Niche Marketing and Inbound Marketing are very synergistic... Our last post discussed the topic "What is a Niche Market?" and this post digs into the concepts of Niche Marketing and Inbound Marketing. The high level idea is that your company already serves niches, the question is HOW to drill down to the proper niche and facilitate inbound marketing tactics to drive sales, ROI and market share. (This is the second of two blogs on niches, the first blog covers "what is a niche market"?)
Niche Marketing and Inbound Marketing
Let's begin with market positioning. Do you know where your company stands in terms of existing market share? How do you determine? What are your benchmarks for success? What particular niche are you trying to serve?
Distinction between Target Market and Niche
Your target market (buyer persona) is WHO you serve. Your niche is WHAT you offer to your target market (your product or service). If you're offering the same product or service as dozens of other companies to the same audience, you don't really have a niche. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that approach, it just becomes harder to stand out in the minds of the consumer and you risk commoditization, which can negatively impact pricing and margin.
Example: Roe Racing
This company was founded by a long-time friend that I grew up with. I've consulted with Sean a handful of times over the last few years in the areas of marketing, analytics and the like. Their target market is Dodge Viper and Viper Powered Ram SRT trucks (which I would say is a pretty targeted audience). Their niche is specializing in performance for those vehicles, specifically "Production cars are built with compromises. Our job is to search out areas of improvement in all vehicle aspects, from cooling and horsepower to handling and braking." (which I would say is a very focused niche)
The combination of the target market and the specific niche creates the niche market.
Niche Marketing - How does it apply?
In the example above, Roe Racing has been in business for over 20 years and the marketing approach was built over time (which is how Inbound Marketing works). A combination of some pay-per-click advertising and a lot of content in the way of unique parts for the specific niche. Traffic grew over time via SEO because of the use of solid tactics. They use Social Media extensively (primarily Facebook) and have outstanding follow up and follow thru (social monitoring). Niche Marketing is as close to "1-to-1 marketing" as you can get and depending on your niche, the opportunity exists to literally create 1-to-1 relationships with your clientele. Links back to the site increase over time, testimonials and referrals grow because of outstanding customer service. Roe Racing provides valuable information about various parts, testing, etc that generate interest amongst their specific niche (and buyer personas).
Compare and Contrast to Inbound Marketing
The tenants for successful Inbound Marketing:
- Generate Traffic via SEO, Content, Social Media
- Lead Generation
- Conversion of Leads to Sales
- Analysis and Measurement
In the example above, Roe Racing has generated ample traffic to support a company (and unique niche market) for 20 years. The consulting work I've done for them has centered around lead generation, setting up funnels for purchase and analyzing results with analytics. This is an example of a success story for a company focused on a specific niche that even though at first might appear "small", appeals to a world-wide audience that is generally more affluent because of the vehicles being targeted (Vipers).
What "Niche" does your business serve?
If you are slugging it out with competitors and are "one of the pack" and it's become more challenging to generate sales and have enough margin, let's talk. Let's do a deep dive into your existing business, your buyer personas, what's working, what's not, and let's determine if there's an alternative approack or a specific niche that might be available to go after.
Jimmy John's certainly wasn't the first "sub shop" in the US and there seemed to be more than ample competition in the space - so they carved out a new "niche". They are now known as "freakishly fast" and if you've ever eaten at one, they live up to their mantra; and in doing so they have created market share.
The first step in analyzing opportunities to increase your business is to start with your Buyer Personas.
Create YOUR Buyer Personas - Free Guide
It just takes time and focus to create your buyer personas. We'd welcome the opportunity to assist but please use our guide to facilitate. It contains the questions to ask, details to the process and blank templates that are easy to use.
Download your Free Guide: "Buyer Personas - How to Create and Utilize Personas in your Marketing Efforts". Click on the cover below to get your copy today.