Niche publications serving specific demographics, like gays, seniors or Koreans, can make a lot of sense. But not every niche is the same.
Longtime YP executive Dick Larkin, the “Small Business Commando,” lays out some rules of the road for niche advertising in the latest edition of his newsletter.
“Your customers want respect, acceptance, and integrity,” says Larkin. “Advertising has to ring true for it to be effective.”
In selling to niche audiences, Larkin advises publishers to brutally assess their own strengths. The only publications that should get the business are those that better serve niche needs than competitors. A tougher question: Would they refer their own friends to a niche business?
Niche networks make a lot of sense, given that local media sites are often under-delivering; site reach similar audiences; and many blogs and sites really aren’t equipped to sell advertising. The newest niche network is the Voice Local Network, which is being rolled out by Village Voice Media, the publisher of 15 alternative weeklies (per AdWeek).
Among partners being initially rolled out in New York are Curbed.com, a real estate blog; Eater.com, a foodie site; and Racked.com, a shopping site. Other sites in the network include Wolfgangsvault.com, a vintage music hub; checkoutmyink.com, a tattoo site; and Likeme.net, an entertainment recommendation site.
The Voice says it will work to extend its historical relationship with 12,000 advertisers in New York to these sites. Eventually, it hopes to add other “like-minded” sites and add additional markets.