Tips for Companies that target Smaller Crowds
There are two schools of thought on niche markets. Some believe a business that is too specific limits the customer pool. Others believe finding a niche helps businesses compete in an oversaturated playing field. If you operate a niche company, there are marketing strategies you can use to overcome the boundaries your cubbyhole might put you in.
Here are some tips on how to market your one-of-a-kind company.
Know Your Customers
Some may assume that operating a niche business naturally reveals who your market is, but this isn’t the case. Because you are trying to connect with a smaller audience, it is even more important to know who they are. This goes beyond basic demographics like income, gender, age, and location. You will want to know more detailed information.
Pabst Blue Ribbon is a low-brow beer that started gaining popularity around 2010 with Portland hipsters. They were drawn toward the low cost and attractive blue-collar design. The beer brand’s marketing manager heard about this underground following and decided to aim Pabst’s marketing outreach toward this new unexpected crowd.
The brand started passing out keychains and stickers at bars and sponsoring bike events that were popular among this Portland crowd. Today, PBR is synonymous with certain sub-cultures, reviving the fading brand.
One way to know your customers is to listen to them. If you receive negative comments on a review platform, it serves as an opportunity to make things better. If our customers show a lot of interest in a specific product that continually runs out, it would be advantageous to keep that product in stock. The best way to know your customers is to keep your ears and mind open to feedback.
Use Localized SEO
Let’s say you offer a general, day-to-day service, like a pediatrician. This isn’t a niche field because almost every child goes to the doctor. But there is a way pediatricians can target a narrower group with localized marketing. Localized SEO is becoming more relevant. It’s suggested to all businesses, not just niche companies, because the lion’s share of Google searches are directed at local services and products.
Say a pediatrician is trying to find it’s target keywords, and write content based on those keywords. Instead of using a general “pediatrician”, it is best to focus on a targeted location, such as a pediatrician in Ocala, a pediatrician in Dallas, a pediatrician in Kettering, pediatrician in Monroe, a pediatrician in Richmond—you get the point. Make sure to attribute your business’s geographic location.
Incorporating local SEO also includes setting up your right Google My Business listing, adding your company on other online directory services, building a robust and positive bank of online reviews on multiple platforms. and making sure your contact information, address and phone number are all up-to-date on your website.
The best way to find new customers is to answer the questions they are asking for and solve their problems. Vegans, Baby started as a local guide for plant-based eaters in Las Vegas, a foodie city that paid very little attention to the veggie-based food movement.
There was no resource for vegans and vegetarians when Vegans, Baby launched. The owner Diana Edleman started by posting simple blogs on where to find vegan dishes at various restaurants. It exploded and became a go-to resource for vegans across the United States.
Today, the company has over 20 thousand followers on Instagram, hosts vegan foodie tours around the world, is represented at major music festivals, and hosts events nationally.
Because the Vegans, Baby offered a simple service—letting plant-based eaters know what they can eat and where—it was able to gain powerful momentum until it became the business it is today.
Find Out What Marketing Tools are Best for Your Businesses
When you are a small company targeting a specific group, you may need to juggle your time. This could mean focusing your marketing efforts on an area where you will receive the most returns. Social media has proven to be an indispensable marketing tool for smaller businesses due to its affordability and limitless reach.
Vinyl Me, Please is an independent record of the month club that re-releases popular albums like Outkast’s Stankonia or The White Stripes De Stijl. They run a store and also publish a magazine with the latest music news about their releases. As a music company, Vinyl Me, Please has the unique opportunity to operate a Spotify account. They’ve provided over 50 playlists.
Many of them reference the records that are available in their store. It’s most likely that Spotify doesn’t bring the most returns—the company has a larger following on Instagram and Twitter—but the music platform is an additional marketing source that costs no money to run and little effort to maintain.
As a niche business that is most likely figuring things out as they go, it is incredibly helpful to remain open to new opportunities and ideas. Chances are a marketing opportunity you never thought of will cross your path. One of the most famous historical marketing campaigns was the Volkswagen Lemon ad of the 1960s.
An image of a perfect VW Bug was labeled with the “Lemon.” It may seem like a bad idea to name your product as a defect in bold lettering, but the point of that ad was to show the high standards of the company. Even a car that is seemingly perfect is a lemon by VWs standards. It was a sort of reverse psychology.
Thinking creatively also incorporates openness to new opportunities. This could be as simple as writing current blog posts that relate your business to a current event. Keeping this topical is one way to continue to stay relevant as a business. Think of novel ways you can market yourself in an unsuspecting way.
There are many other methods to market your niche business, but once you discover who you are and who your audience is, the rest should fall into place.