There are a lot of great advantages that come with marketing for a niche industry: being easily recognized as a thought leader, narrow competition and a better chance at reaching your target audience. But when you’re trying to decide which types of content to focus your marketing strategy on, a small sample size or lack of research can be tricky to deal with. There are some niches more difficult to create content for than others. However, with some hard work and testing, you can determine which types of content your niche’s target audience will engage with and convert for.
According to HubSpot, a buyer persona is “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” Detailed descriptions of your personas, such as their demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, pain points and goals, will give your content marketing structure and purpose so you know where to focus your content development efforts.
Once you’ve nailed down your buyer personas, it’s time to start testing content. This doesn’t have to be as time- and labor-intensive as writing several completely new and different pieces of content; you can easily take a piece of content you’ve already created and repurpose it into different formats. Try turning a blog post into a SlideShare, an infographic, a cartoon, a short video or a podcast. If you’re in an industrial niche, for example, you can try breaking down and demystifying some of your processes, which can educate and entertain. Videos of machines and what goes on inside them are usually popular; How It’s Made has proven that.
These different tactics can draw in different crowds, and some may like your certain formats better than others. Analyze the results to see which type of content was consumed and shared most often. The results should hint at what types of content your audience wants to see.
Since niche markets are smaller, it should be fairly simple to keep up-to-date on what influencers and competitors in your field are doing. Sites like Open Site Explorer, Topsy and Social Crawlytics can help you with this. Knowing what your competition is up to can tip you off to any new tactics they may be using. These profiles can also give you a list of potential places to build inbound links, since they have already linked to your competitor. Remember, the types of sites they are targeting, how fast they are pushing out content and traction of different types of content are good considerations, as well.
In a similar vein, keeping up with the latest news from blogs and other sites covering your niche will help you generate and test more content ideas. Try Google Alerts or RSS feeds to keep track of what other sites are talking about. Using programs like Tweetdeck for social media is another great way to keep up with timely topics. Knowing what topics are trending at any given time can help you decide the best ideas to share with your niche.
Long-tail keywords are words and phrases specific to what the searcher is looking for. Because content marketing for your niche is such a narrow field, long-tail keywords become even more important—they help you home in on what your target audience is searching for. You can use Google’s Suggest and Related Keyword feature to help find long-tail keywords, as well as online forums like Quora and Yahoo answers to see what questions people are asking. That way, you can provide content that answers these questions and searches.
Long-tail keywords are usually less competitive as well, so ranking highly for them is easier than trying to rank for broad terms. Getting to rank well for a handful of long-tail terms can be almost as powerful as ranking highly for a broad term, and can usually be accomplished with less effort.
Once you use these tips to develop a content marketing strategy for your niche market, you’ll become more persuasive to your target audience and buyer personas, who will also be more likely to share your content with others, further helping to establish you as a thought leader. However, it’s important not to stay stagnant in your content marketing ideas; keep testing different types of content to see how your audience responds to it, and you’ll continue to fine-tune your niche content marketing strategy.
What are some niche markets you have marketed for? Did you create any content that blew your audience away?