When you’re a small business owner, it’s only natural to want to appeal to every potential customer who might be interested in the goods or services you offer—the more business, the better, right? But when your marketing strategy tries to please everyone, it won’t accurately reflect what makes your business one of a kind. So how do you curate a strategy that will attract your ideal customer—someone who's most likely already searching for what you offer—to your small business?
We recently shared our approach for how to identify your ideal customer and find your sweet spot in the market. By learning more about your target audience, you can craft an emotional, spot-on marketing message that sparks genuine interest by speaking to their needs. Here’s how to take the valuable information you’ve gathered and develop a standout message that both directly addresses those needs and inspires confidence that your business will fulfill them.
Craft a magnetic marketing message
Having a marketing message that truly reflects your brand not only attracts your ideal customer, it makes a promise to them that—if fulfilled—will keep your business going, and growing.
Create content that attracts attention
The core of your marketing is your content. Before you think about how your marketing will look, think about what you want to say. Your potential leads already have an idea of what they need, and your content is your only means of telling them they’ve found it in your business—whether they realize it or not. What essential information do you need to provide about your business to do that? Of course, include concrete details like where you’re located, what you offer, and how they can purchase your product or service. Then focus on what makes your brand stand out. Whether it’s about the quality of your product or service, your expertise, efficiency, cost or another factor, choose the features that differentiate you from the competition and show both your understanding of exactly what your prospect is looking for and your promise to provide it. Remember, buying is largely an emotional decision, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing what information to include in your messaging.
Develop your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Do you have a key piece of writing about your business that you love? Great. Now, tear it apart. Most likely, what you want to say to the world about your company is longer and more involved than it needs to be. (It’s very difficult to narrow down all the great things you want to say about your business.) To draw in your ideal customer, you need the punchline of your entire company—the point that tells your customer: We know what you need and want—and we’re who can do that for you. This is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). It isn’t just a slogan—it’s what your small business embodies.
Your USP should be a single phrase that communicates to your audience the emotional essence of what you’re selling and how you’re selling it. But rather than focusing on goods and/or services as commodities, illustrate the ethos of what makes your company unique and gratifying. Nike’s famous “Just do it.” isn’t just talking about sneakers; it’s evoking an entire lifestyle that potential customers want to have, one that’s active, athletic, driven, uncomplicated. Motel 6’s “We’ll leave the light on.” communicates an inviting, simple, no-frills attitude that doesn’t just reflect their rooms—it reflects the homey experience you’ll have staying there.
Show customers how to engage with your business
What actions do you want your ideal customer to take? Is the first step to reach out for a consultation or subscribe to your newsletter? Or is it to buy your product or service right off the bat? Your marketing message is meant to drive leads, so providing a simple and well-curated process for a potential customer to connect with you is key. Encourage them to follow you on social media, check out your most recent blog post, answer a couple quick questions for a survey, or submit a form to be contacted by someone on your sales team. When it’s clear how they can reach out, they’ll feel more inclined to do so.
Trigger an emotional response with your messaging
Do you want your business to feel familiar and relatable, like a family-owned and operated restaurant where everyone’s a regular? Driven and motivational, like a tech startup centered around health and wellness? Or transparent and reliable, like a reputable accounting firm? Based on who you want to connect with, the content of your message tells them what they want to hear, in the way they want to hear it. The style and tone of your language should resonate with your potential customers, as well as convey your values and the emotional sense of your brand. It will ideally touch the prospect in a way that allows them to build a strong association with your business, so think carefully about how you want your customers to connect emotionally.
Add creative and sensory elements to your marketing
Of course, how your messaging looks is important as well. Once you’ve fine-tuned your content needs, the next step is to present it in a way that is at once strong, eye-catching and distinctly your own. Select factors like colors, formatting, font, images with intention, so that they’re in sync with the rest of the components of your message.
Beyond the visual, consider the other senses and how they might relate to what your business offers. Are there any sensory components that could connect with your prospective customers’ desires and needs—both conscious and unconscious? Tap into the tastes, smells, sounds or tactile feelings that can elevate your message. Pull all these details together so that your marketing materials communicate your company’s information and feeling in its many forms.
Send out your marketing message
With your marketing message complete, it’s time to send it out to the world. And just as you’ve used your research to determine what type of message will inspire your customer to reach out, use this same research to understand how to best share the message itself. If the demographic findings for your ideal customer point to men in their 40s and 50s, a social media promotion might be better received on Facebook rather than TikTok. No matter the channel you use to deliver your message, there’s always a way to engage with and nurture an ongoing “conversation”.
A well-crafted message, implemented across the right channels is your best shot at making a great first impression. By combining thoughtful elements into your marketing message, you’ll create an informative and personal representation of your company that can–and will—land with your ideal customer. Unsure if you’re on the right track? Let’s talk about how we can help.