Learn all about niche marketing and how it can help your startup grow.
A few decades ago, the term ‘niche marketing’ may not have meant anything.
But today, it is synonymous with most startups and businesses.
Believe it or not, there are brands that make products only for left-handed people. There are subscription apps that offer durable dog toys to pet dogs that destroy toys. And the list of niche businesses goes on.
And that brings us to niche marketing — the way to meet niche audiences.
In this article, we take an in-depth look at niche marketing and how to get it right for your startup.
What is niche marketing?
Niche marketing targets and attracts a specific segment of customers. Unlike generic marketing that focuses on a broad segment of customers, niche marketing narrows down the target segment. Startups and businesses that specialize in a specific market require niche marketing strategies.
For example, in the student experience SaaS tools space, there can be different segments, such as school-level, college-level, teaching classes outside school, attendance app, campus orientation app, etc. All these are niche markets and every market has a specific need and preference, and hence, the requirement for niche marketing.
In the student experience SaaS app market example, businesses would have to consider their target segment — schools, colleges, or private teaching classes or tutors.
What are some niche marketing examples?
From SaaS and technology to health and wellness to food — the niche market industry is quite vibrant and going strong. In this section, we look at some interesting niche marketing examples to inspire you:
1. SaaS and technology: Among the top most niches in the startup industry, SaaS tools and trends keep changing, thanks to rapid innovation rate. Marketing in this niche is all about telling tech-savvy people about software, tech gadgets, software apps, and other related services. For example, in the B2B segment, the niche audience for SaaS products would be businesses that need tools, tech experts and enthusiasts, as well as students and professionals.
2. Learning and education: Another excellent niche marketing example is that of education and learning. With the introduction of niche courses and skills, the market has huge potential. And hence, to succeed in this sector, startups require the skills for niche marketing to cater to different niche audience segments, such as, students, educational institutions, parents of students, adult and professional learners, businesses looking to train and upskill their employees, etc.
3. Health and wellness: The pandemic has brought about a new wave of health and wellness startups, both SaaS based and others. There’s a growing demand for products and services and businesses are becoming more and more focused and niche. For example, for health and wellness niche businesses, the audience could range from health-conscious individuals to businesses such as gyms and wellness centers to people with illnesses.
What are the benefits of niche marketing?
Instead of trying to appeal to everyone, niche marketing makes it easy for businesses and startups to narrow down marketing to match the preferences of this niche audience. This brings a lot of benefits. In this section, we look at some of the advantages that make niche marketing an important strategy for brands.
1. Brand loyalty
When customers feel like their needs are being understood better by your brand, they would feel more inclined to make repeat purchases, rather than going to other brands. Moreover, your brand gets a competitive advantage as you can highlight your unique selling proposition (USP). All these factors boost customer loyalty towards your brand.
2. Enhanced marketing efficiency
It is easy to market to a niche audience compared to a wide customer base. That’s because you know your niche audiences’ preference and needs. For example, a company selling clothes for everyone will need to cater to customers that include men, women, children, teens, etc. But if the company sells only baby clothes or only women’s clothes, they can have more focused marketing campaigns, and hence better performance and results.
3. Reduced marketing costs
When you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can create marketing messages that are more relevant and specific to them. As a result, you do not waste time or resources. On the contrary, you can do more with less effort and fewer resources. Thus, it reduces your marketing costs.
4. Better brand positioning
When done well, niche marketing helps establish your brand as an authority within your industry. This sort of expertise helps build trust and confidence in customers and enhances your brand reputation in the industry.
What are the challenges of niche marketing?
Even though narrowing down focus in marketing has many benefits, just as any other business or market, niche marketing has challenges, too. In this section, we talk about some of the most common challenges you will need to overcome in niche marketing.
1. Smaller markets/ audience
Imagine markets broken into tiny pieces. They might seem easy to grow in because there’s less competition, but it’s not a walk in the park. First, if there are others already doing their thing, you’re fighting for a smaller share. Also, getting your brand to sustain using things like SEO and social media is tricky when there aren’t many people around to spread the word about your brand.
2. Higher competition
Imagine you’re selling something super specific. Your product or service will be the best only until a better, more innovative product comes into the market. In short, in today’s environment of innovation, rapid new trends, and competition, your niche could soon become redundant.
3. Limited growth potential
Going super specific might limit how much your business can grow. If you stick to a really tiny group of products or services, you might find it hard to make big money or even just stay afloat. Moreover, at some point, there will be a limit to how much you can earn if you keep it super niche.
Who can use niche marketing?
All businesses and startups in the B2B and B2C sector can apply niche marketing strategies. Whether you’re in the B2B SaaS industry offering a niche product used by a small segment of businesses or you’re a startup in the travel industry catering to a wider audience, you can strategically use niche strategy.
In fact, every business can benefit from niche marketing, when done right. By focusing on specific segments of customers who need and like what you offer can help your business be more innovative in order to meet customer needs.
Moreover, niche audiences are more open to new ideas, which gives startups and businesses the opportunity to change and optimize based on customers’ preference. And hence, this approach can also work for startups that cater to a wide audience segmented into smaller groups.
