3 Niche Markets That Are Difficult to Enter, But More Than Worth It

These three audiences show why "Small is beautiful."

It’s not often that you hear “aim low” when building a business. After all, we all want to be the next Amazon or Microsoft. But, in the marketing world, drilling down to a more specific niche audience may land you more sales than a wide net could ever catch.

Critics of targeting niche markets would say that doing so eliminates your ability to expand; they also say that mass markets are where all the money is and where you can reach every type of consumer. They’re partially right; mass markets do hold more money and consumers, but smaller businesses with smaller budgets don’t always last long in such a big pond.

By contrast, niche markets give you the chance to truly bond with your audience, creating trust and credibility that you would never have the chance to build in a larger market. Contrary to popular belief, a more targeted market allows you to meet new customers and expand those relationships every time you introduce a new product.

The trick is that building relationships within a niche market means starting from scratch. The audience doesn’t know you or trust you, so you have to learn who your audience members are and what’s important to them before you start fighting for their attention.

Choose the Right Niche Market

When you’re going for a niche audience, you’re speaking to a closer-knit community than you would be in a mass market. For instance, these three niche audiences are impenetrable without building trust first, but they’re also some of the most solid audiences you could have on your side:

1. Teachers

Teachers are typically close, trusted resources to students, and as such, marketers often focus on recruiting them into their audiences — both on their own merits and as a conduit with other demographics. Aaron Stibel, CEO of the MDR Division of Dun & Bradstreet, explains that “because teachers have the trust of students and parents, they’re able to break through to families on important issues,” like recycling and roadway safety.

For example, with the help of teachers, Pepsi has been able to get families to recycle more than 100 million plastic bottles in the last eight years. Likewise, Ford has brought essential driver’s education to more than 2,500 students. Clearly, teachers are a good brand advocate to have on your team.

2. YouTube content creators

Approximately 47 percent of Millennials make purchases based on what they see on social media, especially YouTube. YouTube’s content creators include thought leaders for every subject, and they garner unprecedented levels of interaction with their audiences. For marketers, the platform is invaluable.

YouTube is also the epitome of niche marketing. YouTubers build their fame by establishing trust with their audiences, and that connection outrivals anything you could achieve with more famous paid celebrities. Additionally, transparency is built into the platform. Anytime a YouTuber displays sponsored products in their videos, they have to disclose that fact, so viewers are even more confident that they’re not being pitched to.

3. Bilingual citizens

English is the most common language in the United States, but it’s far from the only one. In fact, more than 20 percent of Americans speak a language other than English, and more than 350 languages are spoken in the United States. By focusing on universal ideals that close the gaps between different cultures, you can build authentic connections with an eager and underserved group of consumers.

One approach that can help bring this audience into the fold is incorporating foreign language advertising into your strategy. “Each campaign can be tailored so that you can target specific audiences based on their language settings,” according to digital marketing company Elite SEM. The company explains that marketers can use data to zero in on individuals who would most appreciate messaging in their native tongue. “This can help you increase traffic, generate more leads, boost click-through rates, lower your cost per clicks, and increase conversion ratios.”

The goal for most companies is to grow, and it can often seem like the only way to do that is within a mass market. However, fortune favors the prepared, and if your company isn’t large enough to compete in larger markets, then finding the right niche could be the key to your success.

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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