You’re in business to make money. Aren’t you?
Well, well, not so fast.
There are things you MUST do to activate your online business – only then can you boast of being the BOSS.
Last week, I wrote a blog post on niche marketing, and it was a huge success.
Not according to Yahoo News, but according to my core metrics.
I mean, I reached my ideal customers, added 85 real persons to my email list.
I also made some few hundred dollars from that ‘particular’ article.
From my writing services of course.
I feel like I’ve unlocked the secret vault to meeting my audience’s need.
And I know you can make a BIG difference in your life & business if you decide to narrow your niche and stick to it.
The subtle mistake website owners usually make is “trying so hard to attract everyone.” They don’t care whether the person is interested in what they’ve to say or sell.
If that’s been your marketing trick; always looking for more targeted traffic from every source, you’re in for failure. I want your business to grow beyond where it’s right now. Enough of being childish, cowboy!
Last night, at about 7.03pm, one of my email subscribers sent me an email. He was worried about his blog, which at the moment isn’t generating a lot of targeted traffic and income
I visited his blog and saw the mistakes he was making – his niche wasn’t clear. Yes, he’s a blogger but that’s just it. A blogger isn’t different from any other person on your street. Take it or leave it!
You should be called a blogger because you’ve a target audience you cater for. If you’re not helping a particular subset of the economy, it means you’re a nuisance – just contributing to the NOISE.
According to IWS, over 77.3% of Americans (approx. 239M) people use the internet to search for information on a daily basis.
If you aim to attract all these people to your website, you’d fail because it’s not niche-specific. The truth is, there is an easy way to know what your ideal customer wants, and how to feed them the right meal.
You’ll start by asking questions. Put yourself in their (prospects) shoes and feel their pain. That’s why online entrepreneurs are (expected) thoughtful-leaders.
You ought to brainstorm ideas as they come to you. You don’t have to despise any thought that drops into your BIG head, even if it looks like a common idea or have been explored by someone else.
It doesn’t matter. After all, there were other search engines before Google launched their search engine in September 15, 1997, and later became the giant.
The success of any online business doesn’t depend on who started first, but who can innovate faster.
Niche domination isn’t so difficult when you pinpoint a selected group of people who desperately need your attention.
This way, you can tell if you’re on the right track or totally missing a bolt. It doesn’t matter whether you run a blog or corporate website, the ultimate thing is your ability to reach the right audience and convert them.
It’s been reported that about 60% of B2B firms (see CM statistics here and here) are now turning to content marketing as the best tool to reach the target audience. And this number is growing every day.
This January alone, I’ve received more than 8 writing gigs. And guess what? I didn’t advertise or exchange links, banners or plead with someone to refer me potential clients.
The right people came to me on their own accords because they’ve seen that I could help generate targeted leads and increase their sales.
Every business owner out there is eager to solve a problem, and in the process, build a profitable website without wasting money either on PPC AdWords or Media Buying.
Who do you think needs your product/service? Let’s assume you’re a web developer and you were to speak to a group of entrepreneurs who are experiencing issues with growing their business.
What would your topic be? Remember, content marketing is a subtle marketing strategy. If you come out blunt as a salesperson, you’d scare potential buyers away.
You definitely want to address their needs first, then, recommend your service “In case” they need more help. And 75% of the time, they will pay handsomely for it.
The goal of using content marketing is to identify those who ARE ready to solve their problems. Don’t forget, there are people who can manage their problems.
They exist all around us. Be careful when dealing with them. They’d always find reasons not to buy your product. Always sarcastic and fault-finding – have you met any of them?
For instance, someone could manage the symptoms of high blood pressure, until it grows worse. Also, I know a lot of people who have severe acne but aren’t ready to eliminate it. What’s the problem with these people?
It’s important to note that these people are also your ideal customers. Yes, even though they can stay and manage their problems, they require your attention to convince them. It may take time to speak to their soft spot, but don’t give up.
It has to be subtle, which is why companies are resorting to content marketing as the best marketing tool.
We’ve dealt with people who don’t need your immediate attention. Because they could still manage their problems.
But there is another group that is DESPERATELY looking for solutions to their problems.
It’s very easy to identify these people, but very difficult to Attract them to your website.
The truth is, majority of the target audience who needs your immediate attention are the busy executives, business owners and professionals.
They may not have enough time to tweet, like you on Facebook or even comment on your blog posts.
They’re usually networking; attending conferences and workshops. Traveling the world and spending quality time with their family.
They thrive by outsourcing their tasks to those who have the capacity to do it. Are you one of those people?
I can tell you right away that all the clients I’m working with right now didn’t reach me through twitter or facebook.
You betcha know that I’m not saying you should neglect social media marketing 100%, on the contrary, use it to boost your content marketing.
Google has even made it clear that social engagement is a major ranking factor. Quality content is the #1 factor.
Don’t forget, content marketing is an Umbrella term that covers all methods of reaching out to your target audience, without pushing sales down their neck. It includes blog posts, articles, press releases, video, podcasts, e-books etc.
In other words, the relationship line has to be drawn first, before you can infuse your sales engine or ask anyone to buy your own product or affiliate offer.
And fortunately, when you help people, by giving them practical information which they can apply to grow their businesses and get instant results has been proven to boost sales on the long haul.
Most of the time, the content I share on this particular blog is worth $37 – $150 but I’d prefer to share it freely with you. But it isn’t totally free mind you.
I’m only using it to build a bridge between my ideal customer and the service I offer. I need to make money; you need to grow your business. Period!
