Marketing To Your Ideal Customer

Some larger companies aim to have everyone with a swoosh or a horse on their shirt. However, for most companies, the product isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea and it’s in their best interest not to try. A locally based restaurant won’t find regular diners who don’t value locally sourced produce enough to pay the premium just like a beef jerky monthly subscription can’t hope to convert a group of vegans.

So if we can’t sell to everyone, who should we target with our marketing?  From Facebook to Google, we are seeing that platforms are letting advertisers narrow their audience by gender, age, income bracket, in-market status and more. The key is finding a niche that is small enough for people to identify with but large enough to be profitable.

The goal here is to create a customer base that not only purchase our products, but that become brand advocates. It’s very clear in market research and from common sense that consumers are significantly more likely to purchase something from a recommendation over an advertisement. So if a business can bring one brand advocate onboard with their product, they’ll end up seeing stronger engagement and growth.

Let’s do a guided visualization to create our ideal customer. Remember to be specific enough to create someone you can talk to.

  1. Who is she? What does she look like? (mostly for your mental picture)
  2. How old is she? What is her income bracket? (This tells us how much disposable income she has)
  3. What is her family structure? (Married, Single, Dating, Divorced)
  4. Where does she live? (rural, urban, apartment, townhome, trailer, home)
  5. What does she value? (brand names, buying local, good deals)
  6. What are some of her hobbies? (This tells us what she spends her disposable income on.)
  7. What is her favorite social media platform? How does she share feedback about products she loves or hates?
  8. How frequently does she shop? How frequently is she in the market for a product like yours?
  9. How does your product fit into her daily/weekly/monthly/annual routine?

Now give her a name.

Hopefully, you will think of her and use your marketing campaigns to talk to her and convince her to interact with your brand. If your company has many products or services, you can use this tactic to create a handful of ideal customers.
Here are some examples of imaginary customers:

Ideal Customer 1: Kenneth is a forty-something college graduate with a mid level salary. He lives in a rural area in a three-bedroom house with his wife and their dog. He enjoys kayaking, hiking with his dog, and hunting. Kenneth uses facebook to connect with his friends and to share videos related to his beliefs and interests. He knows some brand names but he values the best deal over the brand. He shops when he runs out of things or when things are broken.

Ideal Customer 2: Sarah is a twenty-something recent college graduate with an entry level salary. She lives in a city in a studio apartment with her boyfriend and their cat. Sarah likes to cook, swim and binge on Netflix.  Sarah habitually frequently leaves reviews on yelp, trip advisor, facebook, & google for exemplary or poor experiences. She values sincerity and she gets a warm glow from buying locally and responsibly. Sarah becomes very brand loyal.  Sarah shops mostly online and browses web stores at least once a week.

Ok… So obviously this is me. But you get the picture. (Actually, I was in the cover picture.) Let me know if you were able to imagine your ideal customer!

How to write content that people are willing to read.

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You know you should market on Facebook but your posts don’t get a lot of engagement and you can’t figure out why.  So what should do you do?

Pour your personality into your content.  

The jig is up. Everyone knows that blog posts are written by a human and not churned out by the computer.  Write like the human you are not the marketing guru you think you should copy. 

Post about things that are really happening in your business. If you’re harvesting grapes to make wine or you just got a bunch of new inventory, these are organic posts that are interesting to the reader.

Treat your business posts like your personal feed.

Remember the person who posts constantly about their fitness business, their children,  their political beliefs, or their relationship? It’s annoying. If you post the same thing every day you’re either annoying, boring, or both. Share a variety of things that are relevant to your business but also add value to your followers.  Try to avoid posting similar posts back to back or in rapid succession.

Avoid making every post a sales pitch.

You can absolutely use social media to announce a sale or  share information about your wares. But, think about how you feel when you’ve noticed you’ve been advertised to. Avoid making your readers feel this way.

Use marketing to help your potential customers imagine their life with your product.  If you make it desirable, they will buy it. It’s the salesperson version of ‘If you build it, they will come’.

Visualize your ideal customer and talk to them.

We can’t be everyone’s cup of tea and we have to accept it. While you wish that every Joe and Sally would take home your product, it’s not realistic.   Think about what lifestyle your product fits into and speak to that person. Your customers with have a better chance of relating to your content if it is applicable to their current or dream lifestyle.

8 Ways to Increase your Online Review Rating

Businesses can control most digital marketing channels but reputation is something that can either hook or scare potential new customers. Review services like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, Angie’s List, or Facebook have become a place for customers to air grievances or profess their undying love for your businesses.
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  1. Invite high-value contacts such as friends, family, vendors, and business relationships to visit your business and leave a review. You can use this as a reciprocity trade. Ask the staff to ask guests that they have a friendly relationship with, such as regulars, if they would mind sharing their praises on their chosen platform.*rtaimage-1
  2. Remove Negatives. See if negative reviews meet the review service’s policies. Many can be removed by reporting them because they are skewed or provide incorrect information. Disgruntled former employees and people who never made a purchase at your business are two examples of reviews that can be removed.

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  3. Respond to every review. You can make every review 5 stars with the right response. For a negative review, invite them back and go the extra mile to turn them into fans.  However, don’t publicly say you’ll give them free dinner or a gift card because this incentivises negative reviews. Rather, insist you’ll make it up to them and provide a customer service email address.

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  4. Share positive reviews on your social media platforms and encourage users that your business would like to hear their thoughts too.
  5. Turn organic praise into reviews. When a positive post is made to your Facebook page, comment on the photo or post that you’d love to hear their kind words in the review section. When a positive post is made on Twitter or Instagram, invite them to share it on Yelp, Google, or Trip Advisor.
  6. Recruit platform traffic. Users who find your business using a review service and highly likely to leave reviews. You can use advertising and check-in offers to reach these potential customers.
  7. Send one follow-up email, thanking them for the visit and asking them to connect with you or share their feedback.

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  8. Display the logo of review services in the business, on handouts, brochures, and email signatures so people are informed you are on the service. This is very passive but the most organic. It’s like leaving your customers a trail of breadcrumbs.
What do you mean by Chosen Platform? 
Users who have never left a review on TripAdvisor or Yelp will be flagged as fraud if they only leave one highly positive or negative reviews. So make sure when asking users to leave a review, that you invite them do it on their given service.