Tag Archives: niche

Online Direct Marketing for Beginners

Online direct marketing is a highly targeted and measurable process. With direct marketing, you can immediately identify correlations between separate marketing efforts and your bottom line.

Because direct marketing is highly targeted communications, you can save money by testing different online direct marketing ideas to different groups of your target market. This tells you which idea works best and that’s the one you roll out on a bigger scale.

Although online direct marketing is similar to its offline counterpart, having technology as your medium allows infinite creative possibilities for your execution and offers better organization of your data.

Below are 5 essential steps towards making your online direct marketing campaign generate ROI and increase your bottom line.

1.    Acquire
The key principle behind direct marketing is only talking to the people you want to talk to. This assumes that you already know your niche and you already know what you want to tell them.

Most marketers see their target market as just that—a group of people within their desired market. As a discipline, direct marketing challenges marketers to see their niche as individuals. As opposed to billboards or TVCs whose success relies on traditional marketing (the more pairs of eyes the better), direct marketing seeks to reel in high-value individuals (the few who actually make an impact on your sales because of their loyalty and voluntary advocacy).

Marketing research is essential to find these high-value individuals. In which States are they? Which dealers do they frequent? Would they prefer to receive emails or text messages? Besides their names, all of these form part of your data acquisition. Give them a reason to share with you their online contact information.

2.    Communicate

Now that you know whom to talk to and how you can get to them, it’s time to figure out what to say and how to say it.

Similar to coming up with relevant web page content, direct marketing calls for the same attention when crafting your message. The recipient of your online direct marketing effort should feel that you’re talking to him as an individual.

Personalize each message as much as you can, depending on the data you’ve gathered. Use his first name. Find out which of your products he likes. Talk about that product instead of immediately cross selling.

3.    Close the feedback loop

Allowing your niche to respond to your online direct marketing efforts can seal you the deal. Encourage them to talk back. Let your niche know that you genuinely care about what they feel and what they have to say.

Use this opportunity to give individual replies to the feedback you’ve received, based on individual preferences, needs, and issues. Store these details in your database for reference and tracking.

4.    Update

Make sure that your database is always updated. Your list of names has no use if the email addresses or their SMS numbers have already changed. With every material that you send, you can include a link that directs them to a page where they can update their profiles if they wish to continue receiving material from you. You can also do the updates yourself when you reply to their feedback.


Is Your Pay Per Click Campaign Ready?

1.    Know your product’s USP
It’s not enough to know your product’s attributes. If you’re selling gum, your brand’s attributes will be the same as the next Joe who sells gum. You have to know what makes your gum different from Joe’s products—this is called your unique selling proposition (USP) and this is what you focus on.

Highlight what makes you different from your competition. It’s not just a matter of “I have more” or “I have better.” It’s a matter of “My product will solve your problem” or “My product can help you address this particular issue that you’ve had for a long time.”

In our example, your product is gum. It’s not enough to keep coming out with new shapes or flavors. You could attract more attention if you tie your “cool new flavored” gum with a health benefit like being an aid for oral hygiene, or helping kids adjust the distance between their teeth.

2.    Conduct qualitative market research
Always let your niche guide your marketing efforts. As a marketer, it is your job to bridge the gap between your brand’s identity and the image that the market has attached to your brand.

Qualitative market researches help you save money—knowledge protects you from paying for unwanted clicks. Information like geographical concentration, lifestyle, and which websites they spend their time on will help you make your PPC ad placements relevant.

Qualitative surveys are also good sources of your niche keyword list. Remember that AdWords are keyword-based. It is important that your ads and your website content are optimized for the same audience using the same language that your niche can relate to.

3.    Organize your website

Beefing up your website doesn’t stop at graphic design and a site map. Your content is the life and blood of your website.

People who use the search function usually know, or at least have an idea, what they’re looking for. When your web pages come up as part of their results, they expect your site to give them information relevant to their searches. If you’ve optimized for the keywords that the visitor used, then your content should be related to the query.

The best website content is consumer-focused. Write for your niche. Make them feel that your brand understands and cares about them. Give them a reason to explore further and check out your online catalogue.

4.    Match PPC ads and landing pages
PPC ads like Google AdWords are clickable ads. You have the freedom to determine which web page each ad will lead to. It is important to match your ads with the right landing pages. You wouldn’t want to turn off a prospect with web page content that has nothing to do with the ad that he has read.

5.    Post regular updates

Setting regular updates go beyond your ads. You should be conscious about what’s happening to your market and update your content accordingly. In the same light, conducting periodic qualitative market research gives you fresh information for you to update your niche keyword list so that you remain relevant all the time.


