The Secret to Market Research-How to Find Your Killer Niche!

thinkingThis is where it all starts! The idea, the thought of going into business of your own. What are you going to promote or sell? Well if you already have an idea, that’s good. But if not-that’s okay too. Because with market research or niche marketing, I’m going to show you the secret of finding a unique brand or niche-to promote online with enormous success. Here’s how it works:
What Is A Niche?
A niche is define as a situation in which a business’s products or services can succeed by being sold to a particular kind or group of people. In other words it zero’s in to a specific group, making them special or exclusive. Weight Loss is a broad category for example, tremendous competition to compete with others. But if you can narrow it down to a special group or situation maybe like weight loss for post-pregnant women or overweight children under 12, then that becomes a niche under that broad category. And that idea will be your keyword and part of your website URL.
A killer niche is something really unique, something nobody has thought of-but you!
Market Research
Market research, or niche marketing, is simply a process of collection and analysis of data to find what people are looking for. What do everyday people want? How to create a new market, something different.
Where Do I Start?
Start by asking yourself: What is something you know about well? Something that you are passionate about? This is where you are going to start searching for keywords.
Yes the one key is keywords. The other is the competition. You don’t want to have to compete with a million other websites of your niche, and you certainly don’t want to have to compete with the “big dogs” either! So what are you going to do? Here are 4 methods that will aid you in an effective market research, to where you can find that one unique niche.
Google Ad-words
It use to be that one way of doing market research was just starting an Google Ad-word campaign with pay-per-click(PPC), and you would be able to determine what keywords is getting you good traffic, providing of course that your campaign was a successful one. With Google Ad-word you’re having to pay every time someone clicks on your ad. But the Internet is always changing and things isn’t what it use to be years ago. Now there’s a way to perform market research that is free!
Keyword Search
Once you have an idea of what your potential niche is going to be, then just do a simple keyword search. One tool you can use is Google Keyword Tool, which is a free tool. Just sign-in enter a keyword and it will show you a list of other keywords you can use depending on two things: The number of search, and the competition. You want the search volume to be high, but the competition to be very low. Once you locate a keyword with more than 1,000 searches per month or more, and at the same time the competition is at its lowest-then you may have discovered what I call a “potential website keyword.” In other words, a potential niche that you center an entire website around! But more on that later.
Amazon Bestsellers
Another market research strategy is the use of Amazon.com. Amazon has emerge to one of the biggest places online where you can find what people are looking for when it comes to information. So just go to the books section in Amazon, select a category, then select at the top the word “Bestseller.” Now you have an idea of what people are interested in. Take notice of something that you can use as a niche to promote as a product, service, or information to sell online. Now your potential niche becomes a keyword to do a keyword search as described above.
Trends.
What are the current trends? What are people talking or asking questions about? Trends can be an effective market researching strategy as well, if you can get an idea on what’s the next hot thing that people are going to want to get their hands on. Just remember, the Xbox, the iPod, and the Mac-book, as an example, were all just a trend at one time. Once you get an idea, again, do your keyword search. The best way to keep up with trends are websites like http://blogpulse.com/trend or http://google.com/trends. At http://boardtracker.com you can follow what people are talking about and  http://technorati.com keeps up with the latest technology in electronics.

Building A Site
Before you launch your site though, it’s important that you make your keyword part of your domain name. In other words you are going to build your whole brand around that one “killer” keyword, due to good research marketing. You can use your site to either sell a product, services, or information? Whatever you decide, I would suggest that you create a blog with your site and off-the-bat, write 3-5 articles on your niche-using your main keyword and start driving traffic to your new site.

Even though market research takes time and effort, it is all well-spent, because sometimes you may be surprise as to what you will decide on a niche. So get busy and go find your “killer” niche now, and be sure to leave a comment below please!

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10 Ways to Measure Social Media for Business

Is your business a social business? Companies that are making good use of social media should take the next step and measure the progress of their social media programs and campaigns. How do you know if you’re succeeding if you don’t have the numbers?

Today we’ll look at 10 ways that metrics can offer visibility into your business’s performance. You won’t want to chart all of these, but tracking a few well-chosen metrics — and incorporating the learning’s into your business processes — can contribute to the bottom line.

