Consistency Is Key

January 30, 2015 – 2 Comments

Sometimes you get that aching pain in your stomach that’s telling you today is the day where things just aren’t happening. It’s a pain that’s sometimes hard to get rid of, but that doesn’t make it impossible to leave behind.

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Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Okay, let’s go with the bad news. The bad news is that today will be the last time (at least for a while) that I’ll be writing a blog post from my home office. That’s because from Monday onwards I’ve taken up the challenge to work for one of the most exciting creative agencies in Cardiff, UK.

The good news, however, is that I’m not abandoning this blog to turn into something that would resemble over-grown New York from the movie ‘I am Legend.’ My writing will go on.

And that’s because of one reason: consistency.

Think for a second about the brands that you’re most familiar with – McDonald’s and Coca-Cola come to mind straight away.  For as long as I can remember, these brands have kept consistent within ever-changing and ever-growing markets. Despite what the economy has thrown at them, they have always remained the same. What they have done – and have done so from the very beginning – is establish a simple and yet persuasive message, and have stuck with it in everything that they do.

Marketing is ALL about this consistency: brand consistency and consistency of message.

And really it all sounds straightforward enough until you consider all of the platforms that these messages need to be consistently broadcasted; the competition that enters with similar messages; and the perceived lack of ROI initially. That’s why consistency in message, and more than anything, consistency in portraying this consistent message is so important. It that ‘hanging around’ that makes or breaks a brand.

Without consistency, you don’t really give your marketing strategy a chance to prosper. You’re stifling your growth.

Okay, I know it’s going to be difficult. Keeping consistent for a long period of time isn’t easy by any means. I know at times things don’t go the way you’d hoped and that it seems like you’re unable to complete or continue doing something. Perhaps you think that whatever you’re pursuing isn’t worth pursuing in the first place. You must RESIST this and the temptation to drop tools though.

It’s that numbing pain in the side of your stomach that just won’t go away no matter how hard you try to get rid of it or ignore it.

Rest assured, be it online or offline, whatever it is that you’re seeking to achieve isn’t going to be achieved overnight. Yes you’ll make mistakes along the way, and yes, there’s no quick fix to any of it. This is something that I’ve discovered in business, in life, and especially in marketing.

But how do I overcome this? I’ve found that each time I question the progress of any project I undertake, getting back on track can be done by reviewing your plan at the end of each day, and writing down anything of worth on a piece of paper. Writing down your feelings at troubling times is a great way to relieve pain and put your mindset back in the great scheme of things. Reflect.

Keep in mind also that there are people here to help you keep on this track, and keep everything you do consistent with the strategy you mapped out in the first place. You have your friends and colleagues at hand to help you, but you can also seek professional help. Why do you think people hire personal trainers in the gym?

Think about it like this. Each time you hit the gym or workout in any way, you’re building yourself. You’re building you’re strength, stamina and fitness. Stop going to the gym, and then all that building work is demolished.

It’s exactly the same in marketing, where if you keep everything going and keep it consistent you’re increasing the chances of making an impression…

Just like McDonald’s and just like Coca-Cola.

Remember, you’ve already conquered the difficult part of putting your marketing plan (or your workout plan) together. Now it’s all about implementing that plan, getting your messages out there and building awareness through the various channels at your disposal. That is, building your brand’s strength.

Now’s not the time to quit because nothing in life is a sprint.

The Brand Experience is a Journey

January 26, 2015

Dissecting the elements of a positive brand experience and its importance alongside a lead generation campaign.

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I recently did a presentation where I chose a few strategies – that included content marketing, gamification and email marketing – and put together an example marketing campaign in the space of 15 minutes.

It was a campaign centered solely on lead generation and conversion that looked at the customer journey, and it went pretty well.

In the digital world we know too well that the internet is not primarily a method to sell your products to your website visitors. I’d see it as a method to talk to those visitors and find out the motives that drove them to the website in the first place. But in doing that you very much begin the process of turning that visitor into a potential customer. And heck, we are in business after all, right?!