Internet Marketing: 5 SEO Success Tips

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the backbone of your Internet marketing campaign. The right set of keywords is integral to the success of your SEO efforts. However, your closest competitors could be optimizing for the same keywords as you are.

Below are 5 tips to give your niche keywords a big edge against your competition. You must also remember to stay focused on your market and stay on top of changing market trends.

1.    Make sure no internal links are broken
A fantastic looking website won’t go far without legs. Internal links are definitely a valuable element of successful websites. A good internal links system carries each visitor throughout your entire website.

The better you maintain your zero-broken link count, the better your visitors will feel about your website and the longer they’ll stay and browse. Moreover, a functioning internal links system makes it easier for your market to quickly get to what they need and share the information with their friends and peers.

2.    Combine links with the correct landing pages
Working links take your visitors around, but it’s up to you to make sure that visitors are taken to the right pages. Tagging each article will help a lot. However, linking your anchor texts to the right pages can be more challenging.

If you take the anchor texts at face value, there would definitely be a lot of articles that you can choose to link. Mastery of your content is important. Take the context of your article into consideration when you do your links. Linked pages should provide a continuous flow of relevant information to your visitors.

3.    Update your content

You cannot, must not, run out of pages to link. Don’t let your audience go around in circles. If you stop giving them the information they need, they stop coming back. Your well of content shouldn’t run dry.

Set a schedule for yourself or for your writer. The ideal gap between updates is a week. However, if the industry you belong to (like technology and gadgets) requires more frequent updates, by all means, feed your public.

4.    Take care of your external links network

A strong external links network effectively grabs the attention of your desired market. Word-of-mouth advertising on blogs and social networking sites all contribute to a more credible review of your website.

Maintaining forum accounts that host topics relevant to your website is also a good idea. After a while of actively and relevantly sharing your ideas with the forum crowd, you can begin leaving links to specific pages of your website—making internal and external links equally important.

5.    Stay in touch with your niche

Staying in constant communication with your niche doesn’t mean pestering them with spam. Making your website content open to public comments is an easy way to get started.

Moreover, exploring social bookmarking websites and commenting on related blogs also works wonders for your online presence. Checking in regularly with your audience allows you to keep abreast with market changes, and you can tweak your campaigns accordingly.

How to Market Your Brand by Social Bookmarking

1.    Make relevant and consumer-focused content
Before finding ways to make your website known to the world, take a step back to really look at your web pages’ content. Check if all your articles sound like sales pitches. If they do, it would be a good idea to start revising.

Remember that you are writing for your consumers. To attract their attention, you need to be relevant. To keep them reading, your content has to sound conversational. To make them understand you and your brand, your articles must be well-written without grammar errors. To make them come back, you have to update your content.

Understanding your niche is the driving force towards publishing great content. Investing time into marketing research will give you information on your niche’s demographics, psychographics, and their behavior towards your brand and your competition. This will shed light on certain issues and needs that your brand can address. These are the things you write about to stay relevant so that they keep visiting you and they can recommend you to their social bookmarking network.

2.    Make your own account

Making your own social bookmarking account will allow you to experience social bookmarking. Your account can help you better understand how your niche uses this technology and how you can make it work towards the benefit of your web pages.

Making your own account will also update you on which websites are in and which are not. It gives you an idea on what is your industry’s benchmark and how you do against it. Grab this opportunity to compare your content with theirs. If other web pages are attracting quality traffic, then you might want to find out what they’re doing right.

3.    Make friends

You social bookmarking account allows you to create your own social network. Initially, your network may only consist of people you personally know. Eventually, when your niche catches wind of your social bookmarking existence, you’ll find yourself in their networks and vice-versa.

It is advisable to make friends and maintain social relationships. This allows you to better understand people and their needs so that you can craft better communication strategies and develop better products.

4.    Make conversation
As your network grows, you’ll get more updates on reviews and ratings that people have made on other web pages. They’ll comment and sometimes ask for their peers’ opinions. Grab this opportunity to share your thoughts, especially if the web page in question belongs to your category.

Sharing your thoughts (in a polite manner) will earn people’s trust and up your credibility. When you give helpful and informative inputs, people would be encouraged to know more about you. Always have a URL ready when you post your comments. Pick a landing page that is relevant to the topic being discussed.

5.    Make criticisms work for you

As more of your web pages make it to people’s social bookmarks, you’ll get feedback—from general things like your themes and design to the specifics of your content. Sometimes, the feedback you get may be not what you expect. However, turn these criticisms around to work in your favor. Thank the people and tell them that you’ll seriously consider their comments and that you always work hard to improve your website for all of them to enjoy.


