To niche or not to niche? That is the question.
And how niche is ‘too niche?’
Many agencies face this dilemma at some point in their career. They want to clearly define their target audience yet they don’t want to harm their long-term growth prospects by limiting their total addressable market.
The sweet spot, therefore, entails finding niches that encourage repeat business and scale. One way to do this is to identify hot emerging niches with no signs of slowing down and dedicating your messaging to that market. This helps agencies stand out from the competition and attract high-quality clients willing to pay a premium for specialized services.
As 2023 unfolds, consider these ten promising areas agencies can tap into to score new clients.
Households across the world felt the sting of rising inflation costs in 2022. In the last quarter, less than half of Americans (45%) said they had at least $1,000 in savings, and over a third (36%) have no savings at all according to a State of Personal Finance 2022 report.
Agencies that can design websites, mobile app solutions and platforms for personal finance companies can make recurring revenue with such clients. Think: Acorns, which allows you to invest your spare change; Current, originally an early bank account for teens; Greenlight, which offers automatic allowances, chore tracking, budgeting, charitable giving and debit cards for kids; Klarna, the pioneer of buy now, pay later; and MoCaFi, the mobile-first banking platform for Black and Hispanic communities with traditionally less access to banking.
As consumers become more environmentally conscientious, sustainable fashion is becoming an increasingly hot topic. This niche includes clothing and accessories made from environmentally friendly materials and produced in an ethical manner. Agencies can strike long lasting partnerships with brands by offering web design, social media and creative services.
Mental health & wellness
The ongoing pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of mental health and wellness. Agencies dedicated to areas in this space — like online therapy sessions and virtual yoga classes — are poised for success in 2023.
But just so you know, people can spot ‘fake wellness’ from a mile away, so be sure to authentically commit to the space by including mental health initiatives in your own agency, being well-versed in the lingo, understanding the landscape via competitive research and helping clients get granular with their target demographics to better serve their clients’ unique needs and pain points.
Business coaches & online course creators
Business coaching is a rapidly expanding space for freelancers according to Forbes, which has translated to more online coaches and course creators than ever before. Three quarters of all clients find their coaches online, according to a recent survey conducted by Upcoach.com.
Agencies that design websites for coaches who offer social media marketing, thought leadership, blogging and publishing online courses will go far in 2023. Focusing on individuals may require a different strategy than selling your services to B2B companies, so consider how much you’d need to charge each client to stay viable. Check out Wix’s Online Program to build and sell multi-step online courses of your own.
Travel and the outdoors
As we near the tail end of the pandemic, consumers are eager to reconnect with nature and go on adventures. An increase in demand for activities such as camping, hiking and rock climbing, as well as travel to remote destinations, has tipped travel brands to focus on more authentic and sustainable experiences.
And while many struggle to fork over the cash required to go on such adventures, Gen Z is leading the travel category. According to a report by trndsttrs media, over half of the generation already has an international trip planned for 2023, and 65% report that traveling is the most important way to spend their money. Moreover, Forbes reports that digital nomading has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic, hinting at the idea of servicing hotels and individuals with long term Airbnb accomodations.
Telehealth and private medical practices
Hospitals and medical practices were also heavily impacted by the pandemic, and many embraced telehealth when possible. The number of physicians using telehealth for virtual visits grew from 14% in 2016 to 80% in 2022, according to a 2022 AMA Digital Health study.
Creative agencies can provide a wide range of services for telehealth brands such as designing a visual identity including logos and color schemes to convey the brand's message and values. They can also create marketing and advertising campaigns that raise awareness of telehealth services and educate potential patients about its benefits, and develop educational videos, infographics, and social media and email campaigns to reach their clients’ target audience and explain how telehealth works and what the benefits are.
With the rise of remote work and eCommerce, there's a growing need for website design that caters to users with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) set the standard for accessibility on websites, and more and more companies are being held accountable for ensuring that their websites are accessible to all users.
Web design agencies that can conduct accessibility audits, implement accessibility features and provide guidance on how to make websites more accessible will be well-positioned to take advantage of this growing market.
Online learning platforms
With more college students learning remotely than ever before, the market for online learning platforms is growing rapidly. Platforms that offer interactive, engaging content and that can adapt to a wide range of learning styles will be particularly in demand, as will the agencies that help them do it. Specializing in learning management systems means your agency will need strong technical and UX proficiencies.
Just 7% of US fitness enthusiasts expect to work out exclusively at a gym, according to Insider Intelligence, as compared to the 42% who expect to exercise at home, or the remaining 51% who plan on using some combination of the two. As such, new ‘digital fitness’ products and services have emerged, spanning the full gamut of new age fitness tools, including livestream workouts, at-home products such as Mirror, Tonal, Tempo or Peloton, new VR experiences and wearable apps.
Agencies looking to break out in this market can provide cutting edge web designs for emerging brands, branded app experiences, social media marketing and SEO services for big tech clients or online coaches. Here’s how to build a fitness website and more on Wix’s fitness software.
Virtual event planning
With the rise of remote work and social distancing measures, virtual events became more popular than ever as the ‘url’ alternative to irl events. And though lockdowns and social distancing are firmly behind us now, there’s a newfound understanding of how to leverage technology to improve the experience of gathering for a conference, keynote, panel discussion, hackathon, trade show, career fair or company event. According to a 2023 SkiftMeetings report, 71% of event organizers want to retain virtual elements for their in-person meetings and conferences.
There's a growing demand for event planners who can help organizations host successful hybrid events. That includes setting the business strategy, designing the event page, creating a connected app or online experience, publishing social media and email marketing campaigns, managing the live event as it's happening and creating follow-up campaigns afterwards.
Leaning into emerging niches can mean anything from adding a new customer segment to a full rebrand. You’ll need to update your messaging, but the route you take is entirely contextual and can depend on the size of each addressable market, how differentiated your agency is within the niche, your ability to serve customers in a particular area, as well as the industry’s general trajectory.
Of course, you don’t want to isolate your current clients while looking at new niches. We recommend dipping your toes in a new client pool before cannon-balling into what might prove shallow waters.
Ultimately, emerging niches present a wealth of opportunity for businesses to differentiate themselves and tap into new markets. By staying attuned to the latest trends and paying attention to evolving consumer needs and preferences, companies can stay ahead of the curve and continue to innovate and grow. Now is the time to think outside of the box and consider new niches to explore.