One of the core elements that my audience picked up on though, was the limited discussion and implementation of a branding strategy.

That’s something I specifically want to pick up on today. Because before you put together any such strategy where you’re actively producing content for the purpose of driving traffic to a page that’s built to collect leads, you’ll need to make sure that your overall brand experience is up to scratch. That is, everything that you say and do whilst doing everything that you do.

And this will tie in side by side with a lead generation strategy. The customer journey is becoming more complex and harder to define. What you see in the image above is one of the presentation slides I used that maps out a basic progression chart in lead generation and conversion. But what it doesn’t account for is the ‘invisible stuff’ – that is, what may be going on inside the prospects’ mind during those stages. It’s this that makes the sale or not… so it’s hugely important!

Your beliefs, preferences and general outlook on life is shaped by all of the positive and negative experiences you’ve encountered on your journey thus far. This ‘journey’ is what also goes on when a prospect lands on your website, reads your Tweets and meets you in person for the first, second and third time and by itself says everything about your brand.

Therefore, essentially your brand is YOU.

But in reality, it’s pretty straightforward what you need to be doing during these interactions, and that is to provide a positive experience throughout.

What is a positive experience? Well, think about a time where you’ve had a positive, rewarding and memorable time, and dissect all the elements that created this experience to replicate in your business.

Here’s some of the elements that I’ve picked out of one of my recent positive experiences:

1. It surprised me on a number of levels
2. It was personal and human at all times
3. Engagement was present and it stimulated conversation
4. The experience was one where I and the other party both benefited.

These are precisely the type of touch points that I’d be looking to include in any brand experience strategy – and needs to exist alongside any strategy that you put forward (especially a lead generation strategy).

Simply put, everything should just be natural. It should come from how you feel about your products and your services and your industry. If you don’t feel positive about what you do and sell, it’ll be difficult for you to convince your prospects to feel like that.

If you’re not entirely sure, here’s areas where you can improve your brand experience… (Use the 4 elements previously mentioned within these stages to create a mind-blowing brand experience).

Value Proposition. First of all convey what it is that you have to offer based on your potential customers and their personas. Once you have done so then the next step is to connect them to the core values of your business.

Communication Experience. Everything you say that you will do, you absolutely have to do and then over-deliver on that. Make it easy for a dialogue to happen and keep everything consistent with what you have promised.

Personal Touch. If a customer has a problem, it’s the brand that has to care. A customer simply does not disappear once the sale is made and therefore you have to stick around anticipating the future.

Just like the strategic journey that you’ve planned your lead or prospect to take in your lead generation and conversion strategy, your brand strategy must sit side by side (and hand in hand) along the way. It’s this consistency that produces the best experiences, and the most sales.

It’s going to be a long journey at that, but one that’ll be worth it.

Your PR is Your Business

January 16, 2015

Who? What? Where? When? Why? If you have compelling and unique answers to all five questions, you’ll have a killer PR opportunity.

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First of all, let’s just roll out the age-old saying: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” I’m putting this out there because even today, this saying still goes strong. If people are talking about your business, it means they’ve taken notice to something where prior to some ‘news’ they probably hadn’t heard of you before. That’s a given.

One of the best methods of marketing your business, your products or yourself indirectly is through a press release style PR stunt. It’s the most powerful way of making people aware of what you’re doing, that then gets repeated to others through word of mouth. It can spread rapidly. It’s not all that easy to get the right mix within your stunt though. So, first of all, let’s start with how it all works (and how it can work for you).

Journalists, bloggers, and other online news and social media writers are hungry for stories and unique narratives. Every day they scour the internet for a unique story that possesses the characteristics to capture their readers’ imaginations. But, more than anything, writers look for stories to get people reading their magazines, their newsletters, their websites and their blogs, they need readers. Why? Because readers are visitors, visitors are subscribers, and subscribers are money. You get the picture.

