Content marketing has been embraced across most industries. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) 2016 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, 76 percent of B2C companies use content marketing. The sister report, focused on B2B, revealed 88 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing.
Content marketing is an important element of being a social business. There’s a direct correlation between the popularity of content marketing and social media. Curating and creating relevant and engaging content allows brands to leverage the full potential of social media.
Native ads are one example of the effectiveness of content marketing compared to traditional forms of marketing. A study from Sharethrough found that consumers are 52 percent more likely to look at native ads compared to display ads.
While businesses are on board with content marketing, the industry is placing intense focus on ROI and measurement. Content shock continues to increase the difficulty for brands to attract their target audience and convert them into customers.
We’re also seeing a decrease in content marketing performance. The 2016 CMI B2B content marketing benchmark study found an 8 percentage point decrease in effectiveness from 2014 to 2015. Many marketers attribute this to the lack of clarity “on what content marketing success or effectiveness looks like.”
It’s no longer good enough to merely produce content around a broad theme or industry. Content marketers are being asked to speak to very specific audiences, and to avoid duplicating “me too” content from competitors. Brands are competing to find new ways to serve their audiences by producing original reporting, conducting surveys, and publishing proprietary data.
We published Social Business Journal Volume 7, Winning Through Niche Content Marketing in cooperation with Visually. We identified brands that have been notably successful at identifying niche audiences and developed content for them. We reached out to these businesses, which span the spectrum from well-established brands to entrepreneurs, and interviewed their content creators. We distilled their stories into case studies for this Journal so that you can study them and address your content niche.
What is a content niche?
A content niche is a narrow audience segment that you speak to directly. It’s a calm eddy in a crowded content marketplace, a vibrant readership that is underserved. As Andrew Davis, one of the content marketers profiled in this Journal, has put it, “paradoxically, the more information sources available to the consumer, the more niche-focused content creators must become and the more successful they’ll be.”
In Social Business Journal, Volume 7 you’ll discover:
- How a fitness apparel blogger turned the niche she’d developed into a business.
- How the venerable AARP found content marketing gold by learning to address niche segments of Americans over 50.
- How a startup captured the trust of small business owners.
- How a budding thought-leader, Brian Fanzo is building his own niche by focusing on an emerging channel – livestreaming video.
- How you can develop your niche and differentiate your brand in a crowded market.