The Niche Marketing Blog

Tools for understanding and reaching your market

Social Media: 5 Trends to Consider

Social Media and Niche Marketing

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[Editor’s note: Today’s guest article focuses on social media trends that have recently emerged and that can be leveraged by smart niche marketers to create more traffic and more sales. Take a look at these trends and consider incorporating one or more of them into your current marketing mix. Let me know what you think by posting a comment below.  ~Scott]

 

Does the concept of starting a social media marketing campaign scare you? Don’t let it. While social media sites are quickly growing, they’re also becoming easier to use and are welcoming not only social butterflies but businesses as well. Social media marketing is slowly but surely finding its way into the standard marketing campaign – and for good reason. Here are some of the trends we’ve noticed over the past year.

A Lack of Control

When venturing into the world of social media, it is important to remember that you will have very little control over the actions and mindsets of your followers or fans. Take Facebook, for example. You may decide to build a business page for your organization but you may also find that your fans have created fan pages of their own – unofficial pages where they have chosen to network and talk about your products or services. While that shouldn’t discourage you from building your own page, it should encourage you to check out what others are doing or saying in an effort to monitor and protect your brand.

Exploring Collective Sales

The past year has introduced the concept of collective sales, or collective buying, to the social media marketing platform as well. Sites like Groupon offer businesses a set amount of guaranteed sales. You, as a business, will offer a steep discount but an individual can only take advantage of it if a guaranteed number of people make the purchase. Those clients may not turn into regular customers, but the collective sale will give you the opportunity to gain hundreds of new customers literally overnight.

Location Based Marketing

Technology is an incredible thing and advances in the way people can connect to the internet and, in turn, their social networks has had a huge influence on social media marketing. Anyone with a smartphone or an iPad can access the internet and many love checking in on social applications like Loopt and Foursquare. Even Facebook and Twitter have added applications that allow people to report where they are. Many business with storefronts are now offering incentives, ranging from discounts to free products, to customers who post that they are in the shop.

Social Networks and Gaming

Many social networks, including Facebook, feature incredibly popular games. Despite your hesitance, it’s important to recognize that millions of people are playing the games offered by social networking groups each day. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to advertise within these games. At the very least, you may be able to include your product in virtual form so that those playing can buy your services. They may just decide to do so in real life, too.

Social Media Experts

While social media was at one time completely free, trends now point towards the incorporation of social media experts into the overall marketing plan. These experts have experience setting up Twitter profiles or Facebook pages, making customizations and changes that will give you the most professional and appealing face possible. It’s all about building your brand, and an expert can help you set things up right from the start.

Social media marketing is growing by leaps and bounds and many businesses, from Toyota to Nike, are marketing their social networking pages (especially their Facebook fan pages) even more heavily than their own websites. It’s a trend in itself and will continue to grow over the next few years. Don’t launch an online business (or an offline business with a web presence) without adding social media to your marketing campaign. It’s guaranteed to make a huge difference.

http://thefoxegroup.com

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Sandwich Shop Carves Out a New Niche

Niche Markeing

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By Scott Spooner

The other day I was driving through a business park on my way a client’s office. Along the way I passed by a string of businesses that you would normally find on a major city boulevard: gas stations, dry cleaners, mini-marts, and the like.

However, there was one business that caught my attention: a sandwich shop. There was nothing memorable about the building or the name of the business; in fact, I had driven past this business dozens of times before without taking much notice. What caught my attention on this particular trip was a new banner that they had hung outside their front door.

The sandwich shop was now promoting something called the Business Meeting Package. This “package” includes 10 sandwiches, 10 drinks, 10 salads, and lots of pickles.

Now, there is nothing new about offering lunches to local businesses, but most of these types of promotions are aimed at the individual employee who is in a hurry to grab some food during a lunch hour. What made this promotion unusual was that it was targeting a slightly different niche – the “work during lunch” crowd.

With the slower economy that we are currently experiencing, many business owners, and employees, are working through lunch in an effort to stay as productive as possible. This sandwich shop identified this trend and built a marketing promotion around the niche.

