Marketing to a niche audience can be rewarding and challenging. It’s worth targeting smaller audiences that the competition isn’t serving. However, identifying these unique groups of consumers is sometimes as difficult as finding ways to reach them.
After all, pizzeria owners don’t have to worry too much about who their customers are. Essentially, they market to the masses of hungry people who live in or travel to a specific region. Yet it’s a whole different story for restaurateurs who sell vegan and organic pizzas. This location isn’t going to draw the same crowds as the mainstream alternatives, and that’s the point.
This is an example of a large, sometimes underserved consumer segment that may have limited dining options. Niche audiences like these are essential for businesses to stand out and gain market share. But, at the same time, companies may overlook unique consumer groups and not know how to engage with them. Here are ways to connect with niche audiences at the right time to maximize profitability.
Build customer personas
Before targeting a smaller audience, it is essential to avoid speculation and guesswork. While there may not be as much data on narrow consumer segments, you still need to get it. This includes information that identifies that audience and the reasons for their behaviors. Just as a marketing team creates customer personas for a larger audience, niche segments also need buyer personas.
Client personas should include unique lifestyle details and shared values. You can leverage this information to reach niche audiences at times other businesses might not. Think of veterans of the armed forces for example. To make veterans feel seen and understood, you might recognize the importance of federal and military training holidays.
Designing your outreach efforts and messaging around these holidays can make them more engaging and successful. Customer personas with details like these help your business speak to the individual nuances of niche audiences. It’s a powerful way to connect with consumers who may feel like their identities and needs are largely unmet or ignored.
Target general and low volume keywords
Most people use social media to get their news, seek entertainment, and stay in touch with friends and family. The Pew Research Center reports that about 72% of the public are now using social media. Of course, the platforms people use tend to vary based on demographics, such as income level, age, and gender. But for brands and businesses, the widespread adoption of social media offers another way to market and reach consumers.
Targeting niche audiences with online and social media content requires a counter-intuitive strategy. When researching mass markets, the goal of your keyword research is to select specific, high-volume phrases. These keywords will generally be more successful in attracting your target audiences and driving traffic to your content. With higher traffic comes more engagement, shares, and leads.
With smaller consumer groups, however, the reverse approach is more effective. Look for general low-volume keywords and phrases that your audience is likely to use instead. The logic behind this is that niche audiences aren’t looking for the information that the masses are looking for. Instead, they want to read and interact with content that fills a gap. By incorporating general, low-volume keywords into your content, you’ll be more likely to connect with niche audiences.
Use email strategically
Mailing lists are built on the idea of permission-based marketing. Everyone on these lists should have voluntarily given up their email address, often in exchange for something of value. This can be a discount code, content item, or loyalty club membership.
Email can be an effective way to nurture relationships with niche audiences when you build your lists organically. However, don’t overdo it and stray from basic best practices with smaller consumer groups. On the contrary, niche audiences require a bit more thought.
Most people will be put off by spammy tactics and too much promotional content. With unique consumer groups, this is more likely to be the case. They’re much more likely to continue engaging with your brand if those emails share helpful content tailored to their needs.
Timing can also make or break your email outreach. If you move in aggressively or too soon, you risk losing some of your audience. But sending out informative content and development campaigns on a regular schedule gives your readers something to look forward to.
Get off the beaten track
Competition exists for a reason. When you study what your competitors are doing (or not doing), it stimulates new ideas. Competition also forces businesses to think outside the box when it comes to acquiring customers. Other companies in the industry could dominate the television and radio airwaves. However, there might be better and more engaging ways to reach niche audiences.
Suppose your business operates in smaller and more remote communities. Consumers in this market have lifestyles and values that differ from their urban counterparts. This audience is unimpressed with typical marketing spiels and advertising messages. They would much prefer a personalized approach. For example, creating a personalized presentation to reach these customers can be a way to stand out. This allows the customer to understand your product while feeling heard in a fun and innovative way.
Knowing your audience and finding the gaps left by competitors can help you overcome modern conventions. You can also study your sales funnel to identify where customers and prospects are falling. A niche audience may feel overlooked if they receive standard touchpoints that don’t recognize their needs. It takes too long for someone to follow up, and those leads move on. Implementing more personalized and timely approaches can prevent lost sales and relationships.
Find your niche
Niche audiences are not looking for the ordinary. They often want and need unconventional products and services. Along with these demands comes the desire of companies to reach out in less conventional ways. Unique consumers want to feel heard, seen and understood. Although mass market audiences often have the same underlying wish, they are less likely to perceive that they are being ignored.
Engaging niche audiences at the right time means acknowledging what they think society overlooks or neglects. Create customer personas, target low volume and strategic keywords out of the box digital PR are ways to do things right. When niche audiences know your business understands their individuality better than the competition, they’ll have a compelling reason to tune in.
Video credit: Nik Fowler-Hainen; Prezi; Thanks!
Image credit: Alena Darmel; pexels; Thanks!