it for $9.99 instead of $15.-

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