August 18, 2011

What is niche marketing and why is it important online?  A niche is a very small and specific part of a targeted market.  For example, many larger companies might target a demographic of women from age 23-34, which is NOT a niche.  A niche would be women age 23-34 who swing dance.  There aren’t a lot of these, but the ones there are don’t have a lot of options for shopping that caters to them.  In the regular marketplace it doesn’t make a lot of sense to open a store that caters solely to female swing dancers, but online it makes plenty of sense.  The online business model essentially says that anyone with a need can be reached directly through online sales.  In a more traditional approach you must provide to the masses.  Online any customer can find you.  Provided you have a website that is optimised to take advantage of your niche, customers will find you.

1. If you don’t target a niche then you are in competition with super giants like Amazon and Walmart for customers.  This will not lead to a successful online business.  The trick is to find an underserved market.  Even if only one person in ten thousand is interested in the product, that still gives you a respectable client base of approximately six hundred thousand people worldwide.  It is sort of like a small slice of a very large pie.

2. If you don’t target a niche, search engine optimisation is difficult, if not impossible.  Without search engine optimisation, customers won’t find your website and it will languish in obscurity and negatively affect your earnings as it will cost you money to own it, but bring in no profits.  Choosing a niche lets you choose specific keywords to help optimise your site.

3. Niche marketing can also provide you with a direction.  Starting a business without some direction or focus results in a lot of ineffectual flailing that accomplishes nothing.  With a niche decided, you can develop a marketing plan that will work to spread information about your specific products.

Sometimes it is a good idea to research niche markets before deciding on a product to sell.  Often once the market is identified the product offering becomes clear.  Intellectual property is one of the best sellers online, and it is great for a new start-up since the cost is minimal.  Do your research before you get started, it will save you a ton in the long run.



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