How to Get Traffic from Social Bookmarking Sites

Social bookmarking sites allow people to share web pages with their network. Generally, each user registers, creates his profile, and builds a list of links to web pages that he thinks is entertaining, informative, or interesting in some way. The social aspect comes with the function that allows each user to invite his network to view his list of links.

In turn, the user can also take a look at what others in his network have bookmarked and he can follow the links which interest him. Usually, a user’s social network is made up of his friends or people he shares a professional or an interest group with.

Social bookmarking sites have tremendous marketing value. When one user includes a link to any of your pages in his list, then there is a possibility that his entire network will follow your link. A good way to make your links appear on users’ lists is to participate in social bookmarking yourself. Here are 4 tips to help you out and make sure that your brand gets the most out of it.

1.    Update and keep your content unique

The concept of social bookmarking is sharing something nice you’ve found online. In your case, you could have “found” your own site’s content to be interesting or useful.

It’s perfectly fine and ethical to include your web pages in your bookmarks. However, the best social bookmarking sites are strict with accepting only unique content. So, if your pages are similar to a lot of other websites in the same category, then the social bookmarking site might not allow your pages to be part of your bookmarks. This is why it’s important to focus on the needs of your niche and to maintain niche content.

2.    Make your content relevant to your niche
No matter how entertaining or how well written your content is, no one will follow you back to your pages if they don’t find your text relevant to their needs and interests.

Every brand should know its niche inside-out. Yours, although marketed online, is not exempted. Study your market and know what motivates them. Get to know their issues and needs that your brand can address. Figure out where else on the Internet they hang out. This knowledge will give credibility to your content and ultimately, your brand. More than just knowing what you’re talking about, you want to sound like you’re conversing with each visitor personally. Build relationships.

3.    Be social

It is, after all, social bookmarking. Being friendly can build you a great network filled with people who belong to your niche. Allow them to comment on the links that you post and reply to their comments when necessary. Make sure you don’t start a fight. Take this opportunity to really get to know people and use the information you gather to improve your online strategy.

4.    Make sure you’re not self-centered

You hate it when other people keep talking about themselves, and other people will dislike you for it as well. Besides your own web pages, include other relevant pages in your bookmarks. This shows that you’re genuinely interested to share interesting stuff and it also assures the social bookmarking site that you’re not a spammer or a self-promoter. Put your niche’s needs before your own, and you’ll be rewarded.


Google Sandbox: 4 Tips to Help You Avoid the Trap


The Google Sandbox effect is a theory that was formulated by veteran search engine marketers. Most online marketers believe that Google has an “inbox” where it stores newly registered domains. These domains are waiting for Google to check if they are legitimate and if their content is relevant to users—a measure that Google takes to make sure that they don’t include spam sites in their index.

Google Sandbox only affects new domains. This means that the other pages in your website that Google has already approved and indexed won’t be included in the waiting list, even if you add new pages to your website.

Below are 4 tips to help keep your new web pages away from Google’s Sandbox.

1.    Go for niche keywords

Optimizing your web page content for non-generic keywords could immediately help you rank high, thus encouraging more traffic. The reason behind this is that optimizing for niche keywords attracts your target market, who search with particular terms and jargon in mind. Going for niche keywords will set you apart from your competitors who are most likely using generic or category keywords.

Consistently optimizing future web page contents with niche keywords will allow you to achieve and maintain good search engine ranking.

2.    Go for a niche domain name
Choosing your pages’ domain names is as important as churning out good content. A good domain name is something that users can immediately associate with your brand or product, but take care not to use generic or category words.

Going for a niche domain name will allow Google to see the value and the uniqueness of your web pages because Google’s index won’t have 10 other pages or websites that resemble yours.

3.    Go explore other SEM techniques—don’t wait for Google
Google isn’t the only search engine around. There are 2 other search engines that make up the Big 3: Yahoo and MSN. While working (or waiting) for Google, you can simultaneously work on Yahoo and MSN to list your website.

Moreover, you can also maximize niche blogs and forums by talking about your website or just by announcing that you’re coming up with a new web page. This leads us to the next tip.

4.    Build inbound links

Participating in relevant forum discussions and commenting on blogs can help build your credibility. When you’re sure that you’ve earned enough credibility, and if the blog or forum rules allow you to do so, you can begin including links of your new web page in your discussions. Doing so encourages others to visit your website to learn more about the information you’ve just shared with them.

Closer to home, you can build your internal network of links by immediately updating your sitemap whenever you come out with a new web page. It is also recommended that you make use of your contents and create relevant text links that will lead users to your new web page.

