Do you sell garden tools to only left-handed individuals? Do you lay asphalt for small businesses in a specific town? Or, maybe you buy back used technology from Fortune 500 companies. These are a couple examples of a super-niche industry.
Super-niche industries are highly targeted, small and typically engaged. More importantly, these followers are positioned to pay for your products or services because you are the perfect solution to their exact problem.
The world is a noisy place, and if you’re trying to speak to everyone, then you’re speaking to no one, which is why a super-niche is a powerful strategy to market your business straight into success.
So, how do you market to this small audience?
Niche-marketing is much like regular marketing, except smaller and more specific. Here’s how you successfully reach your target audience.
First, find your unique message.
Everybody has a special set of skills and a different story to share.
It’s possible you sell flat hose, but decided more customers appreciate the option to rent, and your the only one in the region who offers the service.
Anyone can buy a standard dog treat, but maybe you make homemade fresh biscuits with real and healthy ingredients.
So what if there is a handful of other bakeries in your town? You might be the only baker making “More Milk Cookies” targeted to nursing mothers because it has the right nutrients to promote milk production.
Okay, you probably get the picture. There are people who can take pretty normal products like cookies, flat hose and dog treats, and target a unique subsection of their communities or industry and have amazing results.
Their secret sauce is in the story. They are serving a super-niche because they are connected to it in some way. The baker might also be a mom who wants to give encourage to other mothers trying to nurse their babies.
The fresh dog biscuits might come from a home baker who used to operate a dog sitting business, and created the treats only to find out later even the pickiest of pups loved every biscuit.
These businesses have a story to tell. They have a purpose. What’s yours?
Be a problem-solver.
When’s the last time you’ve asked your target market about their issues? Regardless of novelty or “coolness” of your idea, it won’t be successful if it isn’t connected to solving a problem.
The fresh dog biscuits solve a problem for owners of picky pets. If their dog, for whatever reason, doesn’t want most treats, but they love their Bark and Breakfast biscuits, then you’ve solved a problem with a unique idea.
If you’re a manufacturer who sells flat hose, and you find some companies need to be financial agile, then you might offer a renting service. Again, solving a problem.
People have problems, and your product or service should be a simple solution to make their life easier.
Start with a tiny test.
Back to the story about More Milk Cookies.
The owner didn’t quit everything and start selling her “More Milk Cookies” to new mothers. She first started by adding the cookies to her bakery storefront. As their popularity grew, she found it was possible for her to close down the store and focus on selling the cookies to hospitals and other retail outlets.
Before you launch or expand into a new market, you need to first test your product or services with your target audience.
When your business is operating in a super-niche industry, you can quickly learn about the audience. You can learn what they need by scaling down your idea and serving it to a hand-picked group.
You could conduct a survey, offer a simplified version of your services to see if anyone finds value in it or maybe you pitch the concept to a focus group.
Consider front-loading your risk. What this means is learning early on whether or not your idea is helpful rather than investing time and effort now only to find out later it isn’t an ideal solution to your target audience’s problems.
Make your super-niche even smaller.
You might think your super-niche is already a tiny segment of the general population. However, segmenting it even further helps you communicate with your audience more authentically. Even it it seems impossible, you can always create even smaller subsections of your super-niche.
For example, More Milk Cookies segments new mothers having their first child along with mothers having their second, third or even fourth child. A new mom may be fretting about whether or not she can produce enough to feed her baby. A mom beyond her first child might be considering options to help her breastfeed longer than she did with previous children. The baker will need to market to these individuals differently.
Most importantly, further segmentation helps you better understand your audience. If you’re marketing in a super-niche industry, then you need to focus on your understanding of your customer, probably more so than other organizations in broader industries.
Participate in the conversations.
Where is everyone talking about their problems: online, in coffee shops, at networking events, on Facebook groups or Reddit? Don’t sit silently while these conversations are occurring all around.
When appropriate, provide meaningful input and talk about the solutions you offer.
More important than talking is listening to your customers. How are they describing their problems? What solutions have they used that haven’t worked?
Ask them questions, be sincere and be curious.
Know your competitors.
Competition is important in broad industries, but even more important in a super-niche. It’s likely everyone in the industry knows each other pretty well, or at least each other’s products and pricing.
Don’t shy away from competition. It’s good and it means your product or service has an interested audience. Sometimes, you might even promote each other. Maybe you send a lead to a competitor because you know they do good work and you don’t have the time capacity.
A good example of cross promotion is podcasters. They often bring on guests who host other podcast shows that are targeting nearly the same audience. While they are competitors, they also know their audiences are happy listening to more than one show.
Know your audience and where they are.
The best attribute of a super-niche industry is you can focus on the platforms and strategies that work for your audience. If they are not on Facebook, don’t be on Facebook. If they are not on Twitter, Amazon or Youtube, then don’t create content for these platforms. It’ll save you time and money that you can invest in more profitable areas.
The beauty of a super-niche industry is you probably know exactly where your customers congregate, so go to them. Businesses in broader industries have to take a much broader approach to reaching customers because some might spend time on Twitter and other might be on Facebook.
Regardless if your business serves a broad market or a super-niche, you’re probably looking for new ways to keep your company growing. Our free guide gives you ten tools that can help your company shoot for the stars.