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Oct 06, 2008
Blog Post

SherpaBlog: Nano-Niche Marketing: How to Beat the Recession (And Your Competition) More Easily

SUMMARY: No summary available.
by Anne Holland, Founder

No matter how difficult marketing is in your industry right now, folks in real estate probably have it harder. So, I figured: Why not research what's working in real estate and see if we can apply it elsewhere?

Turns out the secret weapon is what I call “nano-niche” marketing.

Here's a real-life example from Taos, New Mexico, where competition in the real estate market is cutthroat. Roughly 250 agents sell the same types of properties to the same types of customers. However, John Kejr of Dreamcatcher Real Estate has a growing business with an almost unassailable competitive advantage. In fact, his business is so strong, he's taken it national. He’s partnering with realtors in several other states.

How? Nano-niche marketing.

Over the past three years, as the real estate business has been tanking, John's built a blog with an enviable SERP, an opt-in email list of would-be customers, and a growing number of sales by specializing in just one particular type of architecture known as Earthships. He fell into it. Other realtors weren't sure how to market a particular Earthship in Taos. John thought he'd take a shot with one, and then the business grew from there.

The key to this story is NOT that everyone should go out and market Earthships. I've met other realtors who've tried this tactic successfully with other nano-niches. There's a guy who runs a tour bus for house hunters seeking mid-century modern foreclosures. There's a woman who represents only those homes that were made in the 1960s by a particular architect with a cult following. Both have extensive email lists of would-be customers from around the world, and both are successful even in a very down economy.

How can you do nano-marketing if your brand is designed to be sold to a wide audience? It's more work for the marketing team but often far less investment in media buys. So, you may spend a bit more on salary, but a lot less on ads. That's because you're relying on content, blogs, search optimization, and reaching out to extremely small (but ripe for the plucking) lists and media outlets.

Divide your marketplace into nano-niches. Only do two or three to start as a test. (I wouldn't test just one because it might be the fluke niche that isn't worth the work. You need to try several to discover what makes a winning niche. Then apply that lesson to additional niche launches.) Start a blog and/or a microsite for each. Make sure it's SEO-ed like crazy by using keywords in the URL, title, headlines, image tags, etc. Add content interesting enough to be worthy of links, and then go out and solicit them. Plus, be sure to have an email opt-in, an RSS feed, and even a free downloadable PDF on the topic with a lead-gen form in front of it.

And then work that niche. Get to know that audience. Serve them religiously and relentlessly. Never send the broad marketing message. Dedicate your marketing to the nano. And the nano will blossom.

Have you tested a nano campaign for your brand? Let us know by posting a comment below. Thanks!
See Also:

Comments about this Blog Entry

Oct 06, 2008 - Makena Hayes Gargonnu of Ashaye Marketing Enterprises says:
My business partner (Bestfriend) and I decided to focus on the women market. We are travel agents and we were thinking of a creative way to get women to take more vacations from us. Since my business partner is a massage therapist, we decided to do spa party once a month to engage the women in a relaxing atmosphere plus introduce upcoming cruises. So far, the response is very high. Women like to be pampered.

Oct 06, 2008 - kriti jaising of Ekobuzz says:
very interesting concept. i would really like to implement for our business. we are a web based self service mobile marketing company, it surely will help us to find that one path to success. nano niche helps cutting through the clutter and noise and facilitate reaching to the target audience that can be your customers.

Oct 10, 2008 - Eric Campbell of EricMakesMusic says:
Great article but I'm surprised that I can't find an RSS feed for your blog. Especially since your recommend having one in your article.

Dec 23, 2008 - jay sharma of dhir interprises says:
"Nano-niche" marketing—targeting very small but engaged groups of consumers—is one way to weather a recession. How can you do nano-marketing if your brand is designed to be sold to a wide audience? It's more work for the marketing team but often far less investment in media buys. So, you may spend a bit more on salary, but a lot less on ads. That’s because you're relying on content, blogs, search optimization, and reaching out to extremely small lists and media outlets.

Oct 24, 2009 - Mawuna of says:
As marketing company dedicated to helping helps small business owners who are struggling to attract clients but don’t have money to invest in advertising nor have time to spend in countless networking websites, clubs and events, we have started some months ago something that is working remarkably well for our customers. We've created a small website where we encourage consumers to send their burning questions, needs or requests to us and we'll provide them in a short period,if not minutes, free professionals answers from experts. ALL for Free. Business professionals in our network have a huge incentive to answer questions: They could mention their products or services, where relevant, in their answers and If they are answering a question not related to their business, they can expose their know-how and brand to millions of users, and their ad appears on the right side or at the bottom of their answer proposal. it is an incredible leads generating machine because the vast majority of questions involve purchase decision or service need. If you are interested to join our network, Contact me.

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