American women are a diverse demographic. Their behavior online, however, closely resembles the psychographic of the Belonger, those people who traditionally place a high value on family, friends, and community, are concerned about their society, and whose purchasing decisions are influenced by personal relationships. Women tend to be more community-oriented than men (have you ever heard of a woman cave?), and this tendency gets heightened online.
According to Ipsos Mendelsohn, 77% of Baby Boomer women, 80% of Generation X women, and 88% of Millennial women report feeling a “great comfort” when someone they know or trust recommends a product. (73% of Boomer women, 79% of Gen X women, and 84% of Millennial women report making purchasing decisions because of information provided by a family member or friend). These days, those recommendations come more and more through social media.
Traditional “offline” Belongers are characterized as mostly women who work hard, obey the law, seek out groups of like-minded people, and place a high value on family. They don’t rock the boat. Online, however, the Modern Female Belonger builds the boat itself. She seeks solidarity through family and community online much more than men do. And unlike offline Belongers, they don’t simply slip into the status quo (though we’re sure they do obey the law). They proactively build communities online.
Here are three ways you can connect and build trust with the Modern Female Belonger:
1: Community, Community, Community
The Modern Female Belonger goes online to build community and as she ages she seeks community more and more. The brands that can help her build an online community of trusted peers are better positioned to win the market share.
Hitting women with online ads isn’t the way to go. Nor will the sexist Mad Men-esque invitations for fantasy projection get the job done. Instead, figure out which online communities your brand naturally fits with and create engaging ways to introduce yourself to women there. You could also start a trusted community where women may gather in order to bring them to you. The goal is to create an online experience that allows these belongers to interact with your brand in a way in which they feel comfortable. This helps build their trust and lets them know you are a partner in their lives and within the community they are trying to build for themselves.
2: Make Them Feel Good
Social responsibility is good business. Modern Female Belongers tie shopping to their own personal emotional health. And they tie their shopping to the state of their own society. According to (Ebates) and Forbes:
A majority of Modern Female Belongers shop to feel better. And when they can support American made brands that have a positive impact on society they are especially ready to make a purchase. Try launching some cause-marketing campaigns to highlight your positive social impact as an upfront benefit. Consider sponsoring a cause women can get behind or donating to a program they trust and support.
3: Get Blogging!
The picture is as clear as a new Pinterest board. Modern Female Belongers proactively seek product information online, they put the most trust in blogs and Pinterest, and they almost universally tell each other about deals.
Get your brand a blog and a Pinterest account (make sure your pictures link directly to your website). Focus on building visual storytelling elements that can be posted to both your blog and your Pinterest. Make it simple enough for the Belongers to understand how you fit into their ecosystem. Invite them to develop the relationship organically, but stay focused on saying exactly what you need to about your brand and how your brand intertwines with their communities.
Modern Female Belongers want to connect the different spheres of their lives, integrating the products and services they use with family, friends, community, and society. They both seek out, and utilize, online communities more than men. These women seek positive emotional and societal benefits from shopping. They seek to belong. Enter the spirit of their communities, connect with their top bloggers, and offer deals that connect to social movements they support.