With that in mind, thousands of news stories get published every day. Most of them are your “Average Joes”; some will be read but won’t really make an impact; some will be ignored or forgotten; some won’t even make the news in the first place. But, there’s a small number where the story is so powerful that they’ll generate massive positive buzz, putting brands and businesses on the map and generating a handsome revenue figure in the process. In turn, these writers will get their readers or site visitors.


“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
- Oscar Wilde


Some examples that you can consider big successes, whether they had meant to be or not, are: Red Bull’s stratosphere skydive; Taco Bell’s April fool’s joke; when Facebook sued ‘Mark Zuckerberg’; or, of course, when Halfway renamed their town Half.com. The key factors in why these were all big successes are that they were completely unique. They stood out because they were completely unorthodox; and the press loved that.

So, now we know what the press are after (what’s newsworthy), let’s give it to them. We’re after a compelling story. What can you do, with your business in mind, to create this? This is where creativity comes in. And I mean really creative here. This is a story 11 that can be slightly fabricated. This is the harsh reality. Some of the stuff that you read online today, yesterday or last month, weren’t 100% accurate. Far from it! But, they did their job. They got your attention and they got you reading. So, you’ll need to find a unique angle that’s indirectly related to your company. This needs to be a new story, otherwise it isn’t news. And the more outrageous, the better.

There are a few factors that need to be considered when getting the story out too, like customising the message for each recipient (aka the press). This is kind of like B2B remember, so don’t expect to send the same story out to the masses – try and offer some form of exclusivity if possible. You’ll need to understand what that journalist or blogger writes about and understand their audiences and cater to them. In reality, no matter how good you think the story is, if the journalist doesn’t think it has legs, then it won’t get published. Convincing the press to listen to you is a serious aspect of this exercise. Think back to the networking skills I mentioned at the start of this eBook.

Be sure that your company’s message is value driven too, so as not to appear to be selfish – even though that’s exactly what we are. With this in mind, wait until the very last sentence for the call to action; a discount, a coupon code, a social media trigger or any offer that’s related to the story and business. This is why we’re doing all this, don’t forget. A great story is always good, but it needs to have a purpose in the long term.

Most big businesses won’t need to do press releases and look to create buzz through PR stunts often because they’ll feel that they’re already well known. This is great news for you, because you’ll have less competition for the front pages.

Okay, ideally a ‘PR stunt’ is what we’re after, but it doesn’t have to be like that because you can easily turn nothing into something just by overdosing it with creativity and uniqueness. Top your PR stunt off with a headline that catches attention; think punchy and completely unique. Include content that’s valuable, exclusive and sharable.

Make it a story, and make that a brief one! But, more than anything make it worth talking about (and worth writing about in the first place).

Become A (Best-Selling) Publisher

January 13, 2015 — 3 Comments

The environment where readers are reading published content is changing and it possesses great potential for businesses to market their products and services as publishers.

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The internet is increasingly becoming a channel for people to search and learn about things, rather than to be sold things.

As a customer, as much as I want to buy things I don’t want to be sold to. And as a business, as much as I want to sell things I have to consider the buying behaviors of myself as a ‘customer’. This would tell me that I have to be thinking less like the corporate businesses of the 20th century and think more like the smart digital businesses of the 21st century.

It’s clear to see that the smart businesses on the internet right now are publishers.

Digital marketing, even in the very early days, was always been about providing information and content in return for something else – predominantly an email address. This practice still goes on today and is a big part of my own current marketing strategies. Email marketing is one of the best direct marketing principles you can do on the internet, and I can tell you right now that it’s still working very well. You don’t have to be so direct, though. You can still provide content without something in return other than just having that person discovering that content and reading it!

As businesses we must open our doors to that ‘other’ kind of customer, and that’s the customer who doesn’t want to hand over his or her email address (and the permission to receive emails on a regular basis) and would rather consume information differently. More than likely to simply browse and learn first before making a purchasing decision.

