By Justin O’Sullivan on July 17, 2017 in Marketing
The power of great marketing cannot be understated and that truism extends to the digital world of marketing, too. With the right campaign directing the right kind of traffic to your eCommerce website, you can become the dominant force in your industry almost overnight.
This is no easy feat, of course, and it’s not made any easier for those who work in a niche industry. If you’re a big business promoting fantasy football or fast food tacos, you can use the great data your business has — or it’s already existing influence — to create funny, interesting, and powerful campaigns. If you’re a niche business with a small budget and a small influence, you have to get creative.
I know this from experience. My business provides racking inspection services. In other words, I provide expert warehouse racking inspections and racking inspection training for businesses across the UK and Ireland.
Sounds exciting, right? Well, I think so. I also think that it’s an important service. But, I would think that. Though, the harsh truth is that — while many businesses will need this service — they won’t desire it in the way they might desire creating a fantasy football team or eating a tasty taco.
Niche businesses aren’t boring, but they are a lot more difficult to promote. Still, it can be done.
1. Start a Business Blog
People will want to read about your business. If you think that this somehow isn’t the case because no-one else is writing about your niche, you’re looking at it the complete wrong way. If no-one is writing about your niche, that’s great. It means that your business blog will be the first — and only — source of information about that particular niche.
This is a dream situation. Potential customers who are searching the internet to find answers to FAQs in your industry will have nowhere else to turn than your blog. Once you’ve got them there, it’s a matter of producing content which will keep those potential customers on your site. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to convert those customers there and then. If not, use some kind of lead capture offer on your website to get their email. That way, you can pitch to them again later down the line with some solid email marketing.
2. Broaden Your Scope
Let’s say that your business sells different kinds of staplers. There’s certainly a market for your business, but promoting your company will be challenging if you simply focus on staplers. This doesn’t mean that you need to start selling other kinds of stationery, though that could be a good idea.
Rather, broadening your scope — in the marketing sense — means focusing on a more general, relatable angle to promote your business with. For example, when your stapler company takes to social media, don’t limit yourself to posting bland blog posts about staplers. Talk about stationery in general, focus on the user experience, embrace the joy that you have for staplers and share it with the world.
3. Find Your Voice
Do you like Doctor Who? Are you a basketball fan? Do you enjoy vegetarian food? And, most importantly, are any of those things relevant to your business? How has your personality led you to own this particular business?
Every company has a voice, and the great thing about the internet is that you get to cultivate your voice with as much text as you like. Through social media and blog posts, you can create a following. If your business is niche, let your passion for it shine through and create a niche following of people dedicated to a similar idea.
Your niche business can have an exciting, interesting, and human voice if you post the right content at the right time. If a film, TV show, or event happens, give your honest take on it from the perspective of your industry. You never know who might be reading.
Be careful, though. Not every business model is “fun”. If you pride yourself on providing a great funeral service, don’t sully that reputation by trying too hard to be edgy. Instead of focusing on the way in which your business model is fun, focus on expressing yourself online with a sense of personality.
Finding your voice isn’t about being quirky for the sake of quirky (though a lot of brands make the mistake of thinking that); it’s about standing out from the crowd by being human and sincere. In fact, the more niche your business, the easier this is to do. After all, not many other entrepreneurs chose your business model. Choosing it already made you unique; now it’s just time to express that.
4. Be Involved in Current Events
The world keeps turning, so your business should turn with it. If something happens, react to it in a way that’s consistent with your brand voice. This might mean saying something witty, it might mean saying something serious, or it might mean not saying anything at all.
International publications — such as the Guardian or the Telegraph — are often looking for businesses to comment on current events. They don’t care about how “exciting” your business model is. All they care about is whether or not you have something insightful to say. Keep abreast of what these journalists are tweeting and strike while the iron is hot. No-one wants to hear what you have to say about a breaking news event a week after it’s happened.
If you’re lucky and you’re able to provide a great comment, you might just find your business’ name on some of the biggest news websites in the world. At moments like that, the fact that your business is “niche” fades into irrelevance.
5. Embrace Your Nicheness
Niche businesses are far too often synonymous with “boring” businesses. Yet, that glass-half-empty attitude will get you nowhere, and it’s certainly not why you started your business. Being niche is a good thing. After all, no-one ever heard of a business thriving because it was exactly like every other one.
Generic businesses don’t last. They get outmaneuvered by hungrier and bolder start-ups who aren’t ashamed of their nicheness; they embrace it.