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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6 Social Media Tools to Simplify Your Social Media Marketing

Social Marketing Tools

How to simplify your social media marketing

 

6 Social Media Tools

 

We all know that having the right tools is essential to simplify or make any job easier-whether large, small, or just time consuming-would you not agree? The same is true with social media marketing! Are you using the right social media tools to simplify your marketing campaign?
It’s a demanding routine for a marketer or a business owner-not only that there is a lot of concerns to address such as the quality content to share with the prospect audience and right tool to use in sharing the content, but there is also the struggle against time. Nonetheless, the social media tools come into existence to shoulder the burden of these marketer just like you.

Presently, social media plays an important role for the effective online presence of businesses or websites. However, it cannot be denied that these social platforms are broad and powerful. On top of this, these networks are constantly expanding and becoming more complicated than usual. Thus, it consumes much time for a marketer or social media admin to manage the tasks on hand.
Although the social networks are upgrading with complexity, marketers can still get a hold of the advancement. In fact, there have been a number of social media tools that are created to cut down the time allotment and ease in the management of social activities. Here are just six!

1. Like Alyzer. Make sure you include in your marketing strategy a Facebook Fan page, then use Like Alyzer as a tool to provide assessment to your Facebook page. This tool will rate your page out of 100 for a free cost. Afterwards, recommendations are given for the improvement of your page.

2. Scoop.it. One of the popularly used social media tools to boost social media marketing is the Scoop it. When your social networks are connected with this app, you can publish wherever you are as you “scoop.” This only means that you are also posting on Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and tweeting on Twitter. On top of this, you can keep your audience inspired with a random of fresh interesting articles to use and post on your website, Facebook Fan page or both.

3. Post Planner. The Post Planner is one social media tool that you can install within your Facebook. It comes with a pack of features including automatic publishing of content per schedule, database of thousands update ideas, simple analytic s of people who have liked your post, add posts to your queue, and many more. With these features, Post Planner comes with a premium. However, there is a trial version available for you to determine its efficiency and usability.

4. Razor Social.  Get free juices on the social media innovations from Razor Social. It will provide you information relevant to social media tools available online to boost up your presence and reputation. Hence, cutting down the burden of managing social activity through knowledge application. Moreover, Razor Social is a community that continuously motivates its people to share significant and quality content.

5. Mention me. This is one excellent and efficient monitoring tool. The key to this application is the keyword at which will merit you to connect with other people or find potential businesses. Hence, the tool will alert you through your email or any other social media as it encounters particular keywords from various sites around the web. Nevertheless, Mention me comes in a free trial and paid versions.

6. Feedly. If you want to be updated on the news, Feedly serves the purpose. It will simply provide you with a myriad of posts at which you can subscribe to. Furthermore, Feedly can be integrated with Buffer that will allow you to share content with ease. This is because Buffer will be responsible for disseminating the posts. Furthermore, the articles that are featured in Feedly can be viewed with convenience using your very own computer or smart phone.

With the available social media tools online, workload is relatively lessened. Thus, it allows you and your website maintain credibility online. Furthermore, it maximizes your time for far more important tasks and duties.

I hope you can make use of these 6 social media tools to boost your social media marketing! Please leave a comment below.

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How to Leverage Pinterest to Increase Business Sales

PinterestIt has become one of the fastest growing social media platform and one of the most popular in usage online to promote personal ideas or products to sale. Since E-commerce has been around for years and the number of online businesses is still growing rampantly, businesses or store owners tend to influence the social media idea as an avenue to grow their sales. Inclusion to these are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Among these social media platforms, it is Pinterest that raises virtual interest the most among online users, making it the “new kid on the block.”
Whether you want to increase your daily, special, or holiday sales, Pinterest can help you attain the upper hand. Depending on your marketing scheme, your sales can skyrocket from its baseline. This is made possible because Pinterest is inclined towards company’s products that combines both the ideas of vivid images of magazines and best deals of catalogs of some sort.
Before you promote your business or store, you need to probe a bit deeper on Pinterest. Nevertheless, there are ways that business owners need to undertake to jump-start their way to success.

Run a Test
One of the best things that you can do for your business is to invest time and resources in Pinterest. Simply open up an account and start building a following by following others-especially those similar to your niche. Then observe how others use Pinterest to promote. You will notice “Boards” and “Pins.” Boards are like your category and the pins are your post. Some have multiple categories, but you can be very effective with just one.
Here are some interesting facts about Pinterest.
• Pinterest users: 70 million

• Page views: with an average of 2.5 billion views per month

• Frequency of use: ranks 4th for most-used social media platform

• Average time spent by Pinterest users: 98 minutes/month

• Average amount per order: $140 and $180

The digits appear to be favorable, but letting the platform work in your favor is a formidable challenge. Just for a fact, you have to conceptualize your plans efficiently and competitively because your competitors are doing the same thing. Include in your strategy the identification of popular pins. You can do this by using a Pinterest analytic program like tailwindapp.com -a paid site that can help you track popular pins, followers, likes, and many more.

