Pretty much anyone can create their own online business or side hustle in a matter of minutes. This has opened up endless possibilities for entrepreneurs in many different fields, but it also means that the marketplace is flooded with competition. That’s what makes niche marketing strategies so important.
Before you go full-steam-ahead with your business launch, you need to choose a niche market to work within. You probably already have an idea of what type of product or services you want to offer, but you need to get very clear on who your target audience is and what you offer them.
Sure, what you have to offer could theoretically help everyone out there. But businesses that try to appeal to all customers end up connecting with none of them—they get lost in the shuffle among bigger, more established businesses and those who serve a specific niche market.
If you want what you’re selling to stand out, you first need to find a gap that’s not being served. When you establish your identity within an industry or market, you can use targeted niche marketing strategies to deliver your message directly to your ideal clients in a way that will appeal to them.
What is a niche?
A niche is a specific portion of a market that is united by a common interest or demographic. For example, if you’re operating in children’s clothing, specific niches could include athletic wear or outerwear. The more detailed you are about your niche market’s demographics, values, and shopping habits, the more you will be able to tailor your products, services, and brand messaging to them.
With an established niche, all of the choices you make should be designed to serve it, from your logo design to your website layout. By positioning your brand with niche market strategies, you can establish yourself as the big fish in a small pond.
But before you can dig too far into your marketing strategy, you need to really get to know your prospective customers. Are they looking for something that could be considered a high-quality luxury and therefore comes with a higher price tag? Or do they want affordability and value?
There are any number of potential niche markets out there, but not all end up profitable. Before you incorporate or attempt to seek funding, you’ll want to research the size of the market and potential earnings.
Why do you need a niche market?
As a new business owner, it might seem counterintuitive to narrow down your client base to serve a small fraction of the market. But if you’re offering the same products or services as everyone else with no differentiating factor, you’ll find it hard to make an impact. When you focus on specific customers and really listen to what they want and need, you’ll be able to position your business as the go-to for that given niche market.
Niche marketing strategies will enable you to get to know who you are talking to and use that information to build sales funnels, website copy, and create your business plan. If your niche market is heath food enthusiasts and you find out they also love craft beer, you could partner with a local brewery to reach each other’s niche markets. Not only do you serve your audience and your brand, but you prove to your customers that you truly know them.
Being the go-to niche business or brand in your market has immense value. It helps you garner attention, establish a loyal base of customers and even opens the door to potentially expand into larger markets. Start small and go big is the name of the game, and it’s how small start-ups can compete with some of the bigger guys that are out there.
7 examples of niche markets
Simply having a basic understanding of customer demographics in your niche market isn’t enough. You need to connect with your customers on a deeper level in order to deliver messaging and build a community that turns into profit.
The more specific you get, the more likely you’ll be able to differentiate yourself from competitors. This is especially important as the competition among almost every industry grows. It’s important that you drill down into your ideal customer, so here are a few relevant niche market examples to get you started.
Pet parents spend thousands on everything from food and toys to booties and luxury beds, making the industry a valuable (and lucrative) niche business. Whether you’re providing a service, like daycare, or starting a dropshipping ecommerce outlet that services reptile lovers, there are plenty of opportunities.
Pet brands that connect with their target audience on a shared love of not simply “pets” as a whole but one of the more specific categories—like pug lovers—can make a truly big splash with their ideal customer. The key messages for different types of pet owners can connect on a more authentic level if you’ve established a true micro-niche.
For the past year, everyone’s been spending a lot more time at home, which means customers are increasingly interested in inspiration for styling their home. Popular niche business ideas within this industry include intentional buying, minimalistic style, and DIY creations.
The ideal customer has been at home more than ever and is itching for the best ways to use the space they’re given. Whether you focus on helping those with small homes maximize their space or help those that might have too many options choose quality over quantity, there’s an audience for it.
Most people believe they could be in better shape, making the fitness niche a consistently booming target market—regardless of experience or passion level. You have your hard-core wellness enthusiasts to your part-time bikini body chasers and everything in between.
