Elevate your market position using Niche strategy
Differentiating your brand in a crowded market place is a challenge, the companies that are successful are the ones who excel at engaging an audience on a much more personal level and cater specifically to their needs.
For example, Tesla decided to break into the electric vehicle marketplace with a luxury sports model rather than compete with the established big brands such a Toyota and Chevy, who were focused on launching their electric-hybrids to the masses in the economy car market.
The content Tesla creates for its consumers accentuates the exclusivity of the brand and articulates the ethos and aesthetics that differentiate it from its competitors, which in turn resonates with their customers and followers.
To establish your niche position, your entire brand: logo, name, print, ads, web and media should align and be instantly identifiable, and promote why you are different and thus better than the competition.
The benefits of having a niche identity:
Shapes consumer perceptions & decision-making.
Aligns your marketing strategy to consumer needs.
Communicates your unique value in a crowded marketplace.
Once you identify a niche market within your audience, you can target members and new leads more precisely because you know exactly who you are looking for.
How to find and sustain your niche market
The best niche markets contain consumers that need their problems solved in a solution-driven, stress-free way, and they’re typically willing and able to pay a premium for the service provider who ‘gets’ what they want and how they want it.
To identify a viable niche market in your industry, look for mini-markets within your existing customer base.
1. Solve a specific problem for your customers.
What pain or passion is sufficiently motivating to your niche market that they’re willing and able to pay a premium for someone to solve it?
“Find the problem, solve it and present the solution.”
When you find a need that isn’t being met e.g. a particular problem or demand that’s broad enough to be profitable, you’ve found a potential niche market.
2. Focus on the most effective marketing channels
Digital marketing can help you reach potential customers wherever they are, but an unfocused approach could drain your budget and achieve disappointing results.
Research and test different channels that already have the attention of your target audience and segment your customer database into different groups that highlight their preferences, particular pain points and passions.
Then tailor your campaigns, content and communications specifically to each segment; adapting the media, language and references to engage on a much more personal level.
According to marketing provider Mailchimp, segmented emails have a significantly higher open and click rate than non-segmented emails and use an automated retargeting tool to present targeted advertisements to users who have already visited your website or clicked on one of your ads.
3. Monitor your competitors
A niche market position will distinguish your business from your competitors’, but your rivals could change their remit or begin targeting an audience that’s similar to yours.
Keep an on the market for new arrivals and on your competitors’ websites, resources, marketing collateral, Google rankings, and anything else that demonstrates how they’re reaching potential customers. You’ll be able to respond and adapt quickly, protecting your market position.
4. Personalise your service
Securing big customers or valuable, long-term accounts is tough, but more than possible when you tailor your approach.
Work closely with your sales team to identify what those dream customers need and expect, then incorporate it into your core product or service. It could be more personal attention, advanced product education, or a more efficient sales funnel that keeps them moving.
5. Create content that speaks directly to your audience
Niche markets need to see content they’ll immediately identify with, so be very specific with your articles, posts, white-papers, landing pages and graphics.
Intelligent, credible content will anticipate a potential customer’s needs, questions, and concerns, as well as provide lots of incentives and a call of action to buy or make an enquiry.
6. Be a strong, authoritative voice in the industry
Businesses with a unique position in the market have interesting insights. As a business leader, you can share opinions, ideas, and experiences with your industry peers, consumers and followers to build your profile, credibility and attract their attention.
Tip. Reach out to mainstream and micro influencers with whom your niche market identifies with and tap into their extended networks to raise your profile. For example, a popular fitness vlogger on YouTube with extensive knowledge in weight training and nutrition may be asked to do advertising for a sportswear or supplement company. The trust and loyalty they have built within their community can influence their followers to take a closer look at your product or service.
The rising popularity of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, mean consumers have unlimited freedom and choice over the content they view. This creates a problem for brands. As their target audience continues to spread out over various forms of media, it becomes increasingly difficult to reach them. Ensure your marketing strategy adopts a multi-channel approach that’s consistent and persistent.
7. Adapt to your customers changing needs
Customer needs and expectations change over time. Your audience could start to demand a different kind of service, be more educated on your product, or wish for new features, greater speed and improved convenience. To keep new customers interested, and retain existing ones, your service should evolve over time.
Tip. Leverage customer feedback and focus groups to influence your product and service development.
8. Evaluate business performance regularly
For each marketing campaign your run, monitor its performance in terms of audience engagement, sales conversions and profit returns. Consider what your niche audience is buying, how often and how your own products or services are meeting or missing their requirements and factor these insights into your business strategy.
Occupying a niche space in the market can be extremely profitable, particularly when you stay flexible and observant. Understand your customers, assert your position as an industry expert, and you’ll be rewarded with revenue.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Selina Bolton is a business strategist and the founder of Seed.Partners; a mergers & acquisitions firm specialising in attracting investment and creating opportunities for small to medium-sized businesses to scale and build value at pace.
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