What is niche marketing?
Niche marketing involves marketing your business as the ‘experts’ in the distribution of a certain product or service. By being a specialist, your business will secure a certain proportion of your target audience.
Now, it is necessary to clarify the difference between your niche and your target market. Your target market is the group of people you are aiming your product or service towards. If you sell video games, then your target market will be children, teenagers, parents and young adult males.
However, your niche is the product or service that you specialise in offering your target market. For example, if you own a hardware store, your ‘niche’ may be that you sell the highest quality power tools available. This means that you are able to gain control of the ‘high quality power tool-seeking’ portion of your target audience. It is important to note that if you are claiming to be an expert in one area, then it has to be different to what your competitors are offering.
Why consider niche marketing?
- The more specialised you are, the less competition you will have. The word specialist begins with ‘special,’ and special things are not common. This means that you will not have as many competing businesses in your specific line of work.
- It differentiates you. As you introduce to the public the notion that you specialise in a certain area, it differentiates you from the other companies that are often undefined and blur together in the eyes of the target audience.
- More referrals. Niche marketing is generally much more personal interaction with clients. Because the product/service appeals to customers on a deeper level than other businesses, the relationship is deeper too. This provides a great basis for word of mouth marketing from existing clients.
What are some ways to improve your niche marketing?
- Make sure that you actually are an expert in your chosen area. Niche marketing isn’t about just ‘making it seem’ like you are an expert in some area that you are really not, you need to be able to back it up. Find out the current market conditions surrounding your desired niche and assess whether you are doing anything differently. If not, then either find a way to be better or don’t use niche marketing. The fastest way to lose credibility is to claim to be brilliant in some area and then being exposed as a fraud.
- Communication is everything. If you’re going to reach out to your target audience, you need to make sure that you say the things that are going to make you look like the expert. Remember that if you are specialising, your customers are probably already going to be interested in your product or service. This isn’t a cold approach where you are trying to convince them to consider something new, this is the time to show them that you’re the best. Choose the right language and communication style that is specific to your niche.
- Assess the market. Conducting an analysis of competitors’ ads, prices, websites and key selling points is very important to do before you start targeting your market. An interesting situation to point out is the absence of any competitors. This may seem like a good thing initially, but be wary of why this is the case. It may mean that the niche is not viable and proliferation into the market has been attempted by previous businesses, which have been unsuccessful. However, it may also mean that there is a large opportunity to gain control of the market. In any case, assessing the market will give you a better indication as to which of these two it is.
Finding your niche can be a very exciting and different way to grow your business. Success in niche marketing involves knowing what your target audience needs and responding to the relevant market conditions.