Niche marketing is growing in popularity, and for good reason. When done right, it’s a fantastic way to get your message in front of the right people, in the right place, and at the right time. Notice how we said, “when done right?” Yeah, that’s because you’ll often find it much easier to do wrong than right. But never fear, we’re here to help.
The primary goal of content marketing as an endeavor is to create and nurture relationships with an audience. Niche marketing aims to create BFF-level friendships with a small sub-segment of your audience. It’s going after the true fans, the dedicated ones not found just anywhere. By targeting your efforts at a niche segment, your marketing language will speak directly to their heart. You’re showing these folks that you care enough about them specifically to take the time to seek them out in the corners of the web where they congregate and to speak to them directly in language that shows you know them. This is how you develop direct, one-on-one connections that last.
With a smaller audience that shares this sub-culture, you’ll find it easier to target your message right to them, since they will also share a dialect and other key phrases you can use to really drive your point home. Somewhat paradoxically, in the case of niche marketing, a small target is actually much easier to hit.
Niche Marketing Defined
First things first, just what is “niche marketing?” Or for that matter, what do we mean by “niche?” A niche is defined as a subset of a larger group or market. For example, millennials are a pretty huge target audience, but millennials who work in the software industry and own a Labradoodle is a smaller subset you can target, say if you’re releasing a Doodle-specific line of products. And as for niche marketing, it’s simply that targeting. You find the Facebook groups, forums, and other places where your niche audience spends their time online, and you direct your messaging right to them.
How to Slice Your Audience into Niches
There are any number of ways to divide a larger audience into these smaller sub-groups. You can use any one, or any combination of these factors (available in Google Analytics for your site, or the analytics dashboard in most social media platforms):
- Demographics: Things like age, gender preference, income level, education level, or employment status are all examples of demographic categories.
- Psychographics: Everything from hobbies, to political leaning, lifestyles, values, spending habits, and personality traits fall into the category of psychographics. These can help you further narrow your niche once you set your demographic preferences.
- Geographics: This one’s pretty self-explanatory. If you’re targeting people within 50 miles of your retail presence, this is how you can separate them out from the larger pile of folks.
Benefits to Niche Marketing (for the company):
- Your message will resonate more strongly. Since you’re going to be able to use niche specific words, phrases, or even memes, your messaging will truly click with your readers. This is how you turn them into dedicated brand ambassadors within their communities.
- Channel focus. It’s easier to zero in on just the right channels to get your branding in front of the right people. Chances are, your chosen niche will have its own forums or groups on larger networking sites that you can use to target them more effectively. This not only improves your chances of resonating, but it also allows you to cut spending on other platforms these folks aren’t using.
- It’s easier to get traction for new companies. By focusing your marketing efforts on a smaller audience, you can have more impact in less time and with less expense. By positioning yourself as the expert in your industry that understands this audience and cares about their specific needs, you’ll have a dedicated fanbase in no time.
- Less competition. And that means your niche audience will be easier to sway. If you find a community that is truly underserved by your sector, and you make some headway into gaining their confidence, you’ll have friends for life. Now, even if a competitor tries to jump in, they’ll find a crowd already dedicated to your brand.
Niche Marketing How-Tos:
OK, that all sounds great. But, um, now what? We did say that niche marketing works awesome when done right, and here’s where we give you a list of our favorite best practices for getting your own niche marketing strategy up and running. Consider this a guide, offering ideas to trigger your creativity and providing an outline for your own plans.
Research, Research, then RESEARCH some more
As with so many things in marketing effectively, niche marketing starts with research. Research, then research some more. You need to know your broader audience better than they know themselves before you can hope to winnow down to a niche group.
Conduct some Social Media Listening
We were going to call this the “stalking” phase but figured that might be misunderstood. We’re not saying to stalk any one person, rather listen in on the conversations your potential niche markets are having in those groups and forums you found. Your goal is to find out who they’re talking about, and what they’re saying about them. Are they already huge fans of your primary competitor? Better to find that out now, before sinking more time and effort into a campaign that won’t land.
Join the Conversation
Casually at first. This is the stage where you’re just introducing yourself, you’re not taking your niche home to meet the parents yet. Once you have the pulse of the community, it’s time to offer up. Keep it simple, hone your sales pitch down to one sentence you can insert casually into conversations. You can plan on using this one-sentence pitch for email subjects, article headlines, etc. as well.
Once you’re a known entity within your niche communities and have some mutual followers, likes, etc. it’s time to release the body of your campaign. Instagram stories, Facebook Infographics, and all the other media types you’ve used successfully in other campaigns can be used here—just with more specific wording and messaging for your niche.
And just like that, you’re niche marketing! As with any other aspect of content marketing, niche marketing is a long game. Don’t plan on seeing any gorgeous conversion rates in the immediate term. Give it time, nurture your budding relationships with your niche followers, and like any audience, they’ll repay you by converting when the time is right. And in the meantime, they’ll be telling all their friends about your stellar presence in their little community.