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The Art of Translation for Niche Marketing

Community leaders have spent valuable time and energy building a strong network of people of similar tastes or similar occupation. Communities are built when members find value in being together, and receive information that helps them be better than what they are. They trust the source (the community manager) and believe that the vested interests are only in creating win win. The community manager now has an opportunity to leverage this network to make money.

Being the Bridge

A person who has access to and trust of a niche audience (example: photographers, realtors, architects, doctors) enjoys the attention of marketers who seek to sell to this audience. This person is the essential bridge, an essential door, a credible way to reach out to people immune to cold calling and blanket advertising.

Why Credible Resource is Better than Blankets

With an adequate budget, it is possible to reach out to a bunch of influential individuals in the outside world. However, it is considerably cheaper to get introduced to your customer through another customer – and conversion levels in such cases are higher too. That’s because you would always trust the word of a friend than that of a business advertisement. Community managers are thus a reliable, cost effective channel.

Community Managers Translate

A brand that seeks to advertise speaks Language One. It doesn’t fully understand why the customers don’t buy. While the problem has been identified by the brand, the customers do not deem the problem as crucial yet. There is ample scope to educate the customers to deem it otherwise. This education can be imparted in Language Two, and only the community manager speaks Language Two, because that’s how the community was built, which ensured the manager’s recommendation is a trusted & respected one. Community Managers effectively translate Language One (brand message) into Language Two (relevant positioning of the brand message that leads to increased conversions).

How Does the Translation Work

This translation works because relevancy is a deciding factor while buying. Even if you are a young parent, you won’t buy a deep cleaning for your home. But if the same cleaning session is positioned as a Pre Natal Cleanup, buying one starts making a whole lot of sense. A community manager knows the pain points of the community members, thus having the insights required to make the translation. Brands can do it on their own, but it would just mean spending more time and money.

Win Win Matters

Attention that a community manager enjoys is a privilege. The moment that is exploited, members leave, and the manager isn’t respected any longer. The sanctity of the network has to stay intact. Members are members to add and receive value – not to be spammed and sold as products. This is the reason blanket advertising (non targeted) and cold calling has low ROI.

Your brand message is like clay. Your audience always perceives it in their own form. Niche Advertising through community managers ensures that the translation of your message suits the needs of the audience. Thus the audience is benefited by what you have to offer. Which results in a purchase made at a better price. Convinced customers buy a relevant product at a better price. Community managers thus create a win win.

Does a value proposition need to be quantifiable?

Yes – and it is possible to sample it out. Niche segment of customers can be divided into two categories – one, which need the service and are seeking you out – second, the people you seek out and pitch your offering to, because they don’t know they need you yet.

Offer samples to the latter – minor wins focused on their short term goals – ones which prove that your offering helps them live better. By recording these cases and amplifying achieved results – you have successfully quantified the value proposition, which helps you build your case.

The Applications are Vast

You could be in the business of offering mentoring to students by connecting supply and demand or you could be offering a SaaS product to help people manage their business better – customizing your approach for your target audience, and making yourself relevant to them helps. No matter what you feel about your product, it matters to understand how your customers perceive it – and then tuning yourself to their perspective. Once they love you for being relevant, you have won the half the battle.


[first published on Frankaffe]


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  1. aah! communities are my favourite topic!!! wonder why?! lolz!!

    so the interesting thing, is in india, people have just started realising the importance of niche marketing via communities!! i know this coz a lot of people have been pinging me about their community ideas!! 

    now i’d rather not get into the role of community managers – you’ve summed that up pretty well already :))) but what i would say is for any company to consider a community as a part of their “niche marketing” they need to first consider whether they really need to build a community or not!! are you re-inventing the wheel? should you adopt another existing community for your niche marketing instead? etc etc why should users want to belong to your community? what’s in there for them? you would need to answer these q’s before you start thinking of building one.

    as a marketing individual, will you be able to measure your ROI all the time? don’t forget a lot of “translation” that happens through communities is non tangible! everything can’t be measured in terms of leads 🙂 so goals need to clearly defined if this is part of your niche marketing.

    just to add a bit – the role of the community manager is not only to grow the community (easy part) but to ENGAGE THE COMMUNITY; AND KEEP THE COMMUNITY ENGAGED & RELEVANT (difficult part :))

    what advise do you have for trh as a vibrant and engaged community? do you think companies/brands should be looking at our community as a part of their niche marketing?? what advise do you have for our community manager? and i’m asking this with a sincere and straight face 🙂

    are you guys growing a community at mr homecare? if so, all the best!! i’m a ping away in case you have any q’s (which you probably won’t, since you are the quintessential community guy!!!) 

  2. ps: you might want to read this 🙂 

    pps: gina is the co-founder of NING the platform we are on. she moved on to build mightybell 🙂

  3. Asha! Sorry for the late reply 🙂 And thank you for yours.

    My article came exactly from the point you have mentioned – reaching out to a community through managers, and making money as a manager too – if you have managed to build a community thanks to your product. Three of my friends have managed to do so. Jayashree is experimenting with the concept of connecting mentors and students (like a revenue generating Green Batti Project), Mulchand OWNS the photography niche in Mumbai and Raj has the best realtors in Mumbai on his speed dial. They can make money with themselves as a channel and marketers (like me) can make money by approaching these managers. On the point of engaging with the community – completely with you on that point – because unless the manager creates a win-win, it just doesn’t work. 

    You are the boss of communities, I ought to take notes from you, not the other way round. Not sure how we can generate revenue, unless we do something that blogger communities do (but I’m not fond of that business model). That’s because our members are not together because we spend money on the same stuff. Neither are we in the same profession. Unlike communities of photographers, realtors and young parents.

    We are building communities at Mr. Homecare and coming up with solutions for niche audiences, the sheer scale is thrilling – will write about it soon 🙂 You are an inspiration and quite awesome, and we’d always be in touch for advice. Thank you!

  4. Thank you for sharing these links 🙂

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