E-marketing Strategy: Does Your Brand Mean Anything to Anyone?
Brands and Niches
The path publishers must take from invisibility to ubiquity will be easier for some publishing houses than others. The Internet defined the new content distribution model—and the question each publisher will need to answer is, "How do we fit into the structure of the Internet?"
The Internet has organized itself by niche—or topic area. Today's most successful blogs, for example, have a specific topic and sitck with it: food blogs, progressive blogs, conservative blogs, technology blogs, gardening blogs, cartoon blogs, etc. This selection of a narrow topic area makes it easy for readers to find the information they want. (For example: Blog A had great food information. Blog B had all the cartoons I wanted. Blog C is where I read about sports.) Larger blogs and sites—those with a wider focus—continue the trend by breaking down their content into subsections based on topic areas. (Think Huffington Post.) Even the crowds on the world-enveloping social media sites are broken down into tiny topic areas using the mechanisms of groups or hashtags.
This micro-organization of the web has made it far easier for niche publishers to fit into the Internet's structure and begin building a brand than it has been for general trade publishers. Niche publishers have the luxury of being able to focus their attention (and marketing dollars) on a clearly defined—and clearly targeted—audience. General trade publishers have books that fit easily into 20 different topic areas with 20 different audiences and 2,000 different blogs, sites and social groups. Focus is valuable—especially for cash-strapped publishers with already-overworked staffs.
Niche publishers—or general publishers that have chosen a niche on which to focus—should begin the brand-building adventure at home, with their own web site. This site—whether it is the company's own homepage, or a new site dedicated to the venture—should become one of the leading sources for quality content within the niche.