Niche platforms are social media sites “that focuses on a specific interest group or demographic.” A niche platform is mutually beneficial for people in that group to connect and companies that try to market to that intended demographic. Those sites include Nextdoor, Reddit, Houzz, Meetup, among others.
As we know Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are social media juggernauts, but it might make sense to put some time, effort — and money — into niche platforms.
Why Market on Niche Platforms?
Every social media platform has its intended use. I go on Instagram to laugh at Reels and YouTube to watch my favorite podcast personalities talk about hot topics. As much as I love audiobooks, I don’t care to see an advertisement in between my entertainment. I’m not in the mood to click away from mindlessly scrolling to be productive.
Meet your audience where they are. Shama Hyder, the founder and CEO of Zen Media, wrote that these platforms filter your audience, so “marketers and advertisers can easily target their key audience.” Marketing would look different on a niche platform because you are able to be more in-depth with your copy than you would be if it were on a major social network. You can get to the substance of the content: how can this product/service benefit the consumer in your intended demographic.
For example, Adidas, an athletic clothing company, promoted an Ask Me Anything, where experts discussed designing and 3D printing a shoe, which promoted the product and received user generated content. From that campaign, 34% of people who interacted with Adidas saw it as innovative and 27% of men were likely to purchase a pair of shoes.
Hyder continues by stating that it won’t be easy, frankly, it might be more challenging than writing a generic pitch on a popular social media platform. You marketing to people who are potential experts in the field. You need to prove to them why they need this service, which is beneficial to your social strategy. It allows the copywriter to dig deep into the how.
It is easier to compete against a handful of brands rather than hundreds. Marketing on smaller, niche platforms help with increased visibility and reduced competition. Increased visibility can lead to brand recognition, which is the first step to acquiring new customers. Kristen McCormick added, “the less companies there will be to compete with you for customers, and the harder it is for them to duplicate your strategies.”
A luxury construction company, 41 West, used Houzz to advertise and earned 40% of its business through the niche social media site. Houzz is a site for users to virtually build and design luxury homes. Although users can use it for fun, others use it to turn their idea into reality. So, the advertising company for 41 West created an account and then posted advertisements and built relationships with users on the site. This Naples-based company met their target audience on the right platform and therefore, boosted their sales.
The Brilliant Idiots Subreddit
The Brilliant Idiots Podcast, hosted by Andrew Schulz and Charlamagne tha God, has a r/brilliantidiots that propels the podcast up as an influencer on Reddit. The subreddit has over 12,000 followers.
Every week, they have a segment on their podcast, “Ask an Idiot” where they get Reddit users to ask the hosts any question — from hypotheticals to real-world topics, and they don’t disappoint. They gather user generated content and repurpose it for content on their podcast.
Beyond that, they listen to the Reddit community. They look at trending threads within the subreddit and sometimes, make decisions off of them.
As much as I personally enjoy Taylor, a producer on the show, she is not liked on Reddit. Due to continuous complaints from the community, the hosts decided that she would remain off camera and off of the microphone.
They became influencers because of their popularity and stayed influencers because they listen to their audience.
Niche platforms have their place in the social market. It might be worth the while to meet your target audience where they are.