5 Ways to Cultivate Your Niche Community

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5 Ways to Cultivate Your Niche Community

With the right tactics, growing and developing a niche community is often easier than building a broad and multi-faceted community. When you have a niche, you already know who should be in your community and what to search for. A niche provides built-in search criteria for you to use when finding and connecting with new members. Building your following should be a courtship on your end. You want to be equipped with a strong identity, plenty to offer, and even more to talk about.

Opportunities are endless for ways to keep your community members coming back to you. These five key points are guidelines to keep in mind as you grow this group of people who will stick by you if they feel valued.

Develop Your Voice

An ability to describe exactly who you are in very few words is a powerful calling card. Your brand should balance familiarity with novelty—something that your target audience will “get” right off the bat, but will still be intrigued by what sets you apart.

Sharing and aggregating great content will also reinforce your voice, whether it’s on a blog or a part of your social media campaign. This content should speak to your community’s interests and should not always be about your brand. A person who only talks about his or herself gets boring very fast. Your community will be engaged if they’re given new information about existing interests. Drive conversations by discussing viral stories and their relation to your community or try using a sharing app like Babbly, where your links are shared with built-in communities over social media.

5 Ways to Cultivate Your Niche Community | SEJ

Reach Out

Identifying your community’s influencers early on will act as a road map for your growth strategy. Form partnerships with like-minded individuals and complimentary companies within your reach. You’ll want to connect with those you can offer something to in exchange for what you ask of them, whether it’s a shout out or involvement in an event.

Find several influencers who you’d like your brand to be associated with and offer something to them that they’d benefit from. It’s easy to get in touch with these individuals through the many platforms where they might include their contact information: their websites, LinkedIn profiles, Facebook pages, the list goes on. Use a program like Ninja Outreach to keep your searches efficient and stay organized with personalized templates and email lists.

Stay Consistent

Give your community something to rely on. A weekly podcast, email newsletter, or live Q&A webinars are great ways to make a stronger connection to your audience and to get to know them better. You’ll learn who your biggest fans are and how to keep them interested. If they reach out to you, be responsive and let them know that there are real humans behind your brand. Understanding the best practices for staying in touch with your community by listening and maintaining visibility is key.

Reward Them

Give your community some special treatment for their loyalty. Giveaways, discount codes, or sweepstakes are all great ways to get your community excited and interacting with you. Maybe an influencer or partner has a new product that you can use in your offer.

This gives you a chance to simultaneously pay them a favor with a promotion while supplying your community with something they’ll want. This is also a great opportunity to learn more about your community members, especially if you can capture some of their data or give a quick survey in order for them to enter to win. The end result is making a community member’s day even better and getting to know them in the process. It’s a win-win!

Be Flexible

You might think your community will love something then it winds up being less of a hit than you anticipated—that’s okay. Use that information to determine your next move. Getting feedback from your community is vital during all phases of growth. If you have a web or mobile app, try a tool like Intercom to monitor user activity and speak directly to your beta group.

If you see trends in feedback given to you, apply the feedback that you see the most frequently and keep an open mind. Being ready to pivot or shift focus when necessary is an important part of adapting to your niche. You’ll want to work with your community and their developing needs so you can remain for the long haul.

What are some other ways you have engaged a niche audience?


Image Credits

Featured Image: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com
Screenshot by Cynthia Johnson. Taken December 2015.

Cynthia Johnson

Cynthia Johnson

Director of Brand Development at American Addiction Centers
Cynthia Johnson is an entrepreneur, marketing professional, author and keynote speaker. She was Managing Partner & Director of Marketing for RankLab, a digital marketing agency... Read Full Bio
Cynthia Johnson
Cynthia Johnson
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  • Roger Rogerson

    Nice topic and good coverage.

    Influencers can be a problem. Depending on your industry, the niche you intend to target and your current position, they may simply be to high up and out of reach.
    What you can do though is use them as milestones and success indicators (you know you’ve done something right when PersonX refers to you or your work (in a good way!)).
    I prefer to strategise and pick the field apart, breaking it down into tiers (think of a pyramid). Note those at the very top, then note those near them. Work it downwards from their, tagging them for “qualities” as you go. You want to tag people that share, those that pick things apart, those that flame, those that review and look at things differently, those that recommend, those that engage and interact a lot etc. etc. etc.
    Once you’ve profiled, you’ll know the better targets and the ones to watch out for. You’ll also have a far better idea of who relates to who, and how. You can then work on your Social Manipulations… erm, Social Interaction Strategy 😀
    Working from the bottom (or your current position) up. Just try to stay on good terms with those who stay behind, and don’t get too tightly associated with anyone in particular (as there may be consequences).

    I’d also be a little cautious with offerings. Though it is a fantastic way to get attention, it can also give the wrong impression (some people take offense), and sometimes it starts the relationship off on the wrong foot/in the wrong direction.
    I’d note those that seem to require pre/post-payment (be it money, shares, mentions etc.). Ideally you want to build stronger relationships with those that don’t expect/ask for much (as it costs you less).

    And always bear in mind, what you are doing is for your audience/community – not for you. Though it would be nice to get that mention by PersonX … what does it bring for the others? if the light doesn’t shine on everyone, is it worth it?

    • Cynthia Johnson

      Thank you for this! I really appreciate your interest and feedback.

  • The SEO community often ignores stuff like this but it makes all the difference in the world.

    • Roger Rogerson

      Well, it does depend on the role/remit of the SEO.
      Technically, from a “tight” perspective, this sort of thing isn’t really in the realm of SEOs, nor Marketers in general.

      It would fall into the realm of Customer/Consumer Care, and potentially Social Media Marketing (though some wouldn’t class it as such).

      • SEO and Social aspects such as this are merging. I don’t believe it falls under customer or customer care. It has such a powerful effect on your website if utilized correctly I believe it should be a part of your strategy.

      • Roger Rogerson

        Yes and No.
        If you are a small outfit, and you have a single person or small team dealing with things, then chacnes are they have to be the ones to implement this stuff.

        When you reach larger companies though, there should be different people dealing with it. For starters, there’s the workload. Trying to monitor, analyse and optimise is hard enough. Then there’s the content creatio nside as well as the marketing. Attempting to handle the social stuff as well?
        Then there’s the skill sets. The mentioned areas have vastly different base skill sets. Yes, there may be some overlap in duties and effects – but the finer details are poles apart.

        Just look around. You can see tons of people claiming to be SEOs that can create content, conduct social marketing, generate PPC etc. etc. etc.
        How many can do any one of those tasks well, let alone all of them?
        In all my years, I can count on both hands the number of people I’ve encountered that are truly multi-talented and good at each talent. The majority struggle to be mediocre at one 🙁

        So, if the resources are available, and the skill sets are available – segregate.
        That doesn’t mean you don’t communicate. That doesn’t mean you don’t interact, inform, co-implement or not work together. It just means those most suited to a specific task do that task, to their utmost ability.

      • Sounds like you run a digital marketing agency of some sort.

      • Roger Rogerson

        Nothing so grand – but I’ve dealt with clients of various sizes over the years,
        and seen the differences.
        (That said, I’ve seen a well established ‘boring’ little businesses that could teach a thing or two to most larger companies, and were very clued up for a collection of elder gents with no tech-savvy 😀 So not everyone fits the same mold.)

      • Thanks for the insight. I’m in your demographic as well.

    • Cynthia Johnson

      Thank you for your feedback!