Now we know you may be thinking, “What in the world is a niche business?” But don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. In fact, many small business owners may not know that their product or service is considered “niche” until someone else says it is. A niche business focuses on a specific need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream companies or providers.
Perhaps you have created a product or service that fits into a niche industry. Well congratulations, you have already managed to separate your business from other businesses—something many businessmen and women have been attempting to do for years.
But with the creation of a niche product or service comes a bit of a change in how you and your ad agency must attack a marketing strategy. Niche marketing campaigns may be a bit different from regular marketing campaigns, but the cult-like following that can be crafted through a well-done niche marketing campaign is more than worth the switch in strategy.
You are probably still wondering how to go about advertising within a niche industry. Thankfully, we’ve got a few suggestions to help you out.
What Makes Your Business?
One of the greatest parts of creating a niche product or service is that you have a chance to set yourself apart from other businesses and define what your business is all about. And in order to define your business for your target market, you must know what its strengths are.In other words, what makes your business special—why should your target market seek you out?
Maybe your niche business offers a nostalgic atmosphere that your clients can’t quit coming back for, or maybe it solves a specific problem its customers are facing. Whatever makes your niche market different, it’s important you define what it is and remind your target market of it every chance you get.
Understanding Your Target Market
So you’ve defined what makes your business special, now you have to define who makes your business special. A niche business thrives on the loyalty of its customers—so it is essential to decide who you’re going to market to, and how you are going to market to them.
Deciding on who to market your product/service to is a difficult task, so keep a few things in mind:
- Who is your current customer base? If you have already been selling your product or service, then who has been buying it—do they have anything in common?
- What about your competition? Who have they been marketing to?
- Who would benefit from a product or service like yours? And keep in mind the demographics and psychographics of these people.
Once you’ve reached your decision, take a long moment to evaluate it and think through what they may be looking for in an advertisement.
The next step in understanding your target market is segmentation. Market segmentation is the process of dividing a target market into different groups composed of consumers who will respond similarly to various advertising strategies. There are four different things to consider when dividing your target market:
- Geographical factors
Market segmentation is the perfect tool for making sure that you advertise your business in ways that are consistent with what certain sectors of your target market care about and look out for. Because market segments are such an important part of your advertising strategy, it may be good to consider discussing what groups belong with what advertising strategies with your ad agency. Your ad agency will certainly have plenty of insight into what ads work best for your target market and its segments. And if you don’t have an ad agency currently, feel free to contact us here at Mean Joe—we are more than happy to help!
Specific Market, Specific Marketing
Because niche businesses are so reliant on the repeat customer, they must use advertising strategies that draw them in. Advertising strategies that inspire a following are more targeted and personal—the goal is to create a relationship between the clients and the company. Here are three different strategies that can be used to accomplish this task:
Relationships are founded on trust, and people trust what they are emotionally invested in. Content marketing is an advertising strategy that involves the production of online material that, rather than promoting a product/service directly, attempts to generate information on and interest in a product/service.
Online blogs, videos, and social media are great ways to get into content marketing and inspire a following. Content marketing provides a business with a great opportunity to connect its product or service with its target market through fun and innovative formats. And what better way to draw in a repeat customer than by stoking their interests?
The rise of social media has elevated a marketing strategy controlled primarily by consumers—this strategy is known as user-generated content. Specifically, user-generated content is any promotional content that has been created by unpaid contributors.
Word-of-mouth referrals are perhaps one of the most dependable referrals a business can receive, and that holds true for digital referrals as well. Encouraging consumers to promote your niche product or service through social media campaigns, such as the “Share a Coke” campaign created by Coca Cola, is a great way to get those referrals without promoting the company yourself.
User-generated content can come up naturally if your niche product or service is interesting enough. People are more than happy to share unique products and services with others if they believe it to be something others would enjoy. But, think about discussing some possible campaign ideas with your ad agency if you are looking to stimulate some consumer discussion of your small business quickly.
Media advertising is used across the board, niche or not, but what makes media advertising in a niche industry different is the story it should tell about your brand. Once again, your goal is to create a relationship between the client and the company, so your advertisements must be geared towards the consumer.
Whether it be an ad on the radio or a billboard, you have to find a way to remind your target market that you’re not like those other dull companies. Listen to your consumers, figure out what they look for in a product or service, and create an ad that fits within that mold.
There are many forms of media ads that you could look in to and, since you’ve considered market segments, there are also lots of forms of media ads that apply. For some, online PPC advertising is the way to go, while others may prefer a television ad—it’s all about knowing your brand and knowing your client.
Reaching Your Audience
There are certainly some major advantages to niche businesses. For one, you get to be a part of a market that isn’t as crowded which means less competition. But even more so, you get a chance to truly connect with your customers and see how your product or service helps or affects them.
Your niche business may solve a lot of problems for somebody, or it may be a chance for someone to escape. Whatever it may be, it is important that you have time to work on your business outside of advertising because you are a part of an industry where there is always much to do. But you still have to get your business out there for potential customers, which is why advertising agencies (like us here at Mean Joe) are here to help!
Anthony Taylor is the digital lead for Mean Joe Advertising. His expertise across the digital advertising landscape allows him to provide omnichannel solutions for partners with measurable results.