Marketing to a niche audience can be rewarding and challenging. It’s worthwhile to target 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, pizza restaurant owners don’t have to scratch their heads too much to figure out who their customers are. Essentially, they’re marketing to the masses of hungry people who live in or travel through a specific area. Yet, it’s a much different story for restaurant owners who sell vegan and organic pizza. This location isn’t going to draw the same crowds as mainstream alternatives, and that’s the point.
It’s an example of a sizeable, sometimes underserved consumer segment that may have limited restaurant options. Niche audiences like these are essential for businesses to stand out and capture market share. But, at the same time, companies can 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 you target smaller audiences, it’s essential to avoid speculations and assumptions. While there might not be as much data on narrow consumer segments, you still need to get it. That includes information that identifies who this audience is and the motives behind their behaviors. Just like a marketing team builds customer personas for larger audiences, niche segments also need buyer personas.
Customer personas should include unique lifestyle details and shared values. You can leverage these insights to reach out to niche audiences at times other businesses might overlook. Think about veterans of the armed forces as an example. To make veterans feel seen and understood, you could acknowledge the significance of federal and army training holidays.
Crafting your outreach efforts and messages 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 their identities and needs are largely unmet or ignored.
Target general, low-volume keywords
Most people use social media to get their news, seek entertainment, and stay connected to friends and family. Pew Research Center reports that about 72% of the public uses social media now. Of course, what platforms people use tends to vary by demographics, such as income level, age, and gender. But for brands and businesses, the wide adoption of social media provides another means to market to and reach consumers.
Targeting niche audiences with online and social media content takes a counterintuitive strategy. When you’re going after mass markets, the goal of your keyword research is to pick out high-volume and specific phrases. These keywords will usually be more successful in attracting your target audiences and increasing traffic to your content. With higher traffic comes more engagement, shares, and leads.
With smaller consumer groups, though, the opposite approach is more effective. Look for general, low-volume keywords and phrases your audience will likely use instead. The logic behind this is that niche audiences aren’t seeking information that the masses are. Instead, they want to read and engage with content that fills a gap. By incorporating general, low-volume keywords into your content, you’ll stand a greater chance of connecting with niche audiences.
Use email strategically
Email lists are built on the idea of permission-based marketing. Everyone on those lists should have willingly given their email addresses, often in exchange for something of value. That might be a discount code, a piece of content, or a 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 or stray from core best practices with smaller consumer groups. If anything, niche audiences require a bit more thought.
Most people will be turned off by spam-like tactics and too much promotional content. With unique consumer groups, this is more likely to be the case. They’re much more likely to keep engaging with your brand if those emails share helpful content tailored to their needs.
Timing can also make or break your email outreach. Move-in aggressively or too soon, and you might lose some of your audience. But sending out informative content and nurturing campaigns on a regular schedule gives your readers something to look forward to.
Think outside the box
Competition exists for a reason. When you study what your competitors are doing (or not doing), it spurs new ideas. Competition also forces businesses to think outside the box when it comes to customer acquisition. Other companies in the industry might dominate the TV and radio airwaves. However, there could be better and more appealing ways to reach niche audiences.
Say your business operates in smaller, remote communities. Consumers in this market have lifestyles and values that are distinctive from their urban counterparts. This audience isn’t impressed by typical marketing spiels and advertising messages. They’d much prefer a personable outreach. 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 also feeling heard in a fun, innovative way.
Knowing your audiences and finding gaps left by competitors can help you think beyond modern conventions. You can also study your current sales funnel to identify where customers and leads are falling off. A niche audience might feel neglected if they receive standard touchpoints that don’t acknowledge their needs. It takes too long for someone to follow up, and those leads move on. Implementing more personalized, timely approaches can prevent lost sales and relationships.
Finding your niche
Niche audiences aren’t looking for the ordinary. They often want and need unconventional products and services. With those requirements comes the desire for businesses to reach out in less than conventional ways. Unique consumers want to feel heard, seen, and understood. Although mass-market audiences often have the same underlying wish, they’re less likely to perceive that they’re being ignored.
Engaging niche audiences at the right time means recognizing what they feel society discounts or overlooks. Building customer personas, targeting low-volume keywords, and strategic, out-of-the-box digital PR are ways to get it right. When niche audiences know your business understands their individuality better than the competition, they’ll have a compelling reason to connect.
This article originally appeared on Calendar.com.