Whether it’s produced in a marketing or editorial context, the value of any piece of content ultimately depends on how it resonates with its intended audience. For many businesses and publications, this means a content strategy that focuses on reaching as many people as possible. However, this strategy has become increasingly challenging as media landscapes and the way people consume content online continues to evolve. As owner and president of Five Legged Stool, which owns Arkansas Business Publishing Group, Fort Worth-based Scott Publishing and FLEX 360, a web development and digital marketing firm, Mitch Bettis believes in a different type of content strategy that has allowed his company’s publications to thrive. Check out his insights into why niche content can help you accomplish your goals.
Niche Content Reaches a Targeted Audience
Bettis joined Arkansas Business Publishing Group in 2013 as general manager and publisher under previous owner, Olivia Farrell, who had grown the company from a single publication to a niche content enterprise with more than 30 different publications. While many newspapers and magazines have seen dwindling subscribers in recent years, delivering niche content to targeted audiences has taken Arkansas Business Publishing Group to new heights. From recent graduates and real estate investors to outdoor and travel enthusiasts, Arkansas Business Publishing Group produces niche content written specifically for their target audiences.
“What this company and what Olivia and all those who were there at the beginning saw is let’s be really great at this smaller audience,” Bettis said. “We don’t try to be all things to all people, but we try to be really great at giving people something unique, distinctive and meaningful in those narrow niches. Whether you’re a bride trying to plan your wedding day or a CEO for your business, we try to be really great in front of a narrow group and I think that’s really been a strength of ours.”
Niche Content Builds a Connection
Whether you’re a publisher trying to increase subscriptions or a business trying to increase leads, the goal when developing a content strategy is to build a connection with your target audience. In an increasingly saturated marketplace, niche content is the key to standing out from the clutter by prioritizing personalization. Start by learning as much about your target audience as possible. The more you know about the topics and ideas that appeal to them, the easier it will be to develop niche content that cultivates a connection with your target audience.
“When I started out in the newspaper business, it was all about mass media and getting every eyeball you could possibly get. Whether that was the 80-year-old grandmother or the 10-year-old kid looking for baseball scores, it didn’t matter,” said Bettis. “We’ve instead tried to be really great at this smaller audience. These things seemed odd 20, 30, 40 years ago, but I think the strength of what we deliver is owning our audience in a meaningful way.”
Niche Content Promotes Thought Leadership
Reaching and connecting with a targeted audience aren’t the only benefits that niche content can provide. When planned and implemented strategically, it also creates a platform to develop your status as a thought leader. Thought leadership is a content strategy that focuses less on content that sells and more on content that establishes you as an expert and resource within your field or industry. Creating and sharing niche content that’s specifically tailored to a unique audience will allow you to build trust and recognition as an intelligent, experienced and helpful leader within your space.
“There’s been a substantial change in how we communicate and online channels have really altered the way that content moves,” Bettis said. “People are still consuming content, but it’s in a different way in this new environment. What we look at is all those opportunities, because as audiences have evolved, we have a new opportunity to meet that audience where they are with quality and engaging content.”