The modern day consumer has transformed from an individual to a community. This ecosystem of the internet allows for consumers to discuss, debate and deliberate the needs of a given market. Many brands have offered special extensions and verticals to deal with this evolving consumer behavior.
Turn Black, an Indian ecommerce launched with the sole objective of offering black clothing to consumers who love to wear black, became a sensation for those who could never find themselves in the pantone card of online apparel retail. Quontic Bank delivered a masterstroke in addressing customers’ concerns when it hired loan officers who spoke the first language of various immigrant communities in New York.
Additionally, major brands are focusing on addressing the specific needs of these communities, which are giving rise to niche markets. Such markets may be defined by geography, price point, buying pattern, seasonality, language, gender, income, or other demographics. Depending on various segments and cohorts of customers, marketers are creating a branding strategy by personalizing their products.
For example, Google has traditionally priced its Pixel at a premium – the Pixel 3 XL retailed at a staggering $899. However, the newly launched Pixel 3a is priced $399 onwards and caters to the needs of the mid-range market. By changing its pricing of its flagship model, Google is listening to its customers. Similarly, Square has a breakthrough POS solution for small businesses, allowing them to set up an iPad-compatible cash registers to make transactions simpler.
Today’s customers are conscious and clear about their needs, their buying power, and their expectations from brands. Let’s discuss some tailor-made strategies you can use to find your place in a niche market, the brands are and adventurous marketing routes.
A/B Test Your Content
In terms of the content you choose to deliver to your followers, you will have to deploy multiple routes. A/B Testing essentially involves floating different plans, content, and ideas towards the same audience to observe the reactions. If you are a business consulting firm which offers legal advice, taxation services, compliance, and startup incubation, you can float your content towards businesses, individuals, startups, law students, and other consultants through various media like print, social media, and email marketing.
For this, you need to understand your marketing funnel and map the content you create to the intent of the customer. Various content formats will work better at different stages of the funnel.
Depending on the leads and interest generated from each campaign, you can narrow down characteristics of target groups who react well to your services. This may be a slow exercise but it offers great insights into the consumer’s intent and buying propensity. We’ve used this strategy with great success while creating content at iGeeksBlog!
Define Your Audience
While established brands can (and need to) test the efficacy of content by showing it to an already broad audience, new brands have the advantage of adopting a specific niche from the very beginning.
Say, if you are a new vegan restaurant that only sources from farmers and fair-trade sources, you’ll find it easier to understand the behavior of your customers and build out personas for them. This may vary with additional inputs, year-on-year sales, and changing trends, but the broad outlines will remain essentially the same.
In our example, you might observe that your audience will be:
- a vegan and health-conscious group of consumers
- informed of fair-trade practices in restaurants
- urban dwellers
- fall in the medium to high-income group
- familiar with social media
As a result, it becomes simpler for you to target them.
Build a Community
When Supreme launches a new limited range of hip hop and skateboarding-inspired merchandise, it sends ripples of conversation on social media. Youth from everywhere in the world take pride in showing off their limited editions. By limiting their product’s theme, Supreme has created a community of urban youth who can afford or aspire to own their products, and are willing to wait in line outside stores when a new line is launched or a new store is opened.
Other than standing in line outside the stores, the community leaves a year-round trail of UGC on social media!
Retain Brand Exclusivity
Your niche product may not make the mass markets feel included. But the good news is, they don’t need to! When Apple launched the HomePod smart speaker, it didn’t consider non-Apple users for connectivity and seamless management. The device only connects to other Apple devices, it only streams music over iTunes and does not act as a secondary Bluetooth speaker. This may have ignored thousands of potential customers but it carved a niche for loyal Apple fans.
In 2018, the company announced that it will not focus on the number of devices sold but on profits and revenue. Which means the company is prepared to sacrifice growing its customer base in favor of maintaining a high end, exclusive brand for customers in the high-income group.
Hype or not, over 40 million customers take pride in the perceived value of Apple’s brand.
Work with Authentic Influencers
When a rapper wears a Fendi outfit or a sportsperson shows off her favorite Air Jordans, the audience sees authenticity in the brand’s fandom. Many brands have made the mistake of spending large budgets on unattached influencers who have a strong social media presence, but weak brand connect. According to a study by eMarketer, companies spend more than $500 million on targeting influencers on Instagram alone.
In niche markets, you’d do better to uplift your consumers and everyday buyers to the pedestal of influencers. Medical companies use doctors as influencers, sports clothing brands use athletes, and nowadays, businesses of all shapes and sizes use people who are active on social media and who command a lot of engagement. This gives rise to micro-influencers in every niche – those who tend to have less than 5,000 followers but typically generate up to 60% higher engagement rates per post than major influencers.
Over to You
A niche content strategy will evolve with the evolution of your audience. It will adapt and overcome the challenges of large scale branding. You must constantly focus on who exactly are your customers and what is the reason they should buy from you.
Apart from the specific deliverables of a niche market, the best practices of any marketing strategy remain fundamentally the same:
- Know what customers want and give it to them.
- Use authentic and original content.
- Constantly solicit feedback and act on it.