5 Tips for Appealing to Your Online Audience

by Daniel McKay

One of the primary tasks for small business owners is to convert your website’s visitors into customers. In a nation where small businesses come and go every day, how do you make sure your business stands out from the crowd? Today, learn how to present your business as exactly what your target audience is looking to find with these five tips.

1. Know Your Target Market

Many marketing experts recommend zeroing in on a particular type of person to whom your business will appeal. You’ll then want to direct all of your marketing towards the group of people with those characteristics, rather than attempt to make your product or business appeal to everyone.

Working towards a target audience becomes very important, depending on what your business offers. For example, if you own a small, family style diner, your market looks very different from the upscale gourmet restaurant down the road. Both provide food, but with atmospheres and accommodations that will appeal to different groups of people.

When you target a specific market of people, you can help them feel seen and understood in a way a mass-producing chain never could. Look at the people who already frequent your business and find a common thread of place, age group, or lifestyle. Whatever links them together is what you want to use to draw in other customers.

2. Meet a Need

Customers want products or services to meet a need when they come upon your website. Once you know your target market, you can get an idea of their felt needs, and you can demonstrate how your company meets these needs. Pay attention to what your customers complain about or are unsatisfied with, and make a point to solve that problem for them.

3. Appeal to Emotions

Whatever the target market, your business will do well if you use not only facts about your services but appeal to your audience’s emotions as well. Use your advertising and online presence to draw on the feelings you want them to connect with your company.

If your family-style diner is supposed to be a place where parents can sit back and let the kids enjoy themselves, use phrases like relaxing, low-stress environment, kid-friendly, or family fun. If your coffee shop targets college students from a nearby school, you may want to consider study-friendly atmosphere or designed for productivity. What do you want to draw your audience to your business?

4. Promote Your Values

Your company’s values are critical to your marketing success, especially as a small business owner. You have many attributes just like every other business out there, so values are one of the ways that you stand out from the pack. People like to shop from companies that promote the same values they share.

Your company’s story can be a great way to express those values. If the About section on your website reads, we provide diner-style food at these prices, you don’t draw your audience in at all. In contrast, saying, In 19xx, our family decided to create a place where families can enjoy a low-stress night out together because nothing is more important than family, you may have won yourself a customer.

5. Don’t Push the Sale

This may be counterintuitive, but if you stop to think about it, you’ll quickly understand. How obnoxious do you find it to hear whatever you want to hear, just to close a sale? Have you ever dealt with a salesperson who won’t give up until you sign on the dotted line? While you may get onetime customers this way, you’ll lose the happy, satisfied customers who come back again and again.

Using these five tips, you may not see your numbers explode right away. What you will see is a customer base who feels seen and understood and will recommend you to anyone they know who may benefit from your company. If you put the work into knowing your audience, it will pay off, and your business will continue to thrive.