If you're serious about your marketing efforts and want to target a niche audience, you need to be extremely careful and deliberate with how you go about doing it. Follow our tips below to learn from some seasoned veterans and the Chicken Whisperer.
Meet their needs
Ever been the victim of an improperly targeted advertisement? Why no, I am not looking to join a membership site for early access to all of the latest women's trends -- as a 55 year old male not affiliated with the fashion industry -- but thank you for asking! It just doesn't work. It doesn't resonate, it doesn't connect. However, when you're scrolling through your newsfeed and see ad for college-specific apparel at a time when you've been thinking of updating your college football wardrobe, you mentally shout, "Nailed it!" As a consumer, it feels good to have your needs met. And it's not just through the pitch to your audience, but in the whole delivery of goods or services, especially with a very targeted, niche market. Be transparent with what you’re trying to sell your audience and show them how it meets their needs.
Perhaps you’re a small business owner with less time than you’d like and more processes than you can handle and implementing a marketing automation system could free you up to work on your business, not in your business. By automating tasks that you would otherwise do by hand, like sending follow up emails to people who have purchased or have reached out to you for information, you allow yourself to worry about one less- but important- thing and be productive in other areas of your business. Right there, you’ve just seen how a marketing automation solves a problem and meets the needs to the target audience. And do your audience one better by showing images or videos of how your business can meet needs.
Speak to them in a language they understand
One of the biggest guffaws that businesses- and even the government- have experienced is not speaking to the target audience in their own language. By this, I mean that we need to engage with them in their own terminology. For example, “lead generation” is a marketing industry term that gets tossed around a lot in corporate buildings, but in the world of small business owners, terms like “get more leads,” “grow my list” and “increase prospects” are closer to what is actually said in those buildings. These are the terms that will connect your message to receptive ears because when we talk over our target audience's heads, they are less likely to engage, and the same rule applies when we simplify a message too much.
Do your research and use your industry contacts to be absolutely sure that you have the verbiage right if you want to target a niche; otherwise you risk being called out as an imposter. And in a niche market, with a limited audience, you don’t want to gain a bad reputation.
Test drive your strategy
Always bake in a testing phase when executing on a new marketing plan or strategy. Test a new message, landing page or product with a control group and compare your results, but know that it's what you do with these results that makes all the difference. By looking at things like heat maps on your website or click through rates, you can see if the new placement or color of your call to action button is effective. If you’re curious if a new web form will ask too many questions, test it! Split testing is common and should drive your business’ behaviors based on success rates of various website components.
Additionally, be sure to keep in mind that all testing doesn’t have to take place online. If you want to test drive your own new product messaging or presentation, try it. Face-to-face, real time reactions allow you to iterate and learn, and you can also take advantage of this interaction to ask your audience what worked, what didn’t and why.
Turn your virtual community into a reality
Andrew Davis, speaker at #ICON14, brought up a man who calls himself the Chicken Whisperer as an example of taking an online community of supporters and followers and turning them into a real life community. At a small business success conference, some of the audience was wondering just exactly how a man named the Chicken Whisperer was going to educate them on successful business practices, but in the video below, Andrew Davis tells you how the Chicken Whisperer did it. When you create a community online, take the steps to create an offline community and I bet you'll be surprised with the outcome!
If you’re in an industry that speaks to a very specific audience, and many of us are, consider joining forces with someone who offers goods or services that complement your own. This can be especially beneficial if you are able to partner with a known, established figure in your industry because the name of the game is credibility.
Coming back to the Chicken Whisperer, we see this businessman’s efforts as an example of beneficial partnerships. As you see in the video, the Chicken Whisperer grew his own following by providing helpful tips and strategies to a very niche audience and Tractor Supply Company took notice. They decided to combine forces and formed a mutually beneficial partnership. The Chicken Whisperer got great exposure to Tractor Supply Company’s patrons and those patrons got to connect with the Chicken Whisperer’s large audience and learn from his tips and strategies. There was a connective thread between the two businesses and by leveraging those complementary offerings, both businesses called it a win.