Next Level Content Marketing: The Power of Niche Social Media Platforms (Views: 517)
Chances are, you or your company—or both—have an account on at least one of the big three social media websites: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Because of their popularity, these sites dominate most content marketing and distribution strategies. They’re not, however, the only channels worth paying attention to. Countless other niche social media platforms exist, and their narrower scopes present worthwhile opportunities to target a more focused audience.
If you’re a startup founder, you may already be posting on one platform that qualifies as niche: LinkedIn. Though almost as popular as the big three, LinkedIn qualifies as niche because of its exclusive focus on business development. Platforms you’re likely not posting on yet include the ultra-esoteric Barista Exchange or Dogster.
Including niche social media platforms in your digital marketing strategy allows you to connect with the customers that are most relevant to your product or service. Niche platforms:
- cut through the information saturation of bigger social media sites;
- foster a more personal connection with your audience, encouraging customer loyalty; and
- drive engaged leads that are more likely to become paying customers.
Finding the Right Niche Platforms
Before you expand your marketing strategy to encompass niche platforms, you must identify which of these platforms are most relevant to your company. When determining where your message will be best received, there are three factors to consider:
First, look at the concept.
Pinterest, for example, is a social media platform that functions as a DIY-board and image search engine for its users. This makes it a great conceptual fit for businesses whose audiences plan-out projects or trips in advance. A travel startup could reach potential leads by curating boards about its destinations, which Pinterest users would then discover and pin.
Next, get a sense of the platform’s audience.
Crunchbase and AngelList are great platforms for B2B businesses and companies looking for partnerships and investors (Crunchbase being a directory of information about private and public companies, and AngelList a hub for startups, angel investors, and job-seekers looking to work with each other).
A Fintech startup would see success posting on Crunchbase and AngelList if they were looking to make connections with interested investors, but if their intention was to gain end users, they would need to stick to other platforms.
Finally, it’s crucial to identify the platform’s influencers.
Observing the movers and shakers on a platform will help you determine whether that platform is truly right for your business, as the content they generate will allow you to gage whether topics that are relevant to your startup are popular. In addition, watching how the big influencers interact with the platform’s audience will give you an idea of how to interact with the platform’s audience most effectively.
Reddit, with over 542 million monthly users, has no shortage of big names making a splash on the platform. One of the post popular users, TooShiftyForYou (the Reddit community frowns upon using real names as usernames) frequently hits the Reddit front page.
Startups looking to market on Reddit would start by comparing their solutions to the posts that get traction, gaging whether their solution aligns with the influencer’s audience’s interests, and, if so, posting in the subreddits that they frequent.
Remember the Three
Keeping in mind concept, audience, and influencers will help you pick the best sites for your business. A home goods e-commerce startup may assess these factors and decide to post on Pinterest, Tumblr, and Houzz, while an insurtech company may decide to post on LinkedIn, Reddit, and Crunchbase. No two niche platform strategies will look exactly the same, and content must be segmented so that it is tailored to each platform.
Posting on Niche Platforms
Once you’ve identified the right niche platforms for your business, it’s time to get active. But keep in mind that these platforms are niche for a reason. While some, such as LinkedIn or ProductHunt, are tailored towards business promotion, many of them are not, and their audiences reflect that.
This doesn’t mean they’re off-limits or less useful for promotion and marketing; the concentrated focus of niche platforms makes them powerful tools in any strategy. However, companies must do what they can to blend in with the culture of the existing user base and meet them on their own terms.
Reddit users, for example, may not like blatant promotion, but they do like well-cited wisdom. With that in mind, the marketing strategy for a startup involved in AI research could include a prominent name from the company answering questions posed by users on AI-related subreddits once a week. This would increase brand awareness and cement the individual as an expert in the field, which would in turn funnels leads from interested parties to the business.
An Example: Quora for Businesses
A startup that provides a monthly subscription box of undiscovered non-fiction literature may secure a dedicated audience on Quora by using the platform in a way that benefits both the startup and Quora users.
They would start by having the most prominent name on their team — likely the CEO — sign up for a Quora account. The CEO would identify the startup as their business and subscribe to topics relevant to the startup, such as ‘non-fiction’, ‘book clubs’, and ‘new authors’. When questions relevant to the startup’s business model, product, or featured books appear, the CEO would craft — or have a content marketer craft — a knowledgeable answer.
Rather than selling the startup’s service, the CEO would offhandedly mention their startup within their answer. What’s more, the CEO could take advantage of Quora’s blog hosting feature to post short-to-medium length, Quora-specific blogs about the books and authors they’re featuring, or considering featuring, to attract audiences to their profile.
Though none of the CEO’s activities on Quora directly sell the subscription box, they all establish the startup as a source of trustworthy reading recommendations. From there, Quora users enter the startup’s content marketing funnel, doing so in a more engaged way than they would if they were to simply click on organic Twitter or Instagram content.
Building a Niche Platform Strategy
Niche social media platforms are on the rise with users who want more tailored experiences than the traditional big three (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) provide. Startups looking to cut through the social media clutter and reach current and future audiences only stand to benefit from looking outside of the box and focusing their content marketing and distribution on one or two niche platforms.
While savvy teams can tackle the challenge on their own, a content marketing partner will help anyone looking for an extra edge.
About the Author
Alix Fraser is a member of Benjamin David Group's expert team of digital content marketing writers. BDG is a Montreal-based consulting firm that identifies and solves growth needs with performance marketing strategies. Working with their clients, they optimize customer acquisition, engagement and retention, with a focus on CRM, content and SEM. BDG also provides offerings in SEO, design, and ASO to give clients a comprehensive digital strategy suited to them.