This presents 2 kind of publishing opportunities. Opportunities of which you cannot afford to ignore anymore I’m afraid.

The traditional book publishing model is to write your piece and send it to a publishing company – but that just isn’t the case anymore. Now, you will become the writer and the publisher and these are the kind of traits that will exist in the digital publishing age we are currently operating within.

My post on Content Marketing just last month reiterates the point that now as a publisher you can spread content (marketing messages) out there via a number of methods for prospects to discover, and talk back to you. It’s not a coincidence that more and more digital publishing companies are sprouting up on the internet – the market is there for those businesses because the people that are looking for this content is also there. Thing is, I’m more interested in bypassing those publishing companies and actually becoming a publisher – simply because the benefits outweigh the limitations.

Why do you think that Apple, Samsung and even the keypad obsessed Blackberry (there are other mobile phone brands available on the market!) are continually ‘improving’ their mobile phones by creating bigger screens? It’s simple, these companies have realized that the mobile phone owner is also a reader of published material.

Not convinced you should become a publisher?

Stories are engaging, engagements develop relationships, opportunities arise from relationships… and yes, what follows is sales.

Business-owned and operated publications are now going to take over. From content within social media to content within emails. From your blog to your publications on third party websites. From your eBooks to your Kindle books. You are now in charge – and you can become a ‘best-selling’ publisher! Just remember if you own the experience, you can better measure that experience. And measuring your experience and relationships with readers is the key for better informed engagements that will boost your bottom line.

The internet is not a network of businesses nor is it a network of technology or computers. It’s a network of people. People who want to be speaking and interacting and sharing views on particular topics that can range from absolutely anything to anything else. There is no boundaries.

As a business actively doing marketing and making sales, you want to be to starting these conversations. Don’t you? Marketing is conversations. Marketing is dialogues. Marketing is doing what you can to begin talking to prospects about your products and services. We’re talking about pushing the boundaries of customer experiences and excelling within our niches and industries.

If you’re a marketer, you’re a publisher. That’s something you don’t have a choice over anymore. So my tip to you is to be less predictable with your content and with your marketing.

“Success”

January 6, 2015 – 16 Comments

A new year and a new you: but are you really thinking about this objectively in the way that you see success in your life and your business?

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So here we are at the first post in 2015.

Most bloggers and marketers would have (or will) post about your usual “10 ways to make 2015 a better year…” or “the key things you need to be doing in 2015.” I’m sure you know the posts I’m talking about.

And although these posts are sometimes useful and quite good to align your objectives and goals against your workload and core focus, they are usually the same old repeated ideas that we’ve seen year on year.

But it’s always good to do this kind exercise at the start of each working year. Therefore, I want to post a piece about success.

That word “success” is something that gets thrown about too loosely. In my opinion, success is about happiness. Too many will confuse the word success with how much money you have in the bank or how big your car or home is. But is this really what success is about in the grand scheme of things?

I’m not so sure.

I think that success is something that you have to decide and define yourself, simply because it’s only you that knows what REALLY does make you happy. Usually this kind of thing comes down to money and material possessions, but there are people all over the world who have all the money they can dream of and are yet miserable, unhappy, unsatisfied or plain old depressed.

Is that what success is? Is this what you dreamed of as a kid when you thought about how things were going to be like when you grew up?

Look at all the lottery winners and the millionaires and the ex-celebrities and ex-professional football players, are they all happy and satisfied with what they’ve done with their lives and what they’re currently doing with their lives? Well, you’ll find that a lot of them aren’t. It’s actually surprising how many of them are broke, unhappy and are living off drugs on the darker side of life.

Some of the happiest people are not the people who have all the money in the world, but are the ones who see “success” in a different light.

Lets look at 5 simple factors that can help you be more successful (and also happier).

