Narrowcasting is both a subset and the opposite of broadcasting, which is the wide scale dissemination of content through electronic and traditional media channels, in order to reach a large audience.
Narrowcasting focuses on spreading messages to smaller niche audiences that are defined by their demographic profile, individual preferences and values.
This means you should intentionally target a specific group of potential consumers by giving them customized messages only applicable to their interests or profile. The aim of this is to provoke a direct response from them, be it to purchase your product or perform a specific action (spread your message, donate money etc).
I’ve mentioned this technique in my recent post on The Persuaders, a documentary on how marketing and advertising influences the way we think or see ourselves. In the film’s context, narrowcasting was used in presidential election campaigns to reach potential voters and elicit support for the specific candidate.
Now let’s take a look at how narrowcasting can be used in the context of blogging or internet marketing. This aim of this article is to give you some ideas on how to narrowcast messages to groups of people in order to achieve maximum results.
Narrowcasting V.S. Broadcasting: Three Key Differences
Let’s start with some obvious differences between narrowcasting and broadcasting, which will give you a good idea on how each method differs from the other.
- Content Availability. Broadcast content is available to everyone and people are generally able to access it easily. Narrowcast content may only be made available to a select audience who chooses to receve it.
- Target Audience. Broadcast content does not target a specific audience profile and hence may communicate similar messages to multiple demographics at once. In narrowcasting, different messages are disseminated with a clear idea of what audience you are specifically targeting.
- Message Relevance. Broadcast content may not be pertinent to the interests of those come across it. On the other hand, narrowcast content is always highly relevant to the user’s interests; not only is the message crafted for a specific profile, users will themselves opt in to receive such messages.