Many entrepreneurs, small business owners and professionals focus their marketing to specific groups of people. By pinpointing audiences, this allows them to maximize the effectiveness of their programs and services so they can address multiple niches from different groups.

This brings us to the point that many internet marketers get caught up in defining and wrapping their hands around this thing called niche marketing.

What is niche marketing? Niche marketing is attempting to serve or sell a product to a specific group of people who are your target audience. A niche can be thought of like a section on a pie graph, which is reserved for a savvy investor with a certain amount of money to invest. In some charts, that niche is occupied by riskier portfolios and higher returns on investments. The entire chart could be used to display various stocks, bonds, mutual funds, but this little niche place can only hold smaller, more volatile investments.

In the same way, the market can be thought of as the huge chart where many goods can be bought and sold. The items on the chart are intended for a broader audience and larger viewing potential. But, any item in that little niche space is intended to focus your attention just on that one item and certainly a more specific audience. For example, let’s say you want to promote to 55 to 65 year old women. This happens to be the fastest growing population on Facebook. This will be your niche market.

So what is a target audience? An important part of marketing is to ensure you are delivering a message to be seen and heard by the people most likely to purchase your product – your target audience. So to define target audience; those most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Having a well-defined target market is more important than ever with all the twists, turns and volatility of our current economy.

“Small businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a niche market.” Mandy Porta You do not have to alienate people that do not fit the potential buyers profile when targeting a specific market. Target marketing enables you to connect with potential clients, establish trust, likeability and visibility, while generating business more efficiently. “In this way you can concentrate your marketing dollars on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets.” Mandy Porta

Let’s look at the example above once again. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55 to 65 year old women. This would represent your niche market. Any women in that age group, that are single/married, wanting to connect with friends, family members and loved ones, interested in dating, health, exercise, make $55000 annually or want to learn how to use Facebook would be your target audience.

So your target audience, of course, would not only be 55 to 65 year old women on Facebook, but 55 to 65 year old women across the internet and world. Your goal would be to blog about issues that concern this age group. You want to share valuable content about activities that concern them and you want to use marketing verbiage that speaks to them. In other words, you want to understand the “triggers” that cause them to take action or buy, so you can deliver a focused message to meet their needs while presenting yourself as someone who genuinely cares.

To achieve your brand marketing goals, it is important to be a student of the game and know your target market. In order to do this, a market analysis and testing the market are required. This market analysis must be very detailed and provide you with the meaty, in depth information you need to better serve your target audience effectively. “By knowing your target audience you will be more effective, efficient, and confident when it comes time to connect with that audience.” Laura Lake

You also want to test your market. Get to know your competitors and carefully gauge the market’s receptiveness to your product, service or message. Review and read your competitors websites and articles. Figure out their page rank by using Alexa. Alexa tells you the page rank of any website.

For example, Google has a page rank of 1 and Facebook has a page rank of 2. So the lower the better! This will help you determine the amount of traffic going to your competitors site. You want to look for selling points and pricing to get an idea where to start your price point for your products and services. Pay attention to delivery and other characteristics that caught your eye. This will give you a better feel for what you’re up against, along with giving you ideas on how to brand and market yourself.

“The power of your brand relies on the ability to focus. That is why defining your target market will help to strengthen your brand’s effectiveness. With niche marketing you are purposely building a business or website to fit in to a very specific niche. So, with a target audience the business comes first and then the targeting while with niche marketing you build a business around a profitable niche you have found and plan to market to.” Laura Lake