I pulled over and went into the store to speak with the owner  about this promotion (and to get a sandwich!). I asked the owner how the promotion was working out; he told me that the banner was, indeed, drawing a response from the local area businesses. In fact, he said that the promotion was responsible for a 10% increase in catered lunches.

And that’s the point. Hanging a banner saying something like “we cater” probably wouldn’t have worked. There are lots of those types of marketing messages around town. However, positioning the catering service around the needs of the work-during-lunch crowd (i.e. a “business meeting package”) was the key.

This business had found a new and unique niche and they were starting to see the rewards from pursuing that niche.

So, how can you do the same with your business? What customer needs are going unfulfilled in your niche? How can you identify those needs and offer a unique solution?

What are your thoughts?

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Niche Marketing For Beginners – Newbie Niche Marketing Secrets Revealed

Niche Market

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[Editor’s note: Here’s an article that goes back to the fundamentals. If you are just starting out in your niche market, this article will help provide a foundation.]

Let’s talk about niche marketing for beginners or what is also referred to as newbie niche marketing.

Marketing in general is loosely defined as the opportunity to sell something to someone. A niche is a special area of demand for a service or product.

The essence of niche marketing is identifying a very specific audience with a very specific need and providing them what they want and are willing to pay for.

Niche marketing for beginners is a viable business model because, by definition, niches are less competitive and very targeted, so the work is in the research not the sophisticated marketing techniques.

Success simply requires the investigation of keywords and locating groups of consumers willing to spend money in specific markets. Newbie niche marketers can learn about marketing as they build their businesses.

Another great thing about niche marketing for beginners is that the advertising costs are much lower because the competition for keywords isn’t as high as it is in larger markets.

Niche marketers need to focus on providing unique solutions to their customers unique needs. A good example might be the specific niche of “miniature poodle grooming” inside the much larger market of “dogs”. Now I don’t know anything about this market, this is just an example.

You could have a million different products for the “dogs” market but the “grooming miniature poodles” market has very specific needs.

The challenge then becomes developing a product or service that stands out in that market. If you have a good product targeted to that audience, you can expect a high number of people to be interested and to buy.

People searching for miniature poodle grooming products have done their browsing and research already. They know what they want.

If you have determined that your niche market has enough demand, then your goal is develop a great product or simply find an existing product that you can market as an affiliate. How to determine demand is another topic unto itself, but it is not difficult or complicated, even for a beginner.

A fundamental truth of marketing is that people buy things that solve a problem, eliminate a fear, improve their health or make them money. There are certainly other things to understand about online marketing to be successful, but if you focus on this principle, everything else gets easier.

Successful niche marketing for beginners is driven by the ease of entry into specific markets with low competition and quality products or services that fulfill one of these basic human needs.

Another thing that can make niche marketing easy for new marketers is the idea of spying on your competitors. Nobody does enough of this.

Whether it’s pricing, product development, graphics or sales copy, other people have discovered what works already. All you need to do is look around and see what works and then figure out a way to make it your own.

What I mean is, you can’t blatantly just copy something, but you can take the core concept and make it unique to you rather than “recreate the wheel”.

Let’s face it, Burger King probably took a lot of it’s processes from McDonalds, because McDonalds was there first and was successful.

Niche marketing for beginners is a great way to start an online marketing business if you don’t have a ton of experience or a bunch of resources.

If Niche Marketing sounds interesting and you want to learn more, I have a great FREE report for you called Niche Ninja. Check it out and get your online business started!

Once you get your feet wet, for more free advice and tips about Internet Marketing techniques for beginners come over to The Internet Money Map and browse around.

(c) Copyright-Mark K Aylward All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint rights are granted where no changes are made to this article.

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YaWho?

Yahoo! Logo

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By Scott Spooner

This past week Yahoo consummated its long awaited courtship with Bing by announcing that, henceforth, Bing will be powering the search functions of Yahoo, one of the Net’s most respected search engine companies.

