There is no longer any doubt that inbound marketing is one of the most cost effective and worthwhile marketing strategies for small and medium sized businesses out there. HubSpot’s 2015 State of Inbound report showed while it’s the most effective marketing tool, larger companies stick to legacy advertising methods mainly to maintain their visibility and presence in those areas, even though traditional advertising is delivering less ROI.
However, while inbound is the best thing to happen to marketing since sliced bread, if you’re just throwing initiatives out there and hoping something sticks you’re still not getting the value you should be. Enter the niche marketing strategy. Comparing scenario one to scenario two is like comparing a scalpel to a bowie knife, and here’s how you can align your inbound marketing strategy with a niche audience.
Know Your Niche
If you ask business people what their niche is, they’ll possibly tell you travel, or retail. Those aren’t really niches though. They’re industries, and they’re very broad. Your niche is actually much more specific, such as a travel agency that specializes in scuba trips to the Caribbean, or a retailer who sells organic cotton children’s clothing.
Your industry is broad, but your niche is the small, narrow, clearly defined area in that industry that you fit, and that you want to dominate.
Know Your Audience
The next step to align your inbound marketing strategy with a niche audience is to identify the target group you need to reach. The people who are most likely to be looking for your products and services are the ones you need to identify:
- What else are they interested in?
- Where do they hang out?
- Which social networks do they favor, and where can you find them online and off?
- Are they consumers or companies?
The better you can define your audience, the easier it will be to reach them with your inbound marketing efforts, so spend a lot of time defining who they are. Google Analytics can help, as can finding common traits in Twitter or Facebook followers. Even something as simple as a survey can help you define who your audience is, because for niche marketing to work, you need more of those people to find you.
Developing an Effective Web Marketing Strategy
Once you know what your niche is, and who you need to reach, the next step is to figure out how to reach them. There are several steps you might want to take:
- Use a tool like Google’s keyword tool or Wordtracker to find long tail keywords and phrases. The key to successful niche marketing is a laser-sharp focus, and that means targeting your content and strategies to long tail keywords that are more likely to be used by your target audience.
- Create content tailored to your long tailed keywords, which is both useful and shareable. Include articles as well as video, infographics and other types of content.
- Post content on your blog and on other channels, such as YouTube and social media platforms.
- Consider running PPC ads to gain initial traction for your website and pages. People want social proof before they trust your company, and paid ads can help to generate that.
- Create a killer product download that is tightly aligned to your niche, and offer it as a free download. Use this to build your list fast.
- Consider adding comments or a forum to your website. Niche communities are one of the best tools in the inbound marketer’s arsenal.
The simple fact is that even though inbound marketing is one of the most cost effective methods, there are still ways to dial it in tighter, drive more targeted traffic and improve your conversion rates, and that always depends on how interested your visitors are. Tailor your marketing to be highly specific, and you will absolutely reap the benefits.