Your business is unique! But that uniqueness is squandered if you don’t show it to your customers and potential customers. Instead of using a one-size-fits-all strategy, your business deserves a marketing plan tailored to your niche offerings.
However, this doesn’t mean that anything goes. As much as it may seem like a vast unknown, niche business marketing isn’t the Wild West.
For best results—and to keep yourself sane and your customers happy—we’ve developed a short guide of the most essential best practices to follow in your marketing strategy. Whether your business is new to the block or a community staple, these best practices are for you.
1. Increase Interactions
Customers want to be a part of your business’ story! And why shouldn’t they be? For most small businesses, your customers not only keep you afloat, but they’re also the reason you continue to do what you do.
Adding interactive elements to your marketing strategy is an easy way to involve your customers and bring them in on the conversation. Moreover, to reach as many customers as possible, you can do this both in-person and virtually.
For in-person interaction, hold events, such as concerts, workshops, conferences, and talks from industry experts that bring in customers who may be unaware of your niche business but are interested in the event itself. Additionally, these events can also heighten your brand’s trustworthiness and create a sense of community among your audience. When planning an event, consider your:
- Goals for the outcome of the event
- Budget for running and marketing your event
- Partnerships you can leverage to market your event
- Venue where you can hold the event
- Marketing to raise awareness for and attendance to the event itself
After you have your audience’s complete attention, don’t let your event go to waste. Once you’ve captured attendees’ interest, introduce them to your business and show them why they simply can’t live without your product or service.
For your customers who can’t make your in-person events, you can hold virtual and hybrid ones and develop engaging, responsive social media profiles. Marketing via social media is only as effective as your ability to generate conversation with your followers. Ask thought-provoking questions, respond to comments and direct messages, and develop a brand personality that people actually want to talk to and engage with.
Especially when your customers may live anywhere in the world and can’t attend in-person events, offering virtual ways to interact with your business just makes sense. That brings us to our second best practice for marketing your niche business: ensuring your advertising efforts are accessible to all!
2. Make Your Marketing Accessible
Why is accessibility important? Not everyone will feel comfortable with or have access to a particular marketing channel. As we mentioned above, a large part of making your marketing accessible is offering both in-person and virtual engagement opportunities.
But even with those customers who do come to events, it will often take numerous touches across channels before they’re ready to make a purchase.
There are an incredible number of channels through which you can reach your customers, including:
- Social media
- Google ads
You should also follow web accessibility and SEO optimisation guidelines for your digital marketing. By using best practices such as adding alt text to all images, targeting applicable keywords, and optimising the design for smartphone and tablet users, you increase the likelihood of online searchers finding your website and using it to make a purchase.
3. Use Powerful Software
No matter your business, your software solutions can make or break your marketing strategy. For a streamlined business, you’ll likely use software for everything from your transactions to storing your customer data to hosting events. Gingr highlights four main benefits of using industry-specific software:
- Save time. Industry-specific software (i.e., dog daycares and groomers in Gingr’s case) are designed for convenience and ease of use, giving you more time to spend on clients and staff.
- Go paperless. Transferring your data and management systems online will help you reduce your carbon footprint and increase your data management and analytics capabilities.
- Attract customers. Not only can the right software offer an organised and predictable system for billing and scheduling dealing—which customers love!—but it can also help you identify new opportunities and potential customers.
- Manage staff. Industry-specific software can also manage staff schedules and communications in one dashboard.
For example, a combination dog groomer and boarding facility that targets travelling professionals would want to use software made specifically for dog groomers and boarders—not a generic marketing tool and not one designed for some other industry.
4. Address the Right Audience
You can leverage your software solutions to direct your marketing to the right audience at the right time via the right channels.
Dig into your in-house database to organise and analyse your existing client data and develop a clear picture of your target audience. Our combination-dog-groomer-boarding-facility example might leverage its client database to create a profile of its ideal buyer—the buyer that brings in the most consistent stream of revenue and is easiest to convert. They might consider this ideal buyer’s:
- Pets (number, type, and age)
- Children (number, type, and age)
- Purchase history
From this, they could pinpoint the exact type of person they want to connect with and the best method and channels to reach them. For instance, if they find that their best prospective clients work in dentistry, they could use third-party data to generate a list of relevant contacts and send them a marketing email with a discount for dog boarding a few weeks before starting a big out-of-town dental conference.
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Ultimately, when you target your niche products and services to the most receptive audiences, you save valuable resources that might otherwise have been spent on wide-ranging, imprecise, and unprofitable campaigns.
5. Add Value (AKA Incentives!)
Customers don’t want to engage with marketing that doesn’t add value to their lives. We already mentioned one type of incentive earlier in this article: events. But events are only one of many types of incentives your niche business can offer.
Additionally, consider incentivising purchases with:
- Promotional discounts, such as seasonal sales, birthday deals, and free samples or branded merchandise giveaways.
- A loyalty program that rewards your most frequent customers with in-store credit and discounts based on their number of purchases.
Overall, offering incentives shouldn’t be a burden on your business. Don’t spend all your income on branded t-shirts that you’ll give away! Rather, incentives should make customers feel welcomed and dedicated to your brand.
You should also keep track of metrics tied to your incentives. Ask: How many customers take advantage of them? Who uses them, and who doesn’t? You can then adjust your strategy to align your incentives with your existing and potential customers.
If you follow these recommendations, you’ll put yourself in the best position for engaging and retaining the customers who most need the products and services your niche business offers.
However, don’t stop there! Moving forward, continuously evaluate your data, talk to your customers, and look for new opportunities to engage them. The more you can make a customer’s decision to buy from your business easy, the happier your customers will be.