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Reaching Hard-to-Reach Consumers: Designing a Niche Marketing Strategy

You’ve surely of the expression “niche marketing” but do you actually know what it is? And even if you know, do you really know the real value of it? Is it necessary? More importantly, will niche marketing limit your overall marketing options?

Although some marketers prefer popular and established brands when it comes to handling advertising campaigns, most of them can tell you that marketing to a niche audience can be more fun and rewarding than widely-known ventures.

According The Pocket Guide to Sales for Financial Advisors, once you recognize an ideal customer, it will allow you to create business messages and marketing materials that speak directly to your customers. This will open up your marketing options and give you a clear direction for your marketing efforts.

So you’re now probably wondering how you can find your ideal audience in the first place.

Handling Big Data – Finding Small Targets

The Internet is a huge and busy place. As Live Science reports, every second over 6,000 new tweets are published; approximately 40,000 Google searches performed and roughly 2 million emails are sent.

Big data is big business these days – according to a SNS Research study released back in April, by the end of the year, corporate spending on big data technology will reach $57 billion. For reference, the average NBA franchise is worth $1.36 billion – New York Knicks, the most valuable one is priced at $3.3 billion – according to Forbes.

And why is big data so valuable? Because it allows companies from all across the world to tap into priceless information concerning their potential consumers and develop insights.

While large companies have money to hire data scientists and leverage big data, you can still find and analyze your target demographic on a small budget…

Overcoming the Challenges of Big Data

The first challenge of utilizing big data for research is where to get data – no matter how much data we have today, that stuff isn’t cheap after all nor it’s easy to come by. However, there are some free sources of big data out there.

One of the most well-known sources is Google Trends, which will allow you to research consumer search patterns. Although it’s a limited source, it can still give you a good idea when certain topics are popular and in turn, help you predict future trends and capitalize on them.

And thankfully, we live in the world of social media and the amount of information popular networks like Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn have about people is simply astounding. You just need to learn how to harvest all of that data…

If the money is tight, you can create a questionnaire using a service such as Survey Monkey, this service also offers limited functionality, but the information you get may help you understand your target demographic better. UX Mastery has a good article that can help you design a useful questionnaire.

Marketing to a Niche Market

Creating an “ideal customer profile” and discovering your target demographic will take some time and effort but your job’s just started. Afterwards, you need to start thinking about the actual marketing tactics you’re going to use.

And you can’t just rely on old social media campaigns and blogging. You see, when it comes to marketing to a niche audience, you’ll need to think a little bit outside of the box and start utilizing customized marketing strategies of your own… But here are a couple of starting points…

  • Choosing Your Platforms Wisely

Promoting your business on social media is crucial in today’s day and age however, certain platforms may not be best platforms for niche products because they are currently saturated with large amounts of noise from the competition.

Therefore, you should limit your visibility on insanely popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter. As Jason Keath, the founder of Social Fresh explains in this episode of Content via Conference podcast, you don’t need to be at all social media platforms at once.

The choosing of your platform depends on your audience – their age, gender, interests so on and so forth. For instance, if you’re targeting teenagers and young consumers, you should maybe try Snapchat, which has more than 100 million active users under the age of 24 that consume more than 30 minutes of content on a daily basis, according Hootsuite research.

  • Encouraging User-Generated Content

Modern consumers don’t really like overly-promotional content, so you need a way of showcasing your products without looking too promotional, or promotional at all if possible. And here’s where user-generated content comes into play.

User-generated content is one of the best modern marketing tricks to use – according to Shopify research, user-generated ads have four times higher click-through rates. Furthermore, although the tactic is proven to be successful, most companies still don’t leverage it as much as they could.

As AD Week reports, research has shown that more than 50% of users want their favorite brands to tell them what type of content to crate and share on social media, however only around 16% of companies actually do that. This gives you a great opportunity not only to market your products for free but also to differentiate yourself from the competition.

  • Leveraging Sustainable Mediums

Niche companies that want to stay in the game for the long haul need sustainable marketing, there’s no way around it. So you shouldn’t look for flash-in-the-pan tactics of the day, but look at something that has more staying power. A great example of this is video.

The popularity of video isn’t just a fluke – according Cisco research, by the end of the year, almost 70% of all traffic online will come from people who binge-watch videos online. So you should definitely leverage one of the number of video platforms out there to spread your brand message.

Thanks to a dozen or so YouTube videos, you can easily become a force to be reckoned with in your particular niche. You don’t even have to pour in too much money into video marketing these days – and if you don’t have time to focus on it, you can always get some material from your customers.

Final Thoughts: Don’t Forget Offline Marketing Either

And even though you the Internet should be the main focus of your marketing efforts, you have to keep in mind that there’s nothing as good as old-fashioned offline marketing. After all, you can’t possibly research every market segment using mobile apps.

Just think about how could’ve companies like Alpinestars – a motocross gear manufacturer that makes clothing for a very specific group of people –lasted for more 60 years without offline marketing.

Having an effective offline marketing campaign is especially important for small business because it allows people to see, hold and try out their products. Moreover, offline marketing tactics like business cards, pamphlets and gift coupons will give potential clients a bigger connection with the brand.

And while some of this may sound costly, offline marketing doesn’t have to break the bank. You could try attending various local events as a guest speaker or donating gift cards to a charity of your choice.

Just because something that doesn’t appeal to billions of people doesn’t mean it’s going to be a marketing flop. The bottom line is – you just need to put a little effort in your research and marketing and think out of the box and you’ll be able to find a reliable niche audience in no time.