This post is part of a 5-part series. How can we all be successful with the next wave of video on the Web whether you are a show producer or a brand? Connecting with niche, affinity communities is one of four important priorities.
The vast "interwebs" has been potent fertilizer on an English garden-growth of niche communities online. We all belong to multiple tribes some of which are more clearly distinuishable and formal than others. We may love a particular music artist, a passion like WarHammer, a craft like t-shirt design, travel to Indonesian islands, or whetever. Some are tighter communities than others. Star Trek fans waiting for the next JJ Abram's movie are a tight group yet they also belong to a broader 'tribe' of Sci-fi fans who are known for their engagement with shows and events. That tribe intersects with the comic fan tribe who may be watching the Next New Networks Pulp Secret. "Crafting" is another "lean-forward" community with lots of enthusiasts assembled from even smaller niche interests.
Building a show that will uniquely deliver value to a particular affinity community almost guarantees a passionate audience. That audience may not be large enough to satisfy the True Show Value (the cost of quality, value to the audience and advertising value formula ) but it creates that solid core who will work as your most vocal ambassadors. The user and brand value of niche video shows has always been about the level of engagement of the participants. Tomorrow I will talk about why we shouldn't call them "audiences" anymore as a passive viewing experience is not what the niche community will thrive on.
Identifying Niche Communities
Finding niche communities and identifying their members is relatively simple. We do it everyday with our Influencer Mapping for brands. Let's say your brand - Brand G - makes some type of super energy efficient home appliance that is really designed to address current concerns about energy consumption, cost, and environmental impact. One niche community is the design and sustainability crew which includes all sorts of designers - product designers, graphic designers, architects, furniture designers (many designers are multidisciplinary). Many of them are concerned and focused on sustainability through design. Huge Ven diagram overlap. Brand G would focus on designing a show and the marketing behind it to appeal to the design and sustainability crew. Then they would broaden it - adjust the content slightly and expanded the marketing and outreach to grow the audience amongst design-concious consumers. As an avid, lifelong reader of Metropolis magazine, I guarantee this magazine which covers design and architecture and its impact is read by a ton of non-designers and non-architects.
Make a video show that they want and need. It might be a regular survey of new consumer products that satisfy our new green priorities. It may include interviews with designers, including audience members about their own experiences. It might be a episodic "How to Make Your Life More Green" with step-by-step instructions on transforming your life or household to reduce your carbon footprint, your costs, and more.
So, start with a core community and design your show around their needs. Then expand the focus to include the next ring of participants. You won't go so far as to dilute the show's value for the core and you will expand beyond a too narrow group fo participants.
Next: Work the "Ladder of Engagement"