We hear the term “niche market” and “dominating your niche” regularly, but what exactly does this entail, and is it even possible?
We spoke to one of the marketing team from Swegway Ireland, David who has recently began marketing a new website in the smart scooters niche, and what he told us was surprising.
“We have a strong background in consumer electronics, and are lucky enough to have a strong relationship with a team who runs one of Ireland’s top digital marketing agencies, so when we identified this as a strong product, we jumped straight into some market and viability research” said David from Swegway Ireland.
So the guys identified a potential market through research, but we wanted to know more, such as how they know a product is worth marketing, and how they knew it was a viable niche to enter.
David was happy to oblige “Basically, when picking a new product, part of it is gut feeling – we felt it would be a big product this Christmas, and potentially over the coming year too. We began with our gut instinct, but in order to put time and money into bringing this to market, we had to back this up with statistics and tangible proof.”
David went on to say “We begin by doing research into the current competition, we check into search volumes for keywords and phrases we think will perform best, and then search for these phrases and check out the competition. We quickly realised that whilst the keywords we chose were getting a high volume of searches, the actual competition for these keywords was low, and this gave us the confidence to proceed.”
So we’ve learned that choosing a niche to enter is mostly research based, but also down to gut instinct – we believe that if you’re passionate about a niche, and the research adds up, then you’ll have better success than entering a niche that does not interest you, or a niche which you’re interested in but has poor search volume or exceptionally high competition.
Once you’ve identified a niche that will work for you, what’s next? We asked David what the next steps were in bringing Swegway Ireland to the market.
“Once we realised how good this niche was, we were excited – I mean actual excitement, it’s not often you find a niche which isn’t overcrowded with competition, and has a huge target market, who are already actively looking for the product, but then we began to worry, if nobody else is doing it, are we missing something? As this is a physical product we wished to sell, rather than a digital item, or affiliate scheme, we instantly thought price may be a barrier, luckily for us we have a good relationship with many manufacturers due to our history in consumer electronics, so we instantly got on the phone to our main supplier and they gave us the information we needed – price was good, niche was great, time to move forward”
David really gave us something to think about here – no matter how good the niche appears to be, you may get caught up in the excitement, in this case, price could have been a limiting factor, luckily it wasn’t, so what’s next?
David continued, “Now that we know the niche is viable and the price is right, we began to build our website, we have guys in-house who do this for us, but depending on how complex (or not) your product is, you can easily do this yourself using something like WordPress, or pay someone to do it for you – it needn’t break the bank. We quickly got our website online and populated the products, then moved onto social media – we got our Facebook and Twitter accounts up and running in unison with our new website, then we let our SEO guys loose. Local SEO was important to us, we wanted to sell Swegways in Ireland (at least primarily – we’ll ship worldwide!) so we focused on Ireland as our key market. Both on-page and off-site SEO are needed to be successful, so we employed both methods, and the results were pretty astounding. Within a few days we began to rank pretty well for our main key words, and our social media following began to increase.”
So a good website, good search engine optimisation, and a social media presence are all important – as well as identifying and targeting your specific market. We had a look at the website and Facebook account of Swegway Ireland and we were pretty impressed – the brand itself looks great, we were amazed this had been achieved in such a short turnaround time.
We know it looks great, and from doing a few cursory searches in Google, we also know it’s ranking pretty good – but is it working? We asked David if he felt the project had been a success thus far.
“Yes. I feel it has.” Said David. “Within a week of launching, we have a good interaction over social media, we’re getting the visitors, and more importantly, we’re getting sales. Actually, the demand has taken us all by surprise, we were fairly sure we’d have some interest within the first couple of weeks, but we’ve actually got orders coming in regularly, and we’re working hard to keep up with demand! We’re guaranteeing delivery before Christmas so get your Swegway today!” he continued.
So as you can see, it is certainly possible to enter a niche fairly quickly, and be succesful – dominate it? We’re not sure dominate is the right word, but perhaps Swegway will prove us wrong in the coming weeks and months, they certainly seem to be well on the way to domination!
We’d like to thank SwegwayIreland, and in particular David from swegwayireland.ie for his time (and the cheeky plug at the end of the interview!) and wish them all the success with their new venture.
What niches have you identified lately, do you have any success stories, or have you fallen at a hurdle and would like to share? Let us know in the comments so we can give our thoughts! Next time we’ll be speaking to the Managing Director of Ireland’s fastest growing paving company on how they scaled tremendously from startup mode to nationwide in under a year.