There has also been significant development in the at-home and private workout niches. It’s easier than ever to not only become a personal trainer but to impact your specific audience without leaving your own home. Whether you want to target busy professionals who have limited times or new mothers who want to carve out a little time for themselves without waking the baby, there are businesses to be made and niches to be carved out.
Travel and tourism
The travel industry stalled in 2020, but that doesn’t mean that it’s gone. With so many stuck inside their homes itching to get out, the future of travel looks bright. But the niche audiences within the industry are changing, and there’s a gap to fill those needs.
While low-cost, budget travel and luxury experiences used to be the talk of the town, up-and-coming travel passions include ideas like slow-travel, remote travel and long-term stays. There are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to branch into the industry to make a real impact.
Sustainability is a huge topic. Many consumers are looking to reduce their impact on the environment and live more consciously. Products and services that fit within this mindset include everything from cruelty-free makeup to a Danish hygge inspired lifestyle.
The former “green” space was filled with companies that would make small donations to organizations that furthered the cause. Today’s loyal customer base is increasingly concerned with how products are made, stored, packaged and used. This is a great niche market idea where the level of quality often matches the increased price.
Gaming has traditionally been seen as a niche market dominated mainly by a younger male population. But the pandemic has changed that with the real customer persona niches in digging down to the sub-niches that exist. Women gamers, middle-aged gamers, mom gamers? They all exist.
This niche industry can also be broken down into types of games or even game themselves—someone who builds homes and communities on EA’s The Sims might not get the same entertainment from an all-night Fortnite session. There is a broad customer base here to be nurtured.
It used to be that remote work was a pretty finite niche that was slowly growing but small, but 2020 saw a big change. The remote work niche business has never been more booming, and while the competition is growing there is still a wide range of opportunity.
From those who find themselves in a first-time work from home scenario to those that joined the party and are looking for ways to improve the quality of their work, experience and office space, this area is a big hit. Whether you want to help people build the perfect “cloffice” (closet-office, it’s really a thing) to building the perfect work-from-home productivity app, there is a broader market than ever before.
How to find your niche market
Go beyond demographics
Demographics are a great place to smart, but if you want to truly establish yourself in a niche market, you need to take your audience’s values, beliefs, and passions into consideration.
If you operate in the vegan leather goods niche, your audience might also be interested in vegetarianism, animal rescue, and sustainable living. Identifying those opportunities can help you create better, more specific brand messaging that will allow your customers to feel a stronger connection with your brand beyond simply needing your products or services.
Authenticity is important in niches—if you’re a freelance writer who specializes in self-help content marketing, using openness and honesty in your brand messaging and identity is a stronger route than sharing a bunch of the most shared self-care quote memes.
There is a lot of ground that can be covered with research, but if you want to build a real connection with your audience, you require experience. A person can easily pick out what’s inauthentic, especially when there is so much quality content available.
Explore social media
You can get to know your niche market on Facebook groups or via Instagram hashtags. Spend some time browsing to see what your potential customers are talking about, where they hang out online, and other valuable information, like shopping habits and how they make purchase decisions.
You can establish your niche business by taking note of smaller hashtags (under 1 million) that you can utilize in your social media marketing. When you use the most popular hashtags, your content is less likely to be seen by your niche market, so get as specific as possible to get your posts trending.
It’s also important to pay attention to words and phrases commonly used by your audience and repeat those in your messaging and niche marketing strategies. If your ideal customer is a new mom who loves chatting with her mom friends about how much they need a coffee, including a quip about that in your social posts can make an impact. It’s effective when a potential customer feels like their needs are being anticipated.
What’s the best niche to make money in?
Establishing the right niche market that your business can serve is a big but important decision. It can be hard to gauge success and easy to second-guess your choice, but it can truly mean the difference between creating a successful business with a strong brand and getting lost in the crowd.
The best place for you to make money is not one specific niche but an area that your product or service is truly needed. The best way to gauge that is by getting to know a potential target market inside and out and figuring out how you fit in, can help them and what value you bring.
When you’ve established the niche market that your business will be serving, you’re ready to start your new business with a bang. Choose a business structure that makes sense for the niche market you are operating in and register your business, and you’ll be ready to take your niche market by storm.