What Is Narrowcasting — Everything Marketers Need to Know
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What Is Narrowcasting and How You Can Use It to Grow Your Business

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In today’s increasingly digital world, reaching your brand’s target audience has never been easier. With so many distribution and advertising mediums at our disposal, we can now get our brand’s name and likeness to the other side of the world in a few clicks of a button. However, this accessibility is a double-edged sword since it means your competitors can do the same just as easily! At the same time, consumers are getting oversaturated with promotional material and their attention spans are perpetually decreasing. With that in mind, it should be clear that marketers need to change their approach. That is where narrowcasting proved to be the best solution!

This article will take a closer look at what narrowcasting is, how it differs from traditional broadcasting, and how it can help you grow your business. Finally, we will also take a look at the most effective ways to get started with narrowcasting and reach your target audience quickly.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

What Is Narrowcasting

What is narrowcasting

According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, the definition of narrowcasting is the following:

“Narrowcasting is radio or television transmission aimed at a narrowly defined area or audience (such as paying subscribers)”

However, this definition is a bit outdated since the term has actively been used since the 1940s. The better way to define narrowcasting would be media, content, information, or advertisements aimed at a narrow audience.

This process of creating content and products for a small group of people began with subscription-based radio shows back in the late 40s. Nowadays, there are nearly endless audience targeting possibilities thanks to the internet and contemporary technology! 

These days, narrowcasting is also known as targeted or niche marketing. That entails promoting one’s product to specific audiences based on their location, preferences, past actions, and much more.

Broadcasting vs. Narrowcasting

broadcasting vs. narrowcasting

The term broadcasting means the opposite of narrowcasting. It entails delivering information, media, or content to broad audiences, usually through television and radio signals or the internet. Although broadcasting used to be the go-to advertising method for brands worldwide, much has changed over the years.

Targeting broad audiences isn’t as effective as it used to be back when mass media was in its infancy. Nowadays, advertisements are everywhere, and it’s harder than ever to get your consumers’ attention and keep it. That is why aiming for narrower audiences is the most effective approach in the 21st century. Doing that allows you to better meet your consumers’ needs and focus all your efforts on engaging them and driving conversions. Luckily for you, today’s technology has made this easier than ever. Now anyone can start with narrowcasting without much hassle!

Let’s take a look at some excellent examples of modern-day narrowcasting.

Modern-Day Narrowcasting Examples

Although even simple actions like choosing which social media network to build a presence on would fall under the umbrella of narrowcasting (e.g., LinkedIn for B2B, TikTok for marketing to millennials, etc.), the examples we chose to list are a bit more specific. Here are a few narrowcasting examples almost anyone can start using immediately:

  • Behavioral Targeting Behavioral targeting is a contemporary online advertising method used to serve ads to audiences based on their past actions (clicks, search history, etc.). Businesses can use this method to narrow down their audience based on their current needs, maximizing conversions.  
  • PPC PPC marketing entails using the immense traffic of the Google search engine to get your brand only in front of the eyes of people searching for particular products or services
  • Personalized Marketing Personalized marketing is a form of narrowcasting that entails creating content tailored to your existing and ideal customers. You can even up your game by creating personalized videos, emails, or messages using your audiences’ personal information to build rapport with them.
  • Subscription-Based Services — In today’s world, where online video has replaced traditional TV and radio, many publishers use various subscription-based models like SVOD to narrow down their audiences and drive revenue. These systems require users to pay a monthly fee to access the content, ensuring only the most dedicated viewers will tune in.
  • Gated Content Gated content entails hiding your premium content behind a paywall or some other access condition (e.g., subscribing to a newsletter). Gating is an excellent narrowcasting method as the users willing to give something in return for your content are the ones with the highest conversion potential. 

Benefits of Narrowcasting

Let’s reiterate and highlight the most notable benefits of narrowcasting. These should make it clear that narrowcasting is by far the best approach to growing one’s brand in today’s digital age.

  • Audience Targeting This allows you to reach only the most relevant consumers to the type of product or service you offer.
  • Geo-Targeting — This allows you to promote your products or services only to audiences from specific countries, regions, cities, etc.
  • Diverse Content Options — Narrowcasting opens up plenty of opportunities to serve different content types to your customers (videos, images, gifs, etc.).
  • Cost-Effectiveness — Using mass media to promote your brand comes at a hefty price, often too high for most small-to-mid-sized businesses. The ROI of narrowcasting is excellent due to its superb targeting capabilities, making it the prime choice for anyone looking to grow their brand.

Despite these overwhelming positives, there are a few potential downsides to narrowcasting worth mentioning, though.

The Potential Downsides of Narrowcasting

If you decide to embrace the narrowcasting approach when promoting your brand, be wary of these potential issues.

  • Be Careful Not to Disconnect Your Business From Other Audiences — Even though your target audience might be niche, it doesn’t mean you should steer clear from anyone else. Building brand awareness is essential to long-term business success, and you can’t limit yourself solely to your niche when doing that.
  • Don’t Narrow Down Too Much — When using narrowcasting to build a brand, finding the perfect balance is crucial. If you narrow down your audience too much, you might miss out on plenty of marginalized opportunities. Alternatively, if you go too broad, you might completely miss the mark and waste valuable resources. Experience in identifying your customers’ needs and wants and targeting them accordingly is pivotal here!

As long as you plan your strategy accordingly and keep track of your campaigns’ performances, you shouldn’t have trouble avoiding these problems. Just make sure to take them into account when planning!

Narrowcasting With Video — The Best Way to Reach Your Target Audience

narrowcasting with video

Now that you’ve learned everything you need to know about narrowcasting, you’re probably wondering — how do I start? Well, there is no single correct way to do that, as your method of choice should depend on your business goals and needs. However, we must say that you can’t go wrong with focusing on one particular medium — video.

Why? There are many reasons, but let’s list the most notable ones:

If the above reasons sound compelling enough to give video marketing a shot, we can give you some tips to get you started. Before you set off on your first video marketing campaign, check the article below to learn how to build your first video marketing strategy!

But what if you’re more interested in learning about video advertising? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! Give the article below a read if video advertising is more your forte.