Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Niche Publications

Niche Publications are growing trends in both print and online advertising.
Niche marketing addresses the need for a product or service that is not being delivered by the mainstream.

Niche Publications are growing trends in both print and online advertising.  I’m a strong believer in niches, especially for sales.  Look at Amazon, they have become a household name and carry a warehouse full of inventory.  But in the beginning, they had books.  That’s all, only books.  That was their niche. They grew because they had a solid group of followers that were interested in books. They found out what more their clients wanted, and slowly added movies, art, music, games, electronics and so on.  They were specific and customer driven. So how does this translate to a newspaper sales staff? It’s all about how you approach your clients.  Find your niche in the classified world. 

If your sales team attracts a number of advertisers with similarities, embrace it.  Use their similarities to your advantage.  Find out as much as possible about the topic at hand and use that in the advertisement. Send your team out in their niche, in their area of expertise. Have them become the authority in their forte. 

Another way to use a niche to your benefit is in publications themselves.  Come up with niche publications with your advertisers.  It’s not uncommon for newspapers to produce weekly entertainment guides, or real estate handbooks, that are produced by the classified advertising team.  These manuals can include information and advertisements directed at a narrowed demographic to grasp a group of loyal followers.

WHAT IS IT?
According to Merriam Webster dictionary, a niche is “a place, employment, status or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted.” Niche publications are those that publish to a specific group of people; a specialized audience. The publication becomes the expert in the subject, and the advertisers in the publication become the items to have among those spectators.  The advertisers can target a defined group of prospects within the publications using niche marketing.

Niche marketing addresses the need for a product or service that is not being delivered by the mainstream. There are a variety of advantages in establishing a niche market, but probably the most beneficial would be that you’re alone there.  You’re targeting such a defined group of people that may not have realized your existence until they find you in a niche publication.

So how do you capitalize on niche publishing and marketing? One of the most popular ways of profiting is establishing yourself in the niche, and branching out from there, similar to what Amazon did. Don’t be fooled by the common misconception that niche marketing is limited.  It’s really just taking a different approach to get to the same end result; it’s thinking laterally to your benefit. Profits from niche marketing can come from word of mouth once you’re known, as well.  Put your niche in front of customers, they know people that will benefit from it as well, and they share your advertisements.    

HOW TO FIND ONE

So, I’ve convinced you to look at niche marketing and niche publications, but how do you find one? What are you interested in? Find something that you have the ability to generate quality content. Look for a market that has accessible customers and that’s not already “owned.”  

Brainstorm: The first step to finding your niche is to brainstorm your ideas. You don’t have to be an expert, but an interest helps. Over time you can become the expert in that niche.     

Figure out what you know: Next, write down the topics that come to mind that you have some sort of knowledge in.  Say if you were in a sorority or fraternity in college, writing to greeks may be your niche. 

Ride on your experience: Find topics you’ve had experience in, maybe you’ve had difficulty finding a job, but you’ve found one, or you’ve bought a house, and experienced the process.  Any kind of problem that you’ve had experience with that you’ve solved. 

Find your niche: Go through the list and see what you can see marketable, and profitable to make your niche.

Test the waters: Assess the competitors in the niche and determine your marketing strategy to position yourself against them. Do a little market research; look for competitors’ key selling points, pricing and delivery.  Also test the market to gauge the receptiveness of your (or your advertisers) product or service. 
When you have your target, the marketing of them is simple.  Ask yourself:

  • How will I set myself (or my advertiser) apart from the competition?
  • What is different about the service or product?
  • What do your current clients have in common?
  • What are the extras that the service or product brings to the market?
  • How can you satisfy the client’s unique needs (be it either the advertiser or the consumer)
  • How can your product or service problem solve for them?
  • How can you make them feel good (both about their purchase and your company)

WHO’S DONE IT RIGHT?

The Odyssey is a weekly lifestyle newspaper focused on the Greek community at campuses nation wide.  The niche publication aims at uniting and strengthening the targeted audience by increasing communication and proliferating the idea that the Greek lifestyle holds limitless opportunities for growth."

As I’ve mentioned above, one of the most well-known niche marketers was Amazon. They initially marketed only books. They became the authority in literature. And they gained even more success by expanding their target demographic to include just about everything a person could imagine. But, what else?

The Odyssey is a weekly lifestyle newspaper focused on the Greek community at campuses nation wide.  The niche publication aims at uniting and strengthening the targeted audience by increasing communication and proliferating the idea that the Greek lifestyle holds limitless opportunities for growth.

The newspaper is proudly owned and operated by the Greek communities at numerous campuses within the United States.  Students that have a passion for their organization and for the publication are readers, writers and publishers. The Odyssey formats itself as a platform for discussion within unique campus Greek systems.

Two Indiana University students founded the publication in September 2009.  They have now grown from a small publication on one campus to incorporating 28 of the largest Greek campuses nationwide. Students at Purdue University, Auburn University, Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State, Texas A&M and numerous more are shaping the future of the Greek systems with The Odyssey. 

The Odyssey also has a team dedicated to niche marketing.  Their user-generated strategy works with the branding of the advertiser and incorporates it in the ad. They feature prominent members of the Greek community to give the sense of recognition to the brand. It relates and engages the readers with the advertisement’s message. The technique also creates a word-of-mouth marketing scheme.  It’s got the approval of the authority in the Greek system, making it have the support of the entire Greek community without having to say anything at all.