We’re constantly inundated with marketing messages and social media notifications; bombarded with distractions all vying for our attention. This has created a social phenomenon known as information overload, which makes it hard to stand out such a crowded market.

The basic premise is that there’s a lot of “marketing noise”. So much that it creates a significant need, for today’s entrepreneur, to stand out from the crowd. The best way to achieve this is to be relevant to your target audience.

The good news is that most platforms are making it possible to segment your marketing based on your customer profile. Facebook’s hyper-personalised targeting is a good example of this. In fact, it’s never been easier to connect with your target audience and create tailored messages that are relevant to their interests.

Become an expert in a narrow market rather than a generalist in a broader market.

What’s a niche?

A niche is a focused subset of a particular market.  For example, think about pet food, even if we narrow it down to cat food and dog food – it’s still a very broad market. However, if we take a subsection of the market, like, gourmet pet food – this would be our niche market.  Even more specific would be organic gourmet pet food.

Essentially, you want to be broad enough to have a large customer base; but targeted enough to position your business as the “go to” provider within that subsection. In essence, you don’t want to blend in with an already saturated crowd. You want to stand out from the competition like a unicorn among horses; or one of those Freo Group cranes that towers over skyscrapers and can be visible for miles.  

Why having a niche is important

In broader markets (e.g. pet food) you are up against competitors with massive marketing budgets and global brands. As a small business owner, one of the core challenges you face is market exposure.

The more general the market, the more saturated it is.

When you’re able to narrow down your target customer, your marketing is more effective. It means the person responding to your efforts is likely a potential customer that actually needs your particular product or service. Realistically, you really only want to attract those with genuine need or interest. Thousands of likes or views don’t always equal sales conversion. The more niche-focused your marketing is, the better the conversion rate and the higher the return on your investment.

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Why you won’t lose customers

It can feel counter-intuitive to limit your market, by focusing on one specific group, particularly if you’re offering a product that has broad appeal (e.g. hair products).

However, think about it this way: consider specialists in the medical field. You have general practitioners and you have specialists. Doctors that focus on a particular section of the body or illness charge much more for their time. When focusing on a particular niche – a certain type of cancer or illness – they create demand. There is a great need for their knowledge and skills, for the people that are affected by the illness that falls withing their area of specialization.

When you focus on a niche market, you position yourself as the go-to-expert. This is important for establishing trust and brand recognition. Don’t try to go after all the fish. Big picture doesn’t always equal big sales. Instead, align your business with an audience that is attracted to your area of expertise because of their unique needs.

Relevance is key

Want your business stand out from the competition? Be relevant to your target audience. Relevancy is the glue that connects the potential customer to your brand.  

When you start focusing on the solution you offer to a particular problem you gain relevance and you stand out from the competition!

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Tailor your marketing

If you offer a general service that appeals to several different market segments (e.g. presentation training) it would be more effective for you to market differently to each. For example, law firms and universities have very different needs. You want to tailor your marketing voice and message so that your efforts are effective.

Never be deceptive.  

Always have a core focus, for your marketing. As with our example ‘presentation training’, it’s perfectly acceptable to advertise to different groups – pitching yourself as a leader within that category; e.g. “we help attorneys win more cases by mastering their presentation skills” in one campaign and “we help students succeed at interviewing by mastering the art of influential communication” in another.

Same message. Different approach. But the end goal is the same: connect with your audience, on their level, and in a way that gets their attention.

How does this apply to blogs?

If you cover several topics on your blog, you’ll want to segment by category. Keep related topics within one particular category. For example, if your blog focus is personal development, you could have a section on mental health, emotional well-being, physical fitness, and wealth building – all of which are relevant to the broader blog top, yet are segmented enough to attract people with different interests and reasons for coming to your blog.

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Improve your SEO

There are a number of ways to optimize search engine optimization (SEO) but general search terms are often very competitive and dominated by a few leading blogs that have high domain authority. Which is a fancy term for: ‘Google organically pulls up their listing in search rankings’.  

If your blog focuses on “budget travel”, you’re going to have a lot of competition for those keywords. However, your chances of visibility improve if you get a little more specific. You could use “budget solo female travel” a less competitive search term. You could even take it further, and target terms such as “budget solo black female travel” or even “budget solo black female international travel” and you’ll gain exposure to a much more relevant audience; which means the person clicking your link (or ad) is likely to be seeking content like yours.