Customer Engagement

1. Engagement can take place offline and online, on your site, on your social networks and in real-world face-to-face events. By letting customers participate in conversations about your brand, you can improve your business, your products and your levels of service. Ultimately, customer engagement is key to improving satisfaction and loyalty rates and revenue.

Metrics to track could include:

  • Number of followers on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Number of retweets on Twitter
  • Number of comments per blog post
  • Number of external widgets embedded
  • Invaluable assets as re-distributors of content
  • Customer reviews and ratings

Note: Such customer interaction can be invaluable in fostering a culture of community and in guiding product development. In addition, endorsements can be used as testimonials in marketing materials (with permission).

Sales & Profits

2. In the end, you business’s social media efforts need to not just generate customer goodwill — it should contribute to your company’s bottom line.

Metrics to keep an eye on include:

  • Track sales from Google referrals
  • Sales from paid search
  • Sales as a result of social network mentions

Dell said it made $3 million selling products to its Twitter followers on the strength of coupons and discounts that other Twitterers gladly passed along vi-rally as tipsters. And Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” blender’s campaign on YouTube helped to drive a 500 percent increase in sales in 2010.  Just don’t expect the needle to move right away!

Search Marketing & Rankings

3. The importance of search engine optimization to your brand cannot be overstated: SEO & social media efforts should significantly increase your site’s visibility & performance in search results. It should also help you rank prominently for targeted items and increase your long-tail traffic. Identify and incorporate targeted keywords on major landing pages on your site. Strategically use keywords on social networks as well, such as Facebook. You can use links from Twitter or YouTube to claim valuable search rankings on your brand search terms. Tweets that rank for targeted keyword can lead to traffic from keywords that the site does not rank for.

Whenever someone shares content from your site on a social site, you get a link back and a submission history. Try to convert one-time visitors from Digg, StumbleUpon and other social news sites into long-term members of your community.

Traffic & Conversation Reach

4. Your business can produce the most gorgeous, well-manicured press releases in the world. But unless you get customers talking about your product or service and generating traffic to your website, micro-site or social networks, you’re missing the boat. Raw traffic is important, but you’ll want to measure traffic from segmented audiences that you’re targeting-people who are likely to follow you or more so, buy from you. Also chart the number of visitors to your social networks.

Brand Sentiment

5. The nature and purpose of public relations and external communications is changing from an industrial-era paradigm to one of facilitation and curation. Go with it — help create evangelists for your products or services among your most ardent fans. Word of mouth and the viral nature of sites like Twitter, Facebook and Digg can help shift your company’s key brand metrics.

You’ll need a more sophisticated set of metrics tools to gauge the following: Brand awareness, brand favor-ability, brand recall, propensity to buy, etc. (TV ads are measured in this way.) A positive brand associations via social media efforts can help drive clicks on paid search ads. Use a social media service to measure brand sentiment.

Public Outreach

6. The worlds of public relations, customer service and marketing are merging. Social media enables customers to interact with all channels within a company. Traditional metrics, such as column inches in newspapers and magazines, are becoming less relevant over time. Outreach to blogosphere & Twitterverse is becoming as important as outreach to media organizations. Consider creating a social media newsroom that offers bloggers and news organizations a rich set of multimedia, bullet-ed takeaways and quotes from key participants. Then track the number of mentions on social sites by using the bit.ly url shortener.

Lead Generation

7. Social media is becoming a funnel for lead generation. A number of tools now let you track business prospects through sophisticated filtering mechanisms. Use LinkedIn to connect with potential business partners and clients, and chart the rate of invitations accepted and follow-up communications acted upon. See which kinds of messaging are resonating.

Here’s an opportunity for your internal teams to work together to optimize your site for keywords and key phrases. It’s always better when potential customers come to you.

Customer Retention

8. We’re moving into an age of optimization and retention. Watch your retention rates as you start participating in social media. Over time, if your team uses social media intelligently, they should rise. Zappos, which uses Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and YouTube for its social media efforts, has exceeded $1 billion in sales. Some 75 percent of its orders are repeat customers. Make sure you monitor your repeat customers and shower them with love.

