The Human Touch in a Digital World: AI-Assisted Niche Marketing

AI-assisted niche marketing

Personalized content is the new norm. Companies are all competing for their buyers’ attention, and drilling down on niches is a terrific way to create content that ‘touches’ ideal customers. 

Balancing the human touch with AI is less about a choppy, haphazard approach and more about crafting relevant prompts that yield interesting answers. The insights gained from this iterative approach should point in the direction of a niche audience and provide marketers with a new perspective on how niche audiences behave.

Here are the 5 main ways AI can assist in niche marketing:

#1 Engage in Socratic Dialogue with AI Chat Tools

To actually achieve niche content with AI, you will need to learn to use artificial intelligence in an iterative way. This means that you will need to be able to balance the human touch with AI assistance. It is highly doable, especially when you learn to use ChatGPT, for instance, in a Socratic fashion, continually asking questions. 

Asking open-ended questions, encouraging elaborations, and challenging the answers provided are meaningful ways to engage in Socratic dialogue with ChatGPT. This will be highly beneficial in drilling down on a niche audience because you can ask pointed questions and also treat the tool conversationally. 

Socratic questioning helps to improve your prompting skills, requiring you to refine prompts and ask critical questions. By prompting in a specific way, your questions will be more pointed and will encourage the AI to provide well-reasoned answers that are logically consistent. Additionally, this is a lesson in getting AI to answer you in a way that actually helps illuminate information instead of the AI just regurgitating information.

#2 Copy and Paste Customer Data and Ask Questions 

Most marketers have access to databases that contain customer reviews, testimonials, or even replies to emails. One of the main advantages of AI is the ability to analyze and make sense of large amounts of information. By uploading customer feedback and asking a chat tool questions about the customer personas, marketers will be delighted with insights that they may have overlooked. For instance, marketers can ask the chat tool:

  • What do these reviews share in common?
  • Based on the verbiage and sentence structure, what can be deduced from the text?
  • What assumptions can be made about the audience?
  • What other interests does this audience most likely have?

The above questions are a few examples that will help you better understand your niche customer and truly ‘get inside their head.’

#3 Look to AI as your Business Strategist

Prompt AI with: 

Persona: You are a business strategist unlocking new opportunities in the [insert industry].

Task:  You are helping me discover new revenue streams for [insert product].

Contextual reference: Current customers of ours include [insert specifications], now identify a similar audience.

Demand 1: Tell me what that audience watches on television.

Demand 2: Tell me what the audience reads typically.

Demand 3: Tell me about the trends the audience is most interested in.

Then build a marketing plan around the niche answers that were identified in this business strategist session with the chat tool. You can copy and paste existing marketing plans that you would like to model yours after, tell the AI which companies you admire, or emphasize the expertise of the AI (by prompting something like “you are the CMO of a Fortune 100 B2C retail company” and relying on the AI to generate insights based on that persona).

You might do A/B testing on the insights the tool provided to test the claims’ accuracy. This will clarify how to further integrate AI into your niche marketing and strategy decisions. For example, let’s say that for an IT security product, the ideal buyer was identified as someone who watches Star Trek, eats Fruit Loops for breakfast, and likes to mountain bike. You would continually test assumptions based on that persona. 

#4 Use AI to Enhance Content Creation 

AI has changed content creation because content can now be created based on unimaginable amounts of existing content. Designers well-versed in AI content generation can cater to niches by optimizing content for that niche’s unique interests, accounting for every detail. 

Tools designed for content generation can help marketers on the prompting front to be specific about what they want an image, video, soundbite, or caption to come across and be received. 

Marketers can use prompts in ChatGPT to help guide the generation of content ideas and even use ChatGPT to write prompts for tools like MidJourney. This process of intense refinement allows marketers to capture their persona in a unique way. 

The content can attract the niche because it is reverse-engineered. Rather than attempting to capture a target audience based on demographics, geographics, etc, companies can create content that is engineered to that audience’s preferences and interests.

#5 Harness a Niche Audience 

An extremely underrated way to harness a niche audience is to dive into Reddit. Reddit is home to the most acquired tastes and interests that are so particular that they are difficult to fathom. This is great for marketers who are willing to dive into Reddit, take inventory of threads with large audiences, and create content based on the thread users’ comments and insights.

Rather than searching for an audience that may or may not exist, you can cater to an underserved subgroup that will enjoy whatever your company has to offer. Greg Isenberg calls this “unbundling Reddit” and discusses paying special attention to commonly raised questions, recommendations, and wants. 

AI can significantly help in unbundling Reddit because of the time that would be spent unbundling manually. This means that with AI, you can either import data from a Reddit thread or simply copy and paste and run a query on common traits of the language used. 

This is basically using AI to look at people’s wants and desires on a microscopic (slightly creepy) level to create content that caters to the niche in the best possible way. Because you are once again taking the reverse engineering approach, there is less testing that goes into understanding what the audience may or may not like. 

More time is spent serving content that adds value to the existing conversation and expanding the conversation, ideally leading to your product or service. On this front, the human touch is largely in noticing a unique audience and the time commitment to better understand them. Niches feel “real” and it will take marketers willing to be empathetic toward a niche audience to speak to them in a sustainable and growth-oriented fashion. 

Zen Media Embraces the Synergy of Human Ingenuity and AI Prowess

AI-assisted niche marketing is the way to stay ahead in the world of hyper-personalization and endless digitization. The human mind is one of the greatest resources in the world, if not the most valuable, and using it to engage intelligently with artificial intelligence is what will unlock the fascinating dimensions of  the future. In marketing, this is everything because while machines are tuned into people’s behaviors, there are more ethereal elements that a human needs to explore with a bit of help from data and AI. 

At Zen Media, we believe that the best marketing strategies harness the best of humans and AI, and we love to experiment with new and exciting ways to serve audiences and not just stay ahead of the latest trends, but set the standard. Reach out to us for more information.

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