Even if your new web page finds itself in Google Sandbox, the numerous quality links that you’ve spread all over the Internet will make Google notice. This could speed up the approval and indexing process, and get you more traffic.


Google AdWords: Increase Site Traffic in 4 Steps

Google AdWords


Google provides online advertising services to help websites promote themselves through other related sites or through the search engine results pages. Google AdWords is Google’s offering to help websites advertise through the search results pages based on carefully selected keywords.


When users search with your selected keyword, Google pulls up the search engine results. Your ad appears on the right side, next to the top searches. When the user sees your ad and becomes interested, he can click your Google AdWords and be directed to your website. Note however, that subscribing to Google AdWords does not affect your website’s search engine ranking in any way.


Below are 4 steps towards making the choice to use Google AdWords as part of your online marketing mix.


1.    Know your niche


Your target market is the end all and be all of your marketing efforts. Knowing how they talk about your product can help you craft better copy for your website content and for your Google AdWords.


Make sure that you also keep track of what other brands are doing in your category; train yourself to constantly be in touch with market shifts.


2.    Make sure your site content is relevant


Multiple links and Google AdWords are completely useless if your website is not able to convert visitors to customers. Like most advertising models, Google AdWords is geared towards making your niche interested in what you have to say and offer. If they go to your website and they find out that you have nothing good to tell them, you won’t get any sales.


When you get the right people to visit your site, make sure you can keep them interested long enough to stay and make a purchase. The ultimate goal is to keep them coming back and telling others about how useful and relevant your website is.


3.    Choose your Google AdWords keywords


This is a little tricky. Going for the generic keywords will guarantee you a lot of visitors, but it doesn’t promise that these visitors are your target market. Be reminded that you want interested and potential customers to visit your site, because they will generate profits.


Research on your niche, and figure out how they search for your category and other related information. Forums, blogs and group discussion pages are great places to mine for niche keywords.


4.    Monitor performance


No matter how well your efforts have already paid off, it is important to keep track of shifts in your market. Your niche keywords will change depending on how your market will talk about your brand or your category in the next few days. Stay on top of your toes.


Explore ways to analyze site traffic through metrics. Data will tell you how long people stay on particular pages. This will help you tweak content and tell you when your content is becoming less relevant to your market. Adjust accordingly to make sure that all your marketing efforts will result to an increase in ROI and more.


Google AdWords: 4 Pay-Per-Click Tips

1. DON’T put all of your related keywords in one list
Keep in mind that the goal of any search engine marketing effort is to reach the right people at the least cost. Google AdWords work with a pay-per-click business model to help your online campaign succeed. Google only charges when an interested prospect or a regular customer clicks your ad and gets redirected to your chosen landing page.

From your end, you are expected to know your market and figure out which specific keywords they use to search for your product. For example, a person looking for Nike Free running shoes will search for Nike Free and not shoes or shoes for running.

When you begin building your keyword list, remember to enlist only specific keywords. With this said, it is also recommended that you do not put all of your PPC ads in one AdGroup. Although a number of ads can run at the same time, only one ad will be shown per search; you cannot risk displaying the wrong ad. Be careful to group together ads with similar niche keywords.

2. DO include your keywords in your AdWords copy
Google AdWords automatically highlights the keywords that your ad is optimized for. It is highly recommended that you include your niche keyword in your ad’s copy so that it gets highlighted. This attracts the viewers’ attention and they can immediately decide whether this ad is something that can help them or not.

If your ad copy is vague, 2 things can happen: a) your desired target market will just ignore your ad because they don’t see anything that can help them or b) a random Internet surfer will click your ad, just to see where it leads. Either way, you lose money.

3. DO have a converting landing page
Your landing page is as important as your keywords and your AdWords copy. Search engine marketers make the usual mistake of redirecting all their ads to the company’s home page.

Take into consideration the thought process of an online market. They search for what they need using specific terms. They expect to be taken to the page that will immediately give them what they need. And then they lean towards making a purchase.

Most instances, your home page will be too vague. Redirect users to the page where the content is most relevant to the keyword that the user searched for. This will immediately tell them that you know what they’re looking for, and they’ll become more interested in what other things you have to say.

4. DO track the performance of your AdWords regularly
Online and traditional marketing campaigns work best when they are measured. Regular tracking tells you immediately whether your campaign is working or not. This way, you can constantly tweak specific elements of your campaign to match changes in the market.

Tracking protects you from realizing mistakes too late—mistakes that will cost you a lot of money. Google AdWords comes with reports that you can view regularly and an interface that is easy to navigate. It is recommended that you read more into the results as opposed to just taking the figures at face value.