Cost Savings

9. In this age of cost-cutting, companies are looking to apply savings wherever they can. Cisco saved $250,000 by using social media rather than traditional PR and marketing to roll out its Data Center project.

Crowd sourcing has become an increasingly popular way for businesses to leverage customers and outside parties for savings. Consider how cost reductions can be applied in a way that benefits the bottom line while not infringing on worker rights or jeopardizing health and environmental standards. Then measure how each initiative contributes to cost containment.

Employee Recruitment

10. The brightest young minds coming into the workplace today live, breathe and understand social media. Show them that you’re a genuine social business and not just another company hunkering down in the wake of the social media revolution. Measure incoming employees’ sentiment about your company. What are they saying? What attracted them?

Measure exiting employees’ sentiment. Assign someone from human relations, with no stake in the matter, to conduct exit interviews. Assess their feedback — and take it to heart.

By JD Lasica of Socialmedia.biz

These are 10 ideas, but it’s not a complete list. List your ideas in the comments below.

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The Top 10 Types of Blogs You Wouldn’t Expect

Top 10

Types of Blogs

 

Unexpectedly to Make Any Top Ten List

 

Blogging had conquered an incredible number of individuals. From people who have found bread and butter in this venture, kids and other enthusiasts joined blogging for the purpose of enjoyment and passion. For every enthusiast, a particular niche is chosen. However, there are types of blogs that you do not expect would appear. Here are just ten types of blogs you may not expect to get lots and lots of traffic.

1. Kid Blog. Adults are not the only ones who can enter the blogosphere. Presently, kids are actively participating and blogging that best interest them. For kids, blog’s niche also comes in a variety. Inclusions to these are fashion, photography, and even a simple sharing of epic events of their lives similar to that of an online diary. Who would of expect a kid’s blog like kidblog.org, to be a top topic for the search engines!

2. Natural Hair Blog. One of the mainstreams of beauty industry is hairstyle. With this, natural hair blog came to a realization. There is no doubt that this kind of blog is really a hit as both gender gets interested on what is hip and fun for their hair. Nevertheless, this kind of niche would tackle different hairstyles and how someone like you can keep up with the latest hair trends.

3. Beauty Blogs. The beauty blogs have come across the internet with a huge number of bloggers considering the niche. Given the fact that women crawl over this kind of blog for beauty tips, then bloggers can just serve the juice on the latest trends on make-up, skin care, hair styles, and many more.

4. Tiny House Blogs. By the name of the blog itself, tiny houses blogs Tiny housefeature tiny homes built in limited dimensions and on wheels. Recently, these tiny homes are gaining popularity due to the fact that they can be sited on the backwoods and backyards. Apart from convenience, tiny homes also come in an affordable price and style.

5. Wedding Blogs. Regardless of culture, wedding is one of the promising and memorable events that would happen in almost every person’s life. The fact that this event is special, many wedding blogs have sprouted to give its audience details on the trends and prospect plans on splendid weddings.

6. Decorating Blogs. These kinds of blogs are interesting not only for designers, but as well as to average individuals who have the inclination to give their homes or offices a makeover. It will provide its audience with a myriad of tips to bring out the splendid aura and make it extraordinary. The tips provided are relayed via writings or images online. Tips and ideas from any decorating blog, which encourages our natural gift of creativity, once again is going to be a hot topic for the search engines.

7. Southern Hospitality Blogs. The Southern American States are known for hospitality. With this, many enthusiasts are blogging on this niche featuring places, styles, and a lot of fun stuff in the South. Therefore, delve deeper and explore what the South has in store for you. With southern hospitality blogs, you can expect a wide range of discussions from inside and outdoor living, stories, and delicious southern style recipes. So be sure to check out more than one.

8. Fashion Blogs. One best blog that you can view on the internet is the fashion blog. This niche is pretty broad since there are a lot of matters to share. Inclusions to these are fashionable bags, trends in dressing up and being stylish, hair trends, accessories, and many more. Therefore, this kind of blog will never get outdated since every day, fashion has a great and marvelous update that should never be missed.

