We are in the midst of many changes in the digital marketing world. With an influx of growing trends – including the influencer marketing revolution we are witnessing – finding new and exciting marketing techniques to grow relevancy in today’s competitive business landscape is of growing importance to every brand that exists today.
Finding one’s niche in life is, in many ways, a similar process. So for digital marketers, identifying and focusing their efforts into targeting a niche audience can be the path of least resistance when it comes to attaining market share. So what is a niche market? And what are the benefits of identifying your target audience?
What is a niche market?
Wikipedia defines a niche market as “A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that it is intended to target. It is also a small market segment.”
More simply put, it means a business is choosing to play to its strengths and highlight them for the people with whom it will resonate the most. Niche marketing offers many benefits, but finding your niche market isn’t always a simple task. In fact, many times you don’t “find” your niche market, it finds you.
How to find a niche market
When looking to discover a niche market that aligns with your brand image and goals, consider these 3 elements.
1. Offering a Unique Product or Service
The key to finding a niche market is coming up with a unique product or service to fulfill an unmet want or need in the market. For example, San Francisco based retailer Lefty’s is a left-handed retail store that sells kitchen goods, gardening tools, and an assortment of other products for lefties. Why is this a niche market? Only 10% of the population is left-handed, which makes left-handers a natural niche market.
This isn’t limited to retail products. Processes can also be products as well. For example, someone one day came upon the idea that replacing inkjet printer cartridges was too expensive. So they came up with the idea and process for refilling them.
2. Offering a Marketable Product or Service
You may have the ability to come up with all kinds of creative and original products or services, but if consumers don’t want what you’ve created, then it’s all for naught. On the flip side, though you be targeting a niche market, there must be enough demand for your product if your company is to make a profit. In order to determine demand, your organization must both accurately gauge and conduct extensive market research.
3. Select an Available Niche Market
The thing about niche markets is that they tend to be small. So that means there is only room for so many players. Research your competitors, market size, and the potential market share that is available to you. If you have little to no competitors, and the demand seems high enough, your business concept has the potential to become a profitable venture.
How to Find Your Niche
Selecting an available niche market is one thing, but how do you know if it’s the best one for you?
Start with some soul-searching
Let’s face it, if you are not passionate about the work you are doing, there is little chance you’ll be successful at it. The life of an entrepreneur has many ups and downs, and the only way to get through those periods is to have a passion for the work itself. Your niche should derive naturally from your goals and interests. With that said, the key to finding the ideal niche is to identify the common ground of what you are passionate about, and what you are good at.
Research the competition and test your idea
Regardless of what niche market you choose to pursue, you should always do research on your potential competitors. The first thing to determine? Is there even a market for your niche?
You can begin entering keywords into Google that your target audience would use and see what results you get. If there is a potential market, is there also an opportunity for you to stand out in the crowd? How would your brand differentiate itself? If you find a keyword that has moderate or even substantial traffic, yet little to no existing competition and paid advertising, that might be an opportunity to insert your brand into that market.
Benefits of Identifying Your Target Audience
When a brand identifies a target audience, it helps them to develop effective marketing communication strategies. But what other benefits are there for identifying your target audience, you ask?
1. Maximizing Your Time and Resources
When your brand takes the “cast your net wide” approach, you hurt your marketing efforts by chasing everybody. Keep this in mind; your message can’t resonate with the whole world. So focusing your resources and time on a clearly defined segment will be more productive, fruitful, and rewarding to your organization. Knowing the motivations your ideal customers/clients have will help you focus your marketing strategy around tactics that suit those motivations.
2. Value Proposition
In order to successfully position your product in your niche, you need to know what your competition offers, plain and simple. Your value proposition and product benefits help to entice your target audience to your brand instead of a competitor brand. So the basis of your value proposition should be to fill the void left by your competitors.
To serve your niche and provide outright value to the market, it’s imperative to conduct a proper target market analysis. The revolution in online marketing has given small businesses the ability to compete with conglomerates across the globe. Though the biggest players may have more capital or current market share, the internet has helped to level the playing field in terms of visibility in the market. Knowing your target audience gives you a leg up in predicting all their stages within your sales funnel, and meet them on every level for a successful conversion.
3. Social Media Marketing and Content Design
It’s 2019, and brick and mortar businesses are now focused not only on foot traffic but also on developing an online presence. This makes sense, considering that 81% of buyers spent their time online reviewing products prior to making a purchase. Potential customers go online with search intent, but your brand will only be found if your website content appeals to them. What does this mean for your business? It means the search engine will only display your website if you have used the proper matching terms your target audience is accustomed to.
Discovering those matching terms can really only be done by observing and engaging with your audience in their preferred social media channel. Different platforms appeal to different demographics and focusing your efforts on your ideal clients’ platforms will enhance your marketing efforts. Where would you get information on your target audience if you don’t know where they spent their time online? So design your marketing strategy based on where your target audience hangs out and the behaviors they exhibit in these places.
Much like traditional marketing, your ideal client, or buyer persona, will be a motivating factor in the buying decision. Hence, it makes sense to keep them in mind when designing your brand offerings. Everything from your website to your email marketing campaigns should address the needs of those who match your buyer persona, as well as your product’s benefits.
For example, let’s say you are selling video games, where the target market is children. While the target market may be the children who want to play the game, the target audience of your marketing efforts is obviously their parents. The parents are the ones who will be actually making the purchase. So designing effective copy in your marketing efforts requires that you research and investigate all the major concerns, aspirations and desires the parents have, prior to purchasing their kids’ video games. Failing to create a message that resonates with these parents will make it next to impossible to convert them into customers.
Deep, informative knowledge of your target audience is the starting point for a successful online marketing campaign. You can’t curate a message for an audience that you only have assumptions about. Or worse yet, know nothing about. This is an area where a well-crafted influencer marketing strategy can do wonders for your brand’s ROI.
So now that you are aware of just some the benefits of knowing your target market, let this article be a springboard for your brand, and jumpstart your research into your target market.
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