Monday, June 7, 2010

Niche Marketing or Mass Marketing For the Affiliate?

Affiliate Marketing
When customers buy a product from a vendor the affiliate who directed them to the product receives a commission based on the sales price of the product.

The problem as to wether the affiliate should start with a mass market or a niche market is very common. There are two main arguments the mass marketeer reaches a larger audience and hence can expect a greater sales volume. But a niche by definition should be easier to conquer and so making it easier to become a major expert in that field.

It is important to understand the differences between the two in order to answer this question for yourself. The niche marketeer is attempting to specialise in a smaller market one where the small sales volume would not be attractive to a larger player, he may have a prior interest in this field and become an expert in it. Whereas the mass marketeer is providing a number of different products, not particularly specialising in any one but trying to appeal to a wide range of tastes and hopefully win on sales volume.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Six Strategies for Successful Niche Marketing

There's been a lot of buzz about the long-tail phenomenon—the strategy of selling smaller quantities of a wider range of goods that are designed to resonate with consumers' preferences and earn higher margins. And a quick scan of everyday products seems to confirm the long tail's merit: Where once we wore jeans from Levi, Wrangler or Lee, we now have scores of options from design houses. If you're looking for a nutrition bar, there's one exactly right for you, whether you're a triathlete, a dieter or a weight lifter. Hundreds of brewers offer thousands of craft beers suited to every conceivable taste.

It's not surprising that so many companies have embraced this strategy. It allows them to avoid the intense competition found in mass markets. Look at the sales growth that has taken place in low-volume, high-margin products such as super-premium ice cream, noncarbonated beverages, heritage meats and heirloom vegetables.

But the case for the long tail has frequently been overstated. This strategy can be expensive to implement, and it doesn't work for all products or all categories. It's surely better to produce a blockbuster film, for instance, than a smattering of low-volume art films.

In other words, simply avoiding the clutter of mass markets isn't enough. Companies need to stake out unique market sweet spots, those areas that resonate so strongly with target consumers that they are willing to pay a premium price, which offsets the higher production and distribution costs associated with niche offerings. We call this approach resonance marketing.

The vast amount of information available on the Internet has made this kind of niche marketing more important than ever and easier to do. More important because all that information encourages comparison shopping, putting tremendous downward pressure on prices and profits in highly competitive mass markets. And easier because it eliminates much of consumers' uncertainty about new niche products, since they can easily find reviews, ratings and comments on everything that hits the market. For decades consumer uncertainty blocked the launch of new offerings that were too focused to be supported by national ad campaigns; today's empowered consumer is truly listening to word-of-mouth.

Finding sweet spots in the market is especially important in these tough economic times, when so many consumers are strapped for cash. Many shoppers will compromise whenever possible by looking for cheaper alternatives to the things they usually buy—but keep buying products that don't have any direct substitutes.

With the right approach, resonance marketing can fulfill its promise. We have found that six marketing principles, taken together, will allow a company to manage the complexity of this strategy and reap superior profitability.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Affiliate marketing becoming money-spinning increasingly

What is the efficacy of affiliate marketing? Well, it is an effective and money-spinning way of making money online and is reachable to anyone with an internet connection. However, even after this only a few people can take advantage of it since search of most effective affiliate programs to make money online is a daunting task and this reality makes most of users pull out.

If you are interested to make lots of money making use of affiliate programs, go through the simple steps in the following.

How should you begin then? Try to opt for a program that is also of high quality and it’s always  better if you find out one that is related with experts in the pertinent industry. This is a good way that makes you certain of the standard of the program you will be joining and that refunds will be low. For that reason, from the very beginning look into forums and discussions groups in the niche to get feedback too.

It’s simply the best if you come across an affiliate program with a revenant billing compensation plan and/or a payout of 50% or more; this, without a doubt, is a great choice. It ought to be remembered that promoting membership websites along with other ongoing services such as web hosting proffer a potential ongoing income rather than a one off sale. What is more, you have got to be conscious of the minimum sales targets that you must fulfill; never forget that some affiliate programs enforce prerequisites before you get your commissions.

You can go for an affiliate program that has heaps of promotion tools and resources for their affiliates or a program with tracking and sales reports. The later program enables one to appraise the efficiency of his marketing efforts. Apart from this, you can opt for a program presenting strong incentives for members to renew their membership each time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Basics of SEO for Niche Marketing

The realm of eCommerce has opened a lot of doors for niche marketing, and with SEO, you can expand your horizons to capture viewers who would otherwise have never known your online business existed!

To make your niche perform as well as it possibly can, you need to follow some basic SEO tactics that will help to increase traffic to your website and improve your conversion rate, too.

Here are a few pointers for using good SEO practices in niche marketing:

    * When writing content for your web pages, aim for a saturation of around 5% of your most relevant keywords. Anything more than that may be construed as Black Hat, or keyword stuffing, by the search engines and you could be penalized for it.

