GUEST POST from Paula Creed-Smith
Often times, we business owners approach advertising in an overly generalized manner. I want to share a few thoughts on marketing to your niche target in a more effective and deliberate fashion.
Niche Outside the Box
Start by building your target audience. The idea is to start general, but refine your audience as you narrow down who you’re seeking out.
Let’s say you’re a 27-year-old fashion consultant in a smaller metro area. Immediately, you may identify upper-class women aged 35-50 in the nearest larger metro. Next, identify more details about her like activities related to expendable income, like fitness classes at an elite health center. A woman who attends health facilities is obviously health conscious and may have a certain image she wants to project.
That’s the easy target. Now, how about identifying wild-cards targets—relatively outlandish ideas of who may benefit from your service. For example, that same fashion consultant might consider offering courses on professional attire at local businesses or the library. Even more adventurous? Speed dating events, where she could do a quick talk on what’s hot vs not on a first date and raffle off a free consultation. Ready for another? Travel agencies. Who doesn’t need a little help to rock the hottest fashions while on vacation? Give agents a free consult to prime the well, and leave cards with them so they can share with their clients.
I’m sure you see where I am going with this. The idea is to forget what you know about the typical target. If you already know who that is, move on to who else you could connect with.
Decrypt Digital Marketing
Now, let’s transition to the meat and potatoes of marketing—your digital footwork. I’d like to start with Facebook, which has maintained its footing even as new social media platforms come and go. Facebook, in my opinion, is the holy grail of marketing.
*Disclaimer: You should always focus on building relationships. Avoid posting spammy ads in groups and not participating. Seek out your target, but actually engage with them. Click, comment, like, and share. Create an impression and be memorable. Even if someone can’t personally use you, the relationship you build with them will allow them to think of you and make recommendations.
If you have a business page on Facebook (get one now if you don’t), post regularly and share the content on your profile as well. Encourage your family and friends to engage directly with the business page, not the shared post. Remember to encourage your friends and family to select “see first” when following your page.
Also, don’t be afraid to get personal and share real life stories. I love hearing from fellow mom bosses that their kids make them crazy. That I’m not the only one with a strange obsession with coffee. Your audience will also appreciate these things. It’s a deeper connection with immeasurable return on investment.
Another platform to have an active presence on is Instagram, which is an incredible resource for visual elements. It opens the door to networking with other professionals. Thanks to apps like “Textgram” you can create notes and share them on Instagram as an image.
Here’s where Instagram edges out Facebook—hashtags allow you to more easily put yourself in front of your targets’ eyes. If you’re a realtor trying to sell a 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom townhouse, for example, you can post a collage of photos and use hashtags (#newlyweds #firsttime #homebuyer #starterhome #college, etc.) to get in front of your ideal client. Hashtags also help you search and connect with like-minded professionals or potential clients.
The important thing to remember is to explore and test all platforms to see what works for you and be creative. If there is no other takeaway, remember to be creative. Think about everything in terms of ripples in a pond. Now, go forth and kill niche marketing.
Paula Creed-Smith is the owner of Ceh~Flora Gift Co., a gift box company located in sunny Florida. She’s wife to her Italian fox, Sheldon, and mother of two divas in the making, Azzaryha and Lael. Paula was formerly involved in social work after being inspired by her time in foster care during her teens. Once Paula became a mother, she opened her first company, At Your Service Personal Concierge. After a few years, a family health crisis encouraged a pivot in her entrepreneurial plan and she launched Ceh~Flora. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging with her hubby, playing with her girls, eating sushi with her mom, and singing at her church. Paula admittedly has a deep affection for all things coffee related and rum raisin ice cream.
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