Work on Striking Visual Content
If you are geared towards marketing, you can make use of stunning images in Pinterest. Just for a fact, people love wonderful pictures as it can express a lot more than words can tell. When people get enthusiastic about your pin, users can re-pin it resulting to spread of your content.
You might be in an enigma of what kind of images can capture the hearts of the users. Of course, the bottom line here is that it should appear pleasing and worth the time. Earthy colors and reds can mesmerize your audience while a full background can give them a whole picture of what you want to portray.

Rich Product Pins
Pinterest Screen-shotDo not forget to change your pins into rich product pins. It comes in six types: app, article, movie, place, product, and recipe. It adds extra information and help the pin itself stands out from the others. With the rich product pins around, Pinterest had also came up with a rich pin validator. It is made for e-commerce sites to safeguard against fraudster. At this point, information is always updated because it is link to site.

Good Advertiser
Just like any other ads, Pinterest is also keen towards high standards. If you want your advertisement to get noticed and appreciated, you just have to follow the basic advertising principles. According to Pinterest, these include being authentic, promoting your best pins, and obeying applicable laws and regulations. When these are met and with some homework, everything else will fall as you want it to be.

Coupons
Take your daily sales an extra mile by giving coupons to your valuable consumers. Remember, people want to spend their hard-earned money wisely, so it is up to you to give them a hand by virtue of your promos and great deals. Your coupons pinned in Pinterest may contain discount, free product or service, or anything that will greatly benefit your customer.

Fiery Competition, New Approach!
Marketing scheme is not just all about the ideas. With the rise of Internet and other social networks like Pinterest, there now comes a need to employ a photographic approach to reach the desired sales of every company despite the heated competition.

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Tips on Marketing Local Businesses With Social Media

Social Media for Business

 

social media for businessBusiness oftentimes is a local competition. Especially if it’s a brick and mortar storefront and you want to promote it locally online. To get into the game, you have to ride the craze in reaching out your prospect consumers. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of options to choose from— paid advertisement and social media.
In every marketing strategy, budget has always been the primary consideration. Paid advertising can be effective, but it can cost you an arm and a leg. Moreover, there is a loophole in this scheme. The impression that you will make on your prospect consumers will depend on how you formulate the plan and execute it. This goes the same with social media marketing, but on the contrary, it is not expensive as paid advertisement. Despite the difference in digits, it can also render you promising results.
Social Media in Action
No matter what your purpose is— brand awareness, online reputation management, website traffic, or communication with your audiences, social media always has a room to cater these needs. With your goal right before your eyes, your approach to social media will depend accordingly. Here are 6 tips to market local businesses with social media!
• Devise a social marketing plan. Given that you have analyzed your target audience and your competitors, it is about time to carefully think of a plan that will blow away your rivals. In this part, consider coming up with content ideas that will interest your audience such as tips on using your products and great deals.
• Go for quality instead of quantity. There is no use in posting many articles online if it is just fluffy. Always remember that people want to read something valuable and worth of their time. For example, if you are promoting food supplements, write articles that relate to your subject like its benefits to the user.
• Maintain an open communication. Technology paved way to what kind of communication the people have today. With this advancement, it is easier for businesses to get in touch with their audience. For instance, people can exchange or share thoughts on Facebook or Twitter. As this continuous, it creates a dynamic and lively environment for people to interact. Hence, it improves customer relationship.
• Social Media Platforms. Facebook and Twitter are just some of the popular social media platforms where people interact. Despite its orientation towards online interaction, you can also take advantage of advertising your products or company as its reach is multitude. Just make it a point that you will not solely use the platform for the sake of promotion, but also for interaction. Apart from these social media platforms, you can also use Foursquare for your business. According to Social Media Examiner, it is a location-based social network that has over 20 million users. In this platform, people use to check it for locations or shops that they have visited. As people checked where they have been, it can be shared with Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Eventually, your business is noticed.
• Offer promos and great deals. Customers love promos and great deals from a company. You can offer discounted products or services, buy one take one deal, and even a game of prizes. Doing these are a sure fire to delight your consumers.
• Dress your business professionally online. Reputation greatly matters for every business. It is one of the main ingredient for success. With this, keep your social business accounts in motion by sharing good content, promotions, and fabulous deals.
Mapping your business success with social media is indeed possible. You just have to cut out the appropriate moves to market your products and services locally. Hence, delve deeper on what every social media network can offer and gear it towards your goal.

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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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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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