Smart marketing is often referred to when you find clever ways to make your marketing…
Small Business in a Niche Market? How to Outgun Your Competition in the Wild West of Social Media
Being a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) can be challenging enough, but to be a gunfighter in a niche market is to climb yet another mountain of competition and potential anonymity. The savvy SME social media marketer can turn that mountain into a molehill with a careful social media strategy and clever usage of online and digital tools.
In fact, social media levels the playing field to the extent that the SME might find itself effectively armed, marketing-wise, even when face-to-face with a faster gun in the form of a bigger corporation. As such, it is best to become competent in social media marketing to have a better chance of attracting more interest and creating more buzz in a niche market.
Social media is a very wide street in a very big town. In that sense, marketing in this desert is just like the Wild West: almost anything goes, no real rules and sometimes a stampede happens. Social media marketing is a lot more fun than traditional marketing though, so enjoy pushing your brand into the hide of your competitors and showing it off to your loyal customers.
Here are a few bullets you can arm yourself with:
Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.
Be as creative as you dare. The more creative, the more unusual, the more “out there” the approach, the more viewers and followers pay attention—particularly Generation Y. They have seen it all and know it all already, so you will have to “bring it” and be bold if you expect to get them to pay attention. The Big Old Guns a.k.a. bigger companies in your field are hiring young guns doing this, too, so don’t expect them to sit by and let you take anything.
This is especially true if you’re in a niche market, which also means you might be more constrained in terms of what you can do with your social media strategies and content. Just another reason to be more creative since there’s a good chance the competition will stick to their “tried and tested” techniques, opening them up to the risk of being, well, boring.
Be faster on the draw.
Research from Akamai and Gomez.com has shown that you have as little as two seconds to get the attention of a reader before they go somewhere else, and that includes the load time. The same report shows that the older people might wait as long as six seconds. What does this mean? Well, it just means it’s much better if you’re faster in terms of loading your social media content and getting your point across because, at least in this sense, patience is not a virtue.
Since you’re already in a niche market, you’ll be given a fewer set of eyes to attract. All the more reason to not let them ignore you and look at another company’s social media profiles—a risk which increases if you’re slower to the draw with your social media load times and campaigns.
Link your content to your other social profiles.
Many social media platforms allow sharing to other platforms. Leverage this ability, as doing so will draw your audiences and encourage them to follow your other social media marketing attempts, giving you better odds of making a conversion (making a sale or other positive actions towards your brand or your products) occur.
Make sure ALL content Is mobile–friendly.
Mobile devices are now becoming the primary platform for content viewing. Mobile usage has passed the 50% mark in the last couple of years and will likely require a little adjustment by marketers. It is crucial that this occur. Forrester Research predicts that 70% of content will be delivered to mobile devices within four years. It is already at 70% in Japan in the field of retail and consumer goods and is at 69% in Australia and New Zealand.
So, while you might be in a niche market, it’s safer to assume that this trend applies to your target market as well. Creating mobile-friendly content gives you a better chance of reaching them while they’re in transit and away from their laptops or desktop computers, increasing potential views and conversions. It’s also not enough that your content be accessible via mobile devices, they must look, at the very least, decent on them as well. Badly-rendered images and social media pages on mobile will only annoy viewers and be a negative for your online reputation.
Learn and adjust.
There are considerable benefits to being an SME walking tall on the mean, dusty streets of social media marketing. The payout can be considerable, but just like prospecting, there are risks. You will make some errors—just learn fast and recover.
Here are some of the gold nuggets you might just find:
- Increased revenue from incremental sales made online.
- Access to new global markets.
- Opportunity to discover new SME partnerships and collaboration opportunities.
- Heightened brand awareness.
- Continual networking opens avenues to new resources.
- Put a “fresh face” on your old company.
All the more reason to get your guns out and make social media marketing a priority. If you’re new to the scene, a bit of trial and error is expected before you reap the aforementioned rewards. Carefully study the plans that work (data analytics tools are available for this) and those that don’t. Adjust accordingly and learn from your mistakes. This is crucial for smaller businesses in a niche market since they have less viewership available to them compared to companies in more mainstream markets.
However, if you do this right and are able to adjust your social media content and strategies effectively, you’ll have a better chance of not only getting greater online visibility and brand awareness but also will build a nice reputation as the company that does noteworthy social media marketing campaigns in a niche market. Your target audience already knows who you are and will anticipate what you’re up to next.
If you feel outgunned.
If you feel you have limited bullets and weaker guns in the Wild West of social media, don’t hesitate to call for back up. By that we mean investing in digital tools, attending seminars or hiring a third-party digital marketing agency to help you out, especially if you’re just starting out. Not only will this help you improve your strategies, you’ll also fast track the learning process.
Combined with your own trial-and-error learning and experiences, you’ll be able to improve faster and be on your way to truly knowing how to use social media marketing for driving a smaller business in a niche market to greater heights.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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