The startup world has an obsession with VC funding, and as a result most budding entrepreneurs are hell-bent on finding the next “billion-dollar idea” to attract VCs (and their deep pockets).
What gets lost in this conversation is that it’s possible to build a profitable and sustainable business without becoming a billionaire. And in my experience as cofounder of the niche content brand JAKK Media, one of the best ways to do that is by investing in niche content.
So if you’re interested in entrepreneurial success—and if you want it on your own terms—do yourself a favor and consider the value of going niche. For the past five years, JAKK Media has been proving these audiences are bigger (and more profitable) than you might think.
Why and How JAKK Media Is Targeting Niche Audiences
People today consume more content than ever before, and they’re hungry for even more. At the same time, we’re reaching a point where people expect to have content tailored to their passion(s), no matter how niche it is. As people look for content that they love, they gravitate to brands that have distinguished themselves as experts in that content area.
While niche audiences tend to be inherently smaller than broad, undifferentiated audiences, we believe this type of readership is defined more by interest than by size. What niche audiences have in common is that they’re heavily invested in a specific content area. And we’re interested in meeting them right where they’re at.
Whether a particular niche audience is interested in building strength with weight training, purchasing the perfect mattress, or making their home more secure, we build brands by becoming the go-to source for that niche. If you head to any JAKK Media site, you’ll see that readers can get the latest updates, tutorials, product recommendations, and educational content on a given topic. We make sure that if you have a passion in one of our niches, that passion is well-fed by our brand.
This strategy is helping us grow our brands via two primary mechanisms:
- For starters, as people look for content that they love, audiences grow. As visitors repeatedly engage with your brand, your audience grows further. And when those same loyal visitors share your content with their like-minded network, your audience grows even more. This approach may not result in massive traffic spikes or insanely viral content, but it’s a reliable, sustainable path toward growth.
- Additionally, when someone visits one of our sites, we instantly know something about them. No one would ever spend more than 10 seconds on any of JAKK Media’s sites if they weren’t very interested in what we are focused on. Compare that to a more general site: Even if that site gets hundreds of millions of visitors, what do the site’s creators really know about them? What’s the next article their audience would want to read? What’s a product they would want to buy? What’s a video they’d love to watch? By the nature of our content, we can answer these questions based merely on the presence of any given visitor—and that means we’re much better equipped to continue generating content that will keep those visitors coming back for more.
Again, neither of these strategies is likely to result in generating a massive audience overnight. But they’re liable to produce something better: A sustainable, steadily growing audience that is invested in your brand and what it has to offer.
While we might not be a VC’s dream, JAKK Media is proving that targeting niche audiences is a viable path to success. The company started out as two guys working in coffee shops, and today we employ 30 team members in two cities and reach millions of visitors each month. We’re proof that niche audiences are a viable path to growth and sustained entrepreneurial success, and in many ways that’s worth more than a billion dollars.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.