Advertising and consumer reach have changed permanently in 2020. Normal methods of reaching consumers have had to pivot to meet consumers where they are, i.e. at home and online.
So how has this changed marketing strategies?
Last year, the number of people who used social media exceeded 3.8 billion Mark. TikTok has taken the social media world by storm with virtual crowds of new users signing up and time spent on the platform increasing dramatically. The way people interact with social media has become more involved as the use of Instagram videos and stories has increased, helping people share their daily moments.
But as social media usage increases, user habits are changing. Facebook usage is down, as well as users and total time spent on Instagram. But social media influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere. According to eMarketer, more than 5% of all Gen Z internet users in the US say their recent fashion purchases were inspired by social media content. Its potential for e-commerce and community building still has immense power. Amid virtual crowds, businesses have the same goal: to find your target demographic; communicate with them; convert a consumer into a customer. But it goes from broad platforms to niche platforms.
So how are businesses equipped to adapt? What new strategies need to take place in a digital world equally saturated with users, messages, products and noise?
Why niche platforms are on the rise
Many people are moving away from big platforms like Facebook and Instagram due to the increase in negativity on these major platforms. Brands that stick to traditional platforms like Facebook can spend thousands of dollars on advertising and miss out on being seen by their target audience. And there’s always the risk that marketing campaigns will simply get lost in the mess of these large-scale platforms crammed with users and companies competing for attention.
People are moving from broad social platforms to niche networks where they can connect with specific, like-minded audiences. This reduces noise and allows users to see the type of content they want to interact with. Niche platforms present a significant opportunity for brands to build a community and sell their products to genuinely interested people.
For example, entertainment industry production essentially ground to a halt in March of last year, leaving content creators without work or pay. A niche platform has helped eliminate stalling by providing a creative place to continue – Stage 32, a social media network for the entertainment industry. This platform connects executives and creatives at all levels to bring competitive content to big box producers and streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more.
And, as the entertainment industry faced shutdowns, another niche platform rose to prominence for an industry that was overwhelmed with work – Figure 1. This platform connects professionals worldwide, allowing them to learn from each other while being HIPAA compliant.
Trading simple marketing for specific marketing
By looking for niche platforms that aggregate users in a similar field or with a similar interest, marketers and advertisers can easily target their key audience. Marketing to users who are already inclined to want your product or service sounds easy, but there’s more to it. Users of a niche platform that aligns with your business are likely more knowledgeable about products or services in their industry. In some cases, they may be experts. A simple sales pitch or marketing campaign will not suffice.
Marketing to someone who has a lot of knowledge about your industry or product requires education. It’s a two-way street. Marketers can learn a lot about how to get their message across to the public by listening to their audience’s concerns. Discussion forums on industry, hobbies, or interest platforms create easy goldmines for market research.
On the other hand, you have to bring something to the conversation. To engage a knowledgeable audience, you need to bring the knowledge. It’s not enough to make niche consumers aware of your product; they need to know what makes it different, better and specific to their needs. You are no longer marketing the item or service as a concept. Instead, your message should identify the details.
The future of marketing is clear. In a world overwhelmed by digital messaging, brands need to focus and create something specific to their audience. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, find where you excel and create opportunities for your audience to connect.