Uniqueness can be great for business. It might mean you are in a relatively untapped market, one where you have the target audience practically to yourself. Not having as many competitors provides you with the space and freedom to really hone your offerings. You don’t have to look over your shoulder quite as often and worry about not standing out in a crowded field.
At the same time, uniqueness can present some challenges. If consumers don’t know about your area of expertise, they may not know they need you. And if they don’t know they need you, then obtaining customers in the first place can be difficult. To sum it up, there can be an overall lack of consumer awareness when you occupy an industry niche.
If you are in a niche industry, there are some key strategies to think about from a marketing perspective. Whether you are a new business or not, this article is for you. Keep reading to discover three digital marketing tips for niche industries.
1. Know Your Core Audience
As a niche business, it’s not enough to just guess at your target audience. You actually need to dive head-first into the needs and characteristics of your likely consumers. To do this, it can be helpful to create specific personas. Ask yourself where your audience members live, where they work, what they do for fun, and how they spend their time. Craft a persona — or personas — that will truly embody the type of consumer you are looking to capture in the market.
Once you have these personas built, you can think more about how you want to market to them. You can work on refining your current marketing strategies, such as social campaigns and search engine optimization, or SEO. For example, a law firm specializing in social influencer cases knows their law firm SEO should likely focus on metropolitan areas. In addition, they should try to rank for keywords like “entertainment law” and “celebrity law.” Doing so will help them attract their core market as prospective clients start to associate the firm with the services they’re seeking.
Knowing your core audience also means anticipating their needs. This is how you will gain trust and retain customers. If you sell them one product, you have to determine how to persuade them they need more products from your portfolio. This entails knowing how your consumers use your products today and how additional items can make their lives easier. This exercise includes market research and continual product development.
2. Avoid Generic Marketing Practices
One common pitfall for niche businesses is following what bigger companies are doing, just in a smaller way. This broad approach is no way to win customers in a niche industry. Generic marketing won’t be valuable for your identified consumer, and it will likely end up being more expensive and less successful for your business.
In order to avoid this error, think back to your personas. What in their day-to-day life will capture their attention and draw them to your brand? Say you’re a landscaping company that specializes in xeriscaping. Your target consumer is concerned about the environment and responsible water use. Placing an ad in your community’s email newsletter probably won’t yield the results you want. Your services may seem too niche for the majority of homeowners, who want green lawns and manicured planting beds.
Instead, try Facebook ads targeted to users who live in your area and follow groups like the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense Fund. Co-host a webinar with a local native plants society and capture attendees’ email addresses for subsequent outreach. While these approaches might be too fine-grained for other companies, for you they could help create buzz. Remember, that what works for one business may not always work for yours.
3. Utilize User-Generated Content
Another tactic for marketing within your niche industry is to publish user-generated content. This type of content is having a moment right now in marketing. Essentially, it’s a way to seem less promotional and more authentic. Similar to word-of-mouth marketing, user-generated content lets you promote your brand and get the word out there without appearing too commercial.
Another huge benefit of user-generated content is that — as the name implies — you as the brand don’t have to create it. With the right incentives, you can prompt your audience to create content and post it on your platforms of choice. Of course, you still need to monitor that you are leveraging the right type of user-generated content. Be discerning about whom and what you reshare on your social channels, as this content is a direct representation of your brand.
Obtaining quality user-generated content can look a bit different for each brand. Many businesses have found success with a hashtag campaign. In such campaigns, users post their photos on social media with the hashtag, and your brand can repost on your handle. You might encourage posts by holding a giveaway, offering free products to users who tell you why they love your brand. Asking questions on social media through posts, videos, or stories is another way to capture this type of content.
Digital marketing in a niche industry is both a challenge and an opportunity. It can be hard to find the consumers who need you, but once you do, the field may be remarkably clear. Consider all the ways you can engage with your core audience, knowing that they are your No. 1 priority. Don’t forget to honor your uniqueness and stay true to your brand’s principles in every facet of your marketing strategy.