#1 Set your objectives early! How are you going to succeed, and what is “success” to you. This is the first step and what this post is all about. Your vision and your goals are all defined by something that deep down is meaningful to you and only you. Make sure you know this because this is what you’re aiming for and are motivated to get to every single day of the week. It’s hugely important.

#2 You need to be hanging around with the people who are successful, the various people in your field of business, and rid of the people in your life that are constantly dragging you down. These two types of people exist in your life and in your business, and it’s up to you to separate the two because you do not want a burden hanging on to you during this important journey.

#3 Put 110% into absolutely everything you do. Taking action is an important factor, of course. But the way that you go about taking action is something that will also define the outcome. Complete every task that you do with full integrity, commitment and confidence. You’re doing it for a reason and you won’t get anywhere if you’re not absolutely focused.

#4 Never underestimate the power of reading and consuming new information. There are thousands of high quality books and audio books, magazines and online articles out there that can inspire and educate. To see the world in a new light you have to discover how other (and more successful people) do it and think about it.

#5 More importantly though, if you’re going into 2015, and you want to be happy and successful with your business and with your life, then you need to start somewhere. You may not know where to or how, but you MUST start. Because if you don’t start your journey, you’ll never reach your destination. You’ll never be successful.

Never forget that people weren’t born successful and neither were they born happy. But what they did was work and focused to get to the level for which they aspire to be at. In my opinion, that’s happiness.

Now it’s time to really think about success.

This post wasn’t designed to give you an answer to the killer question of “how to be successful.” I just wanted to present an idea that may get you thinking about what really matters to you in your life and in the near or not too distant future.

Your business is your life, and there are a few things (as mentioned above) that can easily put you on the right track to success – and now that you’ve finished reading this post, you may feel that there’s a few things that you can begin thinking about doing differently this year to be successful.

Because NOW is the time to start thinking about it.

Content Marketing & Your Kingdom

December 19, 2014

Bill Gates once said that “Content is King.” And who am I to disagree with one of the world’s richest men? But today, I’m going to do exactly that.

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Image: @Wikipedia

Well, I’m not going to disagree with him entirely, though I am going to interpret content marketing in a different way. By trailing through a stack of ‘to-read’ books – that’s developing into quite an accomplished coffee cup table – I have by the side of my desk, I was able to pull out something that perfectly captures content marketing in its fullest.

“Content isn’t King, it’s the Kingdom.” This is something that Lee Odden (author or Optimize) opens with in the ninth chapter of that very book. And boy, do I agree with what he’s saying.

If you consider content as king, then what is he a king of? To me that just says content is a man sat on his throne with a crown on his head. That’s not content marketing.

On the contrary, if content is a kingdom, then content marketing is all about building a civilization that consists of houses and buildings that’s the basis for all social interaction, the development of business, and a whole lot more. Online, each bit of content you produce contributes to the development of your kingdom (your business). And each makes the business bigger and stronger.

Each time you produce a piece of content, you’re building on your kingdom. Building on your empire.

And the roads to this kingdom all begin at a click of a mouse on Google. If you are to expand your kingdom, here’s the place where it’ll all begin. Here’s the place where online browsers begin their journey – each day in fact, there are 3 billion Google searches. That’s 3 billion potential leads.

With Google demanding that content, to rank your website then you have no other choice but to begin producing content. Just like I’m doing right now.

No content? Then no rankings.

The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is reach for my mobile and hit Twitter to discover what the people I follow have to say. I’m looking for information to begin my day. I’ll do this in the bathroom, and I’ll do it when I eat my breakfast. Even before my day has started I’ll have used up nearly 50% of my battery because of this! And it seems I’m not alone with 46% of internet users also looking for content.

And each day businesses are marketing to me in the process. But it doesn’t feel like that. It certainly doesn’t for me anyway. That’s simply because content marketing is marketing without marketing.

