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7 Marketing Trends for Niche Businesses in 2017

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 01 Mar, 2017
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Utilize these important trends this year if you have a niche product 

Niche businesses usually cater to a relatively small and well-defined market by tapping an unmet demand. For example, Lefty’s store is a good example of niche business as it sells products for left handed people. Other examples of niche businesses include GetOutfitted, YearBook Innovation, and boutique consulting firms which provide consulting services to specific industries. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all examples of niche technology businesses which went on to become mass business later.

Niche businesses need to do focused marketing to become profitable as they serve a small segment of the market. Traditionally, niche marketers have used demand based marketing methods such as Pay-per-click advertising and focused industry events for promoting their products or services. However, advancement in marketing technology has led to many options that niche marketers can adopt to grow their business.

Below are seven marketing trends that niche companies can choose in 2017 for attaining success and sustaining in a highly competitive economy.

CEO Branding

CEO branding is not new. However, it has regained its importance recently. The online space is getting cluttered, and few people trust brands on social media. Thus, the companies need to be authentic and invest in winning the confidence of its target audience to succeed in online marketing. Branding of CEOs plays a crucial role in ensuring the creation of the right perception of the brand.

Niche businesses that have a well-recognized CEO see an increased flow of deals and get bigger dollars. Moreover, companies can use a variety of marketing methods to gain access to their target audience. News media also takes a keen interest in inspirational stories built around successful individuals. Therefore, branding of CEOs can attract broad press coverage which is otherwise difficult through paid advertising. Also, third party validation improves the credibility of brands in the minds of the consumers.  

Apple, Microsoft, Virgin and Walt Disney got distinct marketing advantage in their early stages due to the excellent branding of their respective CEOs, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Walt Disney and Microsoft.

Convergence of Online and Offline Marketing

Niche business owners and marketers rely greatly on offline industry events to connect with their audience and generate leads. Although time-consuming, this method has helped marketers in expanding their professional network extensively.

In 2017, integration of online and offline marketing techniques is essential to broaden the reach and increase influence. Many niche businesses find it hard to get desired traffic on their blogs despite great content and excellent advice. It seems that brilliant content is not enough to generate page views.

It is the need of the time to integrate online and offline marketing techniques. You can use the strong network built by offline marketing techniques to increase your page views. The increased traffic can be helpful in generating more sales through a right content marketing approach. The chart below shows consumer touch points across the customer lifecycle, both on and offline. 

Video Case Studies

For long, niche businesses have used case studies as a useful content marketing tool for promoting their products. A massive influx of content and other distractions have led to short attention span for most of the internet users. Thus, very few people read lengthy content or business case studies until it comes from a reputed brand.

On the other hand, 2016 saw a rise in video views across all platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Youtube. Even popular TV shows have been launched on social networks in bite-sized videos. Niche businesses have a tremendous opportunity in video marketing. They can develop interesting case studies in a video format and promote them on various social networking sites. The videos also help in overall search engine optimization of the sites. Develop a combination of text and video-based case studies and run an A/B testing program to gauge the effectiveness of each format. You will have a fair understanding of how users’ behavior have been changing over time. You can modify your future marketing strategies accordingly.

Check this 16 video case studies that connect directly with the intended audience.

Affiliate Marketing

Traditionally, affiliate marketing has been used by e-commerce firms or other companies which sell digital products such as e-books, online courses, etc.  However, this trend is slated to change and involve niche businesses in their fold in 2017. The industry has witnessed a significant rise in the number quality publishers that target a particular segment of the market.  The publishers have built a valuable audience base through quality content and marketing capabilities.  These publishers can monetize their platform with the help of advertisers who are looking for similar audience base. Thus, niche businesses can utilize performance based marketing to generate relevant leads for their business.

GogoTraining increased its sales by almost 120% in a year by using Shareasale affiliate marketing platform.

Marketing Automation

Scalability is a major challenge for most of the niche businesses. They need to define a precise target audience and find them efficiently. They also need to put in more money in placing ads and human resources to manage various marketing activities.

Niche businesses can use marketing automation tool to address this challenge. With the help of big data and predictive analytics, they can define target audience with high precision and can set several of their marketing activities on autopilot mode. Since marketing automation works only in digital realms, the marketers need fewer human resources to scale their marketing operations and increase their reach. Marketing automation will also be useful in integrating online and offline marketing activities.

Here are the examples of some companies which used marketing automation to increase their sales.

Primary research-based Insights and Content

With a flood of content on the internet, the niche businesses need to invest in capabilities to develop insights and content based on primary research. It includes information and ideas which are not yet identified by the competitors. Such contents are more likely to be shared by the influencers as they contain authentic and first-hand information. Thus the niche businesses can become suppliers of original information to the influencers in the industry and get free publicity due to their authenticity in return.

Here is how an adult website used the power of research-based insights to legitimately promote adult content in a country where such promotions are banned.

Focus on Creative Communication

Certain things never change. Creative communication is one such asset that has always delivered dividends for businesses and will continue to do so in times to come.

Be creative, practical and put fun elements in your communication strategies. Connecting with emotional chords of consumers will help in differentiating the message and increasing brand recall.

Even small businesses with boring products or services have started putting humor in the communication style to stand out in a crowded media space. Thus, never be afraid of experimenting with your communication style and building stories that attract the attention of press and influencers.

Check this video to understand the power of words and how it can alter your business.

The above trends will witness an increase in popularity in 2017. Niche businesses can use them to their advantage by developing appropriate marketing strategies based on the nature and characteristics of their business.

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By Expert commentator

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