Niche marketing has proven to be a common path to success for many small businesses and indeed many novice Internet marketing start ups, and there’s a very simple reason for this, no small business can be all things to everyone, in fact even the larger businesses will struggle to fulfill the needs of a whole market. If you live in the UK take a look at the state of the retailer ‘Woolworth’s’, a classic example of a relatively small in comparison store spreading itself to thin and ultimately leading to its demise.
Niche marketing is the web buzz word of the moment but it’s by no means a new phenomenon, niche marketing has been around forever on and off-line, however with the complete saturation of all large markets on the web by the big boys there really is very little room for the newbie to profit, or in fact make any sort of progress whatsoever.
Picture this, you spend six months researching your digital product, you sweat blood and tears putting it all together to the highest possible standard, you research your keywords, you build and optimize your site. Your first launch draws closer and you feel the excitement growing in anticipation, you spend the next week building links, posting press releases and trying to build a rapport with possible joint venture partners. Todays the day, your site goes live, and your about to start building your on-line fortune, aren’t you?, so where are the orders and why is your site ranking on Google about 16 million?.
Lets face it unless you can find some really heavy hitting affiliate JV partners, your new venture is all but dead in the water, yes you can carry on building links, writing and posting article after article, you could spend all of your free time in related forums trying to build recognition, but at the end of the day you don’t need me to tell you your product won’t sell in numbers, sure you’ll make sales but not enough. Theres no way you can compete in a saturated market, and there’s not a cat in hells chance of you getting any reasonable amount of organic traffic, you could even try buying targeted traffic (PPC), but ultimately you will probably fail unless you get really lucky.
So this takes me back to why you should look to build your web marketing business around a profitable niche, and learn to capitalize on these unmet needs, a small web based company is ideally suited to find and dominate a small but profitable niche market, where as a large company is just not bothered about serving a smaller community.
So What is a Successful Niche Market?
Well two good examples of off-line successful niche businesses are McDonald’s and Starbucks. Why?
McDonald’s carved themselves a successful business niche out of a huge restaurant industry, by catering for people on the move or in a hurry, they offered fast food to a busy USA (well it was fast back then anyway). McDonald’s capitalized on a seemingly small niche and dominated it. Starbucks did the very same thing, who would of thought you could build a multinational business on nothing more than coffee?.
So you can see from these examples exactly how powerful niche marketing can be with the right research and ambition, lets take a look at a couple of examples just to get your mind in the right frame, I know I really stumbled to think of anything when I started, so here go’s.
Take World of Warcraft (the popular on-line game), now I’m sure you’ve seen WOW used as an example so many times before, but let me put a spin on it for you, lets just assume that you did indeed come up with world of warcraft as an idea for building a niche market. WOW, being a small part of the huge gaming industry seems like a great idea..Right?, so you check it out only to find saturation, or at least to much competition in the niche, now do you drop the idea and start again?.
The answer is NO, (well not for me anyway)..and here’s why not, world of warcraft is a market of its own, so what I tend to do next, providing my research backs me up is start dissecting up the game into smaller modules, carry out some simple keyword research and start marketing to one of these smaller segments of the game, a niche market within a niche market if you like.
Perhaps you have an interest in dogs, and perhaps dog allergies grabs your attention, now dog allergies is by definition a niche market however if you want to find a niche within a niche you could for example concentrate on one particular breed of dog and its allergies, or maybe a particular allergy and how you might relieve the symptoms (this is one that I’m working on myself, so I won’t elaborate to much).
So there you have it, basically you find a small & relatively untapped market and serve them with what they want to buy (finding out what they want to buy is pretty easy, take a look at my other articles).