This article originally appeared in XYZ Quarterly Vol. 2 Issue 1.
Getting online is a critical part of successfully reaching the people that matter most when you’re looking to promote your business, showcase your work, or raise funds for an important cause. An online presence is how your audience will find you, learn what you have to offer, and potentially become loyal customers, fans, and supporters.
One of the very first steps of marketing yourself online is picking a niche. A niche is an industry or genre that you specialize in and the types of products or services that you offer. Some popular niche markets of 2019 are alternative health and diets, environmentally responsible living, and the latest modes of transportation. Essentially, it’s a particular market that you know you can serve over and over again.
Growth marketing agency, GrowthEngine.xyz, is an excellent example of this. By focusing mainly on “growth hacking” for digital businesses (e-commerce, mobile applications, and software as a service), the agency is able to expertly deliver what their clients want most: customer acquisition and retention.
Finding your niche will help you to strategically concentrate your efforts in one direction. If you’re clear on what you offer and who your audience is, you will be able to best determine how to entice them.
One common misconception is that your online presence needs to appeal to everyone. A new business that attempts to market itself to the masses often results with a watered-down message. Creatives often seem more experienced when they have a distinct specialty, and non-profits can seem more trustworthy when known for benefiting a specific cause.
Marketing with focus will help you build expert status in your space. You will be able to bring value to your potential audience by identifying and meeting their unique needs. Starting with a small, well-defined niche doesn’t mean you can’t expand into other spaces as you grow. Take notes from contemporary culture online publisher, Milk.xyz. They have been able to expand beyond writing about innovative brands to rolling out their own collaborations and podcast due to the growth of their community.
Start defining your niche by making a list of possible ideas. Some questions to ask yourself are:
Chicago Tribune reporter Louisa Chu and WBEZ’s Monica Eng did exactly this when they started Chewing.xyz. The pair combined their shared interest in food culture to create a podcast and website that explores the intersection of good food, good health, and good policy.
Pick your top three ideas and narrow them down by general interest and profit potential. It’s important to know if there is an audience out there that can benefit from what you have to offer, and there are a few ways that you can determine this:
A useful way to gauge general interest and profitability is by checking keyword search query reports online. Generally, focus on keywords with at least 10,000 search queries in order to find a niche with a substantial audience. A high level of competition is not necessarily a bad thing, as competition means there is a market interested and ready to buy. A low level of competition may mean that there are not many interested people out there.
Another way to measure the market size for niche topics is by checking the amount of books, articles, and papers written about it. If there is a substantial volume of work on your topic out there, then that means publishers have deemed it to be a profitable subject, publications consider it to be newsworthy, and researchers find it to be important. A low amount of published work on the subject could mean that there’s relatively low public interest on the subject.
After determining which topics have an interested market, it’s time to research the competition. Search the keywords associated with your niche and see what and who comes up. Start logging all of the major competitors and defining the characteristics that make you stand out in the crowd.
Key differentiators may be the pricing, level of quality, and innovation of your product or service.
Fashion tastemaker, JovelRoystan.xyz, stands out from other influencers by catering his content towards ambitious young professionals, and sharing on-trend style sharp enough for the office.
One immediate way that anyone can instantly differentiate themselves is with content and design. An expertly branded website with clear navigation and functionality can be the ultimate decider for a new customer or supporter.
A new domain name ending like .xyz can offer a consistent and clear brand message. Get a domain name that is the exact name of your business, or your first and last name, so your audience can easily find you online. A .xyz domain is generic yet memorable, so it’s perfect for any niche market. Register your .xyz domain today to start building your online reputation.