Five “French speaking niches” to try
1. HOBBY THEMES
While the french may be known for sophisticated fashion, they still love a good t-shirt design! There are countless “French hobbies” you can explore, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Parkour (similar to martial arts)
- Horseback riding
You can combine hobbies with other niches such as family (e.g. “I’m a kitesurfing mom, just like a normal mom but much cooler”), jobs (“Nurse by day, Parkour ninja by night”) regional pride, sports and more. Combining interests will create a very passionate niche who will think your t-shirt has been made just for them!
2. POPULAR “PET” THEMES
The French love their pets; in France alone there are more than 44 million pets! The most popular animal companions in France are dogs and cats. Below is the top 10 most popular dog breeds in France:
- Yorkshire Terriers
- King Charles Spaniels
- German Shepherds
- Toy dogs
- Cocker Spaniels
- Fox Terriers
Let’s not forget about France’s other furry friends; it might be a bit surprising, those 44 million pets include fish (21.1 millions), birds (5.7 millions) and rodents (1.5 millions).
3. SPORT THEMES
The French are passionate about sports and there are lots to choose from! Some of the most popular sports include:
- Football (aka soccer)
- Tennis (remember the French Open!)
- Cycling (Tour de France)
If you’re looking into popular sports niches why not try combining them with a regional pride niche to narrow your audience and reach the most passionate group? Here’s an example:
- You could try to target passionate ice hockey fans who have an interest in a certain Canadian team, live in France and moved just recently. You can stress the regional pride in the campaign description as well by adding lines like: “Special products for French Canadian fans living in France.”
- “I might live in France but during game season my heart and my soul belong to Montréal”
- “Je vis peut-être en France mais les jours de match, mon coeur et mon âme sont à Montréal“
4. PRIDE & HERITAGE THEMES
As anticipated above, generally certain regions in France and Canada have a strong national sense of pride and don’t want to be mistaken for being from another region or country. For example:
- The language and culture of French Canadians versus people from France differs significantly; people from Canada very often don’t want to be mistaken as being from France. Quebec in particular is a very proud province. Possible slogans would be:
- “Never underestimate the power of a Canadian woman who lives in France”
- “Ne sous-estimez jamais le pouvoir d’une Canadienne vivant en France“
- Also European French speakers are proud of their country:
- “Never underestimate the power of a Belgian guy”
- “Ne sous-estimez jamais le pouvoir d’un Belge“
- And in France particularly the region Brittany is a very proud of its heritage:
- “Why should I learn English? Tomorrow the world is going to speak Breton!”
- “Pourquoi apprendre l’anglais ? Demain le monde parlera le Breton!“
5. FAMILY RELATED THEMES
Many French speakers are very proud of their familial status. For example, a dad or grandma with a certain hobby or passion which makes him/her stand out from the crowd. These kinds of designs make perfect gifts and can become hugely successful niche markets when targeted correctly. If you know a design works for other markets why not translate it and target it at French-speakers too? Here are a few examples of design phrases that work:
- “Keep Calm and let grandma handle it”
- “Reste calme et laisse mamie s’en occuper“
- “I’m a tattooed grandma – just like a normal grandma but much cooler”
- “Je suis une grand-mère tatouée – une grand-mère normale juste plus cool“
- “I have a beautiful daughter – I also have a gun, a shovel and an alibi”
- “J’ai une fille magnifique – J’ai aussi un pistolet, une pelle et un alibi“
Deepening the sport niche: a real-life example
Let’s put the case we want to run a campaign on cycling.
First of all, let’s not forget that many countries and cities outside of France also speak French. In many parts of Canada the primary language is French, as well as places like Monaco, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Aside from sharing the French language many of these locations also share common interests or niche markets.
As mentioned in this article, the French are very passionate about cycling (see the Tour de France). If you are a seller and would like to try focusing on this niche you should do some research first: find the most popular cycling magazines, bicycle brands and equipment, smaller races/cycling events, famous cyclists, etc.
“I LOVE it when MY WIFE lets me go cycling”: this is a classic design in every language which works with a wide range of hobbies and activities:
And here is an example on how you can set up your targeting on FB for this kind of campaign:
* Audience Insights function: Switch your FB language to “English U.S.”, then go to facebook.com/ads/manage to access the Audience Insights tool on the left hand side
- Location: Target all French-speaking markets
- Language: Specify that you only want to target people who actually speak French
- Gender: For this design we won’t exclude women as a target group for the ad; although the design is for men, women are also very likely to buy this kind of shirt for their husbands as a gift, for example.
- Relationship status: Here you can select that you only want to target people who are actually married and who like to show it.
- Age: The spending power and enthusiasm of women aged 45+ is one of the higher demographics in the market. In our case we can set the age range example is from 35 to 55. We can then narrow it down even more after 48 hours and after seeing the first results (based on clicks/conversions).
- Interests: This is the most crucial part of the ad. Instead of just adding big and shallow groups like “Cycling” or “Bicycle” add more specific groups where you think passionate buyers are located. Even though FB generally does it for you, to be more sure about the accuracy of your target translate the most important words in this niche (like bicycle is “vélo” in French) and add them as interest, search for specific interests within the cycling niche (like mountain biking or road cycling), add some of the most popular bicycle brands, some events passionate cyclists would like to watch or participate in, etc. In the “Likes” section of the Audience Insights tool you can then see in what else your target group is interested in—e.g. “Tour de France” or “Decathlon France”. Click on the links if you are not sure if the groups shown could contain potential buyers.
If you want to narrow down your target audience use the Audience Intersect tool. Using AI you can target individuals who are interested in both cycling events and particular bicycle brands for example. This will help you to specifically target potential buyers who are most passionate about that niche:
* Audience Intersect function - only available to use once you set up your FB ad.
There’s also great potential for other sports too; designs like “Dieu a crée le rugby pour que les joueurs de foot aient aussi des héros” (God created Rugby so that football players can have heroes too) work really well in the French market as well. Besides big and famous sports like rugby, ice hockey, football, etc. you should also consider targeting country or area specific sport activities. These specialized niches are often untouched; “Keep Calm and Play Pétanque” or “Pétanque addict” for example. Research popular sport activities in any of the French-speaking countries and let your creativity run wild.