Niche marketing – also known as micromarketing – is the springboard of choice for digital marketing beginners. It’s cheaper to start, offers less competition, is a good place to build customer rapport, and gives you plenty of time to generate content.
What Is Niche Marketing?
It’s possible you’ve heard this term before. Niche marketing can be defined as:
• Concentrated marketing efforts.
• One small, specific, and well-defined segment of the population.
• Needs, wants, and unmet requirements establish a niche. Goods or services then supply the niche.
The distinguishing benefit of niche marketing is audience relationships. The buyer (audience) and seller develop a personal relationship from scratch.
Critics claim mass marketing is the way to go because a niche market confines your ability to expand. It all depends on the type of business you have.
A mass market is a good selection if you’re a well-established, multi-billion-dollar corporation, able to take risks, rely on a solid budget, and fight successfully among the competition. Mass markets make more money overall and serve a higher customer population.
On the other hand, a niche market is a wise choice if you’re not yet established, have a smaller budget, can’t afford to take risks, and would be defeated if assaulted by a leading competitor.
Niche markets offer the potential to build a more profitable and successful brand because they place all of their eggs into one basket (or all of their efforts into one niche).
A mass market also does not offer the audience bond a niche market does. The audience development in a niche usually starts from ground zero, however, you will have the opportunity to meet new customers, establish relationships, build a credible reputation for yourself, and earn the trust of many.
Beginning digital marketing in the mass market places you in a position where you don’t know your audience and they don’t know you. They can’t trust you or deem you as credible. Therefore, if your product or service fails or a competitor beats you out, you have no audience to fall back on for support.
How Do I Start a Niche Market?
Niche marketing has a fairly cheap startup cost. While establishing your niche, your competitors don’t see you, which gives you enough time to build your audience, design your product or service, and cultivate trust among your audience.
Developing a niche market involves two general steps: define your niche and market your product or services to your niche. A successful niche is well-defined, has a high demand, and leads to power. The better your market is defined, the more your product or service will sell.
Consider these steps during the development stage:
- Step 1: Identify Your Audience – Before locking in your products and/or services, take note of your niche audience. Why? Products and services have a high turnover rates, but audiences don’t. If you can build a deep relationship with your audience, you will know what products or services to promote. Research your audience before developing your products or services. A deeply committed audience base will stick by you for years and years, while products or services can change at the drop of a hat.
- Step 2: Research Market Keywords for Your Niche – What keywords does your audience use when researching topics related to your niche? If you know the answer to that question, you will know how to market to your niche audience. The keywords your audience uses for similar topics gives you vital marketing information. They reveal your audience’s wants, needs, and unsolved problems. If you know what your audience is lacking, then you can be the one providing it. If you know a problem, you can better formulate a specific marketable solution, leaving your customers loyal and satisfied. To determine your audience’s keywords, start with the free Google Adwords Keyword Planner. This tool delivers helpful data, including search volume, competition level, and average cost per click (CPC). Once you have Keyword Planner up and running, go to the monthly search volume. If the search volume is high, the market is big. A big market is usually 1,000 or more exact match searches a month. If a word is at or above this number, consider it. If it’s below, you can most likely move on.
- Step 3: Assess the Competition – Lucrative keyword niches have a high average CPC, ads highly targeted to the search keyword, several pages of ads, and advertisers in the top three premium positions. If these criteria are not satisfied, question whether it is worth your time and money to lay the foundations for your business there.
- Step 4: Research Industry Trends – Know the trajectory of the niche market by utilizing Google Trends, which provides an unbiased random sample of Google search data. This free service allows you to compare up to five groups of terms (comprising up to 25 terms per group). You can obtain a sample of real time data from the last seven days or a sample of search data from 36 hours ago to way back to the year 2004. Google Trends help you determine whether a niche is dwindling, stable, or increasing via a line graph. Stay away from niche markets that are shrinking. Focus on niche markets that are rising or, at a minimum, showing stability.
- Step 5: Enter the Niche Market – Decide if it’s a good idea to enter the niche market. After evaluating all the criteria, is it worth it? If you’re a beginner, stay away from markets that have the top brands constantly in the top three search results and on side bar ads. It will be incredibly difficult to compete with already-established brands. Instead, beginners should travel down a path with a non-competitive keyword and establish trust within that niche market.
Should You Choose Niche Marketing or Mass Marketing?
Niche marketing is the way to go for new products or services. According to Dave Ramsey, if you are at the beginning of a product life cycle, your main focus is advertising the name. At this point, you do not have a relationship with you customers – they neither know you nor your product or services. Trust takes time to build, so a niche market is the best choice in the beginning stage.
Starting in the niche does not mean staying in the niche. The successful shoe company Airwalk first began as a niche in Southern California, marketing to skaters. Starting in the niche is a smart method to build your product or service and name before setting sail to the mass marketing seas.
When Can You Expand to Mass Marketing?
After your product or service has gained significant exposure and you have a trusted fan base, transitioning to mass marketing is more feasible. At this point, customers are more willing to throw their support your way because they have assessed your credibility.
Having the opportunity to try your product or service, they will rave about it to others, building further credibility to your name. Then you can incorporate mass marketing tools like discounts and free products or services.
Keep in mind that mass marketing means mass competition. Because of the much larger audience, there is potentially more money to be made in mass marketing as opposed to niche marketing. The Model T automobile had its origins as a niche product or service for the wealthy. Then Ford made it available to a broader scope of people – and that changed the way all of drove.