As a PR agency working mostly with tech hardware companies, we know that some of the best products live in niche markets. The great thing about these products is that their fans, customers, and enthusiasts, are really passionate. But, to extend the reach beyond our clients’ niche, we want to secure coverage for them in mainstream media.
Take our client, Grobo: an app-controlled food and cannabis home growing system. Grobo is niche because of, a) its medicinal marijuana growing abilities, and b) its higher price range.
Find the niche within the mainstream. Niches can still be relevant to mainstream media; the trick is finding out how–such as uncovering past coverage of similar products or themes. In Grobo’s case, there were several large, mainstream outlets with reporters who periodically covered marijuana products, so we pitched them accordingly with a pot heavy angle.
Use real-word, real-time issues. Mainstream media care about current events and they will cover them from various angles depending on their beat. We connected Grobo to the bigger picture by integrating the Supreme Court’s Allard Decision, a big deal in the founders’ homeland of Canada. This strategic pitching positioned the client as a thought leader on medical cannabis and resulted in syndication of their story all over the nation.
It’s all about the problem. When the media bites and you score an interview, you’ve got to demonstrate your expertise on the niche, as well as how that niche is interesting to the larger public. The problem your product solves is crucial. For Grobo’s preparation, we made sure they were ready to cover the multiple issues their product had solutions for. They had great personal stories about their experience with overcoming both cannabis and general veggie-growing struggles which made for multiple effective narratives.
Retargeting. Different outlets have different interests that you need to address. For example, to pique interest of outlets less open to cannabis, we instead told a story about a high end automatic growing system with advanced tech and beautiful design. We spoke to the health benefits of home-grown veggies, and the reality of busy professionals in urban areas who don’t have the time and space to tend to large outdoor gardens.
Some people see niche products as one-trick ponies, but this isn’t always true. Targeting your small niche audience is effective and sure to result in a sense of community, but, with a little strategy, you can get featured by the big dogs too. Just remember that no matter how niche the application, the tech outlets may be interested in the tech behind it, if it is in fact extraordinary.