When you own a niche or local business, you serve a specific demographic or group. This group may be the residents of your area, or it may be someone looking for expertise on a very narrow topic. Therefore, broad PR strategies are not as helpful as more targeted approaches. Here’s a brief guide to help you attract, dazzle and maintain the new customers you need to succeed.
When in Doubt, Blog (with a strategy)
Maintaining a strong blog is considered more and more essential for running a profitable niche business, especially online. Why? The average casual consumer will not know everything about your niche or local product. Blogs are an excellent opportunity to showcase your expertise by informing readers about what your service is. For example, if you sell products for beginning coders, consider using your blog to lay out in simple terms what coding is, what your product does, and how it can help launch a career in coding. You can also blog about other relevant topics, such as the latest updates in the field of coding. This is the space to link to other resources and show your expertise.
This strategy serves your business in two ways. It helps your potential clients to understand the need for your product. Blogging also helps increase traffic to your website through the strategic use of keywords and search engine optimization (commonly known as SEO). When blogging for your business, it is imperative to know and use all of your local keywords, frequently searched questions (and answer them in your blog) and all relevant SEO words.
Your Audience – Know Them and Love Them
Niche or local consumers are going to be much harder to appeal to if you use only a general strategy. Showing that you thoroughly understand your audience will go a long way to increase their trust in you. Everyone wants to be seen and understood – customers too! That means clearly understanding their problems and showing you know how to solve them. Offering solutions when people have problems is a much nicer feeling than “being sold to”.
If you serve a local area, you can feature local landmarks and relevant businesses near you (without mentioning competitors) to increase local connection. If you are a niche business, make sure that you have identified a super specific target market. Personalize your content to the consumer and their interests. What do they like? What don't they like? When do they buy? How do they need to be best served?
We worked with a local camp that before working with us did the bulk of their marketing over the weekends figuring that’s when parents were free. It turns out, parents were free but wanted to be with their families and not paying attention to emails. Once the camp started marketing heavily on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings (when parents often are at work, and had some solo focus time and could reflect upon their weekends and what they wanted for their kids) enrollments and engagements began to skyrocket.
Use Smart Social Media
Social media is a highly effective tool for visually informing consumers about your business and product. This is an opportunity to catch the eye of casual browsers and hook their interest. People spend their time on social media to engage with friends and family, as well as search for things that interest them. Make sure your content is personable and engaging to draw in these kinds of users. Educate, entertain and inspire your audience. Don't be afraid to create discussions and answer questions in the comments! People enjoy seeing that companies are responsive to their concerns and inquiries.
Feature Consumer-Generated Content
User-generated content is anything your customers or clients have created after using your products or services. This includes user reviews as well as media such as photos, blog posts, or videos. It is very common to see companies showcasing people who have worn their clothes, used their product, or perhaps enjoyed a day at their store or restaurant. Showcasing average people using and enjoying the advertised product builds trust in its efficacy. It also gives potential consumers an idea what the product may look like before they purchase.
By featuring content generated outside your own business, you avoid looking too self-promotional. This is a great strategy for building trust with potential customers, as well attracting their interest when they are already looking for a specific service.
Love your locals…
If you run a niche or local business, you need a solid PR strategy to maximize your profits and smooth the road to success. Broad appeals and marketing will only take you so far. If you really want to hit a marketing bullseye, make sure you know exactly where your target is.
Margot Black is the driving force behind award-winning boutique agency Black Ink PR. With more than 20 years experience in travel, tourism, entertainment and fashion PR, her savvy hands-on multi-platform approach to each campaign, ensures real results every time. Find out more at blackinkpr.com