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5 Powerful Ways to Reach a Niche Audience
Many businesses service a broad market. For example, a sandwich shop can count nearly everyone as a potential customer because we all eat lunch and most of us like sandwich shop menus. Companies with large markets don’t need to worry about tailoring their messages to reach a specific segment of the population.
However, things can be more difficult for niche businesses, and the more specific your audience, the harder it can be to connect with them. A retail golf store needs to target golf players — it’s a niche market, but a reasonably large one. Big and tall clothing retailers, on the other hand, need to connect with a very narrow portion of the population. This means there’s little room for error. If they miss their target, they’ll have a difficult time growing.
In truth, niche audiences are a blessing and a curse. They can be challenging to reach, but once you find them, you’ll discover that they’re often more receptive to your message than the general public. So how can you connect with a niche market effectively? The following tips should point in the right direction.
UNDERSTAND WHO YOU’RE TRYING TO REACH
The first and arguably the most important step toward connecting with your audience is understanding who they are. Consider who a local pet sitter might target. Certainly, dog and cat owners are a logical market. But is that specific enough?
There are a great many older people that love their animals but don’t leave the house often enough to warrant paying a pet sitter or a dog walker. Your market is more likely to be young professionals and families. This group owns pets and is often gone, whether at work, school, or vacations. These are the people that would be interested in our pet sitter’s services. Knowing who to target helps you connect with the right people.
To learn who they are, examine your current customers. What similarities do they share? What are their interests, needs, concerns, and problems? Which of your solutions do they take advantage of most frequently.
Use this information to build a profile of your ideal customer. This is called building a “persona.” Personas are fictional profiles of the type of prospect you’re targeting. Give this composite a name and describe them in detail. Then speak to that persona with every marketing message you create. Since they represent your ideal customer, you’ll be speaking directly to the people you’re trying to find — and they’ll start listening.
SEE ALSO: How to Get More Referrals
BE CRYSTAL CLEAR ABOUT WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE
Businesses that count large swaths of the population as potential customers can afford to be a bit vaguer about why they’re special. For them, marketing is a game of numbers. This isn’t true for niche businesses. They have a smaller pool of prospects to draw from, so they need to make every contact count.
When competing for a limited market, you must be deeply familiar with your competition. Familiarize yourself with their business models, marketing messages, and brand personalities. Rate strategies that work and those that miss the mark, and then be methodical as you can while you define your unique selling proposition.
Once you’re confident in your differentiators, become a master at explaining them to others. Pass these talking points onto all of your employees and ensure you’re consistent in your messaging across every customer touchpoint. You already know that your audience wants your product or service. You just need to convince them that your version is better than everyone else’s.
DOMINATE SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media platforms offer niche businesses two prime advantages in the pursuit of their audiences. First, the major channels, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are where your customers spend time. Second, by choosing your platforms wisely and using all of the features available to businesses, you’ll be able to drill down to hyper-focused audiences.
Research the demographics that most commonly frequent the various options and select the two or three platforms where your audience congregates most. Then join groups, create groups, post relevant content, and engage with your followers.
You can supplement your natural outreach efforts with pay-per-click advertising. Most sites offer multiple marketing options, allowing you to target those most likely to elicit a response. Make sure you use the demographic tools available to you. Most sites will let you build comprehensive profiles of the people you’re trying to reach. Your audience will be drawn to you naturally, as your content’s gravity pulls them in.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PURPOSE-DRIVEN MARKETING
Modern companies realize that consumers are more likely to trust businesses that align with their values. This shared purpose creates a deeply personal bond that’s difficult to break. If you need convincing, look at the loyal following that companies like TOMS, Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Whole Foods have built on the strength of their products and their social positions.
TOMS is passionate about helping the less fortunate, donating a free pair of shoes for every pair purchased. They’ve made this commitment the company’s flagship purpose. Before profit and growth, they work to honor their pledge. This position engenders fierce support from those consumers that are sympathetic to the purpose. And it just so happens that these people are also TOMS’s ideal customers.
By choosing a corporate purpose and living into it, they’re able to attract the very people they’re trying to connect with. This practice creates connections that run deep.
PUT THE CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP FIRST
As we saw in the last section, trust builds loyalty. That means every time you interact with a prospect or customer, you should be laboring to inspire confidence and create an emotional bond. If you put the relationship first, ahead of financial concerns and being right, you’ll build meaningful relationships and long-term goodwill.
Handwritten cards deliver marketing messages in a friendly, personalized way that transcends other methods. They feel as if they were sent directly from an employee’s desk, penned by hand, specifically for the reader. You know how you feel when you receive a handwritten letter from a friend? That’s the emotion you capture with handwritten direct mail.
Simply Noted does handwritten right. We’ve built a fleet of ballpoint pen-wielding handwriting machines that leverage state-of-the-art smart fonts to create a convincing illusion — handwritten cards that are indistinguishable from the real thing. Whether you’re sending hundreds, thousands, or more, you can get your message out with an emotional appeal that’s hard to match.
You can find your market and connect with them in meaningful ways. All it takes is five steps and the right approach.