Leveraging the value of niche online audiences
Niche online content has really taken off in recent years in a number of sectors, with those consumers who have a particular interest in a certain...
Leveraging the value of niche online audiences
Spotlight on travel, sports, cooking and make-up/hair content consumers
Niche online content has really taken off in recent years in a number of sectors, with those consumers who have a particular interest in a certain content area often investing a great deal of time and a great deal of focus on consuming the content they are most interested in.
This provides opportunities for marketers, who can engage with consumers in an environment where they are likely to be engaged, contented and possibly more receptive to commercial messages if they can be appropriately mixed into the content.
In order to quantify better the commercial potential within niche online content and how marketers can best engage, we conducted a study examining consumer engagement with over 20 niche sectors online, run as an online survey amongst a representative sample of 1,000 adults in Britain aged 16+.
In this report we take an in-depth look into four of the most important and diverse niche audience sectors:
- Make-up and/or hair
When it comes to travel, 16% of adults claim to have watched travel content through any online platform (e.g. YouTube, Twitch) ‘in the last 4 weeks’.
Amongst 35% of these travel is also their favourite content area, which is a higher proportion of users of specific content citing the same content as their favourite than for any of the 24 niche channels we measured, apart from sport - indicating just how invested in this content travel fans are.
YouTube and Twitch key platforms for viewing content
YouTube is the most popular platform used for watching travel pre-recorded videos, used by 50% of travel content fans, whilst for live streams it is Twitch, used by 42%. Twitch is also the most popular platform for accessing both live and pre-recorded travel videos on one channel, used by 42%.
Digging down a bit further, the top ways in which they are most likely to engage with travel content is by watching pre-recorded videos, giving likes or dislikes and leaving comments.
Travel content fans particularly engaged with the content
Travel content consumers are particularly likely to agree that interacting with online travel content adds a lot to their enjoyment of this sector – a degree of engagement that marketers might valuably tap into. 50% agree with this, a figure exceeded only by those who consume life coaching or fashion content.
They are also particularly likely to agree that the online platforms they watch have helped to support their interest in the sector, with a significant proportion also agreeing that their interest has grown because they are able to watch content on these platforms.
Promotions and ads around content are top ways to engage
When it comes to the roles travel-content consumers think brands ought to have in specialised content, the one they are most likely to pick is promotions through content creators, followed by adverts before or during content and then show sponsorship. There are thus a variety of options for engagement for marketers that a significant proportion of travel content consumers actively believe are good ways to reach them.
Whilst still niche, sports is one of the more popular content areas consumed through online platforms, with 21% of adults claiming to have done so ‘in the last 4 weeks’. Furthermore, 49% of sports content consumers rate sports as their favourite content – more than for any other of the 24 niche channels we measured.
YouTube most popular destination for content, but Reddit top for frequency
YouTube is the most popular online channel for consuming sports content, with 69% of sports content consumers turning to YouTube. It is followed by Facebook and Twitter.
When it comes to engaging with specialised content with great frequency, the most popular platform is Reddit for those accessing sports content more than once a day. Second is Facebook, followed by Instagram.
A little under half of sports fans agree that engaging with sport via online platforms has helped to support their interest, whilst over a quarter explicitly feel that it helps them to feel like they are part of a community.
Watching live particularly important to sports content fans
Relative to other niche channels, sports are particularly likely to be consumed live, understandably given the nature of the spectacle. Our data shows that 39% of sports online content consumers consume it more live, another 39% claiming to consume more video uploads that aren’t live and 22% consume both about the same.
When it comes to views on how brands should get involved in online content, for sports content consumers the most popular means – and one for which sports has a long tradition – is event or competition sponsorship. This is followed by promotions through content creators and show sponsorship.
One in five adults say they watch cooking content through online platforms, with 30% of cooking content consumers also citing it as their favourite niche content area.
YouTube a key destination for cooking content, with social giants behind
YouTube is a particularly popular channel for engagement for cooking, with 76% of cooking content fans using it. In second place is Facebook and then Instagram.
Just under half (47%) of cooking content consumers use Reddit more than once a day to watch or engage with specialised content, with Tumblr the second most visited channel at this frequency (44%), with Instagram third (37%).
Interacting with specialised cooking content is important
Being able to interact with cooking-related specialised content is important to cooking content consumers: 41% affirm that it adds a lot to their enjoyment, 39% say it makes it a bit more enjoyable and only 19% claim that it wouldn’t bother them if it wasn’t possible any more.
Feeling part of a community and using what they learn is really important to many
For over a fifth of cooking content fans, being able to watch cooking content on online platforms helps them to feel like they are part of a community, whilst over a quarter feel they can directly apply what they see on these platforms to their own life/activities. If marketers can tap into these aspirations then they are all the more likely to achieve engagement.
Promotion, sponsorship and spaces for community interaction are top ways brands can engage
For cooking content fans, the most popular role for them from brands in the specialised content space is offering promotions through content creators, with sponsoring content creators second and supporting a space for communities to share content and interact in third – giving marketers a number of different potential opportunities to effectively engage this group.
14% of adults watch make-up and/or hair content via online platforms. But only 18% of them choose make-up or hair as their favourite content area, indicating that for many whilst it is an interest, it isn’t necessarily their overriding passion.
Over half of make-up or hair content consumers turn to Twitch for both live streams and pre-recorded videos, with 54% using YouTube for pre-recorded videos and Facebook top for live streams, used by 34%
Facebook and Instagram most popular destinations for frequent access of content
Amongst make-up and hair content consumers, Facebook is the most popular destination, accessed for specialised content more than once a day by 44% of them. It is followed by YouTube (42%) and Instagram (38%).
For 83%, being able to interact with the content is important
42% of make-up or hair content consumers claim that being able to interact with this specialised content adds a lot to their enjoyment, with another 41% saying it makes it a bit more enjoyable and just 17% saying it wouldn’t bother them if it wasn’t possible any more.
A particularly important content area for applying what is seen
For over a third of make-up and hair content consumers, using online platforms to watch this specialised content has allowed them to directly apply what they see on these platforms to their own life and activities – one of the highest figures from amongst the 24 niche channels measured.
Especially receptive to brand involvement via promotions and ads around content
When it comes to how brands can get involved constructively in specialised content, for make-up and hair content consumers offering promotions through content creators is the most popular, picked by 34% of them. This is followed by adverts before or during content (29%) and then sponsoring content creators (28%).
This means marketers have a variety of options for potentially lucrative engagement of significant numbers of make-up and hair content consumers.
Clearly there is no simple one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to understanding and engaging niche content consumers in the most effective manner.
They all consume their preferred content in their own unique way and for differing reasons. Furthermore, each group has a significant proportion of adherents who are genuinely open to brand involvement in all sorts of ways.
Thus, for marketers, in a world in which it has never been easier for consumers to indulge their specific content passions online, there are many opportunities to engage consumers of particular content, with the potential for serious commercial rewards.