You’ve already figured out that your product or service won’t be for everyone, or maybe even for most people. It’s not a mass-market item like dish detergent or socks. Is your product designed with the needs of a smaller, defined group of consumers in mind, and are you scoping out marketing strategies? Niche marketing is a likely option for your promotional efforts. This marketing strategy involves targeting a highly specific, clearly defined customer demographic when promoting your products or services.
Exactly what makes niche marketing different from other forms of marketing? It’s different from other types like mass media marketing because it doesn’t try to reach every consumer or appeal to an extremely broad audience. Niche marketing identifies a segment that has the greatest need or want for its product and tailors the message to that. It delivers that message through outlets that are most targeted to that market.
A broad market for pet food is pet owners. A niche market is pet owners who have senior dachshunds that need a special type of pet food. That special type of pet food is a niche product. A niche marketing campaign for that product might collaborate with bloggers or other influencers who are crazy about dachshunds.
Who Uses Niche Marketing?
Companies and institutions of all sizes use niche marketing. For example, Whole Foods uses it to reach a niche market of consumers who want high-quality, healthy, organic foods. Smaller businesses, like artisans that make handcrafted products, and local service providers, like lawyers, also use niche marketing to reach their target audiences.
The target audience for niche marketing depends on what the brand is marketing. It’s the audience that has the most reasons to buy the specialized product or service. The unique attributes of your product or service help determine who the target audience is.
The Benefits of Using Niche Marketing
Niche marketing has a long list of advantages for brands that have particular customers in mind for their products. These include:
- Specialization in a certain type of product or service makes it less likely that your brand will spread itself too thin. It’s easier to get an understanding of what a niche market is looking for in a product because its interests are so specific.
- It’s easier to reach a niche market than it is a bigger, broader one.
- With niche marketing, your brand can develop a reputation as an expert in a certain area. When you focus on one thing and do it well, people notice.
- Niche marketing can catch on outside the niche. For instance, a brand might initially decide to target a niche demographic that has a cool reputation, like DJs. The product can grow in popularity beyond the DJ market if it’s something that a larger market would also be interested in, like graphic T-shirts. DJs have high visibility in public arenas and on social media, and followers can be quick to copy their style.
- There are lots of ways to discover and reach niche markets, especially via social media. That’s because social media is tailor-made for the specialized interests and needs of different communities. You can also learn a lot from traditional media like specialty publications that cater to everyone from speed walkers to archaeology buffs.
- Word-of-mouth and niche marketing go hand-in-hand. When consumers are passionate about a specialized interest, they look to others with similar interests for information about brands that cater to their needs. When they find a new product that they’re excited about, they share that excitement with followers, friends, family and coworkers on social media.
- Think about how excited groups ranging from gamers to knitters get when a new version of a product is released. When that product fixes a particular glitch or a frustrating problem, they can find it especially gratifying and share their appreciation on social media.
- It can be easier to create brand awareness and brand loyalty with niche marketing. That’s because there’s typically less competition, so your brand will be more likely to stand out than it would with mass marketing.
- Niche marketing saves money, effort and time. That’s because it requires that you narrow your focus and hone in on the best audience for your product rather than targeting a broader market.
- Niche marketing can be a goldmine of data. A loyal niche market is an excellent source for feedback about your product and consumer needs that’s easy to engage with.
How to Get Started With Niche Marketing
Niche marketing might sound like it’s pretty sophisticated, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. It’s a blend of common sense and doing the necessary homework. These tips can help you begin planning a niche marketing campaign.
Do the research to find out the types of consumers your product benefits most and if it’s profitable for your brand to target them. Market surveys and interviews you conduct can help you determine if this group could be interested in buying your product and at what price point. If you already have a social media presence, engage with followers who have interests around the product to discover what their needs are.
Is there something you’re passionate about as an individual and have a lot of experience doing that could benefit others? You could have a niche product and market at your fingertips. For instance, say you’ve done ample genealogy research about your own family, love finding information about your Irish roots and are good at it. You could be in an excellent position to start your own genealogical research business. You’d target a niche market of people who want to explore their families’ beginnings in Europe or Ireland specifically.
Look at what your competitors are doing well and where they’re missing the ball. Think about the advantages you currently have over them and highlight these in your niche marketing. Also evaluate any problems your competitors are overlooking that your product could solve for consumers. Check your competitors’ social media accounts for unaddressed customer complaints. See if you can better address those issues with your product or service.
Research the right platforms and channels for reaching your niche market. In addition to strategies like email marketing, think about working with influencers who specialize in creating content for that niche. For instance, say your brand is marketing children’s beach apparel with built-in UV protection. Consider working with influencers who post and blog about family travel or children’s healthcare to reach that particular niche.
Don’t forget the value of face-to-face contact. Go to industry trade and consumer shows, conventions and events to gather insights. This also helps you generate leads, brand awareness and conversions. More techniques to boost your niche marketing efforts include product samplings, tastings and other types of experiential marketing.