How to Network in Your Target Industry

By Jeff Rebh

Drawing attention in your niche market takes creativity, tact, and precision. With content marketing leading in the digital marketing space, marketers must work twice as hard to curate a strong network of potential consumers that can actually support their business expansion. Here are a few steps small businesses should take to make themselves properly known in their target industry.

Let LinkedIn Grow Your Business While You Grow Your Network

While LinkedIn is traditionally for job seekers and professionals looking to expand their networks, it is often undermined as a vital tool for target marketing. Let LinkedIn expand your professional network while building a database for potential leads in your niche market. When you connect with someone via LinkedIn, personalize your Thank you for connecting!response.

Bradford Hines, founder of YumDomains.com and HungryKids.org suggests that personalizing your LinkedIn experience makes you much more approachable to your target consumer. Highly targeted connections can start internally within your network and expand outwardly as you zero-in on specific industries and roles for people that would typically buy your product or services.

This also helps grow your email marketing list. Within the body of the thank you note include an invitation to join your email marketing list. This should consist of a direct link for the email signup, information on what they will receive for signing up, and reciprocate by offering to look into a product or service that they solicit. This not only helps in the email personalization but can also help garner some goodwill. The important tip here is to only initiate the conversation with people who would have something to gain from you as well. This allows the relationship to house a naturally reciprocative dynamic and minimizes the risk for conflicts, unfavorable differences or other psychographic factors.

Identify the Tools Youre Going to Use to Reach Your Audience

Theres a number of different ways you can categorize your audience. However, trying to scale their uniqueness requires specific factors that you need to identify to enhance the connection between what your company offers and what your potential audiences needs.

Scaling criteria such as age demographics, gender, location, and income level only help refine the type of recipients that can receive your products or services. The point in analyzing your target market should be about identifying and analyzing the criteria that has a clear relationship with your prospects belief, opinions, attitudes, and intentions with your marketing message. A/B testing allows you to have more tangible results in the types of details your consumers prefer in relationship to your marketing message. You can then eliminate those marketing efforts and create a more cohesive channel to reach your target audience.

Doing this allows you to weed out the people who would be discouraged or disinterested with your brand focus. With these people eliminated, its much easier to focus your marketing messages to reach those who are more likely to respond to a call to action when theyre presented with your vision.

Measure Your Results Accurately

Lastly, once your target audience has been defined, you then determine if this is the audience you planned to communicate with. Sometimes marketers will identify an audience that they want to reach only to and later discover that a completely different group is responding to their marketing materials.

However, depending on the marketing channels used some of feedback can elicit some fairly interesting results. These results may or may not directly correlate with your current campaign. This shouldnt be discouraging, but an important learning lesson moving forward with other campaigns. Its important to be open to feedback because it can teach you how to manipulate those results and optimize your future campaigns; resulting in more identifiable outcomes and a stapled presence in your target market.

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Jeff Rebh
Jeff Rebh is the president and CEO of Innoseal, an international manufacturer and distributor of tamper-evident bag-sealing solutions.

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