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Mom And Pop Shops

How to Find Your Perfect Customer | Plus Marketing Tips

To find your perfect customer, you need to know your perfect customer. You need to understand what makes them tick and learn where it is you can find them so they can be effectively marketed. Before you go looking for your perfect customer, it is essential to define your business’s goals and have a clear idea of what it is you offer before you can understand who it is you are in business to serve.

Step One: Understanding your Business

What is it exactly that your business does? Do you provide a product, a service, or both? Why did you start your business? What is your passion and driving force behind the business? Every business has a story to tell — businesses don’t usually just appear for no reason — there are rhyme and reason behind every business, and this is where your branding begins.

Let’s use a shoe shop for example. A mom-and-pop shoe shop comes about as a result of being passionate about children having supportive sneakers. This is their story which helps to define their branding. From their story, you start to get an idea that their ideal customer is going to be children who play sports — or their parents. This is their niche. It is a shoe shop, but its niche is children’s sneakers, and its ideal client is children who play sports.

In short, you need to understand why your business exists and define your branding and message, to gain a clear picture of whom you’re trying to serve.

Step Two: Understanding your Customer

Now that you’ve got an idea of who it is you’re in business to serve, you need to understand the persona and buying habits of your customer. Where do they work? What is their level of education, age, and demographic? What makes them buy? When is their peak time of purchase? Where do they hang out?

Let’s go back to the shoe shop. The ideal customer is children aged 6-12 who play a sport in the local area. They purchase shoes when their old ones are worn out. Peak buying time is the beginning of the sporting season.

As you can see from the example, this gives a few clues as to where to start marketing campaigns. Local sporting clubs and schools are two prime examples of where this mom-and-pop shoe shop could start marketing.

Step Three: Understanding your Competitors

Once you have a clear idea of your own business, you’ll be able to identify who your competitors are easy. Observe them from afar to get an idea of what it is that differentiates you from them. What is it that you do better? What is your point of difference?

Our mom-and-pop shop has noticed another children’s shoe shop just around the corner. But their competitor doesn’t take the time to stand out in the eyes of their customers. Mom and Pop Shoes have a deep understanding of their customer and so have tailored their service in a way that makes them stand out. They offer a pair of sports socks for half price with every shoe purchase with the proceeds being donated to a local sporting club. This is a win for everyone; the child gets cheap socks, the local club receives a donation, and the shoe shop gets advertising from sponsoring a local sporting club.

The point of difference between the shops in this example is the customer and local community focus.

These three core steps we’ve just detailed form the basis of a good marketing plan.

Marketing Plan

Having a marketing plan is just as essential as taking a roadmap on a long journey to somewhere you’ve never been before. You might have an idea of where you’re headed, but without a map, you’ll have a very difficult time getting there. Like a roadmap, having a clear, actionable marketing plan will show you where it is your business is heading and detail the steps you need to undertake to get there. 

Digital Marketing Strategies that Pay Off

When it comes to marketing, there’s a whole world with endless opportunities and strategies to get your brand out there. We live in the digital age where information is available online at our fingertips. Digital marketing is now an essential — and possibly predominant — part of a good marketing strategy. When people go searching for information online, make sure it’s the content they come across.

Social Media

According to Statistica, approximately 80% of the U.S. population use social media. This statistic makes social media an easy and effective place to find your target audience. 

Social Media Step One: Find your audience. Now that you have a strong idea of who you are, who your competitors are, and who your customers are, you can start placing your brand in front of potential customers online. Using your preferred social platform (Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great starting points) locate one of your main competitors. Your competitors’ social accounts will be full of their customers interacting with their posts.

Social Media Step Two: Get Social on Social Media. Once you’ve found a community of potential customers, get social! Like their posts, connect with them, engage in banter and start conversations. You’ll get your brand out there and if people like what they see, they’ll follow you for valuable content. But proceed with caution; nobody likes spam! Try not to have more than 20 meaningful connections with people per day because you don’t want your account to be marked as spam.

Social Media Step Three: Provide Value for Free. No one is going to follow a business on social media if all they post are ads. Your audience is interested in what you have to say as a thought leader in your industry. Give them value for free. Post entertaining content, tips to solve issues they may be facing, interesting industry news — anything that’s going to provide value.

Social Media Step Four: Include Hashtags. Once you’ve created your value-adding content, you’ll need to add hashtags to ensure your content reaches the right people. Hashtags are a great way to target your ideal customer for free by #TaggingTopicsTheyAreLookingFor. For example, when selling a product, tag the product you’re selling, plus the area you’re selling it in. Like this — #purses #NewYork #NewYorkPurses #NewYorkFashion.

If you are unsure of where to start with hashtags, take a look at what tags your competitors are using. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post. You’ll want to break the 30 tags down into popularity buckets. Popular hashtags that have been used millions of times will be harder to be discovered. Whereas hashtags with only a few thousand posts will be much easier to show up in but aren’t searched for as frequently as the popular tags. To ensure a wide hashtag reach, include approximately 10 lower popularity tags (around 1,000 – 100,000 posts), 10-15  medium popularity tags (up to 1,000,000 posts) and 10-5 high frequency tags (over 1,000,000 posts).

Create a Website

A website is equivalent to your brick-and-mortar store. It’s your digital storefront that displays who you are, what you do, and how to get in contact with you, and can include an eCommerce function for you to sell your products — which is very handy as people seek remote ways to purchase goods during COVID-19.

There are many platforms available now to make building your own website as simple as possible with extra features available to plug and play. You no longer need to find a developer; you can take yourself through the website building process using intuitive design functions and premade templates ready to customise as your own unique page. 

Some major benefits of having your own website are:

Educate your Audience. Providing quality advice for free on your website through infographics and blogs is a great way to show people that you’re an expert in your field, with the added advantage of helping you get discovered. Good quality content will encourage your audience to share with their connections via social media which aids in your store and website being discovered. Social shares are highly effective as people are more likely to listen to their peers than they are traditional advertising. Never underestimate the word of mouth!

Expand your Reach. A brick-and-mortar store may be popular in your local area but eCommerce functionality provided by websites can enable your store to reach customers far and wide — including internationally!

Open 24/7. Your website never closes which means your information about your store is available online whenever someone needs to find it. Details regarding sales, return policies and store trading hours can be found online so your customers can stay up to date and well informed. An FAQ section can reduce the time spent informing customers repeatedly about certain topics.

Some great web development companies with free and cheap packages are wix.com, wordpress.com, and sqarespace.com.

When it comes to digital marketing, there are endless possibilities. When it comes to discovering customers and putting yourself out there so your customers can discover you, these tips will prove very useful. You can have a lot of fun with marketing, it’s all about being creative and knowing who you, your competitors, and your ideal customers are. Now that you know how to define these aspects and have some tips to implement, you can get out there and find your perfect customers!

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