THE BLOG
04/14/2016 01:50 pm ET

6 Niche Marketing Ideas from Some of the Most Competitive Industries

Competition for customer attention seems to get stronger each year as businesses in almost every industry strive to win the marketing game. It's no longer enough to post social media updates about your latest product or an upcoming special. Today's brands must be innovative to win customers.

From social media to email campaigns, businesses across all industries are finding new ways to connect with customers. When businesses monitor the latest trends and find innovative ways to plug into them, they can draw attention away from the many other online marketing activities each day. Here are a few unique marketing ideas being put into place by professionals in some of the most competitive markets in business today.

Photos and Videos
The phrase, "a picture is worth a thousand words" has taken on an all-new meaning in the social media age. Construction companies are finding innovative ways to show off their work on sites like Instagram and Twitter. New customers can see examples of multiple projects at a glance and loyal customers can follow along and get inspiration for upcoming work requests of their own. Even B2B contractors such as concrete companies can use visual marketing to demonstrate the equipment they have on hand and the types of projects they can handle.

Testimonials
For service-based businesses, landing new customers often means hoping for word-of-mouth recommendations. Good reviews can help, but those are usually posted on third-party sites like Yelp and Facebook. Testimonials are the best way for businesses to feature statements from satisfied customers. Law firms especially put this concept in action, whether through text-based statements or videos. Testimonials give firms the option of controlling the message, choosing from the best comments they receive from clients.

Streaming Video
Some professionals make their living through having an in-demand area of expertise. When that expertise can be shared with potential customers through video, brands may have a great way to increase brand awareness. Fitness instructors use video to make money through sites like YouTube and potentially convert free viewers to paying customers as they sell products and host in-person classes. Some trainers even conduct live lessons to give students the experience of going to a class each day. This is especially helpful for local instructors who want to give students the option of attending at home if they can't make it to the studio or gym.

Wanelo
Sites like Pinterest have led to apps such as Wanelo, which give users a place to save photos of items they want. This is ideal for gift giving, but it also lets consumers express their personal tastes through the items they post in their collections. Businesses that use sites like Shopify can feature their items through the app, reaching Wanelo's heavy youthful demographic. Each item shows how many times it has been saved on the site, further increasing interest. While other social media sites have tried to help businesses monetize their items using buy buttons, Wanelo is designed to encourage users to purchase, making it more likely to help businesses win paying customers.

Short-Form Video
Both Twitter and Facebook now allow video posts and both have become popular with marketers. Videos auto play without sound, making it important to keep the videos short and eye-catching. Sports teams are especially ideal for this type of marketing, with professional and amateur teams using it to share clips from practices, highlights from games, and fun imagery that connect with sports fans.

Fan Forums
One of the best ways for a business to strengthen its marketing efforts is to form a community for its existing loyal customers. New consumers will see the enthusiasm as a good sign and possibly even join in. Facebook's fan page feature has become one of the best places for fans to gather in support of a brand, with beauty and fashion pages having the most success. Loyal customers can follow a business and learn about upcoming product releases as well as interact with other customers.
Brands always look for innovative ways to market their products and services. By studying target customers and finding a way to connect with them on the platforms they use most, businesses will be in a position to succeed in an increasingly competitive online marketplace.

CONVERSATIONS