By Trevor Weir
The term Niche Internet Marketing is bandied about by online marketers like it’s the cure for all ills. You
can’t turn around in one of those heavily trafficked internet seminars where thousands meet to “find the cure” without running into half a dozen splinter groups discussing the merits/demerits ( but mostly merits ) of tightly focused Niche marketing.
So, for the newbies amongst us, what is niche marketing?
Perhaps its best explained by first discussing what it’s not. Niche marketing is not marketing to a mysterious marketing segment called niche, nor is there a product called niche that a huge underground swell of people are clamoring over insurmountable walls to get. Nor, is there usually a department within any major corporation that has a position open in their niche marketing department. So don’t call Human Resources at your local City Council and ask for a position in their niche marketing department. Sorry, just had to get that one out of the way, lol.
Niche marketing example
I am going to make up a definition on the fly here. Niche marketing is marketing that is directed very specifically at a very narrow vertical market segment. So, let’s try this one.
Marketing to those that
– buy running shoes. Niche or not? Not
– buy Nike running shoes. Niche or not. Not (What did that surprise you?)
– buy marathon capable Nike runners. Niche or not. Uhmm you’re getting warmer.
– buy high arched marathon capable Nike runners. Niche or not. Yes absolutely!
This last example sounds like a niche for sure. It has a narrow focus and we have eliminated several wider approaches to our target audience. So, should we run out and stock up on these specialty running shoes in anticipation of the demand?
Not by a long shot. If you are reading this now, thinking that I am holding back, stop, don’t do it. Our research hasn’t even begun yet.
That was merely an example of what a niche market might look like, but for any number of reasons, I would never enter that marketplace – and I don’t much care if 4 of my marathon running friends ask me for those specific shoes next week.
So was that a poor example of a Niche Market ?
It wasn’t necessarily a poor example, but the truth is – far more research is required. To start off with, are those actually the keywords that people use to search for this product?
Since 60-70% of your expected traffic may be coming off of one of the 3 big search engines, you must truly know exactly what terms they are using and how many potential buyers are using that term and lastly how much competition is actively attempting to get that same traffic.
And after traffic evaluations, then would this be a good idea …?
This is where a wiser head, who has hopefully made this mistake already, can potentially save you some months in wasted effort.
You have now accurately found 4 phrases that the public is using to search for this product.
You may for example have also determined that there may be less than 200 other websites vying for the 1500 customers inquiring monthly.
As Yoda might say, “Ready are we to raid the College funds for some seed money”
A wise head must say, at this point, don’t spend a dime,nickel, peso or whatever. Drop shipping services will send the product to your customer without you spending one centavo
An even wiser head might say, hold on a bit. Is there any upsell possibility here? You might pause and say, sure research has shown that runners wear these marathon shoes out every 3-400 miles – so the recurring revenue possibilities are astounding.
Can’t argue with that, right? But will the shopper come back to your page to buy that second set of running shoes or will they go direct to walmart, nike or whoever you used for your drop shipping. Or now that you have educated them about how wonderful this shoe type is, won’t they simply go across town to a
specialty shoe sports outfit and try on a few pairs there?
Let’s just ponder this question – When is a niche market not a niche?