The strategy of marketing toward a specific group of people well suited for your business is known as niche marketing. Niche marketing can benefit small businesses by reducing competition, enhancing customer relationships, and increasing brand awareness.
However, when it comes to using niche marketing, it’s important that you put careful planning and thoughtful execution into your marketing activities. A niche market strategy helps you to find a profitable niche for your business, to properly serve and market to that niche, as well as to maintain other aspects and values of your business. This article provides some guidelines to consider when forming your niche market strategy.
1. Do Your Research
If you think you have found your niche market, it is important to do your research first to ensure that this niche market is lucrative. Are people actually buying products or services within that niche, or is it just a popular or trending topic? If they are engaging in purchases, is the size of the market or level of demand high enough? Delve into the demographics, social trends, and surrounding competition in both your location and industry to make sure that your niche will be profitable.
2. Assess the Change
Oftentimes, a business has a particular niche in addition to its more general services and audiences. If you’re considering a niche, think about how different the marketing tactics and strategies will be in relation to your current practices. Will you need to change the current strategy altogether to incorporate both? Will you need to perform the same activities for your niche, but with slight variations? If your workload is going to double, do you have the time to do it? When forming your niche strategy, think about what it will take to market to your new niche, and to convey your specialization.
3. Determine Your Positioning
One of the pillars of niche marketing is that by specializing in something, your business can stand out above the competition. Therefore, a major part of your niche market strategy will involve distinguishing yourself from your competitors. Will you be the only, the best, or the first provider of a particular service in your area?
In order to determine how you will position yourself against your competition, you must first get familiar with how they position themselves. Find out who your competitors are, then look at their ads, brochures, pricing, and websites to identify key selling points and characteristics. In addition to all that you can learn from your competitors, a competitive analysis can help you to refine your niche market strategy.
4. Always Be Learning About Your Niche Market
The more specific your audience is, the more important it is for your content and messaging to resonate with them. With such a small audience, you can’t rely on mass appeal, and you can’t afford to lose out on business opportunities.
To keep your niche market strategy effective and up to date, perform as much research on your niche market as possible. Find out where they spend their free time, what they read, to what associations they belong, what websites they visit, where they communicate online, and where they congregate offline. Look at their activity and engage with them on social media. You want to know the exact problems they face, and particular preferences they have so you can satisfy their needs and keep them coming back for more.
5. Be a Part of Your Niche Market
Data, analytics, and research can help you to learn about your niche, but one of the best ways to familiarize with your market and stay up to date on changing behaviors and trends is to actually interact with them. Participate in their Facebook groups and online forums, immerse yourself in their communities, go to events they are attending and hosting.
You’ll see the most success if you communicate with your niche market as an understanding member, not an outsider. Therefore, your niche market strategy should involve experiencing their needs—not just knowing them—so that you can learn how to best serve them. Knowing their communication style, common lingo, and typical behaviors will help you to choose which communication channels to use, and to show that you truly are an expert in your niche. In addition, it’s a great way to increase social media engagement.
6. Monitor Reviews
If people trust online reviews written by total strangers, you can imagine the power of online reviews written by someone that a person knows or who is very similar to them. Since members of a niche market tend to flock together, monitoring reviews is an important part of your niche market strategy. This helps you maintain a positive reputation among your niche market’s community, and to form long term relationships with your customers. Respond to negative reviews promptly, and comment on the positive ones too! This will help show that you don’t just care about your reputation, you care about your customers being happy.
7. Pay Attention to Trends
Take note of the financial profile of your niche market. Are purchases high in profit but low in volume? Does this market only come alive during a particular part of the year? Knowing the patterns within your niche market is an important part of your niche market strategy, as it will help you identify where and when your larger target audience or more general services are needed.
8. Avoid Hyper Focus
If you are choosing to specialize in a particular service or population in addition to your more general practices, it is important to make sure that your efforts toward both are balanced. While a niche market has its benefits, small changes can have big impacts on your business. Your niche market strategy may involve periods of falling back on your broader target audience or more general services to compensate for or offset dips in niche market success. Therefore it is important to make sure that the quality of the products and services of the more general market are up to par, and that honing in on a niche doesn’t compromise the quality of other products and services you offer.
Successful niche marketing can yield excellent results for your business, your customers, and your own skills. Use these guidelines when forming your niche market strategy, to ensure that you can reap all of its benefits.