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How to Use 'Narrowcasting' to Boost Engagement and Conversions Broadcasting your content to a large audience in the hopes of getting some small portion to convert is not a particularly successful technique in today's digital marketing world.

By Tyler Lessard Edited by Dan Bova

This story originally appeared on Salesforce

Broadcasting your content to a large audience in the hopes of getting some small portion to convert is not a particularly successful technique in today's digital marketing world.

While the "spray and pray' approach can be tempting, trying to please everyone never really got anyone anywhere.

In fact, Merriam Webster's Dictionary definition of broadcasting sums it up nicely:

Today's marketer needs to be smarter to cut through the noise and to establish relevance and interest amongst real potential buyers. Entertaining or inspirational content can be a great way to get their attention, but it's time to move past the high-level brand video and get serious about targeting your message to distinct audience segments. It's called "narrowcasting' your content, and it's the key to boosting audience engagement and conversion.

Related: How to Create Compelling Online Content That Gets Traffic

What is narrowcasting?

Narrowcasting is the practice of tailoring your marketing materials to specific buying personas. Narrowcasting helps your message to be clearly understood since you can speak in specific industry terminology and go into depth on use cases or details only your target would understand. In turn, narrowcasting helps pre-qualify leads. Anyone that doesn't find your content of value, or even doesn't understand what you're talking about, probably wasn't a good lead to send to sales anyway.

Throwing away the broadcast approach means designing content with your target audience top of mind. Get into their heads and get to know them like you know your best friend. This means more than just what industry they belong to or even what position they hold as the decision maker.

Identifying and describing your niche

Knowing exactly who you're aiming for with narrowcasted content is the crux of this approach. There's really nothing worse than deciding to take an extremely targeted approach and completely missing the bullseye.

Start by answering these questions:

  • Who do you want to reach? What industry are they in? What company do they work for? What's their position? What are their responsibilities within the company?
  • How will you identify them?
  • What are the nitty gritty details of their work, their interests, and their decision making process? What does their average day look like?
  • What do they value? What are their goals — professionally and personally?
  • Where do they consume content? What type of content will resonate with them?
  • What aspect of the buying process do you want to address?
  • What pain point do you solve that's worth highlighting in this particular situation?

If video is a preferred means of consumption for your intended target, and there's a good chance it is since more than 90 percent of marketing respondents prefer video over all other mediums, then you'll want to tailor your video content to the answers to these questions.

Narrowcasting with video

The more specific your video is, when speaking to a narrow niche, the better it will perform when it comes to conversion because it won't be burdened by unqualified viewers and it will excel in relevance with your intended buyers.

Related: 4 Ways to Streamline High-Quality Content Creation

When narrowcasting your marketing videos, there are 4 main attributes to consider:

  1. The script or story
  2. The on-screen talent
  3. The tone or mood, and
  4. Promotion and distribution channels

Let's look at how you can maximize your impact in each area.


Your video's script or story (you don't always need a script) should be very specific to your audience. Don't worry about confusing others by using language or jokes that the "average joe' might not understand. If they don't understand the language, they're probably not a target lead.

If you've done a good job of identifying and describing your niche target, it should be easy enough to laser in on their problems and pain points. Do this! And check out Salesforce Marketing Cloud's niche promo video: a perfect example of a narrowcasted, scriptless video.

In this video, Salesforce Marketing Cloud speaks to organizing or identifying people by their contact info, which is a concept that marketers can relate and catch on to because it's part of their every day. This means that they will likely understand that Salesforce Marketing Cloud "gets' them — another benefit to narrowcasted content and a stepping stone towards conversion.


Just like Hollywood film producers go to great lengths to cast the perfect actor or actress for a blockbuster, so should you for your product teaser video.

While big-time film producers are generally taking a more broadcasted approach, the concept of choosing the right talent to fulfill the role you're portraying is still paramount. Using a video to promote a product that's supposed to help solve their problems is a lot easier when they can relate to and see similarities with the talent that's representing them on-screen.

Tone or mood

Many elements contribute to the overall tone or mood of your video including camerawork, lighting, editing, the performances, the music, and the color scheme. The mood is often solidified in the smaller details of your video, which are frequently added in post-production. It's these details that tie everything together to seal the deal on your narrowcasting approach.

Watch Leviev's Success Story from Salesforce, a success story from a particularly niche, high-end customer.

Notice the details that contribute to the luxurious and romantic tone of this video. The close up shots of the customers keep it intimate; the classical music in the background keeps the luxurious feel; the tablets and mobile phones are displayed on exquisite jewelry pedestals; and even the background behind the screenshots contribute to the tone with a soft, pink, petal-like pattern. All of these finer details exude luxury and complete the package of a targeted approach tailored to a very unique subset of Salesforce's potential audience.

Related: The Key Elements of Killer Content Marketing

Promotion and distribution

The success of a marketing video depends at least partially on components beyond the production of the video. A phenomenal video production that isn't shared in the right places or with the right call-to-action won't get any traction, which means it's just as important to narrowcast your promotion and distribution of the video as the video itself.

As part of your initial investigation and deep dive into the inner workings of your target customer, you would have found where they like to consume their content. From this, you can determine if you should promote the video through email, LinkedIn, Facebook, a teaser on Vine or Instagram, your blog, on your website product page, or a combination of a few of these. Too many marketers still rely on YouTube as the home for their video content. Be smart about where you share it to ensure you're finding your intended audience.

In terms of the way you promote your new, highly-targeted video, think back to the basics of IMCs (integrated marketing campaigns). Use the same themes that you used in your video to promote it. Stick with the highly-targeted messages and pain points and promote those in email copy, retargeting ads, or social posts.

For modern marketers, content tailored to a smaller and more specific audience generates higher quality leads and increases your conversion opportunities. Try narrowcasting your video by identifying that niche audience, and tailoring your script or story, talent, and mood. Don't forget promotion, too.

Related: 3 Ways to Meet the Endless Challenge of Coming Up With Great Content Ideas

Tyler Lessard

CMO at Vidyard

Tyler Lessard is the CMO at Vidyard, a provider of video marketing and video analytics solutions for the enterprise.

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