Get Your Product Noticed
One of the reasons Internet marketing and ecommerce have been such a success story is because it has allowed unprecedented levels of focused and targeted marketing. Unlike traditional advertising, which can be defined as a scattershot approach, niche marketing allows much more precise messaging. You can get into the minds of your customers to offer them the kinds of products and services they are eager to buy. How do you know? Because your prospective customers are ALREADY looking for you.
That’s right; the ideal customers in your niche are already looking for you when they type a query into a search engine, social network, or Amazon. They are all looking for solutions to their most pressing problems in their niche. If you research your niche carefully, you should be able to present them with exactly the kinds of items they are looking for.
You might be worried, however, that you are coming late to the game by just starting your own business now, and that the market might be saturated. Or, you might have been in business for a while but your results have failed to match your expectations. How can you rise about the ‘noise’ of a competitive marketing niche?
In this guide we want to dispel the myth of a saturated market and help you market more effectively even in a competitive niche. Let’s look first at why there is really no such thing as a saturated niche market.
Is there any such thing as a saturated niche market?
If you are just beginning in business in a particular niche, you might be concern at the level of competition you will be facing. You might even be thinking there is no way you will ever catch up with the big boys who have been selling niche-related products for years.
However, if you have done your niche market research carefully before starting your business, you should already know whether it is a paying market or not. Go on Amazon, for instance. What books and magazines can you find that are related to your niche? Go to the Amazon Bestsellers Lists for your niche. What are the top-selling products? Do you have similar ones to sell? Or are yours better in some way?
A healthy level of competition shows that there truly is money to be made in the niche. In that case, the market is not saturated. Customers will be looking for all-new items to buy. Think of beginners, intermediates and advanced customers, for example. What do they need to progress successfully to each new level in relation to their niche?
You don’t have to find an all-new niche no one has ever tried before. All you have to do is market yourself well within your niche. You can accomplish this in a number of ways. Let’s start with the value of knowing your niche.
Knowing your niche
As we have said, Amazon is a great research tool to see what the top products are in your niche and what customers are willing to pay to get the solutions they need. Many new online business owners fail because they do not know who their main competitors are. In some cases, they are working in a niche that is not a paying market, such as tattoos, a popular niche, but with too many freebie hunters.
Once you have checked out Amazon, search for popular niche-related sites where your prospective customers spend time. Build relationships with them in a number of ways. Groups, forums and discussion boards, popular blogs and websites focused around your niche are all ideal places to meet, mingle, and get to know their pain points, that is, the main problems they have in reference to the niche.
Niche marketing is the equivalent of fishing in a well-stocked pond. The secret is to come up with exactly the right bait that the hungry fish are eager for. Offer effective solutions at reasonable prices and see them nibble.
If you are thinking of starting your own website or blog, do your research to create the right bait. If you already have a site or blog that is underperforming, track which pages are the most popular and create similar content. Test your sales letters to see how high they are converting. Then try to improve upon them.
Open the marketing conversation by putting their needs first. For example, what are the most important things a beginner needs to know in your niche so they do not waste time or money? Brainstorm several topics and create either a short special report or ecourse for 2 of the topics. See who registers for them. Consider each new subscriber on each list as a vote for that topic.
Create paid products, services and offers related to the most popular free ones. The great thing about an email list is that you can communicate with and market to the people on that list at any time.
But don’t just send promotion after promotion for your own products. Blend interesting content emails with spotlight promotions. In the content emails, add the URL at the bottom in your signature area.
Link to your ecourses and special reports at your social media accounts. Once you have an email list and followers on Facebook, Twitter and so on, find out what kind of bait will attract them by creating surveys and polls. Offer a list of suggested information products or services related to your niche, for example, and see which one is the most popular. The answer may surprise you. In this way, you will not waste any time. You will create a winning product from the outset with a paying market so you don’t have to struggle with sales.
