Everyone is chasing after niche crowds these days, and successfully capturing them. At least, that’s what the buzz is.
But are you on the other end? It seems whenever you’re able to find the right audience, there’s no way to get in touch with them, or they don’t bite on any of your advertising efforts. It’s gotten to a point of frustrated desperation.
But you’ve seen businesses with a seemingly less-successful model than yours capture niche those markets. What’s their secret?
You already know when you can reach the audience you’re aiming for, you are more likely to have a solid ROI. You just need the know-how to do so.
A Simple Guide to Finding and Reaching Your Direct Audience
Following are several strategies to help you tap into the audience that’s already out there.
1. Find Natural Areas of Congregation
If your audience is involved in some kind of science fiction fan club, looking for them at a rodeo isn’t going to yield much—if any—ROI. You might find that one Tommy Lee Jones space cowboy in the group; but it’s more likely you’ll find a lot of confused expressions and strange grimaces.
It would make more sense to find areas where your consumer base congregates and market to them there. Whatever you’re selling or providing, there is likely a receptive group out there somewhere. Some good places to start looking include:
- Forums (Don’t forget Quora!)
- Twitter Chats
- LinkedIn Groups
- Communities on Google+
- Partner Communities
- Facebook Groups
When you find your audience, don’t just start blasting them with content. Build a relationship—you’ve got to kiss them on the neck first! Approximately 78% of customers have bailed from an otherwise securely proceeding transaction because of poor customer experience. This can involve being too eager, or being too withdrawn—as with everything, there’s a balance. Start out with a strong customer experience, and maintain it throughout your dealings with any clients.
2. Foster Your Existing Resources
Starting out, you may not have a great deal of clients, but if you treat the ones you have so well they sing your good praises, then you’re getting two benefits for the cost of one.
You’re getting the benefit of an extant customer who is positively reviewing you, and the benefit of free marketing from that review. It’s an upward spiral. If you treat these first customers well, they’ll tell their friends.
Here are some great ways to foster customers:
- Reach out through a regular newsletter. Clients asked to opt-in for updates were 90% more likely to do so through an email newsletter than a service like Facebook. Make sure you have a good newsletter available and tailored to your niche.
- Respond to issues immediately, and offer real solutions.
- Be empathetic, and personally interact with your clients as much as possible.
- Use available opportunities to quiz your customers and learn their likes and dislikes.
- Offer coupons and discounts for continued patronage.
- Encourage existing customers to spread the “good news” of their discovery in your service/product.
- Collect demographic information—age, gender, social class, where they live.
- Isolate trends within demographics. Sometimes diverse people have surprising similarities.
3. Use Established Tools and Services to Decrease Opportunity Cost
You may be able to change the oil in your car yourself, but it will probably take three times as long as it would to just take it into a shop. The question of value between the two solutions is determined by what your time is worth.
I’ve found that this is a great question to ask yourself in all areas of your business–what are you (or are you not) delegating that could potentially save you money and lost time, in the long run?
If your time is only worth ten dollars an hour, by all means, spend three hours changing the oil on that car. But if your time is worth sixty dollars an hour, you lose quite a bit more by being “cheap” and avoiding the shop. Likewise, when you’re hunting for your audience, it can actually cost you more to take on too much of the load. That’s why it makes sense to get involved with tools and services that help you do that work.
Example in Action: BuzzSumo and Stan Lee
If you go to Buzzsumo and type in Science fiction, this page about Stan Lee is the first one that pops up. It features a breakdown of the size of various science fiction starships; here’s a link to a video that many fans will positively salivate over.
Should you be selling either merchandise, costumes, books, movies, or a short story magazine to a science fiction demographic, it would make a lot of sense to contact whoever runs the Stan Lee page and write a guest blog for them. Link that guest blog back to your business homepage, and you may find yourself with quantifiable ROI.
Tools like Buzzsumo are a huge help in identifying niche groups.
4. Attract Your Clientele
Called “The Inbound Methodology”, practices of enticing diverse customers have become so streamlined, there is almost a science behind them.
The cycle goes like this: Strangers, Visitors, Leads, Customers, Promoters (Hubspot). Strangers become visitors through curiosity. Customer service can turn them into leads, and eventually customers. Good customer service will turn them into promoters—this concept was briefly touched on earlier.
Attract them, convert them, close them in a purchase, and delight them continuously thereafter.
Facilitating cogent inbound marketing is centered around the perfect mix of great content in the right place at the right time.
B2B businesses that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who don’t. So if you don’t already have a blog going, get that snowball rolling.
Be sure and optimize your content for search engines. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, will definitely generate leads. 93% of buying cycles start on a search engine.
Marketing automation is a great way to nurture inbound prospects, and studies have found that such automation programs designed to nurture possible prospects can induce an increase in leads—and leads that are qualified—of up to 451%.
Increasing the number of pages on your website is also a good way to increase inbound marketing leads. Having 51 to 100 separate pages increases traffic as much as 48%. One of the reasons for this is things like comment sections. A good comment that is knowledgeable about your services either from you, or even another customer, is likely to get shared in multiple places. Link all your pages to social media, and be sure and blast new updates wherever you can—professionally.
Reaching Your Niche Hiding Potential Clients is Entirely Doable
Remember as you practice my advice that these things take a lot of time, and they will take effort, but if you are diligent in their pursuit, you will see quantitative results. So jump on that blog, and keep figures relating to your clientele. Remember to analyze as you go. One of the best ways to keep solid tabs on the effectiveness of your marketing is through services like Google Analytics.
If you utilize BuzzSumo, identify a niche market with a large readership, and post a blog, you can use Google Analytics to see just how much better—or worse—that post does than something you’d put together independently. Most guest blog posts will attract an increased audience, but not all of them will, and it is important to spend your time wisely. If you’re selling Star Trek accessories, what are you doing on a Star Wars forum? Unless you’re selling J.J. Abrams-themed crossover material, you’ll probably just annoy people.
Marketing has become about the niche crowd today. Finding that niche crowd is almost as much about creating it. Blogs and guest posts generate a following, as does good customer service and successful referrals. I’ll simply quote Lynda Falkenstein, author of Nichecraft, here:
“Good niches don’t just fall into your lap; they must be carefully crafted.”