    * If there is one thing the search engines love, it’s fresh content. So, make it a point to provide some fresh content every day in the form of blog articles or new products, sales and promotions with fresh content, etc. Be sure to use your prime keywords and good SEO for your content.

    * If you are exchanging links with other online websites, first of all be sure that these websites are good quality and not ones that the search engines would consider bad company such as porn sites or keyword stuffed sites. Your links should use good SEO and use at least one of your best keywords.

    * Use refined, long tail keyword phrases that will help get qualified traffic to your website. Think about the phrases that someone searching for your product would actually use. For instance, if you were selling outdoor swing sets, you might use the phrases “children’s swing set” or “outdoor play set” or something along that line. If you were selling wooden outdoor swing sets and other play equipment, you would definitely need to add the keywords “wooden” or “wood” to your keyword phrases.

    * Adding ALT tags to the images on your website is a great way of getting the attention of the search engines. If you haven’t already done this, you should attend to it at your earliest convenience.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Why Social Media and affiliate marketing pose a marketing dilemma

Today’s seemingly insatiable appetite for social networking has not gone unnoticed by marketers.
In the UK, 65% of companies use Facebook as part of their marketing strategy, while Twitter marketing has jumped from just 3% of companies in 2008 to 49% in 2009.

This trend has also had a dramatic impact on the affiliate marketing industry. The rapid increase in the use of blogs and social networks means that effectively anyone can now become an affiliate.

A case in point is Domino’s Pizza. Last month the company announced that it will be testing a new “social affiliate” widget that ties together the worlds of affiliate marketing and social media even closer than before.

Donimo’s widget allows anyone with a personal web space, such as a social network page or blog, to host advertising from brands and to earn commissions from any sales driven from their ads. It will be interesting to observe the results of this trial and to see whether other brands follow suit by integrating their social media and affiliate marketing programmes more closely.

Marketers would love to tap into the millions of social networkers and mobilise them to drive traffic and sales for any brand. However, in practice, this approach is far more complex to manage successfully.

It’s not surprising then that few merchants are maximising the value of this ‘long tail’ of affiliate marketing. The general assumption tends to be that the administrative and cost burden of working with a large number of micro-affiliates outweighs the potential revenue benefits.

However, as in the case of Domino’s, new technologies are challenging this theory and improving brands’ ability to successfully leverage the potential of a booming population of budding micro-affiliates within social networks.

The major challenge associated with tapping into the long tail of affiliate marketing is how to effectively manage micro-affiliates so they remain loyal, promote the brand favourably and continue to drive traffic back to the merchant’s website.

Communication, which is often linked to the payment process, is an important part of building the relationship between the brand and the affiliate.

For example, communicating more effectively with affiliates about their commissions can help to increase loyalty and maintain a positive brand association. Brands and networks can streamline their processes to manage micro-affiliates by integrating payment processes with their affiliate management software.

This allows brands to manage their accounts, see who needs to be paid and send payments all in one process, thereby increasing the speed and ease in which payments are made.

Performance marketing software has evolved so that brands can manage and analyse their affiliate marketing programmes, whilst simultaneously providing an interface for affiliates to monitor their commission payments.

The use of advanced technology not only allows brands to more effectively manage their affiliate programmes, but also helps to improve affiliate loyalty and experience through clear and open communication.

In addition, operational and transactional email marketing messages can be sent to affiliates informing them of a recent payment with links to check their account. These messages can be branded with the merchant’s logo to ensure that the positive feeling of ‘being paid’ is directly associated with the merchant, helping to instil brand loyalty.

Another key issue for brands looking to leverage social networks as part of their affiliate marketing programme is the frequency of commission payments.

Social network users are unlikely to remain motivated and aware of their affiliate activity unless they are getting regular reminders in the form of rewards; on the other hand, a payment event is likely to generate word-of-mouth referrals to others in their social network and thereby generate viral distribution.

Speed of payment therefore, especially when targeting micro-affiliates, is a crucial part of increasing brand loyalty and sales.  In order to effectively mobilise the global ‘long tail’ of affiliates, merchants need to adopt an efficient system that allows all affiliates to be paid instantly, regardless of the size of each payment.

We’ve known for a long time that social networks have the power to change the face of affiliate marketing, but until recently the challenges posed by the influx of micro-affiliates had seemed insurmountable to many brands.

It will be fascinating to see the results of this trial from Domino’s and whether other brands start to follow suit integrating their social media and affiliate marketing programmes.

If one brand can successfully address these challenges, then they may truly be able to leverage the collective power of micro-affiliates and achieve competitive advantage.