Another way to use email marketing, blogging and social networks is to help position your brand and business as a leader in your niche. There are actually a few simple shortcuts that can lead to big profits. Let’s look at them in the next chapter.
Keeping up with the latest trends in your niche
One of the reasons so many niche marketers struggle in what they think is a saturated market is that they really only focus on what they want to do and what they think will work. However, they could just as easily be wrong as they could be right.
By tracking bestsellers at Amazon, reading forums and discussion boards, and visiting top blogs in your niche, you should be able to start making a list of the hottest items in your niche and what people are willing to pay for them. Surveys can help, as we have mentioned. So can allowing niche prospects to ask you questions. If the same questions keep coming up over and over again, chances are that is a good topic for a free or paid product.
What are the top websites in your niche? Do they allow comments? Visit these sites regularly to read breaking news and join in the conversation. Blogging, guest blogging, and being helpful on forums and social networks can soon position you as a person in the know within your niche.
Another great way to stay current is to use Google alerts. If you have a free Gmail account, set one or more alerts related to your niche, such as Android phones or Android apps. Set the alerts in digest form, and you will receive one email each day with any breaking news about your niche.
One of the main reasons for keeping up to date with your niche is that they are not stationary, but ever-changing. What is hot one day may be gone the next. On the other hand, if you can make money from the hot item, especially around the end of year selling season (Christmas and so on), it can be well worth it. You will also look like an expert in the know, which you will be, putting you way ahead of most of your competitors.
You may be new to your niche and not even have a product of your own, but you can still sell well through accessing great products as an affiliate marketer. You can sell digital products through Clickbank and JV Zoo and tangible products through CJ.com, LinkShare and ShareASale.
These affiliate marketplaces offer a range of niche-related product you can sell at your site, in your emails, and more. You can also become an affiliate at Amazon. Once you have signed up for an affiliate program, you will create a link for each product you wish to sell. Each link will have a special code. If anyone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you will be paid a commission. Track to see what products are most popular. Then push them harder, while you work on creating a similar product you can sell in order to keep 100% of the profits.
Affiliate marketing may not earn you huge amounts of money to start with, but it can give you an excellent education in reference to the trends in your niche. Once you know the trends, you can definitely start to position yourself or your brand as worth paying attention to.
Also check out crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Indiegogo to see what projects related to your niche are trying to get funding or have succeeded in doing so, and for how much. Review the incentives they offer to those who fund them. You can find all new sources of inspiration for your products, services and freebies to make your brand even stronger and more relevant.
Finally, check Google AdWords’ keyword tool. What are people searching for, how many each month, and what are the exact words and phrases they are using? Add 1 or 2 of these to every piece of content your produce online, for free traffic and potential customers.
What if you see huge numbers of competitors for your main keywords? Let’s look in the next chapter at brand positioning.
Positioning your brand within your niche
In this chapter on branding within your niche, the word brand can refer to you as an individual trying to make a name for yourself (think Oprah or Jerry Springer) or your business (think McDonald’s or Burger King).
We used the above examples because while both brands in each grouping do similar things, they are not completely equal. They each have their own way of marketing themselves to appeal to their particular sub-niche.
When marketing your brand, you can position yourself as an expert worth doing business with because you cater to the needs and tastes of your target audience. When you are hungry, any burger will do. In the same way, a hungry niche audience will also buy if a good deal is right in front of them, easy to get hold of.
For those who are not starving and have time to weigh their choices and comparison shop, there are certain signals that tell them what brands are worth doing business with and which to avoid. Google describes this kind of marketing as the ‘zero moment of truth’, the point at which a prospective customer first discovers your brand through a link, ad and so on, and goes on a fact-finding mission to learn more about you.
What will they see if they Google you and/or go to your site? The saying, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression,” is very true in a competitive niche. We have already mentioned becoming an expert in your niche through your research and keeping up to date with the latest trends. If potential customers click on your URL, what will they see?
