If I asked you why small businesses fail, you would probably say the lack of resources. That’s true, but did you know that the lack of market need is the main cause of startup failure? Here’s 6 simple steps to elevate your brand in a specialized marketplace and have people be more aware.
Not defining your niche and trying to please wide audiences is one of the major mistakes small businesses make.
By knowing your niche, you’re focusing on a narrow audience group – one that is interested in your brand and that is more likely to buy from you. This is also an opportunity for you to define your products more successfully, adapt to the market demand and, above all, focus on the right branding and marketing tactics.
Here is how to boost your brand in a specialized or niche market.
Elevate Your Brand by Getting to Know your Audiences
Getting to know your audiences is the backbone of your business growth. Interview your customers, conduct surveys, listen to them on social, and collect their feedback to learn more about them.
Start by collecting the data about their demographics, such as their location, age, family status, gender, education, etc. Then, move to a more personal side of your relationship and learn more about their hobbies, preferences, fears, needs, and goals.
Based on this data, you should segment your audiences and create detailed buyer personas that will guide you through your branding and marketing efforts.
Choose a Memorable Domain Name
Your website is the core of your online presence. And choosing the right domain name plays an immensely important role in your branding process. Namely, your domain name is your ID. It makes your brand name memorable and lets you build a strong brand identity.
It also allows you to communicate with your niche audience.
Look at the example of Amazon, the largest online retailer selling everything from jewelry to computer equipment.
They’ve created several contextual domains, such as www.kindle.store or www.dash.tech that guide customers to the right pages and content on the Amazon site.
Many business owners, including Neil Patel, use their personal names as domain names to humanize their business and build a solid personal brand.
When choosing your domain name, here are a few simple steps to take:
- Make it short and sweet. Such domain names are easily memorable and recognizable.
- Avoid complex names to make it easier to remember.
- Avoid using hyphens, dots, numbers – anything that may result in typos and drive your audiences to another site.
- Use your business name as your domain name. This is how your site will be the first thing a searcher sees after googling your brand name.
- If your desired .com domain is taken, consider using another domain extension. Apart from .com, there are many original TLDs like, .me that can make your brand funnier and more relatable. For example, brands like GoQR.me, cook.me, LearnToCodeWith.me, spark.me, Sync.me use their domain to create a strong call to action and explain what their site is about.
Make your Brand Social
Today, most of your customers are using at least one social network. This is a great opportunity to share some valuable content and get yourself noticed by the right people. Now, there are numerous ways to take advantage of social networks.
For example, you could start by creating and sharing high-quality content. Apart from your blog posts, you could also share the posts by authoritative players in your niche.
To engage audiences, you could even create interactive content for these channels specifically, such as quizzes, gifs, memes, animations, inspirational quotes, infographics, etc.
You don’t need to share this content manually.
There are many social media management tools that will automate these processes.
You should also start building an online community, where you would build a solid personal brand and connect with your target audiences. For example, join relevant groups and answer members’ questions to deliver value to them and get yourself noticed by potential customers.
Create Magnetic Content to Elevate Your Brand
Producing helpful and engaging content lets you deliver value to your audiences and build stronger relationships with them. They will trust you more and start visiting your site constantly to learn something new.
By gaining their trust and showing that you really understand your niche, you will soon position yourself as the industry leader and boost your sales.
Not to mention that your content will be shared and linked to organically from multiple valuable resources, which is also a great way to gain a competitive advantage in your niche, boost your reach, and build trust with your target audiences.
Sure, when I say content, I don’t mean 500-word articles.
There are numerous content formats you could create, depending on the platforms you use.
These could be, for example, long-form articles, how-to videos, ebooks, infographics, ultimate guides, webinars, podcasts – any kind of content that performs well in your niche and resonates with your audiences.
Let’s take the digital industry as an example.
There are many authoritative people there that have built personal brands just because they invest a lot in content marketing.
Look at Gary Vaynerchuk. He understands how each of these content promotion channels works and adapts his efforts to them.
He explained that small businesses should invest most of their budgets on quality content: “If you’re a small business, you want to focus on spending your time, money, and effort on creating great content (and a lot of it).
You should be spending $85,000 a year on creating quality content and only another $35,000 on paid amplification—not the other way around.”
Take Advantage of User-Generated Content
Did you know that 84% of online consumers trust recommendations from friends and families over branded promotions?
They read online comments, recommendations, testimonials, and reviews to learn more about brands.
That’s exactly the kind of content that helps them make purchasing decisions. And, logically, this is the kind of content you should invest in.
For example, you could start by collecting customer feedback across different channels.
Use online surveys, listen to their discussions on social, encourage reviews, and ask for testimonials.
These are all invaluable customer insights that will help you build and cultivate stronger relationships with your audiences.
Positive comments will soon attract new customers and convince them to choose you over your competitors.
Negative comments, on the other hand, are a great opportunity to show that you appreciate your customers’ opinions and that you will use their criticism to improve your offers.
Another great way to encourage user-generated content is social media contests and giveaways.
Simply put, you should create a massive contest and inspire customers to share original photos/videos of your products, along with your hashtag, to get valuable rewards.
This is a great form of content to repost on your social channels or even publish it on your blog. Apart from gaining customers’ trust, UGC will also increase your brand transparency.
Build Relationships with Micro-Influencers
Influencer marketing is an immensely powerful marketing tactic. Always remember that today’s customers don’t trust big celebrities and Hollywood stars.
Instead, they’re seeking opinions of people they can relate to – ordinary customers that have gained popularity by creating original content. Their reviews, suggestions, and tips play an immensely important role in making shopping decisions.
Sure, when building an influencer marketing strategy, you need to choose ones in the same niche.
For example, if you’re in the fashion industry, connecting with an influencer in the IT niche won’t make any sense for your audiences.
The goal is to find micro-influencers that target the same local audiences and that have already worked with similar brands. Above all, they should share your values and missions.
When connecting with them, you could first start following them on social.
Like their content and comment on their posts to get them to notice you.
Then, you could send them your premium products and hope they will ask them and review them in their blog posts or videos.
Getting noticed in the competitive niche marketplace is not easy for small businesses.
However, when planned strategically, it is possible to elevate your brand.
You need to approach your online presence strategically. Learn more about your audiences and create solid buyer personas that will help you stay on track.
Design a solid website and choose a domain name that will make you authentic and recognizable.
Get social and focus on building close relationships with your audience.
Create gorgeous content that delivers value to readers and attracts shares, links, and traffic.
Most importantly, gain customers’ trust through influencer marketing and user-generated content.