At first glance, many of us might think that marketing to a niche demographic might put us at a disadvantage by limiting the scope of potential clientele. In fact, it can do just the opposite; creating more value for marketing dollars and giving you more quality leads. As the digital world grows and we see the rise of more virtual financial planning tools, clients will no longer search for a planner who is best in their geographic area; instead they will search for the planner who is best able to meet their individual needs.
Financial planning for example, is very broad. Making a mark in such a broad field can take more effort, energy, and marketing dollars. But if you market yourself as a financial planner for divorcees and widowers, you can establish yourself as an expert in a field that is under served. Since this group is narrower, you have the opportunity to become a well-known expert much faster and as a result your visibility and profile will increase.
My own experience with niche marketing has been an extremely positive one. At Twenty Over Ten we cater exclusively to compliance-regulated industries, building tailored, mobile-responsive websites for financial advisors and insurance professionals. Our platform and tools are built to meet the very specific needs of those users. Our unique expertise in marketing, compliance, and user-experience has allowed us to quickly become one of the most popular platforms for advisors to create and maintain their online identities.
3 ways to help you better connect with your niche market:
1. Create an Appropriate First-Impression
Speak their language.
Be prepared to communicate with your target audience as a knowledgeable member- not an outsider. Be aware of the buzzwords and topics important to your target demographic. This may mean rethinking the language you use on your website and other marketing materials, such as your company tagline or mission statement.
Pay close attention not only to what you write, but how you write as well. Whether you are rewriting content for the pages of your website, writing a blog post, or compiling an online newsletter, write your content as if you are having a conversation with your visitors. Your unique voice is necessary to capture you and/or your company’s expertise, passion, and value proposition.
Clearly establish who you do (and don’t) serve.
It’s a well documented fact that a user will form an opinion about your website (and you) almost immediately. It takes only 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person, and websites are no different. It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website. Be clear and direct about your expertise and your target demographic. Keep this above the fold (so a user doesn’t have to scroll to see it).
Dave Grant of Finance For Teachers aims to work with teachers. His website (and organization name) make it immediately clear who his target demographic is. Additionally, he’s literally “written the book” on financial tips for teachers, which he offers on the homepage of his website for any educators who are interested (in exchange for their email).
It’s equally important to establish on your website who your services are not for. The idea is to generate quality leads, not necessarily quantity. An under utilized strategy in the financial industry is to create a page dedicated to ‘what we do’ and ‘what we don’t do’ (Cambridge Financial Group does an excellent job of this).
2. Generate and Deliver Quality Content
One of the best things you can do is to create a niche-specific blog. Here are 4 reasons why:
- Drive traffic to your website
- Increase your SEO for niche specific searches
- Position yourself as an expert in your market
- Develop better customer relationships
Blogs offer potential and current clients the opportunity to not only connect with you more frequently, but also get to know your business and services more deeply. As an added bonus you can raise your visibility through better SEO and increase the traffic to your site.
Need some help coming up with content? If you are struggling to brainstorm new content ideas perhaps you could try the following:
- Use Google Alerts to monitor for new content in your niche market
- Ask your Audience – Request feedback directly on your website through a form
- Subscribe to blogs and news sites in your niche with an RSS reader
- Carry out Keyword Research to find what keywords potential visitors are using to find your site.
The importance of sharing.
Think that you know your business better than anyone else? Wrong. Your customers do. Connecting with your target demographic has never been easier and more cost effective. Social media allows us to connect, engage, and converse with potential clients, existing clients, and those who weren’t even aware they needed your expertise.
Think about what you plan to share online. Think about what you want to post online – pictures, quotes, blog posts, news articles, etc. This is the part where you are expressing your work, your passion, and ultimately your expertise. Create an editorial calendar to stay on track with your posts. If you come across an article you feel passionate about, save it, so it can be shared for later. Create a bookmark and save all links and relevant content. When you post an article or link to social media, include your own short personal commentary.
I strongly believe that within your business, every online post should truly be meaningful to you. Posts should portray your company values and unique expertise, as well as what you believe your company ultimately brings to your community, market, and even society in general.
Still a little intimidated by social media? You’re not alone. Here’s some insights we’re happy to share.
3. Have an Effective (And Appropriate) Call-to-Action
The goal of your website should not only be to establish credibility within your niche market, but also to convert these new quality leads.
How To Develop an Effective CTA:
1. Lead with a verb (ie. Contact us today or Schedule a meeting). Using direct, active language is essential to engage your audience and give them a clear, direct instruction on what to do next.
2. Keep it short and sweet. As we mentioned earlier, you have a limited amount of time to engage visitors. Make sure you are giving that clear, direct instruction in the most efficient way.
3. Make sure it stands out. Your website will host a lot of valuable information. Make sure you create a clear hierarchy so your call-to-action stands out!