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Narrowcasting And The Refinement Of Content Marketing

Date published: March 12, 2013
Last updated: March 12, 2013

Creating compelling and shareable content is one of the most effective ways for brands to win in the digital marketing space. It also happens to be one of the most challenging tactics to perform successfully and consistently. According to MarketingSherpa, content creation refinement yields a high volume of effectiveness, but it also poses a high degree of difficulty, placed at nearly 80 percent on a three-dimensional view of effective SEO tactics.

But integrating other tactics—like conducting in-depth target audience research and developing customer personas—can help make a content marketing campaign more than the sum of its parts. Providing fresh, highly targeted content for a specific online community is known as narrowcasting. With this kind of digital marketing, audience size doesn’t matter. Instead, cultivating a loyal audience is the goal. And when paired with advanced content that serves as the centerpiece of a digital marketing campaign, narrowcasting can be even more powerful and effective.

The broad appeal of narrowcasting

As with most elements of successful inbound marketing, narrowcasting is a refinement of a method rather than a new approach created from whole cloth. In a recent interview with the Content Marketing Institute, Avaya CMO Mark Wilson describes his company’s narrowcasting campaigns as “narrowly defining an audience and engaging them in a discussion with which they can emotionally and emotively connect."

In short, narrowcasting can guide targeted online communities toward engagement and solutions. For one of our clients, narrowcasting has involved crafting interactive media to help adventure travelers find the resources they need to travel safely.

From What Now? … to Holy Cow!

HCC Medical Insurance Services offers insurance coverage packages to people traveling abroad, including coverage for adventure travelers. That’s a relatively small audience, but connecting with that audience proved to be a challenge.

After researching the online habits of adventure travelers, we determined that finding the online communities in which these travelers hang out, their favorite online publications and their top influencers would help craft the most useful, entertaining, and shareable content. Dubbed Holy Cow! Content, the goal of this content marketing refinement is to encourage engagement and discourse within the adventure travel online community.

The next step was deciding on the type of content to create. An interactive guide that incorporates a packing guide and the world’s best adventure travel locations were developed, and a Facebook Group was launched to build a highly targeted audience for the content. With the community in place, HCC was able to reach more than 20,000 community members of the Adventure Travel Facebook Group through the interactive infographic.


In this case, narrowcasting paid off. With more than 4 million unique website visits, the success of the adventure travel infographic was realized with a more than 96 percent increase in online sales. By targeting a specific audience and providing them with the best and most useful content, HCC was able to win its target market decisively.

HCCMIS Marketing Director Muhammad Yasin believes this strategy aligns with the agency’s overall mission: building communities with the right content, at the right time and in the right place. “When it comes down to it, the community is about the shared experiences of storytelling that’s at the core of human nature,” Yasin said. “When you make the commitment to creating content that matters, instead of churning out the copy, people will engage and your community will grow.”

The power of narrowcasting is created by knowing your audience intimately and providing them with compelling content. But it’s not a quick fix; both extensive research and creative effort are necessary to develop an effective content centerpiece, and the right strategic promotion will lead to a noticeable increase in conversions. With the right content narrowcasting strategy, your sales funnel will be populated with the right customers, time after time.


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