Engagement, though, is one of the biggest factors of producing content. You’ve heard all the social media gurus speak of how brands should be speaking with prospects and customers. Now, you also know that producing content is the best way to start a conversation and engage in this manner. This is the case, because you’re giving them the power to search for their own stuff, and talk to us when they want to.

It’s that term you see so often: inbound marketing

Think back to when you were last inside a shop or a retail outlet. What you probably got after entering a store was “Is everything okay?” or “What are you looking for?” or “Your size there?” by the store assistant. Damn I hate that! Well you won’t get that online, because engagement means long term here for your business. Forget Dan Kennedy and the rest of the direct response crowd. In fact, I tend to feel that engagement online in this sense is more ‘human’ than engagement with an actual human in a store!

I believe this to be the case because of the experience and customer service aspects. You can better keep in touch with a customer online through the various channels available to you that wouldn’t have been if you owned a physical store. If you’re constantly producing good content then people will always hang around. Then you can increase the value of your customer. This is where most marketers go wrong and forget about marketing to their current customers.

With content marketing, you get full control over your content whether it’s to your current customers or to your potential customers. It doesn’t matter. As a publisher of information, you’re in the driving seat but you also put your customers in the driving seat too. It makes perfect sense. And you know that people WANT you to publish that information just as people have consumed information for thousands of years. Hell, you only need to look at my bookshelf and the bookmarks on my computer to see that I personally consume content every single day. I’m sure that you’re similar.

But what isn’t so obvious are the authors behind these books and digital content. To be honest, I don’t even think they’re ‘authors’ at all. Sure, they’ve written content, though with that content comes business consulting and public speeches in events and conferences. They’re making money from producing that content because they’ve positioned themselves as an industry expert, an authority figure and a person that can provide solutions to problems.

This could be you. This could be the way that you bring customers into your business. And all by providing something that those customers crave in the first place unlike some direct mail or pop-up advertisement. This is why you really need to be investing in content marketing in 2015.

Need some reassuring?

Content marketing can increase website visitors by up to 55% that will generate 3 times more leads than traditional marketing and will reduce the cost per lead by up to 13%. Those are numbers that you simply cannot ignore if you’re serious about digital marketing.

That’s more inbound traffic, more customers and more revenue. That’s an expert status, a potential for increased prices and more power. That’s providing something that the public want without having to sell anything. And that’s lowering the cost of customer acquisition by getting targeted audiences, with doubled conversions that’s also easy to measure and tweak.

In other words. That’s a higher ROI.

Okay, putting a content marketing strategy in place isn’t going to be easy, and it certainly isn’t going to be free. And I can understand that it’s hard to ditch the traditional marketing methods that have worked so well in the past for you and your competition.

But take a look outside at the constant traffic passing by your door. That happens on the internet (just that there’s a whole lot more) and if you are to go outside and place your business in the middle of that traffic – those that are looking for information and content that may or may not buy from you – then I highly recommend you pick up a pen and paper and begin producing content. As that traffic can easily be yours through high quality, unique and good content.

Build your kingdom with the foundations that will serve you forever, because this is long term marketing.

Secret Amazon Affiliate 2.0

December 16, 2014 — 2 Comments

Before becoming an Amazon Affiliate, there are a few considerations… 

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Last week I wrote a post called ‘Secret Amazon Affiliate’ which was based around being an Amazon Associate at a time where Amazon Associates reap in the most sales and commissions.

It was actually based on an eBook I wrote to accompany a WordPress plugin that I built which enabled Amazon Associates to make commissions right offer their websites and blogs by selling products that have historically (and still do) sell well at this period of the year – and that’s discounted products.

But what I found based on the feedback I received, was that people are happy to sell Amazon products at this time of year, though they weren’t exactly sure WHAT KIND of products to sell. In other words, what niches to go into.

So here are the best ways to find your most profitable sub-niches (in any market). These are the type of products you could be selling – because you cannot possibly become an “expert” or build authority in a large number of niches. You’ll discover how the expert Amazon marketers think when it comes to discovering niches and profiting from them.

