How to Compete More Effectively and Earn Customer Loyalty Through Niche Marketing
It can be tempting to try and position your business to do it all, but, unless you are WalMart, it’s just not good marketing.
Remember the old adage, “When you are talking to everyone you are talking to nobody.”
A shotgun-style approach is largely inefficient for small businesses and may dilute your message to the point where it’s missed by the people who need to hear it. Niche marketing allows you to narrow your focus, specialize and take the time to understand your target market. Done right it will bring better returns and give your business the advantage where it counts.
What is a niche market?
A niche (rhymes with “quiche”) is a subcategory of a larger vertical market that focuses on a specific audience. A vertical market is a category of business.
For example, consider the vertical market of grocery stores. One store targets shoppers who are willing to pay more for a luxury experience—possibly with a focus on local, organic produce or ready-to-eat meals. Another aims for the “buy in bulk and save” shopper. A third caters to a specific cultural demographic. They all sell groceries, but each have chosen to focus on a specific niche of the larger vertical market (groceries).
Finding a niche allows you to limit competition and create customer loyalty. Getting really good at one thing gives you an intrinsic competitive advantage over those who are attempting to serve a broader market. Of course, once you have a solid reputation in one niche it is easy to branch out into related niche areas.
Choosing your niche
A successful strategy begins by finding a sustainable niche with growth potential. Odds are, if you’ve been in business for a while, you already have a niche. You just may not have identified it yet. Is there a part of your product line that sells particularly well? Or a service you offer that you really get excited about?
Analyze the parts of your business that are thriving and ask why they are thriving. What do those elements have in common? The next step is to think beyond the product or service you offer and pinpoint the customer experience your business specializes in. You can’t be all things to all people and it’s a mistake to try. So, what is your focus?
- Stellar customer service?
- Quick service?
- High quality craftsmanship?
Knowing how you offer what you offer is part of finding your niche.
Make a profile of your ideal customer
The next step is understanding who buys your product and why. Rather than mass marketing to anyone who will listen, target your message to be appealing to your ideal customer. A message that resonates with 20-year-old gamers may fall flat with 40-year-old moms. Know your client and speak their language.
- What is their demographic and income level?
- What are their challenges and pain points?
- What are their values and interests?
Come up with a couple different customer profiles and use those profiles to help guide marketing decisions.
Identify problems your business can solve
Think about common issues your ideal customer is facing. How can your business market to those pain points? Set up a few one-on-one conversations with people in your target market. Identify and reach out to influencers. Spend some quality time on forums related to your niche. What questions are people asking? Are there common criticisms that keep popping up? Research your competition and look for services they don’t offer. Take special notice of any underserved areas in your target market.
Market to your niche
Once you know your niche and the audience you are trying to reach, your business is ready to tailor its marketing approach.
One of the benefits of niche marketing is that it allows you to get the most bang for your marketing buck. Rather than spending broadly to reach the widest possible audience, you can focus your marketing dollars on wowing a select few.
Are your ideal customers on Facebook? Twitter? TikTok? Do they read the local newspaper? Trade magazines? Special interest publications? Your message needs to be where they are already congregating.
Social media and search engine advertising has proved itself increasingly lucrative for niche markets. Targeted ads, connections with influencers and lots of activity are great ways to build relationships within your niche.
Listen to your customers
While I like to think I know my business better than anyone else, the truth is my customers know it better. A niche marketing plan that doesn’t seek feedback from your target market is doomed to fail.
The good news is that social media, online forums and special interest websites have made it easier than ever before to find and connect with your target customer base. Word-of-mouth advertising is important for any business, but in a niche market it can make or break you. Monitor your online presence and respond quickly to questions and feedback. If your business is swift to respond and eager to make it right, your customers will spread the word for you.
Ready to Give Niche Marketing a Try?
Want help finding your market niche? Looking to get some expert eyes on your digital ads or social media? The team at devEdge can give you the advice you need to find success in your niche. Give us a call today and get your business on the path to growth!