You need a professional-looking website with interesting content and above all, compelling sales letters that will lead people to buy, not click away to your competitors. Your sales letters should have a clear call to action, either Buy Now for sales, or Learn More/Register Now for your free items. Free should never equal shoddy. Your free content should show your target audience the kind of quality they can expect if they decide to do business with you.
One of the most common reason marketing messages miss their intended target is because they emphasize the features, not the benefits, of the item they are trying to sell. The ad copy might be factually accurate, but facts rarely take hold of the emotions and imagination. Benefits do.
Think of one of the features most often listed in descriptions of cars: leather seats. That is a factual description of what is in the car, but what is the benefit? There can be many, but the one/s you choose in your sales letters will very much depend on your target audience.
For sporty singles, style, comfort and flair will be important. For a soccer mom, leather seats will be easier to clean than upholstered. Benefits are features that answer the question “what’s in it for me?” for the person thinking of buying. The more vividly you answer that question, the more likely they are to buy.
One final point is to look at both those categories of buyer. Singles are not likely to buy an SUV; a soccer mom is not likely to buy an expensive sports car. They are both vehicle buyers but they each have a specific set of needs and values you can cater to when you position your brand within your niche. Therefore, come up with key selling points and unique offerings that target your ideal customer in your niche.
A positive user experience can go viral, with your customers passing along information about your great products and offers. This word of mouth marketing can help you reach a range of customers you might otherwise never be able to connect with.
How can you offer additional value to your customers that will get them so excited they will be eager to tell others? Let’s look at this topic next.
Offering additional value to your customers
There are several ways to add value to your customers to engender loyalty and even buzz about your brand. The first is to appeal to their values, which are not all about money. Using the car example above again, what are the values and emotional triggers involved in purchasing a Volvo versus a Porsche versus a Honda Fit? A Toyota versus a Lexus? These two are both made by the same company, so how to the perceptions of each brand differ? The Lexus, of course, indicates luxury, success, comfort and so on. How can you differentiate each of your products from that of your competitors?
Is it the latest? Most up to date? Green and all-natural, and so on. Again, think benefits, not just features. For example, a Honda Fit is roomy, perfect for families, and clean and green to help benefit the planet.
The second way is to have regular product launches, which will create buzz on your site, in your emails and on the social networks.
The third way is to add value to all of your products while offering lower prices than your competitors. Undercut them slightly and add exciting extras, little bonuses that will not cost a lot. These can include as worksheets, templates, checklists and so on. They can all add up to sweetening the deal and making the sale.
Give great customer service. Under promise and over deliver and you should soon see a steady stream of repeat customers.
A fourth tactic is to bundle. Put together 2 or more of your best products for one low price, plus add great bonuses they will not be able to get anywhere else. Offer FAQs, insider tips, or perhaps even a free membership site. Make the offer so good they would be foolish to miss out.
Keep producing great content and offers related to your niche and you will soon become a brand worth buying from over and over again even in a competitive market.
Online marketing may seem so easy that anyone can do it. On the other hand, it may seem impossible to make money in what appears to be a saturated market. The truth is somewhere in between. If you research your niche and keep up with the latest trends, you can leverage all this information to position your brand as one worth paying attention to because you have your finger on the pulse of your customers, industry and competitors.
Through research via forums, social networks and surveys, you can start to seem like a mind-reader to your target audience. By tracking and testing your sales materials and your results, you can spend more time on what works and not waste time on what doesn’t.
Track the news and trends related to your niche and keep an eye on your competitors. Model your own work based on what they are doing, but always try to go one better. Offer a quality product at the right price, and great bundles that will make your customers’ lives better.
No matter what the price, be sure your item has high perceived value in the eyes of your customers. Create such great offers they will not only buy, they will tell others.
Use all you learn about your niche to create content and products that your target audience will eagerly grab. Here’s to your success in your niche.