I can understand the desire for Yahoo and Bing to enter into this partnership; both from a market share and financial perspective. After all, someone has to challenge the 600-lb. gorilla that is Google.

But, from a strictly marketing point of view, how will Yahoo position itself in the mind of the consumer? To the average consumer, Yahoo has always meant “search”. If Bing is now powering the search, can Yahoo legitimately continue to claim this mantle? If not, what position will Yahoo stake out?

I’m sure – or, at least, I hope – that both Yahoo and Bing have their best marketing teams working on this very question. In the ever changing landscape that is the Internet, they’ll have to move quickly if the are going to capitalize on the benefits of this merger and build future market share.

Otherwise, the venerable search engine will shrink into the shadows and join the likes of other search engines that have come and gone.

Or maybe the net surfers of tomorrow will simply remember the former giant as “YaWho?”

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How to Make More Money With Mobile Marketing

mobile marketing

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By Andrew Rossillo

You could have the finest product line or set of services in the marketplace, but if you fail to market your offer right, no prospects will ever see or hear about it. Even if you are employing one of the latest online marketing tools, the outrageous rate of saturation of today’s marketplace means that people are constantly bombarded with a virtually infinite amount of marketing and advertising messages throughout the day. This makes it even more of a challenge to reach your target audience.

Because of this onslaught of marketing and advertising, our brains have actually become programmed to filter out a great degree of the messages that are fired at us. What new marketing tool consistently passes through our marketing and advertising filter? Mobile marketing and the awesome power of text messages! One of the reasons why businesses are experiencing great success with mobile marketing is because it features a fraction of the competition than other media-Internet and email tools are engrossed in a jam-packed and highly competitive environment.

For example: An email message usually has around a 10 percent success rate of actually being read. Text messages, however, feature over a 90 percent success rate of not only being read, but being read within the first 30 minutes of being received! While getting your marketing message out is important, having your message actually read is key to your business or organization experiencing record-breaking sales. What adds even more potency to this special type of marketing? It’s the only marketing media that reaches prospects and clients while they are on the go! Mobile marketing and text messages allow you to automatically update, announce, invite and communicate when you want and how you want!

Top Mobile Marketing Benefits:

  • Generate leads that you can continuously market to
  • Build a mobile database for lucrative follow-up
  • Reach customers instantly
  • Build relationships with customers
  • Learn more about your customers through surveys, polls and demographic info
  • Drive traffic to your business with the use of coupons, special deals, and event promotions

Your Chance to Be a Wealthy Pioneer

Very few businesses are actually taking advantage of mobile marketing right now. That’s because this type of marketing is where Internet marketing was back in 2000. That means you can get a gigantic head start by incorporating mobile marketing within your business today. Plus, you can easily integrate mobile marketing and text message marketing within any offline and online marketing campaign. Of course, this type of marketing is substantial enough to form a standalone marketing campaign.

If you’re questioning the type of potential you have with text message and mobile marketing then consider that there are 270 million mobile subscribers in the U.S. alone, and 91 percent of them are said to keep their phones within just a few feet of themselves 24 hours a day throughout the year! In addition, text message marketing has an incredible reach of almost 5 billion compared to Internet marketing’s reach of 1.7 billion.

Lucrative Lead Generation

Every time a prospect or customer opts into one of your text message offers (e.g. to get informational updates, coupons, discounts) that creates a lead. You now have the means to market to that person as much as you’d like. Take this opportunity to upsell, build belief in your business, provide additional value, increase attendance at events and just about anything else you can think of.

This is made even easier with the accompaniment of super simple database options that allow you to file all of your leads, so you can send out a blast to your entire database or use simple filters to send out to select groups within your database. Build a herd and market like there’s no tomorrow.

Plus, mobile marketing offers one of the most significant ROI’s possible among today’s leading marketing and media tools. Text message marketing is like having hundreds of obliging little marketing assistants hustling around doing all the work for you. All you have to do is press a few buttons and you’ll have instantly reached out to your entire database of leads, customers and prospects-with a 90 percent success rate of being read!

