The very first thing you need to consider when starting an online business is to define your Business Niche and Target audience.
What is a Business Niche?
A business niche is a specialized or focused area of a broader market where the entrepreneur excels or has expertise.
Having a niche helps you to differentiate your business from the competition and helps you to attract a target audience who can become your customers in the future.
What are the advantages of finding a business niche?
Finding a niche will help you to establish a loyal audience who would want to buy from you instead of going to the competition.
Creating a business in a niche market gives you a first-mover advantage. It gives you the chance to establish yourself as an expert and thought leader in the field.
How to develop a niche business strategy?
Find an unmet or neglected need. Identify problems in the marketplace which no one has solved yet. Your products or services should soothe a pain point or solve a problem that your audience is currently experiencing.
Find the size of the Market Opportunity. Research your customer base and find if it has a large potential market. Choose a sector that also has anticipated growth in the coming 10-20 years. For your business to be profitable, the market size and niche must be large enough that you can make money selling your products and services.
A small section of potential customers means little or no growth potential. There is no point venturing in such market niches as it will be saturated soon and you will not be able to scale it.
This way, you can build a product that’s tailored, and therefore relevant, to your target market. You’d also be able to effectively reach and market to your target.
What is a Target Audience?
A target is a specific segment of people with whom you’d attempt to create a connection.
This target audience might be currently unaddressed or neglected and has a significant market potential which you can tap to sell your product or service
The more focused you are in defining your target market, the more likely you’d be able to create a meaningful connection successfully.
The target market isn’t necessarily the only group of people who may ultimately find value in your product. It is the group of people you’ll deliberately try to influence. Winning over this specific group of people will lay the foundation of a brand.
The first step is to define the demographic attributes.
Demographic attributes are attributes such as age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, employment status, and location. You can think of demographic characteristics as anything that can be checked off in a Census survey.
To add dimension to the target profile, define the psychographic attributes.
Psychographic attributes provide more color and flavor to the definition. It includes dimensions such as personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyle.
Having a clear idea of who your target market is is the first step toward creating a brand that will be relevant to your buyers, build upon genuine connections.
This is an important step for B2C and B2B businesses alike.
For businesses, the “demographic” attributes will include dimensions that will provide definitions to the business itself such as industry, business sizes, location. “Psychographic” attributes include the personality of the business.
How to tap the prospective customers after identifying them?
Once the customer is identified, the next step is building a following. This is the most critical part of building your online business because no matter how good your product is if people don’t know about it you might as well not bother.
Just as your product or service is a niche, your marketing efforts should be focused as well. After identifying the business niche which matches your talent and passion, You need to market your business to a specific audience using a focused Integrated Digital Marketing strategy.
What is Integrated Digital Marketing?
Many think that having a good website and having a social media presence is Digital marketing. Running paid ads on Google and Face book or Instagram is enough to get customers to buy my products or services.
No. Just by having a digital presence and doing paid ads, customers will not come to buy your products or services.
Some of the other misconceptions people have about Digital Marketing are that doing SEO (Search engine Optimizing) or Email Marketing is digital marketing.
Integrated Digital Marketing is all of it working comprehensively and in tandem.
Integrated Digital Marketing is about:
- Building a proper interactive & responsive Website
- Analyzing Customer demand (opportunity) with Market Research
- Generating Insights with Keyword Research and identifying Longtail Keywords
- Writing useful content to cater to your audience
- Blog or write content regularly to gain expert status and credibility
- Doing SEO to bring the long tail traffic
- Doing Paid Ads on Social media to connect with your customers/audience and drive them to your site
- Collecting their email ids with a free offer/lead magnet once they visit my website
It’s about using the different components in a planned and strategic manner to get website traffic, conversions, and sales.
That’s how your online business can grow in this digital age.
Ultimately, you’d be able to build a brand that delivers value.