Companies are always on the lookout for fresh niche marketing strategies – from promotional products to viral campaigns – and over the past few years, “niche” has become more and more of a buzzword.
What is niche marketing? Essentially, it’s when you target a small market segment. So instead of marketing your product or services to all of ESPN, you focus on baseball fans by advertising during the ball game. Take it even more niche by advertising specifically to Red Sox fans during a Sox game. There are different levels of niche, and looking into these smaller markets can yield a number of benefits.
Niche marketing ideas work especially well online. First, because the Internet is so easy to search, you can much more easily identify niche targets. Draw up a list of potential individuals that your products and services would be able to help, then find the web communities that these folks frequent. To continue the sports analogy, head on over to baseball blogs.
Once you’ve identified your target audience, create your own blog. Start a conversation on your company website. Get targeting keywords involved so you can boost your Google search result returns. If you’re in need of more tips for finding niche markets online, just take a look at trafficsalad, a marketing blog, and its step-by-step guide.
Think the days of word of mouth marketing are over? While it’s true that most companies don’t rely on good reputation alone to drive sales, you might be surprised just how effective word of mouth can be as a marketing tool – especially when it’s spurred on by a basic promotional product, like custom pens.
It also appears that word of mouth can be a great way of marketing to niche populations or for specific services. You see this in neighborhoods or small towns, of course. Everyone uses the same plumber and there’s always the favorite pizza spot. But if you’re marketing on a larger scale – international even – you can still use word of mouth to your advantage, provided it’s a niche market
Consider Lois Geller, a Forbes columnist, and her story about a cruise she took down a Ukrainian river. Not your typical vacation experience. But for a certain niche audience – and Geller nailed what this cruise’s niche audience happened to be – it’s ideal!
Everyone on the cruise, Geller noted, was an alum of a well-known university. They were also all in search of the same thing – tourist trips led by guides who took them behind the scenes. This was the niche market that the travel company, AHI from Illinois, had perfectly cornered. The company founder started by marketing directly to Notre Dame alum – it being his own alma mater – before expanding to schools across the country.
Amazingly, even as his business and clientele grew, he found that word of mouth remained extremely effective. This was because his demographic stayed the same.
Many companies order and give away their promotional products without questioning the market. There’s something to be said for a carpet bombing marketing campaign like this, and your products are sure to reach a wide market – but is that really as efficient?
Ordering your products and delivering them to potential customers based on niche marketing may be a better idea.
Take the sports example again. If your company is hosting an athletics themed event or a fundraiser for local little league teams, why offer promotional tote bags to attendees when you could hand out custom baseball caps instead? On the other hand, if you’re promoting a new eco-friendly initiative at your company or playing host to a weekly farmers market, tote bags are an excellent investment!
These two examples are fairly straightforward, and the niche markets they’re tackling are still pretty broad. Part of the success of niche marketing depends on finding new and untapped demographics. So don’t hesitate to get searching, and then find the perfect promotional item to match.