Boosting Your Business With The Power of Niche Marketing

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The majority of small business owners have already heard the wonders of niche marketing being shouted from the rooftops, as almost everyone is starting to shape their offering to a more niche focused crowd… yet perhaps, due to the fear of limiting the size of your market you might have opted to play it safe with a more generalist positioning and value proposition to ensure you don’t exclude key market segments.

This article explores the power of niche marketing and why this is often a wise alternative to being a generalist provider.

WHAT IS A NICHE?

A niche is a focused subset of a particular market group.  If you were to think about cat food, for example, we could chunk that down to dry food and wet food – but this is still a very broad market that is essentially the same target audience.  If, however, we were to look at gourmet pet food that is organic with pieces of proper meat, such as chicken breast, then this could be considered a niche market as there’s a select portion of the market that would be interested in a premium product like this vs. the more cheap and cheerful standard options.

A further example within the same category could be cat food that is designed for specific issues, such as poor eyesight, heart conditions, or joint conditions – this way, with just a few tweaks of the actual product itself, for instance by adding a few different supplementary nutrients to the same base product you have created a special interest product that solves a particularly problem for a particular set of people.

In that sense, a niche is very simple – you are solving a particular problem, or scratching a particular itch for a specific group of people that are seeking a solution.

WHY HAVING A NICHE IS IMPORTANT

In broader markets (e.g. pet food) you are up against competitors with massive marketing budgets and global brands, therefore to launch a generic product such as cat food, your best option is to compete on price or quality.

Unfortunately, big companies have the purchasing power to undercut your prices, so there’s little point entering into a price war, whereas the one place most will aim to differentiate themselves is quality – and this, in itself can be somewhat of a niche.

The largest challenge facing most businesses, however, is that of people finding out about your products.

Often, broad markets are very crowded and well established meaning people have buying preferences based on habitual patterns the big companies have worked very hard to condition.  In you coming along, as a like for like comparison against a well known brand, the majority of people aren’t keen on trying something new – they need a compelling reason to give something else again; often the compelling reason most people respond well to is special offer discount pricing… yet a more sustainable option would be to position your product within a niche category that means you’re now appealing on a different metric – relevance!

See, when you are more relevant to a consumer in terms of meeting their specific needs, or solving a particular challenge, people will try out your product and are often happy to pay a little extra due to the alignment in place and the relevance to their lives.

If you were to then think about this from a marketing spend perspective, you clearly want to get the greatest return on investment possible, and in spending money on digital marketing the cost per click for an advert relating to something broad (e.g. dog food) is going to be much greater than something more niche focused such as “organic dog food” or “dog food for arthritis” because the search term is less competitive and less dominated by the big players.

It also means people clicking on your advert are likely to be more relevant in the sense that they are specifically looking for your particular solution, as what you don’t want are hundreds or even thousands of uninterested people clicking on your adverts, which costs you money each time.  You only want qualified prospects, and the more niche focused your marketing is the better the conversion rate will be (i.e. people that go on to buy and become customers) thus the greater the return on your investment.

This is particularly relevant in terms of search engine optimisation; as it is entirely possible for a small business to get featured on the front page of Google yet you need to follow a good strategy in order to achieve this… indeed there are a number of ways to boost your online business that become much more accessible when you focus on a particular niche, as you can have a specific cluster of focused terms and keywords that you become known for by the search engines… meaning they will start to naturally and organically present your product or business to people looking for the solution you provide – without you having to spend tons on adverts.

WHY YOU WON’T LOSE CUSTOMERS

A common concern amongst business owners when looking into the power of niche marketing is that it can feel counterintuitive to limit your market, by focusing on one specific group, particularly if you’re offering a service that has broad market appeal (e.g. hairdressing or personal training) as surely you don’t want to limit your market when both hairdressing and personal training could be relevant for pretty much everyone.

It’s a valid point, but think about specialists within the medical profession.

You have general doctors that are there to cater to everyone, then you have specialist consultants, that focus on a particular niche and as a result charge much more for their time.

In focusing on a particular niche (e.g. a certain type of cancer), yes they limit themselves to not treating any of the thousands of people with other illnesses, but they create a massive pull toward their offering to the select group of people that are specifically seeking out a solution to the specific problem they face!

In doing so, the consultant is positioning themself as the go-to-expert and this is something you and your product can do too.  See, when you align your product, service or knowledge base so strongly with a particular audience, this audience are magnetically attracted to your ‘specialist area’ of expertise.

Remember, the whole premise of marketing is that people have problems and they seek solutions – if you can position your product, service or business as offering a more relevant solution to their specific problem than a more broad competitor, they will choose you.

In marketing, relevancy is everything and one of the best ways to make yourself stand out as a relevant service provider is to use niche marketing to your advantage.

CAN YOU HAVE MULTIPLE NICHES

A question that often gets asked is whether you can have multiple niches, and the answer would appear to be yes – presuming they are congruent and form an overall branded suite of related niches.  A good example to look at in this context is Tony Robbins. His main niche is to help people transform their lives and condition peak performance, yet, like a spider with eight legs he has different channels for different people.

For instance, he has a business mastery program that is specifically relevant to entrepreneurs whilst he has a relationship program that is specifically relevant to those seeking to improve their relationships; two completely different products, operating in their own individual niche, each with a completely different marketing strategy – but with a common theme, that of transformation and optimising one’s life.

Today, it has become a lot easier to manage multiple niches due to technology, for instance, you can create a number of microsites that each deal with a specific category and come with their own phone number as 1300 numbers cost has become much more affordable in recent times.  This service has the benefit of allowing you to do business anywhere, but more importantly for the purpose of managing multiple niches, is that you can have a different phone number per niche – making it appear, for instance, like a personal trainer only helps clients looking to improve their posture, or get fit after having a baby… meaning, technically, you can offer a number of services whilst still appearing to be a very niche provider.

Even if you offer a broad service such as “personal training” it is wise to focus on a particular group of customers (e.g. new mums) and market to those specific needs.  At the base of everything what you’re really looking to do is connect with your audience on their level and in a way that is benefit driven to their unique requirements.

In summary, niche marketing makes you more relevant to your target audience which means people will start being drawn toward you as the go-to expert, as your product, service or business is so relevant to their lives that they will seek you out rather than you having to chase after customers or incentivise them with discount offers.

Relevancy is everything when it comes to marketing and there’s no better way to be relevant than to start utilising the power of niche marketing.

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