What Is a Niche Market? And How To Reach One

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn what a niche market is, the benefits of marketing and selling to one, and how to reach your niche market.

[Featured image] Three people work on a niche market plan for their yarn business.

Niche markets are highly specific segments of consumers who share certain characteristics and qualities. In contrast to mass markets, which encompass all possible consumers, niche markets consist of much more narrow consumers who are smaller in number than mass markets but who may be much more likely to purchase a specific product or service.

In this article, you'll learn more about what niche markets are, explore examples of them in the real world, and find a step-by-step guide to help you define and reach your target niche markets.

Niche market definition

A niche market is a very specific segment of consumers who share characteristics and, because of those characteristics, are likely to buy a particular product or service. As a result, niche markets comprise small, highly specific groups within a broader target market you may be trying to reach.

Identifying a niche market and learning everything you can about it enables you to do several things:

  • Develop products and services that meet your niche’s unique needs and desires

  • Show empathy for your niche through your marketing messaging  

  • Build trust with your niche and turn them into loyal customers 

  • Compete with larger brands

  • Become a credible “go-to” brand for the specific solution you provide and ultimately attract more customers

Consumer characteristics defined

When identifying a niche market, you'll find three categories of consumer characteristics: demographic, psychographic, and firmographic.

Demographics are specific socio-economic factors such as age, ethnicity, or income level.

Psychographics are behaviors, attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological factors.

Firmographics are factors used to characterize the operations of businesses and organizations and can include the industry type, organization size, and revenue.


3 niche market examples

This section explores three niche market examples in different industries and products and services that consumers in these niches might purchase. Draw inspiration from these examples as you identify and serve your niche markets.

Aspiring novelists

Think of aspiring novelists as a smaller segment of writers in general. Aspiring novelists might share some characteristics with other types of writers, such as journalists, bloggers, poets, playwrights, copywriters, and technical writers, in that writers of all kinds typically enjoy using language to express their ideas. 

As a niche audience, though, aspiring novelists would exhibit unique goals, interests, challenges, behaviours, and other demographic and psychographic characteristics you’d need to consider. That way, you could develop products or services and messaging to appeal specifically to this niche market.

For example, aspiring novelists might be interested in courses on how to build page-turning plots and unforgettable characters or even apps to help them navigate a book-length document. Depending on the demographic and psychographic information you discovered, messaging could appeal to this niche market’s “dream to tell stories” or desire to “bring ideas to life.”

Long-distance runners

Think of long-distance runners as a smaller segment of athletes in general. Long-distance runners might share some characteristics with other athletes, such as bodybuilders or dancers. For example, athletes typically enjoy the physical and mental challenges and benefits of exercise. 

In researching the unique characteristics of long-distance runners, you might discover that this niche group emphasizes building endurance, perfecting their stride, and staying hydrated during long runs. This niche market might be interested in group training events, hand-held water bottles, or even subscriptions to inspirational content. Messaging could appeal to this niche market’s drive to “cross the finish line” or “break personal records.”

Telemedicine physicians  

Think of telemedicine physicians as a smaller segment of health care workers (a group that’s itself a smaller segment of remote workers). Telephysicians may share characteristics with health care workers regarding their commitment to patient care. They may relate with remote workers regarding their comfort with technology and the need for flexible schedules.

In researching the unique characteristics of telemedicine physicians, you might discover that this niche market is interested in furniture or decor to make their home offices conducive for telemedicine or even resources on how to exhibit “bedside manner” across a screen. Messaging could appeal to telephysicians’ compassion and mission to heal others.

How to reach a niche market

In this section, you'll learn seven strategies for reaching your niche market. While you may already have ideas about the product or service you want to offer, you’ll want to prioritize getting to know your niche: how they behave, what they want, and their challenges. That way, you can develop offers in response to potential customers’ unique characteristics and eventually market these offers with greater success.

1. Start niching down from broader categories.

If you know the broad market categories of customers you’d like to serve, the next thing to do is “niche down” to discover subsets of consumer groups according to their unique qualities. For example, you could start narrowing down a broad market, such as “university students” to “biology majors at major universities,” “international graduate students,” or “students who need on-campus childcare.” 

Ask yourself these questions to explore potential niche markets:

  • What might you (and potentially other consumers) need that currently isn’t available for purchase?  

