You may have already heard of this classic stat: Nine out of 10 startups fail. While the validity of that number can be debated, it does highlight the fact that starting a business is tough, especially in the digital world, where customers have instant access to practically anything they want.
So, you’ve ignored the stats — like a true entrepreneur. And, you’ve decided to start your dream business. To stand out, you’ve chosen a niche business like emu oil, bike safety accessories or custom-made 3D printed products.
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to have a niche business. But, due to limited capital and little experience, many entrepreneurs struggle to find their marketing footing. Don’t let such hurdles stop you. You can create a simple yet effective marketing campaign for your niche business. Here’s how to make it work.
Niche markets thrive on the idea that there must be something for everyone. Such businesses not only capitalize on under-served interests and markets, but they also target trends and areas ripe for new solutions. Before creating a marketing campaign for your business, whether online or off, you need to understand who your niche product is for.
Finding your audience requires that you address something very specific. Instead of taking a broad and shallow approach, go narrow and deep. By downsizing your focus to one specific interest, need or problem, you can immediately reach an excited and thirsty audience. Your audience will be more enthusiastic because you are one of the few focused on what they specifically want or need.
A great example of a niche business is Diapers.com. The founders, Marc Lore and Vinit Bharara, were the first to discover that no other website exclusively sold diapers. So, they decided to corner the market. Instead of making heavy investments in marketing, they focused on the back end. This kept prices down for the company and the consumer. The brand then built relationships with buyers through well-executed customer service, fast shipping times and reasonable pricing. In 2010, just five years after launching, the company, called Quidsi, Inc., eventually sold to Amazon for a whopping $545 million.
The great thing about niche markets is that they are super-connected. If you satisfy a few, like Diapers.com was able to do, your positive reputation will spread quickly within the community. And, it won’t even require more investment.
In short, you must capitalize on word-of-mouth marketing. In niche markets, this is even easier. People in these communities communicate both on and offline. While offline word-of-mouth influence may not be as measurable in the early stages, online will be, especially if it’s on social media.
What’s great about social media marketing is that the information spreads quickly. As an owner of a niche business, you should know and be ready to take advantage of this fact: 81 percent of people say they’re influenced by what friends and family say on social media. Delight a few, and you can significantly grow your business.
While marketing is crucial, if your product doesn’t deliver, your business won’t be sustainable. That’s why it’s important to get feedback early and often. You need to constantly be learning about, measuring and tweaking the product. The continued rollout of a new and improved product should be a core part of your marketing strategy.
So, why does feedback work? It’s because niche marketing is about engagement. And, one of the best forms of engagement is asking customers to voice opinions. This doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can show you how to reach a bigger audience. Gather feedback through emails and surveys, listen on social media, and ask for comments and ratings.
Another great way to look at the quality of your data is by analyzing it. There is a reason why 75 percent of companies are investing more in big data in the coming years. Seeing what users are doing as they arrive on your site can provide insight into what changes you need to make to increase conversion rates.
From attending conferences and meetups and publishing content in niche magazines, you need to go where your customer is. The personal connection still matters.
You could almost think of this as grassroots advertising. It is very affordable, and it is arguably much better at building loyalty. Including offering free product samples at the local market and making YouTube videos, your options for marketing your business are many. Get creative, and see where they lead you. Just remember to always speak to your audience at a level that they understand.
In the end, you don’t have to spend a fortune on your marketing plan to succeed in a niche industry. Mainly, you just have to know your audience. After that, you can use the technology you know to reach them in an affordable and effective way. By offering them unique solutions to their needs, you will succeed in the long run.