In honor of Women’s History Month, we hosted educational events in 11 cities about marketing to women. The events featured panels of expert business owners and savvy consumers picked right from the Yelp Elite community. We asked them to share their experiences and learnings from both sides of the marketing equation.So, what’s the magic advice for marketing to women? It might shock you… in every city we heard the exact same thing! There isn’t one. There are a lot of ways to appeal to women. Really, this is a conversation about segmentation. Would you talk to a child differently than an adult? Probably. So why not talk to your customer segments differently too?
Women are visual, and they do their research. They want to get a feel for a business before they spend money. If you’re a doctor’s office, is your waiting room warm, welcoming and comfortable? Show images of the experience one can expect with your business, online. Shobha Tummala, a New York City panelist and the owner of a multi location hair removal business said, ‘Women want information. You need to build trust by creating transparency.’
By having pictures that show your staff, products, services, and your space, you appeal to research-oriented consumers. You’re letting them get a sense of your business before they walk through the door. One of the tips we heard from our savvy consumers in every market is the importance of photos. Not only is it important to have great photos (and a lot of them). It’s also important to be consistent across all of your branded media.
2. It’s not just a picture, it’s showing a lifestyle
When choosing which images you want to use to represent your business, remember that customers like to see themselves in your brand. They want to feel like they fit with the business, so incorporate images that your target consumer can relate to. That means no more still lifes. Put your product in context. It’s not just a plate of food. It’s got sunglasses next to it and a cocktail. Let the viewer’s imagination fill in the blanks. Help them see themselves in your product.
When Christine Longe, opened her first aerial fitness studio, The Aviary, she made a mistake. She had a professional photo shoot to launch her brand and she wanted to show off the space and her fit instructors. Ultimately she received feedback from the community that the instructors in the photos weren’t relatable. Because they couldn’t see themselves in the extremely fit and bendy instructors, people did not think they would be able to do the exercises. So, she started to incorporate pictures of all shapes and sizes enjoying her class. It also inspired her to start hiring a more diverse group of instructors. By creating a brand that reflected the diversity of her community, she expanded her customer base as well.
3. Look at your business like you don’t own it
Listening to feedback, such as Christine did, can help you better market your business and make adjustments along the way. Sometimes you need to seek the feedback yourself. The owners of Snake and Butterfly, a chocolate factory and coffee shop in San Jose, shared that experience as they evolved their brand and marketing strategy.
A few months after opening, a mentor told them look at their business from across the street. See it the way a customer walking by sees it. Window shoppers were confused by their business. They didn’t know if it was a chocolate shop, a cafe, or a retail store. That different point of view gave them the new perspective they needed to make changes. Ultimately, they refined their image even changed their logo to better reflect their offerings.
Another aspect to reimagine is the way you tell your business’ story. People like to know the story behind the business. What may seem like a small win to you, might be a triumph to your customers. Sharing your story invites customers to emotionally invest in your business. Be sure to tell your story on your website, your Yelp page and across your social media platforms. Once you tell your story, tell it again. Refine it. Expand on it as your business expands. Make your community a part of it.
So, there really is no one magic piece of advice to market your business to women. You have to think about your different segments. What are they ways you can create deeper connections with your customer base? Have great visuals. Share what makes your brand unique. Continue to tell your story. Incorporate feedback from your valued customers. Allow your brand to grow, evolve and resonate with the (female) consumer you’re hoping to attract.