In today’s vast online market, the more focused and specific your business is, the better. Niche markets, while they may be small, can be incredibly powerful and profitable.
By breaking down large audiences into small subsets, businesses can provide niche markets with the exact products, services, or experiences that these customers are looking for. This makes them feel understood, appreciated, and important. And those emotions can easily equate to conversions.
But the thing that makes your business so incredibly unique creates a challenge in and of itself. Since your niche business is small and focused, so is your audience base.
Therefore, your branding efforts must be able to capture their attention and hold their interest.
Here are three simple but effective ways to do so.
1. Nail Down Buyer Personas
Whether you’re launching a new side business or starting a whole new niche empire of your own, it is necessary that you understand the ins and outs of your audience to get the ball rolling. By establishing accurate buyer personas that reflect the needs and desires of your customers, you can begin to create ultra-relevant marketing content to attract your niche customers.
To create buyer personas that truly represent your audience base, you will need to understand what they are and what they are intended to do. Customer personas create a fictional person that represent subsets of your customer base. The best way to establish the demographics of your audience is through careful data collection and analysis, typically done with Facebook Audience Insights and Google Analytics. However, if you are a new startup who has little to no data on your specific business, you may need to look at similar competitors to give yourself a starting point.
Once you have established the general data points you need (such as age range, gender, income level, location, interests, goals, values, and so on), you can start to turn these data points into customer personas. For example, say that your niche business is selling handmade jewelry. You discover that your customer base is 89% female, mostly in their 30s and 40s, who live in urban areas and make over $50,000 a year. A buyer persona that could help to represent your audience would be a young professional woman who enjoys dressing up, cares about her appearance, and wants to remain fashionable without spending lots of money. This can help your team design marketing strategies that hit on these factors by highlighting how women of your target audience wear the jewelry and look fantastic without going over budget.
By creating this “fake” customer, your marketing team will have a better idea of how to appeal to your general audience. Create a story of the numbers and keep those representations in mind as you build your marketing strategy.
2. Research the Best (Rather than the Obvious) Social Channels
Clearly, social media will play a huge role in your niche marketing strategy – considering that 29% of your customers will use it to research your business/product. But, simply pursuing the obvious platforms (i.e., the big three: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) may not necessarily be the most profitable for a small niche business.
For example, Pinterest is quickly becoming a popular social platform for buying and selling. 96% of users report that they have used Pinterest to research a product, and 93% have made a purchase based on a Pin. Online sellers can also create buyable pins so that purchases can be made directly through this social channel or have it linked directly to the product page on the company website.
The online messaging app Kik is also gaining traction as a popular social selling site thanks to automated sales bots that recommend products to customers. According to a study, there are 20,000 available bots on Kik that have exchanged 2 billion messages with customers regarding products and brands.
Establishing a brand presence on multiple social channels is certainly important for gaining traction and recognition within your niche. However, be aware that your customers may be more active regarding purchasing on various social sites. Again, do your research to determine which channels fit best with your customer base and act accordingly.
3. Build a Brand Community
As a niche business, your audience base is going to be very small and focused. While this may sound limiting, it is the perfect way to build a connection between your brand and your customers.
According to a study, customers report that they feel “connected” to a brand when they can tell that it cares about people like themselves and understands their needs and desires.
Source: Customer Thermometer
By creating an online branded community that brings your customers to groups of like-minded people, your business can create a strong connection that results in conversions and loyalty. One excellent way to do this is to incorporate user-generated content (UGC) into your social media pages and website. The goal is to show how people “just like them” use and love your brand.
GoPro has been doing this for years. They have an entire page dedicated to UGC where they post the best user videos taken with a GoPro camera.
UGC also provides future customers with a more authentic visual of your products, and studies have concluded that it positively impacts consumer trust, brand recognition, and conversion rates.
Due to your customer base being smaller and more focused as a niche brand, your marketing strategies must be, too. By narrowing in on the factors that make your customers unique and special, your team can start to understand what tactics will speak to them. Really get into the mind of your audience, see where they tend to hang out and shop online and look for creative ways to build long-lasting relationships with your core customers.