Content Marketing
5 Tips to Establish a Niche Small Business in the Community

5 Tips to Establish a Niche Small Business in the Community

December 6, 2022
5 min read

Starting a niche small business—whether it’s a hip-hop/ballet fusion dance studio, gluten-free bakery, or vintage thrift store—is no small feat. In addition to setting up your business entity, finding a location, and hiring employees, you also have to raise awareness of your business and generate traffic within your local community.

Establishing a niche business comes with unique challenges, including educating your audience about your products or services, competing with larger organizations, and targeting a narrow group of potential customers. However, with a cohesive marketing strategy, you can get the word out and turn your business into a community staple.

In this guide, we’ll review the top tips for promoting your niche small business, engaging consumers, and developing a positive reputation for your organization.

1. Host free events.

Free events offer a casual, no-pressure opportunity for community members to learn more about your business and get to know your staff. Plus, they allow you to make a positive first impression as an inviting, welcoming business whose presence will enhance the community.

Make a name for your business and acquire new customers by hosting events like:

  • Workshops and classes. Show the value your business brings to the community by offering free educational workshops or classes. Host a dance class, cooking tutorial, paint night, dog obedience class, or wine tasting, depending on the nature of your business.
  • Open houses. Open your business to the public, and host a tour of your facilities, complete with free snacks, drinks, and coupons or discount books. Make sure there are multiple staff members available to speak with attendees and answer questions.
  • Online events. Allow potential new customers to tune in to an event from their homes, such as a virtual yoga class, cooking class, or a Q&A with a local author. Open up the chat so attendees can interact with each other and begin to build a community surrounding your business.

During these events, inform attendees about the niche products and services you provide and the benefits of these offerings. For instance, a vintage thrift store may differentiate itself from competitors by explaining that it only sources clothing from sustainable brands.

2. Optimize your website for search engines.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of honing your website content so that it ranks higher on search engines like Google. The higher your website appears on search engine results pages, the more people will find your website and support your new business.

To optimize your website for search engines, remember to:

  • Create high-quality content. Your content is the driving force behind your SEO strategy. Search engines prioritize content that is authoritative and meets users’ search intent. Write informative blog posts related to your business’s products, services, events, or industry. Include highly relevant keywords your audience may be searching for so your posts appear in search engine results. For instance, an artisanal candle maker may target keywords such as “all-natural candles” or “scented candle small business.”
  • Leverage local SEO. Google’s algorithm takes proximity into account for certain types of searches. For example, if you were to search “local Mexican restaurants” or “pet boutiques near me,” you’d likely see a variety of local businesses that offer what you’re looking for. Start by updating your Google Business Profile with complete, accurate information, and ensure that your content is relevant to local issues and audiences.
  • Improve your site’s technical SEO. Help Google and other search engines crawl, index, and rank your content by focusing on technical SEO. Some easy ways to improve technical SEO include updating your sitemap so crawlers can easily navigate the site, ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, and making your site accessible through high color contrast, alternative text for images, and closed captions for videos.

Keep in mind that search engines prioritize sites that offer a positive, engaging user experience. When in doubt, think from your potential customers’ perspectives to determine which types of content to create, which keywords to target, and which aspects of technical SEO to focus on.

3. Run targeted ads.

Targeted advertising allows you to boost your marketing return on investment (ROI) by reaching your target audience members directly. One of the most effective forms of targeted advertising is geofencing.

Geofencing marketing involves connecting with target audience members within a specific geographic boundary. After drawing this virtual boundary or “fence,” you can serve digital ads to audience members in your local area on their laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.

Follow these steps to run a geofencing campaign:

  • Create your address list. Depending on the audience you want to reach, your list might include addresses for homes, other businesses, conferences, concerts, sporting events, trade shows, or universities.
  • Design effective ads. Create engaging, visually appealing ads to fuel your campaign. These ads should lead audience members to a lead-generating landing page—such as your business’s home page or online store—to drive meaningful engagement and conversions.
  • Track your progress. Track metrics such as your ad impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and conversion rate to assess campaign performance. This data will allow you to identify successes or failures in your strategy and adjust your plan accordingly.

Geofencing marketing allows you to focus your marketing efforts rather than taking a “throw things at the wall and see what sticks” approach. You can be confident that you’re reaching people who live and work within close proximity of your business and are therefore more likely to become customers.

4. Get involved in corporate philanthropy.

Giving back to the community helps establish your business as caring, trustworthy, and responsible. In fact, Double the Donation’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) statistics guide notes that 77% of consumers want to purchase from companies with strong CSR initiatives, and 71% of employees want to work at a company that gives back through philanthropy and volunteering.

When your business gets involved in corporate philanthropy, you’ll not only attract like-minded customers and employees, but you’ll also boost your reputation by demonstrating your commitment to improving the greater community.

Consider offering a variety of philanthropic opportunities for customers and employees, including:

  • Employee volunteer outings and grants
  • Percentage nights or fundraisers for local nonprofits
  • In-kind donations to local charities
  • Pro-bono services, such as legal or web design services

Participating in corporate philanthropy is a win for everyone involved. Customers feel good about supporting a philanthropic business, employees are more engaged, nonprofits receive more aid, and your business develops a positive reputation.

5. Create an authentic social media presence.

Social media is an effective channel for introducing potential new customers to your brand’s offerings and personality. However, social media users seek authenticity from the accounts they follow. They don’t want to feel like they’re talking to a business; they want to interact with a real person on your team.

For instance, let’s say you’re promoting your new dance business on Instagram. To give your followers an inside look at your studio, have one of your dance teachers showcase a day in their life by posting video updates throughout their day. That way, you give a face to your business and make your social media presence feel friendly and approachable.

It’s also important to keep your audience in mind when creating social media content. Every social media platform has its own unique audience and appeals to different demographics. This infographic from DanceStudio-Pro’s dance studio marketing guide explores top social media platforms and the core audiences on each:

When you create content that resonates with each segment of your audience on the platforms they use most often, you’ll boost engagement and conversions. For example, you might reach a younger audience on TikTok by participating in current short-form video trends and reach older generations by posting photos and written content on Facebook.

Establishing a niche small business in your local community takes time. However, with these marketing and outreach strategies, you can foster brand awareness more quickly, transforming potential customers into brand advocates and turning your business into a go-to spot for local community members.

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.

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