  • What specific problems do you want to solve?

  • What could you offer to consumers based on your strengths?

  • What kinds of consumers would share your values, passions, and experiences?

  • What basic demographic and psychographic details do you imagine these consumers share? 

2. Identify niche market keywords.

Another way to define a niche market is to learn what consumers are googling when they want to find solutions to problems or answers to their questions. Start typing your search and notice the keywords and phrases that Google automatically suggests based on what’s trending.

For example, if you want to learn more about green consumers, type “non-toxic” into a Google search bar, and you may find that Google suggests “non-toxic cookware” or “non-toxic cleaning supplies.” Typing these keywords into SEO research sites like Semrush and Ahrefs can reveal important metrics such as the monthly search volume for a particular keyword and the difficulty of ranking high in a search result. These can offer clues as to what’s important to your niche market. 

3. Research interest groups on social media.

You can discover quite a bit about niche markets by searching interest groups on social media or community platforms, where people engage with and post content related to their passions, interests, professions, age groups, and other demographic and psychographic information.

For example, if you’re targeting developers, research them on GitHub, a platform millions of developers and organizations use to create software and collaborate. Click around to discover the kinds of projects developers are working on, the skills developers are learning, and the connections GitHub users make with one another.

If you’re targeting avid readers, research them on Goodreads, a platform where millions of readers post about books and rate their reading experience, join reading challenges, and track their reading activity. In searching Goodreads, you may discover which genres, topics, and new releases are trending, as well as how readers connect through their shared love of books.

To learn more about different social media platforms as sources of niche market insights, watch this lecture from the Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate.

4. Examine competitors. 

As you gather insights from keyword research and social media, you’ll want to discover who your competitors are and what they offer consumers in your niche. For example, if you want to serve long-distance runners, what are the top brands runners currently follow on social media or buy from? What gaps do you notice?

With this information, you can devise a plan to compete effectively. This might include niching down further, differentiating your products and services to fill gaps, and refining your messaging to promote them.

5. Explore fast-growing occupations.

As industries grow, you may find untapped niche markets among business owners, employees, and consumers within an industry you’re interested in. Explore fast-growing occupations through Job Bank Canada and other statistical sites to gain insights.

For example, the Government of Canada's Job Bank employment projections for the country show that between 2019 and 2028, registered nurse and registered psychiatric nurse jobs will grow to 191,100 openings while only 154,600 people will seek these jobs, a projected shortage of 36,500 jobs [1]. New information security analyst jobs will total 113,000 by 2028, with only a projected 98,700 job seekers looking to fill those positions [2]. 

As you gather information of this kind, ask yourself these questions:

  • What products and services could enhance people's experiences in these growing career fields? 

  • What’s the best way to learn more about people in these career fields?

  • What niche markets can you identify based on companies hiring for these positions?

  • What kinds of marketing strategies would reach these niches most effectively?

6. Gather statistical data.

Statistical data relevant to your niche market can help you estimate its size, income level, and other purchase metrics. From that information, you could determine your next niche marketing step.

Here are two industry-specific examples:

  • According to Insights 10, the Canadian telemedicine market is estimated to grow at a compounded rate of 18.2 per cent from 2022 to 2030, reaching a total market value of $18.53 billion. This market expansion will likely create growth for physicians interested in pursuing the telemedicine niche [3].

  • According to Job Bank Canada, the job prospects for marriage and family therapists are “Good” to “Very Good” throughout Canada. By 2028, there is projected to be a shortage of about 500 therapists nationwide [4].

Niche marketing tip: Bear in mind that becoming a known brand within a niche can eventually attract competitors who want to share your success. You may be able to mitigate this by niching down even further, refining your products and services, and adjusting your messaging.


Reach your niche market with Coursera.

Taking a course can be a great way to learn effective business practices, including how to find your niche market and attract niche customers to your products and services.

Learn how to target new audiences via digital marketing strategies with the Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate or on social media, specifically with the Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate. Learn how to use marketing data, cultivate a brand voice that gets your audience’s attention, and optimize paid ad campaigns for your niche.  

Article sources


Canadian Occupational Projection System. “Search Result : Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (3012), https://occupations.esdc.gc.ca/sppc-cops/occupationsummarydetail.jsp?tid=103.” Accessed June 20, 2024.

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