Andrew Rossillo is the primary copywriter and co-owner of Business Ball; a comprehensive business resource website. We’re all about helping as many people as possible, so please feel free to post our article on your website. We simply ask that you don’t alter the content and that you leave our link intact (http://www.businessresourcesdaily.com/).

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Social Media Aggregation – The Next Big Thing

Social media network

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By Alain Portmann

A single site that aggregates content from a variety of social network sites would be a blessing for consumers; who signed up for a variety of social-networking sites from MySpace and Facebook to LinkedIn and Flickr cannot keep track of them all. This development parallels the Instant Messaging space, which saw the launch of Trillian, a proprietary multi-protocol instant messaging application for Windows created by Cerulean Studios.

Google is funding a project dubbed “Socialstream” which could be the world’s first unified social network, aggregating all existing social networks into a single interface. The reality is that Google’s social network offering has not taken off. Google’s lone current social network offering, Orkut, is not ranked in the top ten by Hitwise for U.S. social-networking sites. But Google is not alone in the race to deploy the first aggregated social network. Blue Swarm a startup in private beta, and Wink have some features to aggregate social networks. Also, Mozilla is developing a social-networking browser that compiles different social networks.

The advent of an open source social network would undoubtedly impact the entire social media segment, forcing social networks to begin addressing churn and reactivation of dormant users. A unified social network would cash into the chronically unfaithful of social media. Nielsen figures confirm that network promiscuity is a factor, showing that 444,000 Britons visited all three of the leading rivals MySpace, Facebook and Bebo this year. The dangers of network promiscuity are illustrated by the fate of Friendster. The social network accrued more than 20 million users after its launch in 2003. In 2006 that figure had fallen to less than one million as users migrated to sites with better tools.

An aggregated social network would also allow for the application of collaborative filtering to social media. By aggregating from a larger set of information the method of predicting (filtering) the interests of a user by collecting taste information from many users (collaborating) would be facilitated.

The trivialization of publishing brought on by social media is creating thousands of “publishing bubbles” which when aggregated can become incredibly powerful. John Blossom from Shore provides further perspective.

“Social media is challenging search engines as a starting point for finding answers to questions in part because people come to trust the insights and expertise of specific communities to provide both their own insights and insights from their own research. Answer-oriented communities such as Yahoo! Answers, WikiAnswers and LinkedIn Answers provide audiences the ability to vote on answers to specific questions – a competitive aspect to publishing that helps to both aggregate potential high-quality content and to rank its value.”

Alain Portmann, Web Liquid

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Is Social Media a Fad?

There is much discussion these days about social media and whether or not it will be around in a few years.

Watch this short video and decide for yourself.

If you believe that social media is the wave of the future, then the next questions are:

* how can you leverage social media to better reach your market?
* how can you use social media to help you find your audience?
* how can social media help you discover niches and micro-niches?

We’ll explore these questions in future posts. In the mean time, what are your thoughts about the future of social media?

Click on the following link to learn more about the book, Socialnomics.

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Creating a Keyword List for a Niche Market

In this Snowcast ( http://snowcaplabs.com/blog ) Loren demonstrates some simple techniques to finding “keyword seeds” and expand them to get hundreds (or thousands) of keywords relevant to a given market niche.

Using freely available tools, such as the excellent (and free!) Keyword Tool available from SEOBook (http://seobook.com), we see just how easy it is to learn a lot about the web traffic available to your markets.

For more web marketing screencasts, advice, and consulting, check out http://snowcaplabs.com

Duration : 0:9:58

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Using Google’s SKtool To Find Niche Ideas

How to use Google’s search based keyword tool to find niche ideas. This short video is brought to us fro mthe folkjs at Noble Samurai, the creators of Market Samurai.

Duration : 0:1:56

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Discover Niche Markets For Your Online Business

Looking beyond the numbers in your market, this video discusses how you need to bring your own knowledge and passion into the mix in order to succeed. Focus on what you know, what you are good at, and what you enjoy doing.

Duration : 0:6:11

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