At the heart of any niche marketing strategy is how to decide which target market to serve? If you’re lucky, you discover a need that isn’t being met. Perhaps you, personally, had a problem you wished there was a better solution for. Or as you talk with prospects, you discover a problem that isn’t being addressed. You then focus your business around solving that problem.
Most small-business owners don’t go that route. They open up shop and then decide to specialize when they realize they need to narrow their focus to affordably market their services.
Why Develop A Niche Marketing Strategy?
The purpose of marketing is to attract and keep clients. The problem is if you try to reach too broad of an audience, you will quickly spend your marketing budget for not much return on investment.
By narrowing your focus and specializing, you become much more familiar with:
- What clients want and need.
- What pain points, objections, and worries they have.
- What triggers them to solve their problems.
- How they choose which solution to purchase.
Once you know those three things, marketing becomes incredibly easy. Here are 5 key questions to consider when developing your niche marketing strategy.
Question #1: Are Prospects Easy to Reach?
You need to be able to reach your target audience by some means. For instance, if they share common demographics, look for publications and associations that cater to this group. Look for magazines, journals, and newspapers – can you advertise or get a mailing list? If you are targeting businesses, go to trade shows, conferences and professional organizations where prospects might be. If you can’t find an association or publication that targets this group, chances are they won’t be a good target audience.
- What associations and groups do they belong to?
- What events do they attend? What conferences and workshops do they go to? Where do they network? What religious activities or charities do they belong to?
- What publications do they read (magazines, newsletters, websites)?
- What are their hobbies, such as cooking, sports, gardening, or travel?
- What TV shows do they watch?
Question #2: Can You Narrow Your Niche?
It is better to start out as a big fish in a small pond, with the option to branch out as you become more successful, than starting with too many people. For your marketing to be successful, you must have the resources to reach prospects repeatedly over time. If you’re just starting out, pick a smaller number of people to target and test your marketing messages through your advertising, websites and mailings to make sure it’s effective at attracting clients before expanding to a greater audience.
Question #3: Who Can You Serve Best?
What strengths, talents, skills and knowledge do you have? What are you most passionate about? Now consider which niche audiences would most value them. When choosing a niche market, you should choose people you feel comfortable working with, who you like working with, and who you can best serve.
Question #4: What is the Competition Like?
Every business has competition – what other businesses offer similar solutions to yours? If you are competing with well-established businesses in a small marketplace, it may be difficult to attract clients. Research who your competitors are, what services they offer, and how they market their businesses to assess your potential opportunities. The best niches are under-served, which means you don’t have a lot of competition, nor do one or two large companies dominate the market.
Question #5: Do Prospects Have an Unmet Need?
Ask your prospects what they feel is missing from their industry. What frustrates them? What would they like to fix most – and why haven’t they fixed it yet? The best niche markets have a point of frustration or unmet need that none of your competitors are addressing.
While finding a niche market will take initial research on your part – and once you do start to get some clients, you’ll probably need to refine your niche a bit – it’s an extremely cost-effective way to grow your business in the long term.