To build more traffic you need to be the expert to get the traffic. Don’t forget, if you cookie a potential buyer and he or she visits Amazon and buys more products that are completely unrelated to you niche, it doesn’t matter. You sent that buyer to Amazon, and you will get the commission. Amazon makes it easy for you to do this. It’s exactly how I research sub-niches and found areas for potential that you can now expose and profit from during the holidays.

#1 Amazon (of course!) It’s as simple as typing your potential niche keyword and then looking at the ‘suggested’ results. The left hand side then displays more ‘sub-categories’ which offers even more results for you to search through as potential sub-niches. I’m sure you’ve used this search feature loads of times, though did you ever think about them as sub-niches? If yes, then well done. I’m sure you’re already making money as an associate. If not, then take a closer look. You may find your perfect niche.

#2 PLR websites. Now I know you didn’t think about this one. Go on to any PLR website (I would suggest http://www.theplrstore.com) as a starting point. You’ll see the list of categories down the right hand side and you’ll find a solid list to begin browsing through. Look deeper into these lists and you’ll find literally tonnes of sub-niches that you can start selling in.

#3 Wikipedia. This is another great place to zero in on the best sub-niches. Type in your niche keyword, then in the ‘search results’ it will list a variety of sub niches right below your keyword. Those are the best untapped niches that you can find on there because the results you find are totally at random. Anything at all can pop up here, and you’ll be surprised by the quality of some of the results.

#4 Forums. Go into any reputable forum, and you’ll find thousands of ‘sub sections’ within that forum that is usually focused on just one niche topic. Just type your niche keyword into Google then the word ‘forum’, this well take you to a number of blogs where you can get searching for various forums. You’ll notice which are the most popular, and which ones aren’t simply by looking at the amount of people discussing and commenting within them.

#5 Google. Never forget the daddy of the internet when it comes to searching and discovering absolutely anything and everything. Type in your niche area or idea and then scroll right down to the bottom where it displays the ‘searches related to’ section. Right there are your laser-targeted sub-niches that will almost 100% guarantee you traffic and huge interest. Perfect niche selection material!

Now you’ve seen the top 5 places to discover your niches, you’ll be able to tell that there are hundreds of potential areas to keep looking that are similar in nature. Think blogs, social media websites and other affiliate and associate networks… all you need to know is how to look, then you will soon discover a lucrative niche.

My only tip is, that when you search for your sub-niches, be sure to pick something that you are passionate about, or have experience in, or simply a topic you’re interested in. Knowing enough about your niche and showing you’re passionate about it is the key to determining your success – after all you have to believe in your niche for it to succeed.
Okay, so you’re probably all asking yourselves the same question… ‘What are the niches that are going to bring me the most commission for the holidays?’ Let me reveal them for you. Take a look and head off and explore the internet to find the niche, sub-niche and product that is best suited to you.

1. Toys, 2. Beauty, 3. Electronics, 4. Photography, 5. Cooking, 6. Clothing, 7. Digital Entertainment, 8. Furniture, 9. Arts & Crafts, 10. DIY.

Remember, choosing the right niche is dependent on a few different factors, but the most important are; you, your audience and the time of the year that you are selling that product in that sub-niche.

(If this article interests you, then I urge you to check out the previous post on Amazon Affiliate Marketing.)

Have I covered everything?

Secret Amazon Affiliate

December 10, 2014 — 2 Comments

It’s as easy as this: if you’re not an Amazon affiliate making consistent commissions through their range of products then you’re missing a trick. It doesn’t even matter what kind of website or business you have…

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People every single day of the week, and that includes you and me, are buying off Amazon – literally hundreds per minute, without breaking a sweat. What’s also happening in the background, without those buyers knowing, is that 50% of the time there are affiliates (or associates for Amazon) that are making consistent commission on those sales. Sometimes, on complete autopilot.

