Recently, Google's CEO, Mr. Sundar Pichai, praised a businessman from an emerging Asian market who has made a fortune out of selling water pumps online. While water pump is not a niche product in itself, selling it to online shoppers is much like creating a niche segment in a highly fragmented market. Niche markets don't exist in themselves; rather they are generated by introducing products or services that resonate with a relatively small section of the consumers. Niche businesses charge a premium price and tend to be more profitable than other firms. They usually face less competition due to their unique value proposition to a well-targeted audience. However, in online space, where maddening competition is almost inescapable, marketers need to have a sound strategy to promote specialized businesses. A marketing strategy that works well in mass markets will be inefficient and expensive, and therefore, unsuited for niche businesses. In the niche market, the target audience must be defined as precisely as the value proposition and the message.
A robust marketing strategy for promoting niche businesses should include the following:
While content marketing works very well for mass markets, the way it is done for niche businesses is completely different. Only writing and promoting blogs will not fetch desired results. Such blogs will be lost into the sea of content generated online on a daily basis. The format, ideas, style, reach and users' feedback play critical roles in developing a sound content marketing strategy.
Creating the Content
The niche businesses can't attain meaningful results by providing freebies or promoting huge discounts. In fact, offering discounts is an antithesis of marketing a niche product. They need to tell compelling stories around their product and target audience and hit the sweet spot. It is important to pick a particular problem and present a practical solution. Thus case study, presentations, and video content are more effective formats of producing content for promoting niche businesses.
Creating high-quality video content is an expensive affair so you can start with case studies and presentations. An effective case study involves five essential elements: The characters, the problem statements, the message (the solution), the style of content and a strong call to action. You must innovate on each of these elements to differentiate the products clearly. The characters must be real, and the problems must resonate with the target audience. The message and the style of delivery are equally important to create an expert image. If you lack the internal talent to deliver such content, you may seek help from freelancing platforms like Writers Per Hour, Upwork and Freelancer.com that connect subject matter expert writers with businesses.
Finally, the call to action should compel users for a free expert consultation.
The topics should revolve around the problem areas of the users. They shouldn't be very theoretical or too academic in nature. Even if your business is boring, try to write real-life implications of the business and interesting real stories about your team, day-to-day operations, etc. You can also become more transparent about internal processes and may like to write about them to enhance the trust of the readers.
Use content promotion tools like Taboola and Outbrain to promote your content to the relevant audience. The social media tools like Facebook Look-a-like audience or Twitter paid campaigns can also be used for precise targeting.
In niche marketing, listening has proved to be more efficient than advertising. You should monitor users' comments and respond to them appropriately. The marketing team should be prepared to deal with harsh comments and take corrective measures as soon as possible.
Search Engine Marketing
Google Adwords Search Campaign has been very useful for a wide range of niche businesses. Usage of certain features like negative keywords, interest-based targeting, etc. make the targeting more efficient. The marketing team should continuously monitor the ad-clicks and take immediate actions to prevent clicks on irrelevant queries.
Collaborating with Other players
All niche businesses should explore possible collaborations with other players that are not competing directly or indirectly. Some of our clients with specialized businesses have seen outstanding results by collaborating with other companies who have a similar target audience. For example, moster.com offer campaigns with precise targeting, based on several parameters like education, salary, experience, etc. A firm that is providing services to working professionals with particular income range can use such campaigns to generate qualified leads.
Email Marketing Automation
Email marketing automation is the most efficient medium for niche businesses to generate leads and referrals from existing website visitors. Users who are about to leave a site without performing any call to action can be re-engaged later by tools such as OptinMoster. This tool uses mouse movements to show light pop-ups to users who are about to leave the website. By using such tools, firms have increased their subscriber base substantially. These users can be re-engaged and converted into buying customers by crafting a strategic automated email campaign.
If you are selling a product or service online, then affiliate marketing could be a highly profitable way of promoting a niche business. You can join affiliate marketing platforms like Shareasale to manage your affiliate marketing program. With an initial set up fee of $600+, you can gain access to thousands of qualified affiliates who may have a user base that fits your target audiences. The best part of affiliate marketing is that apart from initial fee, you will have to pay only after a qualified sale has been made through the affiliates.
Defining target audience with high precision and developing evergreen content are two major pillars of successful niche marketing campaign. Unlike a mass marketing campaign, it takes time and patience to get desired results. So, once you develop a marketing strategy, give sufficient time to test its effectiveness. A proper and regular review of the campaign will lead you into the right direction. Also, the marketing budget should be distributed appropriately among various channels like content marketing, PPC advertising, email automation and affiliate marketing. Patience, focused marketing, and regular evaluation are the virtues that determine the success of online promotion of niche businesses. Based on your niche segment, plan a marketing strategy that is unique and enables you to engage the targeted segments in a manner that generates superior value for them as well as for the business.