Gone are the days when social media conversations were open to everyone on the Internet. The trend today is to form closed communities, which are based on common interests and to interact withing such a niche community about specific things. Imagine having a group of DIY enthusiasts or a group of new moms who compare notes and share insights on the latest DIY project or on the ways to soothe and feed the new (wailing) addition to the family. What if you are trying to market a product suited to just such a group’s specific requirements? It could be a massive opportunity especially as such groups keep on adding new members. It could also prove daunting to a marketer to compose and deliver brand messages right to such a small subset of their audience. This challenge is called niche marketing.
Social media is a great place for businesses trying to reach specific social communities because, with the advent of closed groups on these platforms, more people are looking for a sense of belonging where they can collaborate and express. These specific social communities are more valuable than the general public feed if you are trying to reach a smaller group with a specific interest. Social listening to a niche audience fine-tunes your ability to gauge the minutest details of your customer’s preferences and to tailor your messages suitably.
“Niche Audience” literally translates into “specialized section of the population”. Niche marketing has been helping the growth of many industries to a large extent. For example, we have seen spectacular growth in the gluten-free, vegan brands selling organic food products to specific audiences. Niche marketing also contributes in a big way to better customer relationships as the network is more closely knit than in other models. It caters to customers on a personal level, which in the end increases word-of-mouth references, the most effective yet inexpensive promotion available out there.
It is needless to say, however, that taking care of a niche audience can be tricky as it requires the seller to have honed experience in the area of the business or else one bad review can shatter the entire effort to build the brand and gain brand recognition. Similarly, good reviews, whether online or offline, help increase the brand’s visibility and recognition and grow the business.
How can Social Listening help with Niche Marketing?
From the thousands of posts that go online every day, the opportunities to become sensational or go wrong are a legion. But how do you steer your brand clear of such controversies especially as you serve to a handful of connoisseurs? Even a slight mistake can make them shy away and change their minds. How do you anticipate and respond to the needs and wants of these customers whose collective knowledge about your product/service is very high?
Your brand health challenges and customer insight management issues can be resolved together with social listening skills. The actual volume of conversation in niche markets may be low but every single word will prove highly meaningful, which makes it all the more important to listen to each remark.
When you are marketing to a niche segment, research is key. These members may or may not discuss the issue in public on each other’s Facebook feeds. Listening in to group conversations thus becomes vital in importance. These members offer unfiltered reviews/accolades/complaints online and sometimes anonymously. As you monitor the issues and address them, it is essential that you advertise the fact that you are listening and you are putting in the effort to make the necessary changes. Note how the perception changes. A social listening tool comes handy with its ability to track sentiment over a period of time. One great use of social listening tools within this division is tracking micro-influencers within the subset of your micro-audience.
Social media platforms have millions of users naturally providing massive opportunities for marketing. But brands that can zero in on the needs of a niche segment are more likely to succeed in identifying their target audience and building a loyal customer base faster.