Part 8: The Critical Importance of a Niche Audience – Part 1
Here’s my take on a sustainable content system that will achieve measurable outcomes or profitable results: identify a niche audience which has an unmet need, consistently produce and publish content to address that need, and maintain high-quality engagement with that niche audience.
That’s it. No over-thinking necessary. Identify a small group of people with similar psychographics who share the same problem or goal, give them the content they seek, and engage with them.
Sounds like a no-brainer. However, if you give a quick glance at what’s out there for a given topic, you’ll see that lots of content creators skip the important step of targeting a niche. I’m not sure why. Perhaps, they think they’ll have better results targeting everyone, the so-called spray-and-pray method.
Targeting a niche audience is sometimes the most difficult part of creating a content system because it is counterintuitive. We have had clients and collaborators believe their content works for many different groups of people or, as is sometimes the case, they tell us that their audience is everybody.
Serving a niche audience needs to be the core of your content system and here’s why.
The internet has democratized content creation and distribution. The broadcasting and publishing industries have been transformed, and the threshold guardians to these industries have been vanquished. In other words, you no longer need substantial financial resources or a well-connected distant cousin to produce and publish content. The good news is now anyone with an internet-connected device can be a feature film production company, a news organization, or a record label. The bad news is now anyone with an internet-connected device can be a feature film production company, a news organization, or a record label.
The quantity of content is growing at an exponential rate. Even though the quality may range from stellar to poor, it’s still competing with yours.
So, how do you develop, produce, and publish content so people can find it? Here are the four steps.
The first step is to identify a niche audience with an unmet or underserved need.
Find this neglected group, produce what they need, and you’re on your way to becoming their trusted content resource. (I’ll go into more detail about identifying a niche audience in the next two blogs.)
The second step is to learn as much as you can about your niche audience.
Listen to them. Empathize with them. Understand who they are and what they need. If you do, the content you produce will resonate with them.
The third step is to create and publish content on a regular schedule.
Your content needs to be relevant and insightful, and you must publish fresh content frequently in order to retain and grow your audience.
The fourth step is to engage with your audience by soliciting and responding to comments.
Audiences expect engagement, so your job is to respond to every single comment. The key here is that your response should expand the conversation and add value.
By connecting with your audience through your authentic content, you will start to establish a relationship with your niche audience. Eventually, you’ll be the one they turn to when they need support or answers to their questions because you have been consistently publishing valuable content that speaks to them.
And that’s exactly what we set out to do with our autism project.