Chances are you have probably purchased off an associate without even knowing it. This is quite often the case with the increased cookie lifetime you’ll see on affiliate and associate programs these days. This is the market that you need to tap into, whether you see yourself as an Amazon associate or not. Why?

Because the Amazon market does not look like it’s slowing down. Which means the potential earnings you gain through their associate programs won’t be either – people will always buy physical products, and associates will always make money off those customers.

Here’s some basic but highly practical tips to selling through Amazon at this time.

#1 Look to cash in at the right times. The fourth quarter of each year almost always shows a spike in Amazon affiliate earnings for the simple fact it’s Christmas and Thanksgiving which kicks off from the moment Black Friday lands. This is the time to keep your eye on Amazon as it’s guaranteed to make you the most money. It’s the same story every year. Work your content to your advantage when the holiday season arises, as people are naturally more switched on to buying.

Content such as buying guides, reader questions, lists of popular/recommended products etc get people talking about what they’re looking to buy or would like to receive for Christmas, so make sure you keep this content fresh.

#2 Do your research! By researching the demand for a product you can tell whether it’s going to be a go-er. Be confident that you’ve done enough research to define whether or not the product is going to meet your audience’s needs. After all, if you try selling a product that’s low in demand the chances of getting sales are slim, regardless of how hard you try. If your website gets a decent amount of traffic then you can conduct an online survey, easily getting input from your visitors.

#3 Relevancy matters. May seem like common sense, but actually many people can get this wrong. Make sure you choose products relevant to your audience. Even if your website focuses specifically on say, cooking, there’s always opportunities to cross-sell products. Have you thought about promoting the likes of recipe books, how to’s on using new kitchen appliances, utensils, even food items. The list is endless. Amazon makes this simple, just take a look at the section entitled “Customers who bought this item also bought…”

#4 Use genuine recommendations and reviews to your advantage. Let’s face it, more and more people who are considering buying products will read reviews and make their decision based on them. Plus, real reviews help to encourage your reader relationship in the long run, which you’ll probably find will help with more sales in the future.

So, always test the products you’re wanting to sell, that way you can relate to your experience and go into greater detail when you’re writing about it. Your review should be genuine and unbiased and, whilst it’s easy to chat on about the good points, it’s better to point out the cons of the product too.

#5 Use more than one source of traffic. Rather than just taking the most common approach of advertising on your own website, take a look at other traffic sources too so that you can promote products simultaneously elsewhere. The more targeted you are with your traffic the higher the chances are of you making money.

Click here for more on traffic generation.

#6 Track Your Campaigns. As an Amazon Associate, Amazon will allow you to create 100 tracking IDs. Because there’s a 100 tracking code limit, try starting off by creating a few general tracking codes, that way you can use the other codes for the ‘bigger’ promotions you’re working on – the most important ones.

Another method for tracking is by setting up Google Analytics. You always need to know what kind of people look at your websites, what they read and what products they are most likely to buy, so keeping an eye on your analytics helps you to do this. If you know your visitor, then you’ll know how and when they will buy off you – if you don’t know this then you’ll struggle to build authority with your visitors.

That’s some ideas to get you started.

If you’re an Amazon user you’ll know about their one-stop shopping feature, so this should encourage you to send people straight to the product you’re advertising. If people really want the product they’ll go ahead and buy right away, but even if they don’t, but still buy the product within 24 hours of clicking on your affiliate link you’ll still get your commission.

If you’re an Amazon customer, you KNOW the potential I’m talking about here.

And you’ll also know that when you buy a product on Amazon, you’re most probably going to be buying another product that they entice you with! As an affiliate, you’ll secretly be getting commissions on both of these products. So if you just promote one product well, you can end up selling multiple products completely unrelated to that original product.

The question is, do you have a little room somewhere on your website to make Amazon commission, and become a Secret Amazon Affiliate?