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by Marie Chevrier | February 05, 2016
Nowadays, consumers are presented with myriad choices when looking to purchase a product in virtually any category. In order to differentiate their product, consumer goods companies have started focusing on niche marketing -- an approach that concentrates marketing efforts on a small, but specific and well-defined, segment of the population. 

Here are four crucial steps to engaging with a niche audience:

Research Your Niche Audience
You likely know who your niche audience should be, or have a good idea of a few audiences that might be the best match for your product. In the initial stages, spend time researching them to better understand your target demographic. Ask people from within that audience what blogs they follow, where they shop and the brands they love (including other product categories than your own). Once you've compiled this information, start following those channels that are influencing your target market. Be sure to pay special attention to their partnerships, their content strategy and especially their branding; you're bound to find trends that will be important for your brand later on.

Generate Relevant Content
Once you've researched consumers, it's time to engage them on social media. Always ensure that you're posting content that appeals to their interests and lifestyle; this makes followers feel like brands truly understand them. It's incredibly important not to over-post, as quality goes much further than quantity when it comes to social media. Most importantly, avoid content that constantly revolves around talking about your product or brand. Making room for lifestyle content will increase the odds of your target audience reposting it, thus reaching even more like-minded consumers who lead a similar lifestyle and fit into your target demographic. Using social media to offer consumers something they can't get without following you also makes your brand worth paying attention to. This could be limited time offers, coupons, sample opportunities and more. 

Play Well with Others
Another great way to reach consumers is to team up with similar brands and influencers that appeal to your audience. Brands that team up and promote each other can see a huge increase in followers, as it allows them to tap into a fan base that is already interested in similar brands. A great way to achieve this is by taking part in multi-brand events that align with your brand identity. Through these types of events, your brand has the invaluable opportunity to be placed in front of numerous potential new consumers. The Ultimate Online Baby Shower, an event that engaged over 75,000 new parents or parents-to-be last February, teamed up brands from different categories for a one-week online sampling event. By highlighting a different Facebook brand page each day, all brand participants received incredible exposure to a new collection of potential purchasers within their target market. 

Create Brand Ambassadors
According to a Nielsen report, 92 percent of consumers say they trust word-of-mouth and recommendations from family and friends above all other forms of advertising. Once you have developed a loyal consumer base, construct a targeted strategy that can allow them to become brand ambassadors. If they're within your niche market, it is highly likely that they have friends who also fit into that demographic. Sampler's peer recommendation technology reports that, on average, 75 percent of consumers will accept a product sample that's been recommended by a friend on social media within one week. The most vital step in this process is to ensure you use a tool that can help reward or highlight the consumers who recommend your brand to friends. Consumers respond positively to this style of recognition, further encouraging them to continue spreading the word about your product. 

Marie Chevrier is the CEO and founder of Sampler, a management and analytics platform that can help brands, agencies and retailers manage the distribution of digital promotional offers in a more targeted and measurable way. The platform was developed by Toronto-based marketers with the goal of helping consumer packaged goods brands create loyal customers through a targeted sampling strategy. Integrating the Sampler platform with social media, brands are able to target offers to specific demographics or collaborate with brands that are complimentary to them during cross-promotional events on social networks.