How to target the right audience with your marketing

When you're a small business, it can be hard to go up against your larger competitors. They have the money to do what you can't – launch nation-wide marketing campaigns. However, that doesn't mean you don't stand a chance. You just need to know how to go about marketing to the right people.

Going local
Since you don't own a large company, you probably only have one or two locations and your regular customers are from the surrounding community. Take advantage of that. You're only looking to target a small group of people, which means you'll be able to personalize your advertising accordingly. Stay informed about what's happening around you. Instead of strictly advertising for popular items people buy, you'll be able to tailor your marketing toward special events and programs that are going on in the community, Entrepreneur explained. This will show citizens that you want to be part of the town.

You should also keep your marketing strategy geared toward local websites. Your social media pages need to be tailored for the community you're in, not generalized for the larger location. In a crowd of friends, family and other brands' posts, you want your content to be the ones that stand out, according to the source. There are also local pages you can join that are dedicated to a specific community. You should become a part of as many of these as possible. Offer special deals, advertise sales and reach out to customers.

Loyalty programs will also help you bridge the gap between you and your consumers. When they have a card to scan with each purchase, you'll be able to personalize ads and coupons just for them, Forbes explained. You can also offer lower prices to the program's members to encourage more and more people to join.

Thinking big
While there are small ways you can reach out to customers, there are also larger ways that you'll have to work into your financial plan. The Internet and technology play big roles in this strategy. Collecting big data is important to tailor ads to specific individuals. While it can be as simple as getting someone's phone number or email while he or she is checking out, it can include more in-depth methods as well, according to Forbes.

Permission marketing requires consumers to connect their social media pages or email addresses to use or check out on their websites. With this simple step, businesses can collect a plethora of information about their customers. You'll be able to find out their interests, background and friends without asking them personally. This information gives you the ability to send them deals and products that you think will appeal to them. You'll also be able to make suggestions based on items they previously bought by requiring them to sign in.

Cookies can also be useful, as they will show your ads on nearly any site consumers visit. However, this will cost you money as you normally go through a third-party provider, according to Forbes. You won't be collecting any information, but the cookie installed on customers' browsers will ensure that they see what your company can offer them from any website. With this tool, you should always let them know that you use cookies as soon as they enter your site and give them the chance to refuse to accept them.

You don't have to implement large marketing campaigns to reach your customers, even though you do have the option to do so if you can afford it. As long as you personalize each ad to the community you're part of, you'll be able to draw consumers in and establish a relationship with those around you.

If you wish to receive a printed copy of our Privacy Notice, please contact our Customer Care Center at 1-888-692-2654.

© 2015 First United Bank & Trust. All rights reserved.