9. Knitting Blogs. Who would of guessed this one to be number nine! These kinds of blogs are pretty unique and exceptional. Although knitting means a lot of work, incredible result and excitement is what awaits its readers on the other side of the bridge. From these blogs, viewers will learn how to knit hand gloves, hat, and even clothing which are truly outstanding.

10. Best Food Blogs. One of the best blogs that you should not miss is the food blog. Brace yourself with excitement as you see a variety of delectable and mouth-watering cuisines. It will keep your appetite on the go as you will get to view dishes from your own locality or from other parts of the world.

So there you have it! Types of blogs you probably would not expect to make the top ten list. Undoubtedly, blogs come in a variety. The selection of the kind of niche to blog will entirely depend on the passion and preference of the blogger. Nevertheless, no matter what kind of blog it is, as long it is informative and helpful, it can always be considered the best blog.

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Social Media Marketing: Can You Make Money Blogging?

The answer to this question is ‘of course you can!’ You just need to know how.

In this post I am going to explain the answer to the question ‘Can you make money blogging’ and show you how.

The first thing you need to do before setting up your new blog is to decide what niche you want to write about. Try and stick to something you know about, that way it makes it easier when your writing your posts. Also bear in mind that if the niche is too competitive then you will struggle to rank in Google and earn an income. If the niche is too narrow and un-competitive, there won’t be enough traffic or income potential you can tap into to make it worth the effort.

Once you have a niche you want to start blogging with, you will need to narrow that niche down a bit more and find keywords relating to that niche. Let’s take blogging for example, this can be narrowed down to ‘make money blogging’, ‘how to blog’, ‘can you make money blogging’ and so on. These keywords will be a lot easier to rank for than just ‘blogging.

Now you have your niche and keywords, how do you make money with your blog?

There are a few popular methods to monetize your blog, and the most popular is contextual advertising, where contextual ads are displayed along side your blog content on different areas of your page. The favorite being Google Adsense but there are many others available online.

Another popular choice is affiliate marketing, especially physical products from places like Amazon and eBay. All you have to do is search Amazon and Ebay for your chosen keyword and write about it and leave a link to that product. When someone buys that product you earn a commission.

If no physical products exist for your chosen keyword then you can try Clickbank, and write a review about an eBook instead and earn commissions on every sale you make.

Aside from contextual ads and affiliate marketing, you can look into selling advertising space on your blog (usually through banners). Where someone pays you a set fee to place a banner on your blog.

I hope I have answered this social media marketing question, ‘can you make money blogging’, as you can see there are many ways to make money from your blog.

By Lee Griffiths Of Working Online Blog

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Why a Growing Need for Social Media Managers

There used to be a time when you could look up towards the sky and see an advertisement in the form of an airplane, tugging a banner saying “Come Eat at Sloppy’s Joe’s!”, or the Goodyear Blimp flashing an advertisement for their famous tires. Traditional advertising methods for local businesses used to be the yellow pages, newspaper, radio and television. But times have changed. Though people still watch television, read the newspaper and listen to the radio, the internet and satellite radio have changed the way people advertise. In this age of cell phones, individuals are seldom in reach of the yellow pages and amazingly, now individuals can get the news from their i pods!

With growing popularity of the social media platforms, businesses, small and large, are forced to change the way they promote themselves. With Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and You Tube, people are spending a lot more time on the internet and a lot less time thumbing through the yellow pages. Running a local business successfully today absolutely requires using social media. Companies like Coke, Home Depot and Ford Motor Company are already utilizing links to multiple Social Media platforms. And Pepsi Cola this year has pulled out of the Super Bowl to concentrate on social media. And it’s even been projected that by the end of this year, 97% of all retailers will be marketing their products and services on Facebook.

With this new trend, corporations are now seeking assistants to coordinate campaigns for these social media platforms. For that reason, social media manager is now a new hot buzzword that’s all over the internet. Let’s face it; businesses do whatever they have to do to reach potential customers. And right now, they’re all over the Net. Interestingly, the job site Simply Hired is currently advertising over 19,000 positions of social media specialists of some sort for businesses of various sizes.

So can you appreciate why there’s a growing need for “Social Media Managers?

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