Niche markets attract fewer potential customers, so pinpointing and catching them – often one by one – requires highly targeted marketing. Therefore niche marketing by nature requires a carefully thought out strategy.
In situations where customers visit physical locations to purchase products or receive services, customer analysis is fairly straightforward, but what about when it comes to online markets? How can marketers analyse behaviour and psychology without meeting or even seeing the customers that they’re dealing with?
Here are a few tips for digital marketers when it comes to niche markets:
1. Understand the market
As with any marketing, an understanding of the market is a must. This is particularly important with niche markets. Potential customers in these arenas are likely to have a high level of involvement both psychologically and emotionally in the subject matter (some may say somewhat obsessed) and therefore will be highly knowledgeable and specific about what they want.
The more knowledge you can gather about whichever niche market you’re working with the better, as this will underpin every other activity that you undertake, such as…
2. Do your (SEO) research
Starting with keyword research, a client in a niche sector enables you to collate a really specific list of keywords and search phrases. Look at competitors and see what they’re targeting – any specific industry terms or colloquialisms. This can then be used to tailor keywords/phrases for your client. Do they have a unique specialism or different take on something in the sector? Use this to further differentiate your keyword list, basing it on known popular search terms.
Of course, the more specific the phrase, the lower the search traffic volume will be – but these potential customers are more likely to convert if you have exactly what they’re looking for. So this pays, literally. Getting this right will inform meta content and on-page content, which helps to positively influence site performance.
For more on how to undertake keyword research for SEO click here.
3. Take advantage of low CPCs
Keywords for niche markets may not have heaps of traffic, but this should (hopefully) mean that they won’t cost the earth to bid on. Their specificity should mean that despite lower CTR than broad terms, you get a higher conversion rate from the traffic that you do get.
4. Get creative with content
Great content is a must for any site. Adding useful, user driven content to the site regularly is a must if there is the capacity to do so. In mass markets, most subjects have been written about ad infinitum. However, in niche markets, useful, creative content can be much more scarce. Creating useful and insightful content which helps users in a niche market can quickly help establish a client as an industry expert, giving them an edge against any existing or potential competition.
Potential customers love useful content, and so will search engines. Make sure you create content in that context though – write for customers, not search engines. Use keyword research to inform and direct what you write – is there an issue lots of people want answers on? Is there a lack of information about certain products? – but do not write keyword dense, nonsensical drivel, search engines will see through this. Also, don’t just copy or re-hash competitor content either – duplicate content is a no-no. Customers (and search engines) want new, interesting information.
5. Embrace online PR
I’m loathe to say linkbuilding as many people associate the phrase with dodgy SEO companies building high volumes of poor links, but essentially this is what I’m talking about, although certainly not in that context. Creating useful and interesting content that earns the attention of your target audience, or Inbound Marketing, is actually what I mean here, and as a practice aligns more with traditional PR.
This is where all that great content you’ve written gets a spotlight shined on it – it provides valuable resources for blogs and press sites to link to get good stuff for their readers, benefiting authority and referral traffic.
This is where not copying competitors is a boon – creating unique content provides the opportunity to make your client stand out. Use tactics such humour, controversy, and thought leadership to set the tone of content apart from competitors. Do take note of what activities they are doing though, as this can provide inspiration for your own content. For example:
- What sites are they featured on?
- What offline activities do they do and how do they use for them online content?
- Do they have any partnerships with local companies?
- Learn which marketing channels they do and don’t take advantage of
- See which of their social media posts receives the most engagement
6. Be Social
If appropriate, use social media channels to make a noise about your client. Share on-page content, request reviews, hold surveys to gather customer data, and share things that give the company ‘personality’.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can also have a distinct advantage for niche markets – sometimes with niche/specialised products and services, customers don’t ‘get’ what the company provides. In these cases it’s worth letting them have a sample in order to get them hooked. Social media can be a good way of offering discount codes, free promos and sharing testimonials to help gain people’s interest and trust.
So, although niche markets have their challenges, once you have an understanding of the industry and a well-thought out, integrated plan in place, you should reap the rewards in cost per conversion.