When you’ve got a product everyone needs, marketing opportunities are everywhere. But when you’re chasing just a handful of customers, the spray-and-pray approach won’t cut it.
Niche companies need an equally specialized marketing strategy. But having a narrow customer base isn’t necessarily a bad thing: If you help brands develop Facebook video ads, for instance, you know exactly which platform to target them on.
Not every niche marketing strategy is so obvious. To develop yours:
1. Check for fresh audiences.
When you’re providing a niche product or service, your knowledge of the market can’t be deep enough. Where do your customers get their news? What are their favorite social media platforms? What do they do in their free time?
Start with low-hanging fruit: your website traffic. When one CBD marketing agency analyzed its site data, it discovered a segment that made up a small portion of visitors but converted at twice the rate of its primary target audience. By refocusing its efforts around that demographic, the agency opened the spigot on a previously invisible audience just waiting to purchase its product.
If you spot a second audience, don’t try to reach it with your existing marketing materials. Put together a new audience profile. Share a one-pager with your team that describes the audience members’ demographics, psychographics, and key product needs.
2. Own your long-tail keywords.
Pay-per-click campaigns on Google and Facebook have become so popular that generalist companies are scrambling for alternatives. But while PPC campaigns on sites like Quora cost less, they also reach fewer users than those on major platforms.
Fortunately, niche companies don’t need to choose. If your company sells soaps scented like wines from around the world, why bother to target a clown-car keyword like “hand soap”? Not only do you stand a better chance of fighting your way to the top of one like “hand soap that smells like wine” or “wine hand soaps,” but your clicks are far more likely to convert.
While you’re doing the work of targeting certain keywords with PPC, be sure to optimize your site for organic search as well. Build out landing pages for the topics your audience is searching for the most, and be sure to blog on a regular basis.
3. Make inroads with micro-influencers.
Influencer marketing is a hot topic. It’s changed the way we operate on social media and fueled important advances in advertising transparency. But while companies in every sector can use influencers, they’re most effective in specialized areas.
Don’t expect to find a Kardashian in every niche. Instead, look for micro-influencers: personalities who may only have a few thousand followers, but are tightly aligned with your target audience and value proposition. Rather than worry about reach, consider how closely your product fits with the influencer’s audience and content.
Although you could send promotion guidelines and set them loose, why not co-create your content? Then, use social listening tools to understand what sort of splash your collaborations are making online. Expect incremental improvements in engagement rates as you learn what works and what doesn’t.
4. Leave people out.
As a specialty business, you’ll never be everything to everyone. Embrace that. If you insure coin collections, for instance, don’t try to expand into more common lines like home and auto. Not only is that not your area of expertise, but you’re also unlikely to make headway against industry giants like Geico.
Instead, make your customers feel like they’re part of something exclusive. Aside from its name, Not Your Father’s, a brand of flavored beer by Small Town Brewing, does that through content. Its interactive quiz is fun, but more importantly, it communicates to takers that Small Town Brewing caters to people like them: Not Your Father’s drinkers are adventurous, curious, and youthful.
Whoever your target users are, your marketing strategy needs to be as unique as they are. Before you blow your budget on platforms they won’t see, get to know them better. By spending your marketing dollars wisely and staying true to your brand, you can dominate your corner of the market for less than you might think.