Ever heard the line, “You can’t be everything to everyone.”? This line applies to the world of marketing as well. If you plan to be a brand for all, you will not get much response.
However, if you focus your marketing to a specific segment, your brand is more likely to be recognized by that segment. Unlike marketing to all, you will not drown in an ocean full of boats. Because you will be in a pond where only your boat will reign!
Niche marketing, or marketing to a specific segment, can thus help you stand out from the competition. It can also help you build better relationships with your customers at a very less cost.
Finding the specific segment or niche can involve a lot of research. You then have to create a strategy, develop campaigns, and make content that really stands out.
This blog post will help you along the way to create a niche market for your business. You will learn all the benefits of niche marketing, how to find a niche, creating a niche marketing strategy, developing campaigns and making content.
What is Niche Marketing?
Niche Marketing is an extremely focused form of marketing. Unlike some other forms of marketing which target a wide range or large consumer group, niche marketing involves targeting a very specific, well-defined market segment known as “Niche.”
For example, you might be in the restaurant industry which is a huge market. Your restaurant business is focused on catering to vegans. In this case, vegans are a niche market and you are in a niche business.
Benefits of Niche Marketing
It’s true that a smaller customer base means that you can earn less than your competitors. But it’s also true that niche marketing brings benefits that mass-level marketing brings in with difficulty. Here are some benefits you and your business gain when you adopt a niche marketing strategy:
1) Better customer relationship
In niche marketing, you can focus on quality over quantity as the customer base is small.
You can create more personalized emails, be more diligent in your follow-ups, and reply to your customers’ queries more frequently. You can also create special requests and custom services for your customers.
All of these activities will help your business to serve your customers better. This will improve their relationship with you and create loyalty for your brand.
2) Less competition
When you have a highly specific product or service that caters to a specific group, there are fewer chances for someone else to provide the same offerings like yours. As a result, the chance for competition is also less.
If you are a digital marketing firm, you are going to compete with hundreds of other digital marketing firms out there. But if you are a digital marketing firm providing services for financial companies or healthcare providers, you are likely to have fewer competitors.
Due to less competition, you do not have to fight on prices and can charge a premium for your offerings. Your profit margins will be higher than those of your competitors.
3) Word of mouth growth
People in a niche are more in touch with others in that niche. For your niche business, this means a greater chance of getting the word about your business to others in the community.
Let’s say you are a restaurant catering to vegan customers. The better you serve them, the more likely your customers are going to recommend your restaurant to other vegans.
Considering how small your customer base is, positive word-of-mouth can help bring more customers to you without any cost incurred. Such kind of word-of-mouth marketing works better than traditional promotional tactics.
4) Expertise buildup
If you face a problem in a particular part of your body, do you go to a general doctor or a doctor specializing in that part? Definitely, the specialized doctor!
Niche businesses are similar to specialized doctors. When you provide a niche product or service, your business will gradually develop expertise in your niche. The expertise your business develops will help it to be known among your customer base.
Not only brand awareness, but you are also going to earn trust among your customers due to such expertise as well. After all, the customer knows you are an expert in that field.
5) Less costly
Because you are targeting a specific audience instead of a broad one, you do not need to develop strategies for each of your target audience base. Instead, you will develop one specific strategy. This will help you reduce costs.
Another way niche marketing reduces your cost is by investing less in data and analytics. Since you focus on a particular group, you do not need many insights to understand your customers and their needs. You will also need to do less trial and error which will greatly reduce your marketing costs.
Finding a niche
A defined niche will help you to develop your product or service as well as your marketing strategy. So the first step for any niche marketer is to find and define a niche.
Initially, you will do research on the overall market. From there, you will drill down to a specific group or niche.
There’s no one way to discover a niche. Here are some ways you can find and discover your target niche:
1) Google Search
One way to understand the market is through a Google search. A Google search can help you know what the customer is looking for online.
Just search a term and look at the search suggestions you get related to the term. You can also look at the questions in the “People also ask” section to see what your customers are talking about. Explore different topics to find one untapped market.
Google’s suggestion list is quite limited. Instead, you can use tools like Keyword tool or Answer the Public in order to find a comprehensive list of suggestions based on the search term.
