How a Small Business Can Thrive in a Competitive Niche

Small business owners and marketers promoting a business online.

While the internet can make the world a very big place, it can also make it a very cramped one as a business owner. The COVID pandemic has squeezed businesses out, but it’s also squeezed most of them online and on apps. This has opened new opportunities but also means your competitive niche has become all that more competitive. Here are three marketing strategies to employ to help your small business thrive in the current market.

Know Your Clients: Ideal Client Profiles and Customer Avatars

One of the first things we ask a prospective client is: “Who do you want to market to?” Many know they want to reach more customers or a higher price-point but haven’t thought past that. Knowing who you want to sell to is vital, and for more than just sales and marketing. It can help you better tailor your products and services to your end-users. Here are two ways to get there:

  • Ideal Client Profiles: Our own COO, Julia Becker Collins, has talked a lot about ICPs in the past. They are all about looking at your current customer base and identifying the best customers – highest ROI, least problem, etc. Learn more about them on our blog.
  • Customer Avatars: It can be useful to put a face on who you want to sell to. A Customer Avatar (also sometimes known as a Marketing Avatar) is a step beyond an ICP as it makes the customer into a person, fleshing them out with a name, face, and personality. Check out this Forbes article for a good overview.

Focus Your Marketing Where Your Competition Isn’t

If you’re having trouble capturing a market share, changing how you sell might not be as important as where you sell. Here are three places to explore.

Pick a Different Social Media Platform

Hopefully, you’re already practicing great social media marketing. If you’re having trouble on your current platform, it might be worth looking at others. Facebook has a robust ad system and the largest userbase. Instagram has a younger demographic great for photogenic companies. Twitter can help leverage the brand ambassadors in your company, and LinkedIn is great for business networking.

Build Up (and Build Out) Your Website

Don’t let the focus on social media above fool you: your website can (and should) be the home of your business. A good website acts as a hub for users and for the Google Search algorithm, allowing you to show up in more searches. Think about working on better Search Engine Optimization (SEO) content. Set yourself apart with a direct online store. And make sure your website is updated – an old website can be a mark against you.

Focus on Good PR and Event Planning

If you’re more focused on brick-and-mortar work and need to build up your local marketing, it’s time for you to focus on your community. Think about giving back, sponsoring a local team, volunteering, and other good acts. As COVID starts to release its grip on the nation, start getting back into event planning and marketing or go virtual with a focus on local support. You can also look at pitching an article to your local news agency, something we’ve interviewed Brad Kane on over at our Success Series videos.

Work with the Competition: Referral Networks

In her Worcester Business Journal article Build bridges: Why the competition isn’t your enemy, Julia talks about the power of working with your competition. While you should give the full article a read, this comes down to two things: build on your strengths and turn your weaknesses into referrals.

To use ourselves as an example, as a marketing agency, we can cover everything from websites to social media, but specific niches and client price points are outside our focus. We partner with other marketing firms to either subcontract or refer the prospect to them, and they do the same with us. The client can get help, our partner gets paid, and we build our network.

Vision Advertising is a full-service marketing agency specializing in digital marketing and advertising. If you’re looking to gain an edge with either, contact us today. Want to learn more? Our COO Julia Becker Collins has talked extensively on this and many other subjects: find them all here. You can also find our full blog archive here.

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About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by his background, Alex writes “social media content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to whitepapers and beyond. In addition, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision’s clients, along with social media advertising for others. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, compiles tabletop roleplaying system conversions, and cooks a mean Chicken and Dumplings avec Peas. A videogame enthusiast, he is also developing his first video game with the startup game studio, Pretty Weird. He is terrible with plants*.

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