7 Surprising Ways to Market to Women
Who runs the world? That’s right — women. According to Forbes magazine, women drive up to 80 percent of all consumer purchasing, whether they’re making their own purchases or influencing the purchases of others. Bottom line? If you sell consumer goods, your content needs to engage the women in your audience.
But that’s not as easy as it sounds, because if you try too hard, there’s a real risk of offending the very market you’re trying to convert. The trick is to use what you do know about your demographic without falling into the trap of making false assumptions and using out-of-date stereotypes.
The mistake many marketers make is to assume that women have different interests than men. Sure, a lot of women like to read about beauty, fashion, and household management, but they also like to read about the economy, politics, and business.
The things that differentiate the female market are more subtle. For example, men tend to see money as representative of status, whereas women are more likely to see money as a way to take care of themselves and their families. That’s an important distinction to understand if, say, you sell financial services.
Women also tend to be more focused on the social aspect of the buying process, ranking personal referrals and recommendations high on the list of things that influence their decisions. They rely heavily on online reviews, editorial content, and brand websites — which is good news for brands that know how to create strong content.
Here are seven can’t miss strategies to make your content a winner with women:
1. Don’t be stupid
Ninety percent of women think marketers don’t understand the female demographic. That’s because a lot of marketing efforts are based on false assumptions. In 2012, for example, Bic launched Bic for Her pens. What was special about those pens? Absolutely nothing — except that they were pink and purple. The pens drew so much ridicule that they wound up in a spoof on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show.” It turns out that women didn’t care about the color of their pens; they just wanted pens that worked. That’s why it’s so important to check your content for any underlying assumptions or stereotypes that could be offensive. (Unfortunately, it seems Bic didn’t learn from that mistake. A few years later, they ran an ad extolling women to “think like a man” — as though thinking like a woman is inherently inferior.)
2. Looks aren’t everything
You can make your website look beautiful, but if the content isn’t top-notch, it won’t succeed. Quality matters. You want your content to be haute couture, not bargain basement. Your content needs to offer value, engage readers, and generate traffic. Whatever women are talking about — whether it’s how to use eyeliner or how to manage a business acquisition — meet that need with relevant, engaging information. Learn what keywords and key phrases resound with women and spark SEO, then go forth and create winning content.
3. Join the blogosphere
A blog is the little black dress of today’s business website — the one thing every site must have. Frequent posts not only bring users back to your site again and again, they help attract new ones. From an SEO perspective, more blog posts mean more pages on your site for search engines to index. Blogging twice a year isn’t going to cut it. You want your site to be updated at least a few times a month with fresh content. Because the more you blog, the more opportunities you have to attract new readers, each of whom can then become a customer.
4. Get to know a millennial or two
While baby boomers are currently the biggest spenders, according to Advertising Age magazine, millennials are poised to become the largest consumer generation in history. They will spend more than $200 billion annually, starting in 2017, and $10 trillion over their lifetimes.
So how can your marketing content reach millennial women?
Social media is a great place to start. Statistics show that 60 percent of millennial women check their Facebook feed multiple times per day, and they’re generally more active on social media than their male counterparts. Millennials also love to share social content, and this influences their purchases as well as their followers’ purchases. If you can turn them into brand advocates, they can become a free and very powerful marketing force.
5. Commit to a calendar
Creating an editorial calendar — and sticking to it — can help you maintain a manageable posting schedule. Think about what you can plan content around, whether it’s back-to-school shopping or tax season — whatever works for your site. If a topic comes up that you need to cover, you can always add it to your calendar, but this way, you don’t need to search for inspiration week after week. It’ll already be there waiting for you.
6. Incorporate long-tail keywords
No, that’s not some new species of bird. Long-tail keywords are simply the phrases people type into search engines: “How do I start a business,” for example, instead of just “business.” Not only do long-tail keywords generate traffic and help you rank higher in search results, the traffic they generate is also more likely to convert. Fifty-seven percent of Amazon’s sales come from long-tail keyword searches, for example.
Fortunately, working long-tail keywords into a blog post is a lot easier than trying to stuff the same keyword over and over without sounding weird. If your blog post solves a problem or provides an answer, what would some of the questions be? Those are the long-tail keywords you want to work into your copy.
7. Be a good sharer
Leverage the power of social media by not only sharing your own content but also by sharing the work of others. This is especially critical on sites that are “re-” centric, like Tumblr (reblogging), Twitter (retweeting), and Pinterest (repinning). Given that there are so many top-notch bloggers, vloggers, and all-around social media rockstars in the women’s space, this is also a good way to build relationships with key influencers. It opens the possibility for them to do a guest post on your blog or promote you on their page.
And don't underestimate the power of the hashtag. While hashtags are important for helping people find your content, they can also become a cultural phenomenon. For example, #fatkini began as a hashtag used by a popular plus-size fashion blogger and influencer on Instagram, and it blossomed into a profitable swimwear line and a social media movement (21k uses on Instagram with more than a million impressions) that promotes positive body image. Another good strategy is to join existing conversations by using hashtags that are already generating a lot of buzz.
Need some help generating great content? Consider hiring a content marketing professional, like the folks at Prose Media. We can help you write blog posts, site copy, social media updates, and more. This frees you to focus on growing your business, while our experts take care of the writing. You’ll have full control of the finished product and can even request revisions. Rest assured that our writers will create compelling, shareable content that puts your site ahead of the crowd. Sign up to gain free access to our platform today — we'd love to see what you have in mind.