2) Keyword research
Simply searching to find a niche can be a tedious task. Keyword research can be an automated alternative that can help you find your target niche faster.
There are plenty of keyword research tools out there. Enter your main niche idea in the search bar of those tools. You can then find the search volume and competition of various words associated with that idea.
For example, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool for keyword research. Enter your main niche idea and see your results. The results will show the demand for potential niche ideas related to your main search term. Adjust your location settings to find ideas relevant to your locality.
3) Social media research
Social media research is a better way to find potential niche ideas as it can help you understand what the customers are talking about.
Use the keyword terms you found in your keyword research to your social media search bars. The results will expose you to a number of groups, posts, tweets, photos, comments, and other social interactions regarding the keyword.
The interactions can help you estimate the market size and potential of your niche idea.
4) Finding online communities
Finding online communities provide you with ready made niches. It is easier to find but you need to assess their potential before you decide to market to any of these niches.
You can find online communities in the following ways:
- Community Portal of Wikipedia
- Active subreddits
- Community-based hashtags in Twitter and Instagram (e.g. #ketolovers)
- Facebook Groups
Evaluating your niche
Finding a niche is just one part. The other important part would be to evaluate whether the niche is profitable for your business to conduct.
If a niche is untapped but is small in size, you may not be able to make money out of it. In order to adopt niche marketing, you need to evaluate whether your target niche has a profitable market size, has desirable characteristics, and is untapped.
1) Conduct SWOT analysis
A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threats) analysis will help you to evaluate both your business and your target niche to see whether both of you are compatible with each other. Since a SWOT analysis provides a more detailed evaluation, every aspiring niche marketers should conduct one before going niche.
The Strength and Weakness part of the SWOT analysis will help you evaluate whether your business has the capabilities to serve the potential niche market. To find out strength and weaknesses, try to answer the following questions:
- Does your business have the resources to meet the needs of the target market?
- Is your business suited to serve the target niche?
- What additional resources do you need to serve the niche?
- How much do you need to invest to enter this market?
- What are the stake-offs?
On the other hand, the Opportunity and Threat part will help you understand whether the market is right for you. Some questions you might consider asking yourself:
- What is the size of this potential niche?
- What price your target market is ready to pay for your product or service?
- Is there any competition for your target niche?
- What characteristics of your target niche might lead them to object to your offering?
2) Build up your audience
Develop engagement with your target audience before you launch your niche product or service. This will ensure a sizable market for your business even before entering the competition.
Building up an audience prior to your launch can also help you understand the hype around your business. If there is a lot of hype, you can take action to ensure your offering meets expectations. On the other hand, if there is less hype, you can work to improve that.
Create engagement and hype through social media campaigns, email opt-in pages, and even through Kickstarter campaigns. All these will help you build a community of loyal followers who will be the influencers for your offering when you finally launch.
Start with a small launch of your product or service to a small group of your market. Get feedback from them. This will help you improve that will lead you to launch a product or service your target niche really loves.
4) More research
Go deep with your research. Analyze blogs and community pages to understand customer sentiments and problems. This will help you develop your product.
You can also keep yourself up-to-date with the latest trends in your niche with resources like Facebook IQ, Think with Google, and Nielsen.
Niche marketing strategy
Because the market size is small, it will take time for any niche marketers to get customers. As a result, marketers need to develop a well-crafted strategy in order to gain and retain customers: They need to talk in the language of the customer in order to win the latter’s heart.
Follow these steps to create a strategy for your niche market:
1) Develop your USP
Examine your brand’s Unique Selling Point (USP). This will help you to target the audience and develop communication. It will also help you stand out from competitors.
If you don’t have any USP for your business yet, fret not. Identify your strengths and interests. Then find out how the two can work to solve your target market’s problem. In the end, you can find a USP for your business!
2) Build buyer persona
Although members of a particular niche have some similarities, no two customers are ever alike. The more you understand your target niche, the more you will discover differences among members of a single niche.
To cater to the needs and communicate with the various kinds of customers, develop multiple buyer personas for each kind of customer in your niche. Try to include as many details as possible- ranging from demographics to behavioral information like interests and hobbies.
3) Analyze competition
A niche marketing strategy means you will have fewer competitors. Yet, there will be some businesses that might serve your target market with similar offerings.