See this diagram to understand how to choose a niche market:
How to create a niche marketing strategy for your business?
In this section, we list out some of the most important and basic steps to get you started with your niche marketing strategy.
1. Determine your niche positioning
The first thing to be certain of when creating a niche marketing strategy is to identify your niche. For example, do you want to be known as a shoe brand or a shoe brand that specializes in custom-made leather shoes?
What sets your product or business apart? What is your value proposition? In short, identify the what and for who of your business. And how these factors set your brand apart from competitors. Determine how you want your target customers to perceive your brand or product.
For example, if you’re in the business of eCommerce SaaS, how would you like to position your product? Is it the most cost-effective, quickest installation, unique features, etc.
2. Study your industry
Thoroughly research and understand your industry. This analysis will give you insights into the demand for a product or service similar to yours. It will help you identify gaps, advantages, opportunities, and challenges.
Here’s how you can study your specific industry:
- Go through industry websites, journals, publications, books
- Read annual industry reports
- Learn about keywords in your industry
- Find popular websites related to your industry
3. Check what competitors are doing
It’s essential to understand what your competitors are doing to know about their audience, strengths, weaknesses, and market dynamics. By doing so, you can get a competitive edge over your competitors.
Here are some aspects to keep an eye out for:
- Which platforms are your competitors using for niche marketing
- Their SEO strategies, keywords, etc.
- What kind of audience engagement level are they creating
- What kind of marketing campaigns are they creating
- How are they distributing their content
4. Develop buyer persona
Since niche marketing focuses on a specific audience, one of the first things to do is to create buyer personas. This will help you understand who you should target and how. Here’s what you can do:
- Conduct thorough audience research
- Conduct competitive analysis to see the engagement levels of competitors’ audience
- Incorporate social listening tools to monitor audience sentiment
- Understand customer pain points
- Segment customers based on demographics
- Know where you can find your customers
Recommended read: So You Think You Have Reached A Product-Market Fit?
5. Choose your marketing platforms
The marketing platforms or channels you choose will depend on various factors such as your niche audience, niche product, nature of your business, consumer preference, etc. Because you are targeting a smaller audience segment, you will have to identify platforms that work for your audience, product, and business.
Choosing platforms carefully will help you reduce costs, improve performance, and success rate of your niche marketing campaigns.
Here are some factors to assess during research:
- What are your target audiences’ preferred purchasing methods
- How are your customers discovering your product/ brand
- Which social media platforms are they most active on
- Which platforms do your competitors use
- How should you divide your paid and organic marketing initiatives
6. Create visibility for your niche
Whether it’s your brand or product or service, visibility is all about how often people see your brand reference, your products, and services on various platforms. Visibility of your niche is all about creating presence and boosting awareness.
Here’s how you can create visibility:
- Create and run social media awareness campaigns
- Build a presence on different channels
- Create a digital marketing plan
- Keep optimizing your channels to stay abreast with the trends
- Create relevant content and engagement via content
7. Establish authority
Whether you’re a SaaS startup or an eCommerce brand, you can build authority in your niche business. As you have a specific audience with particular needs and preferences, you can gain their trust by building authority in your niche.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Understand and solve your target audiences problems
- Collaborate with others in your industry. For example, speak at an event or on a podcast
- Share customer testimonials on different channels
- Create and publish high-quality content
- Go deep so you can focus on your customers’ specific requirements
8. Personalized marketing
When you’re creating niche marketing strategies, you’re trying to sell to a small group of customers. And so, you can talk straight to your customers via personalized messaging. You can use this benefit and opportunity to talk to customers at every step in their buying journey and make them feel special.
- Create personalized and relevant messaging and ads – 74% of the most successful marketers craft content based on specific stages of customers’ journey
- Request feedback and reviews from customers
- Create offers and deals that are relevant to your customers
9. Educate and inform your niche audience
Make your ads useful for your niche audience. Respect your customers and don’t think they won’t notice if you’re trying to trick them into ads full of fluff. If you try to take shortcuts to make them buy your stuff, it’ll come back to bite you.
Here’s what you can do:
- Treat your customers with respect—educate them and share useful information
- Give customers good reasons to believe your product works
- Tell customers how your product helps with real problems, not just a list of features
- Answer the basic questions in your ads—who, what, where, when, why, and how
10. Adapt and optimize
Changing your marketing strategy based on what customers say is a big part of marketing. When customers give their opinions, it’s like getting really useful information. You can use this feedback to adjust your ads and how you talk to customers.
For example, if your products or services get better, your niche marketing messages should also change to tell people about the new stuff. Your ads should aim at specific groups, but they also need to be able to change quickly to work well for your special audience.
Summing up — should you adopt a niche marketing strategy?
The answer is a definite yes!
Unless you narrow down your audience, you’d find it hard to meet the needs of customers, who may fall in different categories and segments.
But finding a niche is easier said than done.
So if you’ve been struggling to find the niche you should be doubling down on, reach out to us.