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How to Market to Women: A Short Guide Written by Women

With a powerful mix of facts and experience we touch on influencer marketing, ads on Instagram and Facebook, hitting your target market, the changing women's market and a lesson learned based on the color pink.

Influencers vs Social Media Ads: Which One Wins?

Influencer marketing works! Women trust other women, especially if the woman has major “cool” points, is beautiful, natural and personable.

An Instagram-style travel photo of a sitting on a high hill overlooking a river or lake.
An honest endorsement or test from an influencer with a strong following in your niche is GOLD.

Tip: if you already follow them and you think they are genuine and awesome, then they are probably worth it. Be clear with your expectations. Write them out in a contract. If they are an influencer, this won't surprise them, in fact, they will appreciate the professionalism.

Conversely, if you don't know this person who has built themselves up as an "influencer," you should ensure their followers are real and not bought. Stalk their profile and look for these clues:

  1. Do the comments on the influencer's post ring nonsensical and spammy or are they very engaging and almost affectionate?

  2. How many followers does the influencer have?

  3. What are their followers' profiles like?

  4. Be suspicious of a high number of "private" accounts and ones with few posts or friends/followers. If there are many followers without profile pictures it's a huge red flag.

  5. Another red flag: most of their followers have opened an account only recently

Why Social Media Ads Haven't Worked as Well as Influencer Marketing

Instagram and Facebook, given all of the years they’ve had to hone their algorithm to help companies access their niches, are still surprisingly bad at it. These social medias cast such a wide net that it can get expensive because users not related to your niche interact with your ad. For small businesses, paying these social networks for ads can be pointless.

Marketers we’ve talked to have likewise found that when they review the individual accounts of the users who have interacted with their ad, they are far outside their niche and the account is suspiciously almost always brand new… signaling it could even be a fake account!

The money that you would spend tinkering with social media ads is much better spent on influencer marketing.

Businesses we’ve spoken to have noted a spike in sales right after a well-known influencer in their precise, narrow niche publishes content related to their business.

That’s gold. Establish a long-term relationship with that influencer!

You'll be setting a good path for yourself.

Social Girls Miami Targets the Independent Female Market

Women with a social, entrepreneurial and independent bent are signing up quickly to participate in the social media forums of the Social Girls nonprofit organization. Worldwide there is a 1.2% increase in women who have reached their 40's without marrying and, of course, they are moving around the world to follow opportunities or seeking a life change.

Social Girls mission is simply to unite women, especially for expats or newbies to a city, around informal social and business activities. Women can casually reach out to each other, post questions, form friendships, encourage and work together through this group.

The Instagram community is growing quickly, as more attention is dedicated to the medium, however, the Facebook closed group provides more privacy and options for connecting, sharing and posting.

There’s a Social Girls chapter in Miami, New York, Dallas and more are signing up to be an Ambassador in their city.

If you’re a small, woman-owned business you can reach our 5,000 women-strong niche of independent, entrepreneurial young women who trust and rely on each other. Try it now!

Marketing to Women Using Colors

Cover it in pink and women will come… or you could fail and make them feel patronized.

Undeniably, in most of the recent Western culture, society has been programming children to believe that colors have a gender. Pink is feminine and blue is masculine. Oddly, it wasn’t always thus. Pink was often cited to be for boys up until the 1940s because red is a strong color and pink is a softer version. In England it is closely linked to the fact that the British army’s color was red so boys wore pink.

While the point of this article isn’t to give an opinion on teaching gender roles, it does serve well to understand that there is something purposeful behind the genderization of colors.

That being said, genetics plays a big part in differences in color preferences between men and women.

Color blindness or lower perception of hues is more common in men than women and that in itself is a clue that there are differences between the way men and women see color.

Even when there is no color blindness, x chromosomes, testosterone levels and eye cones seem to play a large role in influencing color preferences.

Various studies have shown that people across the globe love blue, especially men. So you can't go wrong with blue when aiming to emit reliability, tranquility, etc.

While marketing-specific surveys have shown that women prefer blue, purple and green, some scientific studies have shown that women prefer red (which could be a genetic reason for why some women love pink),

Warning: you can definitely fail if you use pink in certain circumstances.

Woman laying on motorcycle, relaxing in wooded area, photo by Skica911
Women didn't necessarily want to wear pink when driving their own motorcycles

True story: For years women have been the fastest growing sector buying motorcycles. Aside from the motorcycles being too high and heavy for women’s smaller frames, many women complained that most accessories and protective gear in the US were inadequate and condescending. And doused in pink.

These female bikers were attracted to the sleek style and kind of “toughness” of motorcycles and are brave, independent souls.

Back then, as today, most female motorcyclists prefer to wear black.

The companies made a lot of unfounded assumptions, cut corners, raised prices and didn’t bother to make products that fit women’s bodies. They missed the mark. Big time.

However, where there’s a gap, there’s an opportunity and women have taken the lead creating e-commerce sites, sourcing products they like, importing goods from Europe and recommending products to each other.

Go back to the first rule of marketing: Research and survey. Find out exactly who your consumers are and what’s important to them.

Help Women with Specific Challenges and Goals

If you’re wondering how to market to women, maybe you haven’t got enough women on your payroll that are representative of your target market.

That is just one big part of the types of challenges women are facing. We aren’t represented at decision-making levels in proportion to our population. They are simply overlooked or not taken seriously for top-tier positions and that is actually women’s #1 discouragement in pursuing higher positions. When we are considered for positions, it’s at a lower salary, with higher expected placed on women.

Women still tend to take up most of the family care, whether it's their kids or aging parents, but, to reiterate, some studies have found that discouragement from lack of opportunities and overwork are what really kill the motivation after several years in the work force.

Nowadays, there are many more unmarried women. There's been a worldwide jump to 4.3%, but some countries lead the pack. Australia and New Zealand have a 14.1% rate, 13.4 in Latin America and the Caribbean and 10.8% in Europe and North America.

Many of these single women are free to relocate to another city or another country for work or simply to experience a change - this is the tale of many of our Social Girls! A general note is that the female demographic and their needs is starting to shift.

Like any business, if you can find a solution to a problem and present it well, you are off on the right foot.

Become women’s allies in understanding and solving their problems. What are our major problems?

  • Employment instability

  • 70% pay gap between men and women

  • Whether we like it or not, women end up multitasking

  • Time management and high stress

  • Future and goal planning

Problem-solve through positive messages:

  • Empowerment, strength and freedom to be "you"

  • Genuine women in society

  • Choices, choices, offer choices (while still keeping it simple)

  • Treat all dialogue with respect

In your own business; practice what you preach. Hire women and give them the equal salary they deserve as their male counterparts. And “check” your own biases! Highlight your star employees equally, both male and female.

Woman with an almost mohawk walking through narrow cobblestoned streets Photo by TodayVienna
Freedom, independence, strength: today's woman

References for further reading


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