A niche is your audience. The group of people who you think will want or need your product or service. Every business has a niche or should have one. You can’t advertise to everybody because your product will not be for everybody. Remember, it’s a group that you’re dealing with and the people that are in that niche have similar traits, characteristics, and most importantly the same problem. Trying to advertise to everyone is a waste of money, energy and time because, in the end, it’s likely that 70% won’t need it, 20% won’t want it and 5% won’t have the means to get it. Good luck getting the other 5% too because they are the ones who will be shopping around and doing their research. The smart ones. Knowing your niche is very important. You need to know how to define your niche, how to understand them and finally how to exploit them.
How to Define Your Niche.
Accept that your product will not be a universal necessity or desire. Unless you find an elixir for eternal youth or immortality, not everyone will be rushing to your store to buy your product just because your SMM campaign is pretty. A lot of people go in thinking that everyone will want to be a part of the experience that their business offers and so they try to cater to everyone at once. Their whole image ends up being very unfocused and unappealing. In today’s society, the desire is for instantaneous gratification. People don’t want to have to wait and sift through to find out what your message is. They will not entertain you if they can’t figure out where you are coming from. Your niche will be a small group of people and you need to focus your image and your message around their wants and needs.
Once you can accept that, then you can go on to try to figure out who is in your niche. To do that, you can go from one of two angles. If you have an idea for a product, you need to sit down and think about your product – what it is, what it does, the price, what it is supposed to accomplish. Analyze this information in your mind. Now try to match who are the people who would want or need that product. I can tell you from experience that doing this relieves you of a lot of pressure.
My Marketing courses all had end of term projects and all of them involved putting yourself in the shoes of the marketing team to solve a particular problem. For one of those courses, we had to come up with a marketing plan for a totally new business in our country. My group and I chose the Edible Arrangements (EA) franchise (there is no EA store in my country (I live in Trinidad and Tobago)). What we did was we researched the company, we researched their product and we took a close look at what they stood for. We determined that because of the price (The US has greater dollar value than my own currency), this product can only be afforded by people earning a certain level of income. We also looked at perishability. EA has a transport system and even though the country is small, the weather is extremely hot. The arrangements may not survive the trip short of them having specially conditioned trucks to transport the product in and even then, the temperature that it has to be set at ay cause it to freeze. It would not make for a great product. We also considered lengths that our niche would be willing to go to get the product, tax increases among many other factors. Before we knew it, we had a customer/niche profile that we were working with and in the end, the project came out wonderfully.
So, trying to match your product’s characteristics with a need or want that people may have is an easy way to define your niche. The other way of doing this is the academically acceptable way although it requires more time. This approach also will work well if you do not have a product and you do not know where to start to find ideas for a project. You can look for a niche that already exists and observe them. Observe their lifestyles and day-to-day issues and try to come up with possible problems that they will have and that they need solved. Based on the problem, you can then come up with a solution in the form of a product or a service and as a bonus, you will also have your niche already set up. I totally recommend this method since the approach should always be making a product for the people and not people for a product.
Whichever way you try though, the most important thing is to write it all down. This is so that you can have a constant reminder of who your product is for and so that you can design a really good product or service.
How to Understand Your Niche.
Research is inevitable. You have to do some form of research into who the people in your niche are. In this way, you can understand the people that you are catering to and in turn create a campaign geared to speak to them directly. Remember we said that these days people want things right now and if they can’t understand your stance right away, they won’t bother for too long. We also said that we want to make a product for the people and not the other way around. The only way to do this is through research.
Questionnaires, surveys, observation and online searches are all ways that you can get collect data about your niche. You can then use the data to identify patterns in your niche – likes, dislikes, favorite TV shows, issues, etc. – that you can use to create the ideal campaign for your target market. As a social media marketer, it is especially important to observe all social media sites to see what is trending. You need to know what people care about so that you can cater to that when coming up with your SMM campaign.
This is going to take some time but if you want to be successful, you have to be able to not only identify but understand your niche – their opinions, emotions, wants, needs – so much so that you see them as your own.
How to Exploit Your Niche.
Alright, Megamind. Put your cape away. It’s not that kind of exploiting. This is taking the information that you have gathered in your research and using it to create your campaign. There are different things that you would have found out about your niche during your observation – attitudes towards certain products and advertising methods, problems that people have, things that people want to see. Your job now is to create a campaign that is a sort of “catch-all” for the different things that you have found out.
You have to conveniently answer their complaints (within the perimeter of your product’s functionality, of course) so that you are the immediate solution to their problem. Think of all the ads that you have ever clicked on and then think back to why you clicked on them. More than likely, it’s because they were answering an immediate concern of yours. Don’t believe for a minute that that was a coincidence. They spent time doing hours of research just to cater to you. Who knows? Maybe your social media profile was looked at as part of their research after you commented on a post somewhere.
The point is to use people’s expressions against them (Okay. Just thought about it. It does sound Megamind-ish :-)) If there is something that people really like, pander to them. If there is a really popular trend that is going around, use it as part of your campaign (think the Harlem Shake incident of 2013). If there is a grievance that they have, assure them through your campaign that you’re not like that. Be a convenient answer to their biggest concerns.
It is really important to have a total understanding of niches simply because they consist of your customers. You want to have the most efficient campaign that you can have and you want to do it correctly so that resources are not wasted. There is so much more to talk about concerning niches and how to find your niche but because I want it to be as simple as possible, I won’t talk about all of them here.
Wealthy Affiliate has an entire program geared toward having your own online business. They have great information about niches and how to go about identifying your niche. I am a part of the program as we speak and they are honestly the best online resource for setting up your own online business that I have tried (AND I HAVE TRIED MANY!!!) The material is really easy to understand and you know very well that simple is how we do it here on Social Media Marketing Simplified. I know I encouraged you to make a blog on our “Getting Started” page, but now that we are talking about niches, it would be really wise of you to check out that lesson on niches on the Wealthy Affiliate website.
You can sign up for free below and the section on niches is in Lesson Three in the “Get Started Now” section.
If you have any questions about this article or Wealthy Affiliate, hit me up in the comment section below. Feel free to leave your comments and concerns as well and I will answer to the best of my ability.
Until the next article!