microniche

Microniche: The New Standard In The Era Of Dominating Digital Tech Giants

A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.

Niche marketing isn’t enough anymore

There used to be a time when starting a business in a new space implied a market big enough which we called a niche.

Amazon, for instance, did just that. When it didn’t know whether the internet would prove the proper distribution channel and a new way of doing business. Rather than build an e-commerce selling anything. It started from a specific niche: books.

When it finally proved that e-commerce was a viable business model. Amazon expanded its selection. First in adjacent niches. Then in larger and larger niches. Until it reached a critical mass. And it stopped being e-commerce and it became a platform driven by a powerful flywheel and network effects.

As those digital tech giants like Amazon and Google were among the first to dominate the digital space. They were also the ones that now have the most control over the distribution of content and the purchases made over the internet (in the western world).

As new platforms that emerged throughout the first decade of the 2000s, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the media industry got more and more consolidated into the hands of a few players, with an incredible grasp for digital business modeling.

Those new models implied a few key changes, which made digital businesses move:

It also made it possible for the same digital platforms to reach billions of users across the world. Thus redefining the concepts of niche marketing and market segments.

Enter the microniche era

Therefore, if you’re starting a business today you need to make sure to identify a potential target, by being as specific as possible.

Indeed, generally, micro niches represent a small part of potential customers within a broader niche, and while niches do have advantages, micro niches present even more opportunities in the short run. Some of them are: 

  • A less crowded space.
  • With potentially high conversion.
  • An extremely engagement community.
  • Very high margins.
  • A strong demand.
  • A potentially strong brand recognition.
  • Thus a lasting competitive advantage.

How do you pick a microniche?

Let’s start from a simple example. Let’s say you’re opening up a bookstore, looking for opportunities to kick off the store.

Where do you start?

The platform with the most data when it comes to books is definitely Amazon. You start from the Amazon broadest categories to start looking for opportunities:

There was a time when it was possible to stop there. As the web was not such a crowded space for you to start a business. However, nowadays you need to a lower level to look for your microniche.

Thus, saying something like “I’ll start from literature, or historic fiction” isn’t enough. Those are too broad. So where do you start?

Go a level down:

Within Amazon’s literature and historical fiction, we can identify a further category for us to start with. For this example I took something like “historical fiction” and went a level down:

I selected for instance, “Reinassance” as the key area within the micro-target I’m picking to kick off my business distribution strategy.

Thus the process looks something like that:

selecting-a-mirconiche

Within that microniche you can see how the bestseller has quite some substantial reach:

bestseller-historical-fiction

The interesting thing is that what it might actually seem a very small audience it turns out to be a decent audience for a business which is starting out.

Indeed, by crossing the data from Amazon to the keyword volume for the book’s author “Johanna Lindsey” you can see how she is a micro-celebrity:

keyword-analysis-microniche

Example of how a microniche analysis uncovers the audience around a micro-celebrity and it opens up opportunities to kick off your business distribution (data: SEMRush)

It is interesting to notice how we uncovered a potential audience made of over four thousand people each month, by just doing simple research on Amazon and by crossing that with keyword volume.

Thus, if you were to start a bookstore in that category you might want to make sure to have all the books of that author available, create a content strategy around it.

And for instance, invite the author for an off-line session with her fans. While for instance, also transmitting that live online so that you can reach a wider audience and create the first set of loyal customers for your bookstore!

Key takeaway

As the web has become a crowded space, plenty of businesses which serve any kind of niche. Gaining traction in this scenario has become quite expensive. Therefore, it is important to identify a micro-niche, to kick off your customer base, and make you recognized among your potential customers.

A micro-niche has several advantages. Such as higher margins, better brand recognition and potentially a deeper connection with a smaller audience.

Thus, if you’re starting a business today you might want to start from identifying your micro-niche!

Read next: What Is Niche Marketing And Why You Need A Niche Marketing Strategy

Connected Business Concepts

market-analysis
Psychosizing is a form of market analysis where the size of the market is guessed based on the targeted segments’ psychographics. In that respect, according to psychosizing analysis, we have five types of markets: microniches, niches, markets, vertical markets, and horizontal markets. Each will be shaped by the characteristics of the underlying main customer type.
vertical-market

 

A vertical or vertical market usually refers to a business that services a specific niche or group of people in a market. In short, a vertical market is smaller by definition, and it serves a group of customers/products that can be identified as part of the same group. A search engine like Google is a horizontal player, while a travel engine like Airbnb is a vertical player.
grassroots-marketing

 

Grassroots marketing involves a brand creating highly targeted content for a particular niche or audience. When an organization engages in grassroots marketing, it focuses on a small group of people with the hope that its marketing message is shared with a progressively larger audience.
microniche

 

A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.
consumer-to-manufacturer-c2m

 

Consumer-to-manufacturer (C2M) is a model connecting manufacturers with consumers. The model removes logistics, inventory, sales, distribution, and other intermediaries enabling consumers to buy higher quality products at lower prices. C2M is useful in any scenario where the manufacturer can react to proven, consolidated, consumer-driven niche demand.
transitional-business-models

 

A transitional business model is used by companies to enter a market (usually a niche) to gain initial traction and prove the idea is sound. The transitional business model helps the company secure the needed capital while having a reality check. It helps shape the long-term vision and a scalable business model.

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