If your business or brand’s target demographic skews female (and most do), then strap on your learning goggles, because this post is for you! After all, women have a purchasing power in the US that ranges between $5 and $15 TRILLION (with a T) annually and control over 60% of all personal wealth in the U.S. For most brands, women represent the bulk of their customer base. It begs the question: why are so many brands marketing to a female demographic with ineffective, outdated tactics?
Here are a few insights and tips from the women at SocialToaster on effectively marketing to women in the digital age.
Quick note, we have updated this blog posts in August 2021 to include 4 more tips. All updates are in bold below.
9 Tips for Marketing to a Female Demographic in the Digital Age
Tip #1) Don’t Stereotype or Generalize Your Marketing Messages
This might come as a bit of a shock, but you cannot create one type of message and expect it resonate with all women around the world. The good news is, most brands know this already and split their messaging into buckets like “new mothers” and “single mid-20’s urbanite”, but even that level of targeting can often be too broad. A new mom in a small town in rural Kansas is going to have different expectations, experiences, and needs than a new mom in downtown San Francisco.
Narrow your marketing demographic to be as specific as you can possibly get, then think through the needs, desires, and triggers of that further defined target. Develop content and messages that speak to this more refined audience.
Tip #2) Ditch the Pink
Repeat after us: “Making something pink does not automatically make it for women.”
Sure, recoloring a package pink might have worked in the 50’s, but today a simple (and altogether too common) color change is not going to grab the attention of your target female demographic. And don’t even get us started on the ‘Pink Tax’ that some brands insist on placing on products designed “specifically for women.”
You shouldn’t be surprised to hear women purchase over 50% of traditional “male” products, including automobiles, home improvement products, and consumer electronics. And this doesn’t mean Amazon needs to make a pink “Echo for Her”; what it means is that marketers need to strip away the genderization of these commodities and instead create marketing messages and campaigns for these products that resonate with a targeted female audience.
At the end of the day, it’s not the product. It’s the content of the message that distinguishes a campaign as targeting women.
Tip #3) Market Where Your Audience Lives Online
A recent study by Bustle found that 81% of female millennials said social media was the best way for brands to reach them. Of those, around half said Facebook was the platform of choice, while the other half chose Instagram. Pinterest is also a strong platform of choice for marketing to a female demographic, with 78% of active Pinners welcoming branded content and messaging.
What does this mean for marketers? See marketing Tip #1!
Facebook vs. Instagram vs. Pinterest is all about the niche interest and preferences of a further refined demographic. Each of these platforms speaks to a different type of audience and requires a unique style of marketing message. Take the time to truly understand your target audience, then focus your energy on maximizing your presence on their preferred social platform.
Tip #4) Champion a Cause
In the Ernst and Young Groundbreakers report, E&Y uncovered that women reinvest 90% of their income into their families and communities, compared to men, who reinvest only 30-40%. On top of that, 81% of millennials say they want companies to be good corporate citizens. Combined, both statistics present a compelling argument for brands to consider partnering with or championing a cause to create appealing marketing to a female demographic.
Talk about how you give back to the community, work to make life better, and uplift the world around you. Share messaging that promotes how supporting your brand means supporting your work. By fostering this emotional connection, you can instill a feeling that by purchasing from your brand, your customer is, in fact, an active part in helping your company do good in their community and world.
Tip #5) Create Compelling Content
According to a NewsCred study,
- 30% of women refuse to read content that doesn’t either entertain or inform
- 60% of women will only share content that is thought-provoking and intelligent
- 70% of women will share content that makes them laugh
If your content is neither entertaining nor educating, don’t even think about publishing it.
Write content that speaks to your specific audience. Just as with pink-washing, don’t patronize your female audience with trivial content.
Tip #6) Lean on Influencers to Share Your Content
We’re not just talking Mommy Bloggers here. Women dominate the influencer marketing space and accounted for 83.9% of all #ad posts in 2017. In most cases, female influencers tend to attract an audience of other women, which makes them ideal channels for brands to use in marketing to a female demographic.
Not all successful influencer campaigns revolve around Snapchatters with 10 million followers and bloggers that were featured on “Good Morning America” though. Often, micro-influencers and even everyday brand customers can be used to build awareness of a brand, product, or service.
Influencer marketing isn’t effective because of the the size of an audience. It’s effective because influencer marketing by its nature fosters more trust and credibility than traditional advertising. In fact, 76% of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands.
Pro Tip: If you want to harness the reach, sharing, and trust-building power of your fans, consider launching an advocacy marketing program with SocialToaster. Our platform makes it easy for your fans to sign up, link their social networks, and start sharing your content with their friends and family.
Tip #7) Tell Women’s Stories
One of the easiest and often most overlooked strategies when it comes to marketing to women is telling women’s stories. Integrating women’s stories into the messaging of your branding can help your brand reflect and connect with women in and outside of your target niche. As you know, every person’s (including women’s) journey is totally unique. Women encounter all sorts of challenges, triumphs, and tribulations that are often never shared or highlighted. When a brand brings together stories from women across all different races, demographics, and socioeconomic statuses, it increases both its reach and awareness. Additionally, it provides invaluable insight that you would otherwise never be able to capture.
Tip #8) Hire More Women
Hire women from different backgrounds, and at different levels, across your brand’s company. What does hiring women from diverse backgrounds across varying levels of your brand’s company have to do with marketing to women? Hiring women opens your brand to the knowledge, background, and human layer that is essential to successful campaigns that you wouldn’t get from single gender teams. Remember, that marketing to women isn’t just dividing your thoughts and ideas into gender constructs but approaching it from a human level.
Tip #9) Avoid Underlying Negative Campaigns
Women have been told since they were young every little thing that is wrong with them. In the wise words of Britney Spears, women are often dancing on the line of “Mrs. She’s too big. Now she’s too thin.” Women don’t want to hear what’s wrong with them or hear one more thing they need to fix. Women want to be uplifted, loved, and celebrated.
When designing your marketing campaigns, ask yourself, “How can we uplift and celebrate women?” When you approach marketing to women from a positive angle vs. a negative angle, you’re more likely to have less fickle brand and consumer relationships. Leave the negging for some other brand. Your brand is better than that.
Embracing Today’s Female Demographic
The modern female audience is savvy, smart, and doesn’t need to be pandered to by outdated patronizing marketing tactics. Brands need to focus less on the general idea of a female customer, and more on the specific needs of a target market that just happens to be female. To be successful, brands need to create content that resonates, entertains and educates, then use influencers of all sizes to help share that content on relevant social media networks.
Ready to tap into the sharing power of your current customers and strengthen your marketing to a female demographic? Schedule a free demo to learn more about the SocialToaster advocacy marketing platform.