Every now and then a client will approach me asking for a killer product idea or a marketing plan that will allow them to capitalize on a new product, niche, or field that just cropped up.
Especially when it comes to technology and information product marketing, new fields are potential gold mines if you act fast enough to corner the market. There are a few problems with this strategy, however.
First, if it’s not immediately clear who the audience is, writing effective content can be very hard – we’re practically guessing at that point, based on a handful of highly educated hypotheses.
Second, there is the issue of market size. How many people will actually buy this product, play this game, or need to know how to build a chicken coop or learn Farsi?
The answers are sometimes surprising in a good way, but they can also be surprising in a bad way, which means you invest a lot of time and money into an idea that never gets traction.
Evaluating Potential in a New Niche
There’s a reason why many business start in established fields – either building a better version of something that came before or simply copying the biggest players with a smaller, more agile business model.
There’s nothing wrong with that, and in fact, it’s one of the best ways to ensure there is an audience to pull from. At that point, you just need to pull customers away from other providers. But the path to success is harder because of that competition.
So when you find a new niche, it can be very exciting. Whether you invent a new consumer device, develop a new solution for a long standing problem or are developing training for a new product or service, it’s an open field, but when something is wide open it doesn’t necessarily guarantee a large market.
If it’s too much of a sub-niche you may find yourself up against a cap quickly. Spending more money than you need to dominate a niche is a major issue, especially when talking about content which can be a powerful tool to stand out in a new field.
Demographic research, search engine research, and forum/blog research will help you determine just how many potential customers are out there.
Taking Action Bit by Bit
It’s never a good idea to throw all your eggs into one basket. So take baby steps and test your niche to see how it performs.
We did this for a client recently interested in producing a series of videos about Google’s new Keyword Planner in AdWords. Instead of diving in and creating a 30 hour course on how to use the tool, we helped them create a series of landing pages that linked to a 7 day email course.
That email course contained about 4,000 words worth of tips and advice for switching from the old keyword tool to the new one. With some targeted ad spend we saw high conversion rates and solid interest in the list, so we were able to scale and start developing more in-depth content that the client’s customers would be interested in.
Now imagine if we had created that course for them – a multi-week project with many deliverables – and no one had been interested. It would have been a huge loss for them.
Something like Google AdWords training is less of an unknown, but imagine a new kind of tablet operating system, or a new video game guide, or tips on how to get a job in a certain field.
This kind of stuff needs to be tested and content is the perfect way to test it. If people eat up your landing pages and email content, it’s safe to assume there will be at least a modest audience interested in buying that product on your eventual website.