Niche Marketing – What is It?
Whether you are in business or just starting a business, you need to focus on niche marketing. Niche marketing is the marketing of products/services to a smaller subset of consumers who have specific identified needs. What makes niche marketing appealing is that you provide products or services that are tailored to a group of potential customers needs. The benefits of this are:
- Less competition.
- You can more easily match your products and services to their needs (narrow vs broad approach).
- Be more personal in your communications and therefore appeal to the target audience.
- Demonstrate expertise and specialise.
- Charge more and therefore be more profitable.
As well as these benefits you also stand out from the crowd and appeal to people seeking those products or services.
Some key reasons why niche marketing works:
- You can focus on specialised products and services which command better prices.
- Niche markets are less crowded than mass markets.
- A niche market helps to differentiate your business from your competition.
- You learn more about them, and they can improve how you meet their needs.
Niche Marketing – Niche Communications
Content marketing is now a vital part of attracting customers to your website. By using your blog, social media, eBooks and webinars, your content can be tailored to your niche market audience. The ability to use niche marketing communications helps build a community around your brand that will feel a high level of attachment because you provide relevant content that is in context to their needs. You will gain a high level of traction with your niche marketing communications which means more social shares, more backlinks and more comments. But how you do develop a niche market? here are some points to help you
Niche Marketing – 11 Ways To Get It Right
#1. Understand the Gaps
The first step in any marketing is to identify the market. Instead of looking at other businesses and see what they are doing well, learn to recognise the gaps. Market gaps are essential to developing a niche market.
There are some different ways to identify gaps:
- Customer surveys / Customers interviews – these help you determine what people want and what people feel they may be missing; they provide the insights into niche marketing. Surveys are easy to do, and there are some low-cost online survey tools, e.g. Survey Monkey.
- Customer behaviours – review how people buy and use products or services
- Special needs – Listen to social networks and check reviews
- Map the competition – identify what they are missing not doing well
- Consider the aftermarket many businesses are not very good at following up on customers needs, e.g. when you buy a petrol lawnmower, you might subsequently then need a lawn mower repair service.
- The passions of people – Harley Davidson don’t just sell motorbikes they sell a lifestyle and dreams. They also run events for people to meet up – they and other companies cater to the passions of people. Niche marketing provides the sub-markets after the sale of a Harley Davidson – the merchandise, e.g. T-Shirts, Jackets; the events and meetups…
#2. Research the Opportunity
Once you have identified the gap, you need to quantify the opportunity. Is my niche marketing idea worth investment? And will I be able to get the revenue I need for my business? (volume of people buying). Use online tools to see how many people are searching on the keywords for your specific niche – look at the amount of searches and also the competition for AdWords. Here are some useful tools:
#3. Develop Marketing Persona.
A marketing persona is a fictional character created to represent different customers types within a targeted demographic. They provide a common way to talk about a customer and help guide your niche marketing decisions. A marketing persona is a version of customers and contains character traits, names and behaviours to help develop content marketing. Personas guide a business in their marketing decisions. The key point about niche marketing is that by developing a marketing persona and matching this to your marketing niche you improve your content marketing and how you influence your customer (it will speak directly to their needs and their passions).
#4. Meet Their Needs.
Once you have identified the niche(s) you need to get creative and think about how you can solve their problems. Crowdsourcing ideas from other can be useful to do this. Alternatively, use the information from surveys. The key action is to think solutions that will meet the needs of the customers and then prioritise which are going to best for niche marketing.
#4. Build Your Brand.
Build the brand so that your target niche will easily identify with it. As an example, a broad market is dog foods but a niche market might be terriers in which case logo, graphics and a copy would cater to these small dogs e.g. terrier pictures on a website. Your brand then is built on the niche market and provides the platform for engaging with your these potential customers.
#5. Sell Products.
Even if you are selling services, you need to make it easy for people to understand what they get for their money and how it fits to their needs. Productising is the art of pulling together the key features and benefits for each product or service. Many businesses now use tiered service offerings, e.g. Hostgator or Freemium models e.g. WordPress.com, because they are easy to understand and provide opportunities for people to upsell their offers.
#6. Identify The Media They Use.
Before you start posting and developing content identify where your customers spend time online. When you generate content to post where it will be seen, read and shared. Map out which forums, websites and social media channels your niche marketing audience use. Communicating in the right channels targets your prospect or customer. It also saves time, improves social sharing and helps you connect with your potential customer. Some listening tools are listed here:
- Social Listening Tools
- Twitter tools for listening
Often you will pick up some of the problems and opportunities that exist from competitors and therefore opportunities for your marketing.
#7. Develop Your Content Marketing Approach.
Content marketing drives valuable traffic to your website. It also demonstrates your expertise and provides a platform for you to demonstrate that your knowledge and expertise. The key action is to tailor your content marketing (blog, tweets, Linkedin posts…) to being helpful to your prospect customer. Solve their problems, provide useful tips and ways to help them save time, money or both.
#8. Develop Your Marketing Strategy & Objectives.
Before you rush into developing the tactics, you are going to use, develop a marketing strategy – why? Hopefully, you will want to make money from your investments and this is the stage at which you develop your plan, set your objectives and produce a marketing forecast (We will help with this in a later blog).
#9. Test The Market.
Why test? Testing turns the theory into practice and allows you to make decisions based on hard facts – does it work?, have I got it right? Most people don’t get it 100% at the beginning so use this to refine and improve your ideas, don’t be disappointed if everything isn’t right the first time. Keep what works well and change/improve the other parts. This is why you test your market.
#10. Measure The Right Things.
Marketing and business is a continous process. Your WordPress website for instance is a tool that you refine and improve regularly. Your time is valuable. By measuring what is working and what is not you spend time doing the right things that move your forward. I see too many people being busy and not productive. They don’t measure what is important. Set your marketing measures and you use these to steer your business.
Niche marketing is a great way to carve out a set of customers and develop a loyal following. Any thoughts on niche marketing then add them here.