So conduct a competitive analysis to create marketing campaigns that will help you stand out even from those few businesses who might have been targeting your niche market. A competitive analysis might also help you develop the USP for your business.
4) Choose marketing platforms
Crafting the right wording and message is not enough to win your target niche. You need to be present on the channels where your target audience is present the most.
Choose the social media platforms where your target niche is more likely to be found. Fortunately, you can also run ads targeted to your specific niche with social media platforms.
5) Evaluate strategy
Like every marketing strategy, you need to monitor the progress of your niche marketing campaigns. As the market size is small and the probability of finding customers outside the market is quite low, you need to place extra emphasis on evaluating your marketing efforts.
Monitor your progress and evaluate whether you are doing it right or not. Make the necessary changes and improvements.
Sometimes, you might find out you were targeting the wrong niche as a result of such evaluations. As a result, you can make the changes quickly. Better late than never.
Features of a niche marketing campaign
You might think a niche market means a small piece of a big cake. But if you understand the market well, your niche can turn bigger one day to turn into a large-sized market.
Think about electric cars. They were once a thing for those tech-savvy rich people. Slowly, it became mainstream and electric cars are the talk in the automotive industry.
Therefore, when you create a marketing campaign for your niche market, consider the possibilities. Think about both your target market and the market that can be yours one day.
In order to create a niche marketing campaign that is forward-looking, don’t forget to add the following features:
1) Telling a story
Niche marketers do not just sell a product or service, they try to sell an appealing lifestyle that their target audience should embrace. Therefore, when creating campaigns, create a narrative that will compel your audience to adopt the lifestyle you are setting out for them.
Telling a story can help create a narrative that will allow niche marketers to communicate with a lifestyle that is worth entering into.
2) Being exclusive
One way you can target both your actual market and the potential market is through being exclusive: show that you are one of a kind that is there for these underserved and under-appreciated markets.
People always want to show their uniqueness. By being exclusive, you can cater to this psychological need and build loyalty among a distinct group of people.
Finally, differentiation lies at the heart of any marketing strategy for niches. While countless elements can contribute to your brand’s failure or success, if you wish to stand out in today’s increasingly cluttered business world, you need to be bold.
In your campaigns, show how you are different. This way, you can grab the attention of your target audience and may win their hearts.
Creating content for your niche market
Once you target a niche, the next challenge will be to create content that will make your audience stick to your brand. Since your market will be small in size, you need to work hard to create content that will keep your audience engaged with your brand.
Here are three tips for you to leverage your content marketing strategy after you solidify your niche market:
1) Build highly personalized content
It’s no doubt that niche audiences have chosen your brand for a reason. And the reason probably is that you promise to speak for them. To keep up that promise, you should deliver content that specially caters to them.
Therefore, build highly personalized content for your audience. As we mentioned before, you will find differences even in a niche. Segment your audience according to the difference and send segmented emails catering to that difference. This way, your audience will be delighted finding content personalized for them.
The same goes for content in social media as well. Use target ads to provide personalized content to your target audience. Again, as the audience in two different social media platforms will be different, do not post the same content on the two platforms.
In this way, by developing highly personalized content, you can deliver your promise of catering your target audience specifically.
2) Use analytics to improve
As you develop highly personalized content for your audience, monitor the results. Is your audience responding in kind or not? Are you seeing any change in behavior of your audience or not?
Analytics tools can help you validate your efforts with numeric results. Use the results to improve your content so that you can continue providing highly personalized content for your target audience.
3) Engage with the audience to create authenticity
Provide two-way communication with your audience to create authenticity. Conduct activities like polls, conversation starters, games, and prize giveaways.
These kinds of engagements not only make your brand look authentic, but also useful tools to gather customer insights. Watch your audience, and interact with them. Keep high rates of anticipation among them and encourage both positive and negative feedback. This will teach volumes about how to market better to your niche.
You can’t be everything to everyone. And niche marketing shows that when you are focused, you can thrive! It gives you an opportunity to stop competing in an over saturated market and create something new in an untapped market.
Of course, niche marketing will take time, resources, and planning before you can get it right. You need to get to know your audience, find out what they truly need from you, and deliver value in a way that people have never seen before.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by all these, fret not. I, Najm, can help you find your niche so that you can flourish!