June 19, 2019

How to Define Your Niche Audience - and Make it Work

by Fiona Laughton

Never underestimate the power of the niche audience. Read this article to discover how to find your niche audience and make it work in your brand's favor.

Imagine you’re a marketing manager at a global sports shoe brand. Your latest product release is a pair of running shoes. You’ve already spent thousands bringing this design to market, not to mention the associated advertising creative costs (e.g. producing image and video content), all to be used in your digital marketing campaign. You launch your social media campaign via Facebook ads. Casting the net wide, you decide to target “anybody who wears running shoes”. You wonder why traffic to your website isn’t converting. Does this all sound a little too familiar? Then you haven't defined your niche audience.

The niche audience approach would go something like this: you invest the time in strategizing, researching and defining your niche audience. As your shoe design is unique, individual, and fully customizable, your niche audience must reflect this. After some research, your niche persona is created: a 20-something woman with pink hair. You can now set your social media strategy in accordance to your defined niche audience.

Sounds simple but there is a bit more to it. If you are having trouble defining your target audience, or are doubting the importance of doing so, this article has a lot to offer you.

What is a Niche Audience?

First thing’s first, let’s define what a niche audience is.

A niche audience is a more focussed subgroup of the broader market’s target audience.

The niche audience has a specific group of needs, which can be met by a targeted product or service. In this above example, the target audience would be “anyone who wears running shoes” but the niche audience is “a 20-something woman with pink hair”.

What are the Benefits of Having a Niche Audience?

Niche audiences are a money saver

A niche audience is important because it makes your brand stand out from competitors, establishes a positive reputation and positions your business as an authority or expert in your field. It will help your business save on costs too! Consider the sports shoe and Facebook example - instead of spending lots of money to reach a wider group of people and have fewer conversions, you can spend less money reaching a more specific group of people who want your product. The right customers will often mean repeat business and it’s easier to engage with fewer people, meet their needs, maintain a good product combined with customer service, and making it difficult for them to go elsewhere.

Crowd out the competition

Another advantage of a niche audience can often mean less competition (this may also depend on how specific your product is). The more specific your product or service is, the fewer companies there will be competing for your customers. Of course, the disadvantage to this means that you will be marketing to fewer customers than if you were to approach a wider target group. This is why it’s really important to get to know your niche audience on an intimate level, so you can strategize better ways to meet their needs and in turn, win their brand loyalty and therefore repeat business.

Earn a higher profit

You’ve thoroughly researched your demographic and are ready to price your product. Here’s where things can get delicate regarding pricing! The temptation to price high may backfire on some customers but there are also customers who will not mind paying a higher price for a product or service they feel they cannot get elsewhere. Researching both your niche audience demographic plus a competitor analysis is key here when it comes to pricing.

Content marketing is better with niche audiences

Investing in content marketing as part of your marketing strategy is one of the best things a business can do to get those inbound marketing leads and resulting sales. With so much content available online, it’s easy for content to get lost in a sea of digital noise. The solution? Invest in content creators who will create content that inspires, educates and provides value to the consumer. Consumers want content that is targeted to them. The bonus for marketers is that Google loves organic content, and will rank your pages higher. Consumers will feel more engaged with the brand, the relationship will grow stronger, you’ll get feedback directly from your consumers, which will only serve you well when it comes to understanding how they’re responding to your product or service.

How Can I Find My Niche Audience?

Go deep

Another way to define your audience is by digging for authentic customer feedback. Use the data analysis to compile demographics accordingly. How old is your customer? Where do they live? How are they purchasing your product? What professions do they work in? What are their hobbies or interests? Are they single or partnered? Do they have children? Who do they live with? What is their income? All of these questions will help you identify who are the people most benefiting from your product or service and you as a brand manager, can align your strategy accordingly.

Check out the competition

It always makes sense to see what the competition is up to. Maybe their niche audience isn’t exactly the same as yours, but perhaps there is a crossover? In what ways are they engaging them that may also work for your strategy? Maybe they are doing something completely wrong and will save you the trouble of making the same mistake? Learn how they are engaging their niche audience and analyze the ways they are targeting them, then, do it better!

Embrace change

Your niche audience may change over time and that’s okay! Whether a new product or service has gone to market, or your niche audience has eyes for another brand, it happens. By using brand tracking software to track your brand awareness, you can start to understand this change and seek out to explore this new audience who’ve entered the market. Give yourself full permission to adjust your strategy accordingly and focus your attention on attracting and nurturing this new niche audience.

How Can I Be Sure My Branding Is Working?

By tracking your niche audience over time, you can see if your brand marketing is gaining momentum in your target audience. Learning why and how to define your niche audience is a great skill brand managers can utilize as part of their marketing campaigns. Saving money, maxing out the competition, turning a higher profit and using content marketing to inspire and educate your customers, and nurturing loyal and returning customers are all advantages of learning to define and market to your niche audience and make it work in your brand’s favor.

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