In the mind of your potential customer, if you could offer exclusive content without asking for a dime, it means that your paid service & product would be top notch; a worthwhile investment.
In a nut shell, “work smart to dominate your niche, by reaching out to those who desperately need your attention.”
In the process, the prospective customers who could still manage their problems or postpone buying your product/service would eventually come to you as well.
And when they do, your role is to disciple them. Did I hear you say relationship building?
If you’re a blogger, your ideal customer could be blog reader. But as a businessperson, readers might never buy your product. Let alone make you rich.
You need people who have real businesses. Yes, they could be blogging for the sake of marketing themselves, but they must be real entrepreneurs.
This is where Inbound Intelligence comes in. Content marketers have been challenged to embrace inbound intelligence (I’m gonna write a post on this pretty soon).
You can’t keep chasing the ideal customers, or else it would seem as if your services aren’t helpful. After all, if it were that good, why would you cajole them to buy?
No, there is nothing wrong with promoting your business or product, but when it isn’t aimed at building a rapport between potential buyers and you, then, the purpose is wasted.
It’s all about value. When Google Panda was first released, I was called upon to speak in a conference where 157 website owners with grimaced faces sat.
83% of the attendees were mad at Google for de-ranking their pages. I was lost for words to express how much I felt – but later on, I gave a keynote session that I’d never forget. Here’s what I said…
“Google Panda has paved a way: you don’t have to compete again!”
When I said that, the entire room became as quiet as a still born. I had touched them emotionally and opened their eyes to what is obtainable.
In case you didn’t know this, Google wants to send avalanche of free organic buyers to your website, but you’ve got to earn it.
These days, so many bloggers and website owners are lazy to create valuable content that truly helps, because they’re scared of Google Panda and other updates.
It’s a great opportunity for you to start dominating your niche. As the fear of getting penalized by Google increases, the competition decreases. This is good. Think about it.
Rather than wasting time looking for traffic, where it doesn’t exist, start by asking your target audience what they truly want.
Then you can write blog posts, create videos, record podcasts, create e-books and short reports as well as whitepapers to address those needs.
Any marketing content that can attract people to you, without the traditional “PUSH” is termed “inbound marketing.”
Trust me, if you’ve an email list of 100 – 10,000 people, you could easily identify what people are eager to learn from you. The exact topic and how to approach it.
Some people would rather die with their problems than open up to someone who didn’t ask. Inbound marketing can work well for you, when you ASK OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS.
An open-ended question would give room for open-end answers. Let’s assume you run a social media website and want to know what your readers desperately need. When you send out a newsletter, ask questions like:
What is your biggest social media challenge? (Don’t ask: is getting twitter followers your challenge?)
Is social media your #1 marketing medium? (Don’t ask: Do you drive traffic with social media networks?)
The feedback you generate from asking questions are pure goldmines.
If you’ve ever wondered how some lazy website owners outrank intelligent SEOers, the answer lies in the questions answered.
If your website is known to answer questions, then get ready to dominate your niche; rank higher in Google homepage and profit BIG.
When I say dominate your niche, I’m talking about that narrow niche that you’ve selected. If you didn’t read the Part 1 titled: Niche marketing guide, please read it now and come back.
And if you’re just starting out and don’t have a list to ask questions, don’t worry about getting feedback. You’re not alone. Use your blog to get feedback? Did you say how?
Each time you write a blog post, before you conclude, please ask people to leave a “valuable” comment.
Ask active readers to share their challenges with you or what they’re doing to break out of their nightmares. The questions you ask would solely depend on the content in question.
Now you can extract feedback from discussion boards
Except you’re active on social media networks and truly engage your target audience there, I’d advise you forget it for now.
Online discussion boards are much better for getting feedback. Because ideal customers are already there.
They also want answers and if you dare ask a question that resonates with the problem people are facing, you’d get a lot of replies.
Even if you get just 5 responses to the question you asked, it’s a sure indication that thousands of others have similar problems. To a large extent, human beings in a specified group are fashioned with the same wires.
You haven’t read that from anywhere, right?
Don’t be discouraged when you see a lot of web pages (search engine results pages) taking over the top 10 of Google and your pages are barely living on page 21, you can change it today.
Do you know why? The reason is because “Google has reserved a spot for anyone who can identify customer’s plight (questions) and wrap valuable content around it. Then build (earn) natural and quality links to the content.
This is not rocket science. It’s not hard to learn either. And I must tell you that organic traffic is more targeted than social media traffic. See comparison.
In other words, when people search for long-tail keywords, and visit your web page from there, the prospects are MOSTLY the select group who DESPERATELY needs your attention (product/service).
Funny enough, the feedback you’ll ever generate from potential customers would be “long-tail keywords.” And that is the easiest way to hijack less-but-ready-buyers to your website.
One of my goals in the first quarter of this year is to deal with niche marketing thoroughly. I could see that a lot of website owners and online marketers are getting it all wrong.
You could make a lot of money with a narrow niche, if you monetize effectively. Niche selection is really vital.
Could you please tell me in the comment box, what your niche is about? All right, let me make the question clearer:
What exactly do you SELL on your website/blog and to whom? Make sure your comment is clear, because I’m going to address specific issues on this NICHE series.
Thank you for reading my gargantuan post. That’s why I love you so dearly!
Photo Credits: exoticphilipines
Michael Chibuzor is the Chief Content Writer on Content Marketing Up. He works with both B2B and B2C business to grow their leads and convert more paying customers. If you're looking to create content that converts casual visitors into customers, get in touch with him Here