Niche Markets

5 Essential Tools for Finding Lucrative Niches Online

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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This article will help answer the question: What is the most effective way to find a lucrative niche in 2015’s crowded marketplace?

Read on for the steps, tips and free resources available.

How Do I Choose A Market?

The first step is to build an informed and accurate opinion about a niche before investing your time and resources. But remember to always go beyond just looking at search rankings because that’s definitely not enough.

Below are the three main components to consider before deciding on a niche to pursue with marketing efforts:

1. Market Demand

Find out:

  • what people want
  • how many want it
  • who wants it
  • where they want it

Demographics will shine light on your search marketing knowledge and help you decide on your niche.

Here are 3 free recommended sites to use for assessing market demand:

This site gives you a behind the scenes look at what your competitors are doing. It serves as a great indicator of current search volumes out there and you can see where traffic is coming from. Compete is a powerful website that gives you several demographics, growth trends and other metrics after you create a free account.

Below is an example of the platform using the popular sporting apparel site, worldrugbyshop.com:

compete.com

Quantcast gives you in-depth demographic information, traffic trends, audience interests, age brackets, income scale, and more. Here are a couple of screenshots to give you a better idea, where I typed in the sports site afl.com.au:

quantcastmainpage

Quantcast directs you to this page after you enter a site.

Still on main page but scrolling further down you can see some demographics.

Still on main page but scrolling further down you can see some demographics.

*Bonus tip: On the homepage there’s the option to browse rankings, which can be set to a certain region (for example, Australia) and it lists all the current top sites for the region. One of the great features I personally like is the option to search for mobile-friendly sites:

quantcastAUbrowserankings

We all know about Facebook, but most people don’t take advantage of the fact you can tap into a mother lode of data from the world’s most popular social media site. Think of your hometown, and now imagine being able to access the market demographics and see how many people are using Facebook in your hometown, including their demographics such as age, gender, status, etc. This can all be done using the special audience insights tool:

FB insights

FB insights accessed from a company page.

2. Social Potential

Find out how people on social media feel about the niche you’re researching. Is it a popular topic? Is it trending now? Is its popularity rising or waning?

Here are a few recommended sites to better enhance and evaluate Social Potential:

SocialMention is a website that really helps with Social Potential. The way it works is that you type in your keyword and it will give you a few different metrics (Strength, Passion, Reach and Sentiment). Sentiment is the news and social mentions (positive or negative?) while the Passion score talks about how passionate people are about this keyword niche.

Topsy provides Twitter search, monitoring and analytics. What I like about Topsy is that it gives you great analytics and data. You can see tweet data, trend data, sentiment data and you can filter by date. It’s another good site that helps you to better gauge how prolific the social activity is in the niche you’re focused on. Like all of the other tools mentioned here, it’s free.

3. Media Frequency

Media Frequency is basically how often the news is being shared in your niche.

First stop: Google.com.

Type in the keyword within your niche in quotation marks. Then go to the news tab and click on search tools, then click on “past week” to get the latest results. This will be an indicator of the amount of available content that is actually out there. The “magic number” you want to see is at least 5 pages of Google news results in the past week:

GoogleSearch

Some marketers might be thinking “this seems pretty basic” but the real challenge and what actually takes a lot of testing/research to find out is what types of niches actually work.

Think of a possible commonality between all of the following successful niches:

  • Parenting
  • Golf
  • Travelling
  • Surfing
  • Photography
  • Entertainment
  • Gardening
  • Trucking

The common theme for all these niches is that these are all things people are passionate about. That’s why it’s important to look at social potential – because it’s a great way to lure and engage passion based on what’s trending today. It’s only by taking all these factors into account that you’ll find a niche that’s truly lucrative and around which you could build a business.

Now that you know how to do some market research to establish your niche and choose your market I suggest you try it out. If you have no idea where to start and don’t know what type of niche or market to get into then the best advice is to start with one of your own passions. It’s that simple!

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