In stark contrast to the highly organized (and consequently predictable) battle tactics of conventional warfare, guerrilla warfare employs small groups, seemingly random ambushes, and other nontraditional techniques to keep enemy forces on their toes. Guerrilla marketing takes its name from this strategy of organized chaos, swapping out conventional marketing methods for the creative, the truly memorable, and the thought-provoking. Is it time for your business to go guerrilla? Here are some key tips to help you get started.
While corporate branding benefits from the strength of an established company name, in personal branding, your selling point is literally your self. Many people think that translates as, “I can do anything I want. It’s not like there’s an HR Department to report to!” Unfortunately, this is a damaging misconception which could not be further from the truth. You must learn to avoid these three personal branding mistakes if you want to be successful in your niche.
The phrase “long tail” was coined by Chris Anderson writing for Wired back in 2004. Anderson theorized that while mass appeal ruled the sphere of traditional media, the instantaneous and endlessly customizable nature of net searches meant that web users could discover increasingly specific, niche-oriented products. In other words, the fact that you can Google a very precise and detailed phrase means that “obscure” markets can actually be quite profitable. As this idea suggests, there’s often a critical link between long tail marketing, and being successful in your niche or micro-niche.
According to Webster Merriam, saturation is “the result of supplying so much of something that no more is wanted.” Like a sponge that’s been soaked so thoroughly it can’t absorb another drop, a saturated market is so ripe with suppliers that consumers can’t keep up. The buying public loses interest, and the market dies. It’s happened to the automotive industry numerous times, though the “dot com craze” of the 1990s is probably the most famous example. But what if niche saturation was a myth?
In the past, we’ve repeatedly emphasized the importance of social media in niche marketing. Not only is social media absolutely critical to successful niche marketing, it’s critical to commerce — period. When sites like Twitter first stumbled out into the world on shaky, nascent legs, they were small, obscure, populated primarily by teenagers and college students idly “creeping on” their peers and followers. Years have passed, and those times are long gone. Today, Twitter is a global juggernaut, and even Barack Obama counts himself among its 200 million-plus users. Businesses — including yours — are expected to maintain active Twitter accounts. But while Twitter is an indispensable (indeed mandatory) tool, it can turn into a nightmare when marketers fail to anticipate problems. Learn the do’s and don’ts of Twitter for businesses.
The term “niche marketing” sometimes throws people off. They get the part about marketing, but they don’t immediately understand how they’re supposed to hone in on a niche. They think that “niche” must be synonymous with “obscure,” assume they lack the required expertise, and give up altogether. In reality, you actually don’t have to be a seasoned expert on the fine-point, nitty-gritty nuts and bolts of a given industry or product to make a niche pop and succeed. You just have to know how to approach the task at hand. Even with limited knowledge of niche markets, you can find yours by working backwards.
In the days before Panda and Penguin updates, creating a website that targeted a specific set of niche keywords, and getting that site to rank high in Google results, was relatively easy. For less than $100, you could create a space on the web that would bear fiscal fruit in less than six months. Streamline the process and let the passive income roll in. Of course, that strategy is dust at our feet thanks to the previously mentioned fuzzy animals. These days, it’s all about your website’s (and your own) authority within your niche. Know how to build authority within your vertical? Here’s a couple tips to get you started.
Quality Content and Earned Links Increase Traffic
Paying a cadre of foreign writers $1 to bang on a keyboard until your site is populated with keyword-heavy content won’t work anymore. You need quality content that’s well sourced, engaging and encourages readers to share it through social channels and other (high value) sites. Dropping links to your content on forums and article directories will only get you a manual penalty from the Google Web Spam Team — don’t do it.
Start blogging about issues, events and problems in your niche. Offer solutions, be funny, provide tips for other businesses and insights to consumers. Don’t shortchange the process by thinking someone who isn’t familiar with your brand can embody your voice.
Get Your Rel=Author Set Up
Enabling rel=author for your own blog helps build your authorship and increase your web presence every time you publish. Sharing your posts becomes easier and having your lovely image attached to your work in search results can actually increase clicks. The entire process takes less than five minutes. If you operate a site that uses WordPress as its content management system, authorship creation takes a couple clicks on a downloadable plug-in.
All you need is a Google+ profile and a website/blog. Here’s a tutorial direct from Google.
Diversify Your Web Traffic and Marketing Strategies
You’re no longer dependent on organic web traffic as the sole mechanism to drive users to your site and products. Set up your social media profiles, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pintrest, to reach users interested in your niche in the most direct fashion possible.
Tweet about your sales and updates, drop Instagram photos of what you’re up to around the office. Develop that personal connection with your audience that makes you and your business seem real and vibrant. Doing is will increase consumer trust in you as a thought leader and spread your brand across a much wider area of the web than is possible with just your branded domain.
Fast Results are for Amateurs
Affiliate marketing has taken over as one of the hottest marketing and niche marketing trends. When utilized correctly, affiliate marketing can be a great strategy to boost your bottom line. But on the other side of the coin, there are also niche marketing affiliate mistakes to avoid.
At the time of this blog post, we’re only halfway through March. The majority of 2014 is still looming on the horizon, beckoning us to raise ourselves to greater heights than we did last year (or indeed, ever before). Part of business success is keeping up with what’s hot, and this year, that means catering to the mobile demographic. In this entry, let’s talk about why your business has to be optimized for mobile in 2014.
The word “consultant” comes from the Latin verb consultare, meaning “to discuss.” Consultants are as varied as the industries and businesses they serve, and the function of a consultant at a graphic design firm is virtually guaranteed to be very different from the function of a consultant serving a financial company. For small businesses, hiring a consultant can be of special importance. What are the top five benefits of hiring a consultant for your small business?