Attract Free Traffic by Social Bookmarking

What is social bookmarking?

Social bookmarking is a great way to follow your niche all over the web while simultaneously allowing others to follow you (representing your web page) all over the web.

Here are some of the most widely known websites conducive to social bookmarking:
• Facebook
• MySpace
• Twitter
• Plurk
• Blogger
• Digg
• StumbleUpon
• Delicious

Maximizing the reach of online social networks helps your website become more accessible without relying on search engine rankings. Most of these social sites allow free usage, making your brand twice as visible without eating into your marketing budget.

Free or not, it is recommended that you learn more about the opportunities that social bookmarking offers, so that you get the most out of all your online marketing efforts. Below are the 3 fundamentals of using social bookmarks to attract the right people to your website.

1. Find out which social networks and pages your niche frequents

The basics are there to help you build a solid foundation. Go back to knowing your niche well. It would be helpful to figure out a select number of social bookmarking sites to work on instead of spamming the web with your site.

It would work to your advantage if you limit the “appearances” of your website or web page to places where your niche needs you to be—for example, a blog that talks about your category in general or a Facebook Group page of your brand.

2. Comment on entries that are relevant to your web page content

It would also be a wise move to build up your online presence by gradually increasing visibility in content-driven websites like blogs and forums. Pitching in comments that are relevant and informative helps build your credibility, which is very important if you’re a new player in the market.

Make sure you mention specific sections of your website that are closely related to the topic being discussed. If allowed, you can leave links to your webpage, exactly on the content that addresses the issue. If you spread yourself through the correct social bookmarks, your niche will follow you back to your website, and they’ll appreciate all the helpful content that you have to share.

Make use of your website to keep track of visitors’ behavior. Give them the opportunity to type in their own comments and leave their own trail. Follow them all over the web and discover other social bookmarks where you can add yourself.

3. Create an account, add your own content

Having a host of unofficial fan sites dedicated to your brand means that you’ve done well. Do reach that point. It would be a good idea to give your potential fans a little inspiration: create your own social network account. This will give you a chance to introduce your brand image in a way that is far from hard-selling.

Most social sites have fields that allow you to put interests, hobbies, beliefs—all wonderful opportunities to talk about yourself without the risk of being negatively challenged.

Blog and Earn in 3 Easy Steps

Blogging started out more than a decade ago only as an online personal diary. The early blogs contained rambles about everyday events from normal people who are just trying to make sense of their lives and sharing their insights to family and friends. Indeed, blogging was a convenient way to keep in touch, updating a group of people the blogger personally knows (and even those he or she doesn’t) on the ups and downs of life. Soon enough, both private individuals and corporations alike realized the tremendous potential of blogging as a tool for marketing and advertising products and services. What used to be a way to keep in touch with readers has now become a creative and relatively easy source of income. Blogging is easy, fast, and most importantly, free. You never have to get up from your personal computer or laptop to earn money from it. Here are 3 steps in starting a profitable blog:

Step 1: Choose a blog platform
Many people around the world use Blogspot and WordPress to run their blogs. These are free services that you can upgrade if you buy a domain name and pay for monthly or yearly hosting. Once you’ve chosen a blog platform, register your unique blog URL to start blogging. Voila!

It’s really a no brainer to put up a blog since blogging platforms are constantly trying to make it easier and smoother. Set it up with a good stimulating theme to attract visitors. You can hire a web designer for this or make your own if you can. Just remember that the more unique and tasteful, the better.
Step 2: Decide on the content of your blog
What do you want to write in it? The most effortless topic to write about is usually the one that you are most passionate about. It could be sports, news, politics, beauty and lifestyle, travel, entertainment—these are the most popular topics, and the ones that attract advertisements from companies both online and offline.

It helps to choose a niche where only a few bloggers venture in, since you won’t share the traffic with other similar blogs. Being unique definitely has its rewards on the web. However, take care not to choose topics that are too specific and only interest a few people; your goal here is to get as much traffic as possible from visitors in order to increase your revenues.
Step 3: Produce content
This is the most crucial step. Instead of writing blog posts, you may want to make podcasts, video posts, or photo galleries. Always make your content interesting, fresh, and concise. Do not plagiarize other people’s works because this can get you blacklisted if the real owner finds out. If the revenues start to kick in more consistently, then you may opt to hire writers for your blog. All you have to do then is to sit back and watch the money coming in. Blogging is as fun as it is profitable. However, it takes time and patience to carve your little place in the Internet before you start to earn from advertisements. Don’t expect to earn immediately. You need to build your reputation and credibility first before this happens.