Friday 25 August 2017
A few days ago we received a call from a company looking to hire someone for some SEO on a micro-niche. To sum it up they were asking us to do some SEO to reach about a few hundred people across the European Union.
Despite the project seemed interesting we had to reject it as we thought it was not in the best interest of that possible customer. We could have accepted if all that counted was money, but, we worry way more about providing a high quality of service to our customers, so, we had no other choice; though, this demand made us considering writing a piece about niche markets and Search Engine Optimisation.
But, first of all, apologies for the major lack of posting in the past few months, we have been developing a few projects to better serve our customers. Now, let us first describe what a niche market is…
What can be considered a niche market?
A niche market is made of 3 major components:
- A small audience or pool of customer
- A degree of hyper-specialisation
- Specific knowledge requirements from the user
Niche markets are often related to very high levels of technology, education or abilities.
The most common sectors for niche markets are
- The IT industry
- The Medical/BioTech Industry
- The Aerospace Industry
- The Energy Industry
- The Food Industry
- The Health and Beauty Industry
And more generally the Scientific Community around the world.
Have you ever heard of Schlumberger, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Hon Hai Precision Industry or Orbital ATK? If no, you are probably like 90% of the people, if yes, then you either work in the sector itself or in the finance sector or read a lot the economic press.
Though these companies are leaders in their industry, yet, they operate in niches, that is probably the reason why you have never heard of them.
E.g.: Schlumberger is one of the top 3 oil exploration companies worldwide
Obviously, niche markets can be found in supermarkets as well, such as in the Food and Beverages with the following categories of products:
- Halal/Kosher products
These type of foods address a particular audience and not the mass, therefore, they can be considered niches.
Is it possible to market these niches?
Short answer: “Yes!”
Long answer: It is, but, you need to know more about your market segment than if you were marketing your product for the masses.
Here, as in most of our articles, is a list of questions you should ask yourself before launching a product on the market:
- How big is the market?
- Is the audience price sensitive?
- What are the motivations/needs of the audience?
- What communities, communication channel does your audience use?
Answering these question will be crucial prior to any action.
E.g.: Let’s pretend you own two companies one producing organic food, while, the second produces gluten-free food.
It is obvious that the organic food niche is bigger than the gluten-free niche, additionally, the consumption of gluten-free food is very often associated with a medical condition contrarily to organic food generally linked to a personal will to eat more healthily. The motivations are therefore very different. The price sensitiveness is also very different as people with gluten intolerance do not necessarily have the money to purchase those products though they have to. Eating organic food is a choice that depends up to a certain degree of luxury.
You, therefore, have two audiences:
Each of these two audiences must be marketed in a very different way. The “Gluten-Free Audience” (named thereafter GFA) and the “Organic Audience” (named thereafter OA) will require a different approach when it comes to the websites of each company. Let’s now have a look at how to market them through SEO.
Niche Market SEO
When it comes to SEO the approach varies a lot from site to site however, the strategy should be aligned with your audience.
The GFA audience being under the constraint of a necessity, it is crucial for them to use this type of product. Therefore building a network of links including sites speaking about medical conditions and in particular allergies, it may also be a good thing to try linking to university research departments and also cooking recipes.
Cooking recipes can also be used as an internal content to be shared across the community website network.
The OA audience being largely related to a lifestyle attitude the array of the buildable link network is way wider. In fact, the OA audience can be contacted through different niches such as the healthy living blogosphere, the fitness industry, the cooking blogs and so on. A niche to explore could be the agronomy research departments of universities.
The two previous points were obviously very specific to the audiences mentioned above though each audience and market are different therefore you may encounter specific regulations. The legal, insurance and banking industry is very highly regulated.
Is SEO for a niche market easy?
No, it is not as, contrarily to mainstream markets, the possibilities to link your activity to others in a way that is natural are limited. Regulations, laws or ethics and morality can be fairly limiting. It requires, therefore, a very careful planning.
Niche markets are very particular commercial environments and require a capacity to think outside of the box if you feel you need help get in touch with us and fill the form on our digital strategy page.