How To Reach Niche Communities with Programmatic Advertising

Targeting specific audiences can lead to better engagement and better click-through rates in advertising campaigns. Ads that are shown to leads with very specific wants and needs in unique niches can allow you to reach a more receptive audience, a better return on investment (ROI), and a more successful campaign. One way to reach these profitable niches is through programmatic advertising.

Why You Should Focus on Niche Markets

Programmatic advertising uses data and, increasingly, artificial intelligence (AI) technology to buy and sell ads through real-time bidding. This form of digital advertising uses automation to streamline the ad buying and ad placement processes. One of the most important benefits of programmatic advertising for publishers and advertisers alike is the data-driven targeted placement of ads in front of the most likely buyers.

This saves time, money, and effort for every party involved as ad budgets aren’t wasted on unlikely prospects, publishers make more money when users click through, and businesses get their product or service in front of interested users who are likely to become hot leads. Showing relevant and useful ads also contributes to the user’s online experience.

The AI-driven data science tools that are being introduced to programmatic channels today, such as our privacy-safe AUDIENCEX Intelligence (AXi) solutions, can help advertisers more deeply understand their audiences and leverage predictive data to grow them. These tools can identify unique characteristics, interests and behaviors in existing customer data, helping marketers expand into new custom audiences by determining which niche segments are most likely to engage with your messaging and convert.

Examples of Niche Communities

The following are examples of some niche internet communities filled with active community members who are passionate about their interests. These community members are active on online forums, apps, and websites, where they can be targeted with ads purchased through programmatic advertising networks. 

Niche Examples

The community members of these niche communities online can be highly valuable advertising targets because of their passion and high level of interest in their communities. Reaching them with a relevant ad could yield a good chance of a click and follow-through that could lead to a purchase, sign-up, or any other advertising goal. The insights you uncover with data science can help guide you in identifying which specific niche communities could be most receptive to your messaging.

Online Gaming

Gamers are an example of an online niche. Gaming can be further subdivided into communities dedicated to a genre of gaming or even a specific game. The advertising targets of the niche, like any other advertising target, will depend on the product or service being advertised.

For example, there are smaller niches in the online gaming niche, such as mobile gamers, open-world multiplayer gamers, desktop PC gamers, Xbox gamers, and PlayStation 5 (PS5) gamers. Some gamers, meanwhile, are interested in playing games like Fortnite, an online player-versus-player fighting game. Using data and intelligent targeting tools with programmatic advertising, ads can reach an even smaller niche, such as college-aged Fortnite players who are active in their online communities at midnight on weekdays.

Vegan Cooking

While the online cooking and recipe-sharing communities are broad and have a massive appeal, there are more specific niches inside those communities, comprising a smaller but just as dedicated subset. 

Vegans, for instance, are people who do not consume any food products that came from an animal. An even smaller community within the Vegan cooking niche could revolve around those focused on healthy Vegan cooking on a budget. 


Hiking enthusiasts can gather online on websites, forums, and social media to talk about their hobby, locations, and share videos and photographs of their hikes. If you further narrow down this niche, you may find that some hikers frequent specific trails at specific locations. For example, there may be hikers who hike the Appalachian Mountains in the Eastern United States. With the right targeting tools on programmatic advertising, a company that sells jackets could target hikers in Pennsylvania who are active on forums dedicated to discussing gear.

These are just a few basic examples of niche online communities. In the next section, we’ll go over some strategies that can help you to reach niche communities like these and many more, both large and small, with community advertising.

How Programmatic Advertising Can Help You Reach Niche Online Communities

The sections below outline some ways to find communities for your niche and effectively target them with relevant ads through programmatic advertising.

Understand Niche Online Social Spaces

Niche online social spaces are digital communities where people congregate to share stories and ideas, have discussions, share and watch videos, or link to relevant pages and other spaces involving their niche.

A niche social space may center around any number of interests, including:

  • Hobbies
  • Consumer products
  • Charities
  • Activist groups
  • Political groups
  • Learning groups
  • Languages
  • Cultures
  • Games
  • Sports

These are just a few potential categories. Remember that each of these communities can contain even smaller, more focused niches. For example, there may be a group of people living in Quebec, Canada, who are learning the Japanese language and belong to a Facebook group. It’s important to be as specific as possible when targeting your niche audience to reach the ideal people to target with your ads, in the right context to engage them effectively.

Try Test Messaging on Your Targeted Niche Platforms

Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can leverage data to find where to reach them online, including their favorite sites and apps. Once you know who you are targeting and where you are targeting them, creative and messaging can be crafted following best practices for the context of your placements to ensure they will resonate with the audience. To find the most effective message, you can engage in testing, such as A/B testing. 

A/B testing occurs when you experiment with two variations of a design element in an ad. The ads would be the same, generally, but contain a specific difference, such as the headline, tagline, body copy, or image. The two ads are then shown to a similar demographic to see which one produces the better result. 

