It is a problem that almost all marketers will face at some point in their career. How do you target specific niches to make them aware of your products and services?
This is an area where content can play a pivotal role. Sure you can try and attract a niche via advertising, but content gives your brand the opportunity to truly engage with specialist audiences and even offer the platform to become a thought leader in the space.
An interesting illustration of how one company is using content to target new audiences is Skype which launched its Collaboration website today. The communications company faces many challenges to its business from video based communications start-ups as well as messaging services like Whatsapp, which has become huge with teenagers. It needs therefore to strengthen its status with niche and influential communities.
Skype therefore sees Collaboration as an opportunity to target creative business influentials in the fashion industry. The theory runs that if the creative influentials are communicating via the service then thousands of others will follow the trend.
The company says of its new website that ‘The Skype Collaboration Project shines a spotlight on the innovators and the new artisans. It showcases the next generation of designers, photographers, stylists, milliners, jewellers, make-up artists, hairdressers, set designers, coders, pattern cutters, typographers, weavers and bloggers who are achieving remarkable things through collaboration.’ And obviously the way they can collaborate is via Skype’s suite of messaging services.
It is certainly an impressive looking site and it seems to have been created with a tablet first policy - though it looks fine on both mobile and desktop too. The quirky design is also interesting in the way that it incorporates the company’s key messages - like get Skype Video here - alongside stories about, for example, how technology is empowering fashionistas.
Things to bear in mind
If your company is planning on using content to target a specific niche, or maybe even try and break into a new area, you need to consider the following…
Is the content you are about to produce addressing a key need or requirement for the group which you are targeting? There is, for example, little point in producing an analog of an existing site (like say a tech brand producing a poor version of Mashable) just to get a toehold in a new niche. It boils down to the old maxim of content either informing or entertaining the reader. Essentially you need to produce worthwhile content that will keep your readers coming back. Content for content’s sake simply doesn't cut it anymore, especially when your competitors aren’t just your rivals but also everyone from BuzzFeed to YouTube.
The second question is how will you integrate your core messages within that content? This is one of the trickiest parts. How sales focused should you go? It might be that for the first few months at least you focus on establishing your credibility and keep the sales message silo-ed. This seems to be the common now with brands who are keen to build audiences and not constantly pepper them with sales posts. There does come a time though when you need a return on investment and how you attempt to achieve this needs careful planning and execution.
Establishing credibility within the niche you are aiming at is another key issue. Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, have called up on the services of Victoria Beckham who is sharing her journey as the creative director of her luxury fashion brand. Most brands do not have the budget to invest in such a high profile influential, but maybe there are important industry people or bloggers or journalists that you could requisition. They not only add credibility to your project, but also if handled correctly, may give you access to their own audiences through their social media followings.
Finally ensure that the content you create will be seen. Make sure that basic SEO tactics are adhered to. Also invest time and money in developing a social media following for your project and not just piggyback it on to existing ones. After all if you are focussing on a niche your new readers might not be that interested in everything that your company is doing.
If you get it right content can work wonders for your customer acquisitions strategy. Use content to become a thought leader in a key niche then it may open all kinds of interesting doors for you and your business.