What is a niche? it is the "subset of the market on which a specific product is focused" (from our friends at WikiPedia). When doing research for this post, there are various similarities in the definitions and also differing viewpoints on the validity of pursuing a niche as a "go to market" strategy. Our view is slighly different and we believe pursuing particular niches is a way to differentiate your company and stand out in a sea of competition. (This is the first of two blogs on niches, the second blog covers niche marketing and inbound marketing)
Niche Market and Niche Marketing
Your company exists for a purpose and to serve particular customers and clientele. Is your company #1 in your market? Do you hold a clear market share advantage? (if the answer is "yes", then you're probably not reading this post anyway).
IF your company is trying to figure out how to stand out from competitors, then keep reading. A reallly good book that I read some time ago (and still refer to) is "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" (and no, we do not get compensation for a link to this book). Consider:
If you can't be first, make a category that you CAN be first in (law # 2)
How does your company separate from the pack? Have you taken to time to really dig deep into your target customer (we call them "buyer personas") to understand their pain points? What are THEIR challenges? What are THEIR opportunities? What does your company offer to facilitate? What do your competitors offer to facilitate? Are their GAPS?
Let's take it a step further:
- What are your strengths?
- What are your values and passions?
- What are the types of clients or customers you want to serve?
- How do these align with the answers from above?
What is your niche? Finding your niche is, in many cases, putting a new or different spin on what your company is already doing. In the process, you can "carve out" a new niche and become successful serving it.
Test the Concept - Niche Marketing
With the proper approach, you've done your homework on your "buyer personas". You've spoken to many of them, you've outlined their background, demographics, goals, challenge, quotes, objections, the types of keywords they utilize based on what your company offers, their use of social media and other media outlets.
Their background and demographics
Their goals and challenges
Their quotes and objections
Their keywords searched and use of social media
Implement a campaign to align with your niche.
- Drive traffic to the campaign utilizing inbound marketing tactics
- Use PPC (pay per click advertising) to generate additional traffic
- Create useful content based on your buyer personas
- Align marketing efforts to their place in the sales funnel (buyer's journey)
- LISTEN via social monitoring - Really listen
- MONITOR results and learn
There's a reason you are reading this post and have at least an initial interest in the topic. Perhaps you are in charge of marketing for your company and need to figure out a way to generate additional revenue or market share. Perhaps you are a business owner and want to carve out or expand an existing niche.
Here's an article from Entrepreneur with good info on defining a niche: 7 Steps to Defining Your Niche Market
Facilitating an inbound marketing campaign for your niche is a calculated risk with a good ROI. Here's a good checklist to review from a prior post about how to get inbound marketing buy-in.
Does "Niche" mean Small?
Starbucks created a niche that ended up changing the entire landscape of the economy... McDonalds started the "fast food" concept... Apple computer started in a garage... all started as a "niche market".
You know the value of your company and the market you are competing in. Our goal at Weyer Web Works is to "help companies carve out a "niche" in their particular industry". A great first step is to begin creating your Buyer Personas (see below).
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.