Video marketing is hard work. You start by creating good video content. After filming and editing, you have to distribute. You get your videos up on all the relevant sites, and then you promote and promote some more.
That’s a lot of effort, and it all happens for a reason. You are spreading the word about your brand, building awareness and engaging your audience. However, many brands make a critical mistake in an early stage of the video marketing process. They don’t find the perfect niche.
Without the right niche, video marketing is a struggle. It’s hard to build momentum or grow your fanbase without it. Many brands would do well to slow down and revisit this basic element of their marketing plan.
You can use a simple strategy to figure out the best niche for you. It’s all about understanding your brand’s purpose. If you deeply understand what makes your brand special, you can use that knowledge like a compass to find the perfect niche.
Why Niche Matters
Niche matters because it helps you build your brand. By sticking to a niche, you help viewers build the habit of watching your content. They come to enjoy your brand because they know what to expect.
It’s easiest to demonstrate this by example. Imagine a YouTube cooking channel that exclusively showcases vegan recipes. Fans of vegan food notice the channel and start watching the videos. They come to appreciate the reliable and steady stream of vegan-friendly food content.
Now imagine that the channel undergoes a redesign and starts including videos about hamburgers. All of the sudden, the niche is much less specific. Instead of being a vegan cooking channel, they are a normal cooking channel. Vegans might still enjoy the vegan content, but they can’t rely on the brand. Ironically, expanding the subject matter makes the channel resonate with less viewers.
This is the power of the niche. Go specific to reach your target audience, and stay specific to keep them tuned in.
Guy Kawasaki’s Corporate Mantra Technique
You should find your corporate mantra before selecting your niche. Don’t let the name fool you. Anybody, from small businesses to individuals, can participate in this exercise.
Your corporate mantra is a three or four word phrase that defines what you do. It must cut to the absolute essence of your brand’s purpose. When you read this phrase, you shouldn’t have to make any exceptions or compromises.
This concept was coined in a 2006 blog post by Guy Kawasaki, a brand evangelist famous for working with Apple and Mercedes-Benz. His hypothetical example of a corporate mantra for the fast food chain Wendy’s was “healthy fast food.” He used this example to show how he would differentiate Wendy’s in the marketplace, focusing on health over convenience or price.
What’s your corporate mantra? Don’t go straight to the four word phrase. Start by brainstorming any words and phrases that define what your brand stands for. After you build up a hefty list, use it as inspiration for a two or three sentence description of your brand. Finally, try to summarize those few sentences into three or four words.
Your mantra doesn’t have to determine your niche, but it will help. A few more examples of corporate mantras, based on different industries, are: “Songs To Dance To” for a musician, “No Salt, Great Taste” for a health-conscious chef, or “Never Break Your Screen” for a phone case manufacturer.
You can see how simple this is. Corporate mantras can be easy if you don’t overthink them. Take a few minutes to contemplate this for your brand.
From Mantra to Niche
Your corporate mantra will often lead directly to your niche. You can use the examples from the previous section to see this in action.
Consider the “Songs to Dance To” mantra. This might manifest as weekly videos of songs performed in a dance-friendly style, aiming at the “dance music videos” niche. The band could discuss other dance artists in a daily video blog. They could even teach their audience how to dance.
The possibilities are endless. Now that the band knows their niche, they can easily concoct a wide variety of video ideas.
For another example, the chef who chose “No Salt, Great Food” could make a series of videos in the niche of low-salt cooking. Viewers would be entertained by the content, and would learn something new. Best of all, the delicious looking food at the end of each video would encourage viewers to visit the restaurant.
You can use your corporate mantra in this way. Based on the starting point of your mantra, what is a good niche for you?
If you still aren’t sure, go back to the brainstorming method. Using your mantra as your starting point, write down five to ten niche ideas. Take a night to sleep on it, then return to your list and cross out the ones that don’t work. You can repeat this process for a few days if need be.
More Ideas To Find Your Niche
Here are a few other techniques you can use to find your niche.
Compare your brand to your competitors. What makes you different from them? Can you turn that unique aspect of your brand into part of your niche?
Look at successful video creators in related fields to yours. Can you sum up their channel into a few words, mantra style? What is their niche? You may find ideas in other industries that can translate well to what you are doing.
Lastly, ask your customers and fans. What ideas or words come to mind when they think about your brand? If you have a mailing list, include a short survey of five or less questions in your next email. This information can guide you towards the perfect niche.
Follow Your Instincts
In the end, you have to make the final decision about your niche based on gut instinct. You will know what feels right.
You can always try again if it doesn’t work out the first time. You don’t have to find the best niche right away. Move fast and experiment for a few weeks, then reflect on your results. If your first niche doesn’t work, move on to a new one. You will know when it clicks.
Don’t let yourself become discouraged. Keep trying until you find the right niche for your brand.