Do You Have a Niche Market You're Targeting? We're Almost Sure of It!
Updated: Jan 20
Happy Fall! A marketing colleague recently joked to me about targeting niche markets...
" In the niches are the riches."
As I watch hayrides, new restaurant menus, cider donuts, and pumpkin spice everything and flood my inbox, mailbox and social feeds, I'm reminded how important a niche market is.
The trick to making your product or destination stand out in the clutter? KNOW your audience...and find that niche audience that wants what you offer. Heck, look for a niche inside your niche.
Here's how one entrepreneur did it: I talked to an agritourism farm/destination owner last week that noticed an uptick in her website traffic from a city an hour and a half away. Curious, she spent extra time talking to guests. She repeatedly asked where they were from.
Next, she asked guests WHY they were coming...and surprise: Many of the guests from this larger, metropolitan city had relocated from the Northeastern US and were homesick for the apple activities she was offering at her farm. They were bringing their kids to her farm because they wanted them to have the same fall memories they had growing up.
Going forward: If this farm-trepreneur only uses paid Facebook ads, she can target families who travel from this key drive market with posts written just for them. You can bet she'll rely on strong photos of the activities these families are craving, too.
Getting photos or video now so she can target that city's parenting magazine with story ideas for next year may yield more benefits than targeting a larger, harder-to-land outlet. Online and TV outlets are spewing fall travel ideas right and left. It's not too late to share your news--especially if you can offer a unique hook specific to YOU--and remind them that fall in the Southeast is arriving LATER this year. Have fall activities running through November? You have a hook.
You can find your niches without spending a bundle on research (although that's an option, too):
Talk to your guests, buyers, and visitors. I've informally walked beaches and sat down on towels beside people with friendly faces and asked them how they came to be there. I've asked people at restaurant events what their favorite part of the night was, why they decided to book. Most people love sharing.
Look at your social media. Check the most popular and weakest organic posts on a regular basis. Look at who is tagging you on social media, and click through to learn their story. Do the same with online reviews and your Google For Business listings.
If you don't know the stories that compel guests to spend time with you, you can't find the niches. The creative director at LKM (the ad agency I worked at for five years) constantly challenged us:
"If you market to everyone, you end up reaching no one."
Happy niche hunting! I hope all of us encounter fall riches--including the ones that come when you take a breath and notice those leaves finally changing color. Take care out there. --Susan