Hello Content Creators!
You know what industry is about to blow up?
Also, do you know what the general point of this week’s newsletter is not about and you should read it even if you’re not in this business?
At least in the U.S., most everyone 16+ that wants to be vaccinated, is. And destinations are salivating at the prospect of a travel boom this summer.
Funnily enough, we were pitching several destinations last fall to start running campaigns on Bikerumor to attract those travelers.
Would you believe they said no?
I get it, as a brand (whether that’s a destination, product, service, whatever) you can’t advertise everywhere.
But here’s the
excuse reason they gave us: We’re too niche.
I won’t say which state it is, but the marketing agency that responded represents an entire state’s marketing budget. Not a city, not a region, but a whole U.S. state. One with mountains and a coast, big cities and small, but no one single defining tourist trap.
So their strategy was to paint broad strokes to appeal to a broad audience.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s two things.
- Mass marketing works
- Niches for riches
The latter is something I’ve heard more for content creators and experts. Find your niche and go deep, not wide.
For marketing, casting a wide net can work, but a) it’s expensive, and b) you’re competing with a whole bunch of other mass marketers.
Every state is going wide. Every general consumer product is going wide.
It’s easy. Mass market is easy. There are a lot of general interest publications, blogs, podcasts, etc. It’s easy to reach a lot of people.
But it’s hard to be memorable…
Unless you hit the niches.
Heard of Ely, Nevada?
If you’re a mountain biker perhaps you have. They’re a tiny little mining town that’s quite literally in the middle of nowhere.
Yet they’re marketing hard to mountain bikers because they know that’s a lucrative consumer segment.
They could also market to adventure seekers. Historic train fans. Road trippers looking for a unique overnight stop.
Those audiences might seem tiny because they are.
But they’re passionate. And they’re looking at very specific media and content creators.
But I’m torn.
I think I know why the travel magazines all promote high-end luxury resorts, all-inclusives, 5-star restaurants, etc. Because they have the money to buy the ads.
Mountain bikers definitely spend money. Most of us are riding bikes that cost $3,000 to $8,000 (or more). Heck, just the racks on our cars cost $500 to $1,000 (or more). And we are willing to travel to ride great trails, like to drink coffee, drink beer, eat burritos, and drink beer (not a typo).
But we’re probably not staying in $300-a-night hotels. Or fine dining.
So, I get it, you want to market to a more affluent “general” audience.
And that audience is a little lazy. Theme parks and water slides are their idea of a great vacation. I’m not saying those things are bad, they’re just…normal.
Normal isn’t going to get anyone excited.
You know what’s NOT going to make me want to go to Disney? An Instagram post of my friend’s kids standing next to Mickey.
You know what IS going to motivate me to go somewhere? Pictures like this:
Pictures like this get shared. They get talked about, liked, and commented on.
Ya know what you call that?
Word of mouth marketing.
AKA free marketing.
Is it worth the effort to go niche?
Throwing money at a big, mass media campaign is easy. And it’s easier to track at a top level…if you spend X and hotel nights are 6X as a result, that’s pretty clear math. If you advertise in Best Buy’s weekly sales ad and you sell more product that week, that obviously worked.
But brands targeting a less general, more specific audience are usually targeting more passionate customers. Customers who want to do some research and might not move the needle that much right away, but they’ll likely move the needle for longer. Because once they’re a fan, they’re a true fan and they tell all their friends.
I wish I had research to back this up, but I’m willing to bet that a) the spend required to reach these audiences is dramatically lower, and b) the long-term ROI is dramatically higher.
What’s the point?
It’s food for thought more than anything. If content creators grow bigger by targeting a smaller niche, maybe your brand can, too. After all, would you rather reach a core audience of relevant, raving fans that markets for you? Or a general audience that generally couldn’t care less?
Whatever your target market, I bet there are niches within it that have outsize influence on the rest of your potential customer base. How do you reach them?
Here’s one way:
Tony Chachere’s is a mass-market product. You can buy it in almost any grocery store nationwide.
Yet, they market to and through chefs and foodies. Why? Because when those chefs post on Instagram that they’re using TC’s in their recipes, it lends credibility to the product.
And when food bloggers use it in their recipes and you want to make what they make, you’ll go buy some. Because there’s really no substitute for it.
If you saw an ad in your weekly grocery circular for Tony’s, you’d probably ignore it. But those niche channels? They just sold you on it.
You can get some TCs right here. It’s awesome. My recipe? Sprinkle it on wild-caught Alaskan Salmon then roast at 425ºF for 12 minutes.
Or just shake some on cheese pizza. Just don’t inhale while you’re shaking it out…trust me.
This was a long one…and now I’m hungry. I’ll bring back the Content Marketing Example next week, I have a really good one for you!
Until then, could you please share this with a friend or two that would enjoy it? Thanks!
What’s up, niches!