Design Your Website With Your Target Market in Mind

Designing your website with your target market in mind is essential to attracting the right demographic and getting them to spend time on your site, connect with others, and make purchases. You will want your visitors to feel a strong sense of belonging, convinced that they are in the right place to connect with like-minded individuals. You may have to consider the intersections of multiple niche communities to find the right tone. Using data science tools make it simpler to identify the common ground and interests in your wider target audience.

Brands can also take part in community building, turning their websites into places where users are encouraged to interact with each other, share their passion for a shared hobby or interest, and engage with the brands that create essential elements of their niche.

For example, hobbies that involve collecting may rely on making purchases to build collections. The brands and advertisers marketing those types of brands could develop sites and apps that help customers track their collections, continue to build them, and share their progress with one another. Similarly, other sites may foster the desire for exclusive experiences with their niche community members, such as band websites that offer show presales or exclusive merchandise. Think of ways your target market can be encouraged to engage with the brand and build your website around that idea.

Design Your Marketing Strategy With Your Target Audience in Mind

The specific plans and details of your marketing strategy will depend on your target audience, but rest assured that reaching even the most niche audiences is possible thanks to programmatic advertising, the continued advancement of behavioral data science, and the integration of AI-driven predictive performance technology. While these tools can be challenging for midmarket brands or independent agencies to access and master, working with a partner like AUDIENCEX can secure access to programmatic media buying, privacy-safe data, breakthrough AI tools, tech-driven creative, and the expertise necessary to leverage them all effectively. We can help you find your niche communities and develop strategies that will reach them, showing impactful ads to those who are most likely to become paying customers or clients.

Use a Mix of Programmatic Channels Like Video, Native, and More

There are numerous channels and creative formats that are accessible with programmatic advertising technology.

Some options for programmatic advertising channels include:

  • Video ads
  • Native ads
  • Display ads
  • Connected TV (CTV)
  • Digital audio
  • Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising 
  • Search ads
  • Mobile ads
  • In-banner video

Using a mix of channels for your campaign will help you reach more of your targeted users. AUDIENCEX can also integrate programmatic advertising into a wider holistic omnichannel approach, augmenting your strategies with additional channels such as traditional or social media.

Team Up With Micro-Influencers

Influencers have obtained that title because they have such a large following and help to influence the thoughts and actions of a large number of people. They have a broad reach and the ability to speak directly to an engaged audience.

Content creators on social platforms such as Instagram or YouTube have dedicated fans and followers with open ears, ready to listen to their suggestions. Advertising with these influencers can allow for direct access to their followers.

Micro-influencers can be defined as content creators with fewer than 50,000 followers who make posts and share ideas surrounding small, precise niches. These niches can be centered around anything from makeup tutorials to comedy skits. These influencers can also endorse products to their small but active following.

Use User-Generated Content To Engage With Customers

Social media is not just about content creators, influencers, and brands sending their messages out. It is also a public forum. An individual user can submit their unique content to a group and share their own stories, experiences, and messages with their inner circle. Brands can similarly use this intimate form of interaction to their advantage by engaging with their customers directly on these platforms.

User-generated content is a form of advertising that uses content created by consumers. Users can submit content such as stories or pictures and share that content on social media while using marketing hashtags. This type of advertising can let users share with one another while also expanding brand awareness and advertising specific products or services.

For example, Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke marketing campaign encouraged users to share pictures of cans of soda that had their names on them. Users could also tag their content with the hashtag #ShareACoke, which further spread awareness of the campaign. 

Other brands can similarly use image sharing such as Coca-Cola’s example or other methods such as contests and reference various elements of mainstream culture in their campaigns to advertise their products and engage with customers on a personal level. This type of user-generated content can also be leveraged on other channels, such as digital out-of-home.

Update Your Strategy as the Niche Culture Evolves

All good marketing strategies include plans to adapt to changing ideas and trends within a changing market. The digital marketplace is always evolving. New technologies are always being developed, including new channels and forms of media. New ways for advertisers and publishers to reach their audiences are also being introduced and should be embraced to facilitate successful ad campaigns.

Niche communities may change as well, so to retain the ability to connect with niche community members, ads will need to stay on top of any changes in attitudes, interests, and trends.

Discover the Benefits of Programmatic Advertising and Data Science

Programmatic advertising is beneficial for businesses that want to get their product or service to the right audience with a flexible budget. With AUDIENCEX’s evolving AI-powered data science tools, programmatic advertising can incorporate custom bidding algorithms to ensure every spend is tailored to the precise goals of your specific campaign, predictive audiences to find the niche users most likely to convert, and a full visualization of conversion pathways to help you understand how your consumers interact with every touchpoint in their journey. Our tech-enabled creative services provide impactful, engaging ads that help you stand out and connect with your niche, and continuous automated optimization ensures that you’re getting the most out of your budget throughout its entire lifecycle.

If you’d like to discuss how AUDIENCEX’s holistic solutions can help you better understand your audience, expand into the right niches, and improve your performance throughout the entire digital landscape, please reach out to our team today. We’d love to connect.