Whether this will be sustainable or will lead to a barrage of similar initiatives is a whole different question...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Social Media Marketing Mistakes Practices That Should be Avoided

First let me be clear. This list of Social Media marketing tips and techniques that should be avoided doesn't apply to everyone. In fact, it probably directly involves very few businesses and online marketers. However, if you've spent enough time on Twitter, Facebook, or any Social Media platform as I have. Largely due to the fact I own an SEO Social Media marketing and market research firm. You've experienced first hand many of the practices I'm going to outline below. Practices that amount to anti-social Media or even worse. If not, you will soon enough.

Practice number 1- The link of no escape.

Nothing is more annoying than clicking on a link to an article that sounds promising only to find that it contains capture coding. Screen after screen asking "are you sure you want to discontinue? Click Yes to leave page or No to remain." This is like inviting people to dinner at your home and then giving them a bill before they leave! It's annoying, it's bad public relations and it creates an air of desperation. If you're content is so good, why do you need to force people to stay?

Practice number 2- The Pop-up ad that can't be popped.

Very similar to practice 2. However, instead of making you jump through multiple screen hoops you end up with multiple pop-up ads or videos that just keep multiplying. Do people actually think that if you didn't like the first pop-up that you'll change your mind by the second or third replicate? Where's a digital dart when you need it!

Practice number 3- Affiliate Marketing bait and switch:

Okay, so it's been established that you can make a living off affiliate marketing. I think that's great. However, please don't disguise your attempt to sell an affiliate marketing program by using a misleading headline. Trust in your product or service, because if you don't, what makes you think other people will?

Practice number 4- Lofty promises that amount to do what I say but not what I do.

Again, if you've spent any amount of time on Facebook, Twitter, or any social media platform you will have witnessed this phenomenon. A recent example, and this isn't a direct knock on the product or service, was an article that promised 1,000-100,000 Twitter or Facebook followers for a fee. First of all, the organization making this offer didn't have anywhere near even 25,000 followers by a long shot. Which raises the question- If it's not good enough for them why should it be good enough for anyone else?
Practice number 5- Un-intellectual property theft.

This might be my favorite for personal reasons. You're surfing along Twitter, Facebook, or reading a Blog. And lo and behold. You find an article that you published that's been:

A- Plagiarized word for word.

B- Copied almost in it's entirety with the exception of a few paraphrases with no credits.

C- Quoted, given credit to you as the source, but then paraphrased incorrectly. And not only incorrectly. But in a manner that totally distorts the original article and can actually harm your business's reputation!

I've got news for the above companies and individuals. Eventually your attempts to gain traffic at the expense of other people's articles or material is going to backfire. Especially when the party you offend reports to Google's TOS violation team and other Internet monitoring entities.

All of the above have one thing in common. They are short term solutions to longer term and much more prosperous ways of doing business. Oh yeah, and they also fail to embrace the essence of Social Media Marketing. Which is sharing, caring, interactivity, viral marketing, expediency and real time results.

Sources :

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

4 Tips to Profit from Niche Marketing

In 2009, the total number of available transaction sides per agent increased by a whopping 13%. This is the largest recorded gain in over 25 years. Simply put, there is still a lot of business to be had and a lot fewer agents going after it. Successful agents have embraced the change and are already profiting. The current marketplace is full of challenges but it also provides more niche opportunity than ever before. The following four strategies will help you profit from niche marketing in today’s market.

1. First-Time Homebuyers: Forty-seven percent of home buyers in 2009 were first-time buyers motivated by thousands of tax credit dollars. Take advantage of this opportunity by offering a free “Tax Credit Consultation.” The strategy works much like free CMA’s where you offer your real estate knowledge in return for spending valuable time with prospects. By consulting potential clients on whether or not they qualify for the new tax credit, you will be earning their trust while letting them get to know you as a real estate professional.

2. Expired Listings: Twenty-five percent of all listings in 2009 expired. Simply put, marketing to those properties could have gotten you a second chance at 1 out of 4 listings in your area. When a listing expires, you need the homeowner to think of you. Take advantage of this opportunity by getting in front of these potential customers on a regular basis. Remember, if you’re not visible- you’re invisible.

3. For Sale By Owner (FSBO): Eleven percent of homes sold in 2009 were For Sale By Owner properties. The challenges of this market make real estate professionals more valuable than ever. Your marketing should educate people trying to sell their own homes on the importance and financial advantages of using a Realtor. When the FSBO decides to hire a professional, you need to be the Realtor they think of first.

4. Distressed Properties: Thirty-six percent of all sales in 2009 were distressed and this number will only increase in 2010. Take advantage of this opportunity by consistently delivering a message of hope. These property owners are scared, intimidated and in most cases, hoping for a miracle. Your marketing needs to let distressed property owners know they do have options and you can help.

A direct mail provider, LentzDesign, recently introduced several postcard campaigns designed to prospect for each of these market segments. The cards are completely personalized with all of the Realtors’ contact information and can be purchased for as little as 22 cents each. This price includes full-color printing on the front and back and gloss coating on the front. A complete mailing option is also available and you can send as few as one postcard.

Source :