Seeing Your Web Market As A Resource

Is your market like an iceberg?
I see a picture of my web market and it looks like an iceberg. The small portion above the water line is a group of individuals that are ready to purchase. This is the portion of the market that advertising is aimed at because these people are ready to purchase. It is this ‘ready market’ that consumer advertising feeds on. And because this ready market is constantly renewed as decisions to purchase are made it is like a feeding frenzy for all business owners.

As business owners we want to harvest our share of this ready market, but some companies take the lion share because they have deep pockets. Small business owners mostly get the scraps, or they find a better way to reach their market.

The greater resource
Like an iceberg the greater portion of our whole market is undecided and not ready to be scooped up. We tend to ignore them until they become a ready and mature market. Even our financial resources dictate that we focus on the ready market.

When we are hunting or trapping our markets and attempting to capture that market then this is how we think. And we are all hunting or trapping. Our marketing language tells us that much when we say things like “our TARGET market” and “CAPTURING our market.”

It is in this way that we define our marketing and it says a lot about our own business and the nature of our business. Hunters and trappers have an aggressive mind set, but not all business owners want to be aggressive and spear or trap their markets. But we all want more business.

Are there alternatives to hunting and trapping?
A history of civilizations shows us that cultivation works better in many instances that either hunting or trapping.

It is a wonder that marketing people do not think much about cultivating the greater market share instead of hunting down the smaller market portion that is the ready market.

Your whole market as a resource
It is a simple and practical matter for a web page to cultivate the whole market. There is no limit on the space and content of a web page, but there are necessary considerations on how to deliver information to the whole of the market.

People, which make up your market, simply do not read volumes of information. We cannot know just what stage of the buying cycle a single visitor is at, yet we need to cultivate that member of our market.

From the very beginning of the buying cycle, where members of our market are becoming aware that they have a problem, all the way through research and then comparison shopping until finally they are close to making a decision, takes in the whole of the market our web site needs to cultivate.

No other marketing medium can provide the tools and the affordable means of cultivating a market. In the past it was always the material store and sales people that cultivated the walk-in customer. It was even possible for a talented salesperson to walk a potential customer all of the way through the buying cycle and finally make a sale.

No one does that for a pack of gum
Even in a material reality there are limitations to resources and time spent. Salespeople do not really want to talk to a potential customer that doesn’t see their own problem, let alone talking them through research. Only if the sale represented enough profit is it worth the effort.

Your web site has a onetime effort, for the most part. It is as simple as writing up the content to include every step of the buying cycle. A single page may seem like a mile long and no one is going to scroll down through a wall of text, but the web offers tools for hiding information until it is wanted. A much shorter page without sacrificing needed information is the result.

Farming your web page
Instead of writing content to spear customers in the small ready portion of your market you can farm the much larger portion of that same market. And in doing so you are also including that ready market.

From top to bottom your web page can attract your whole market wherever they are at. And while those that are ready to purchase put an item in the shopping cart others are being fed the information they need take their next step.

When you feed your market and raise them up to be knowledgeable shoppers you have also built a relationship based on honesty and trust. Your web site has helped them and nurture them and in turn most will reward you with their business.

No longer strangers
Marketing people know that the toughest sale is always the first sale. Once that barrier has been broken more sales can be made. Sharing and being helpful builds relationships and in this way you and your market are no longer stranger – even before the first sale.

A web page designed to help your market with useful information is like the farmer fertilizing his farmland. First you put in and then you take out.

Helping and supporting is not a marketing strategy when it comes to skimming off the surface where you bump into all of your competition. Web marketers, for the most part, teach you how to get your elbows out and muscle your way past your competition just to get a line in the water.

And once more you are fooled
Even before we think about marketing we need to think about search engines. The picture of a feeding frenzy on ready buyers doesn’t apply when it comes to search engines. That place where every business is hunting or trapping the ready market is diluted with traffic from search engines.

Your web designer said they would send you tones of web traffic and – even though this is faulty thinking – if they do meet their promise it won’t be what you were expecting.

Search engines are not just available to the ready buyers in your market, they are available to the whole length and breadth of your market. Right off the bat the ready buyer traffic you receive is going to be dwarfed by about 9 to 1 where 1 is the tip of the iceberg.

Your whole market is searching for your solutions, but only a small portion are ready to purchase. This is good and bad.

It’s bad because you need a good portion of the ready buyers. It’s good because you can cultivate all the rest and turn many of them into your own resource.

If you want all of your market you must cultivate that market and make it your own. If you want to know how to cultivate that market look for my article titled, “Farming Your Web Market.”

Tips for the Business Savvy: How to Choose the Best Affiliate Programs to Join

Internet marketing is growing ever more difficult as the global marketplace expands. As more and more people buy goods and services online, more and more businesses are also scrambling to take their wares to the World Wide Web. The result is a virtual marketplace where everyone is promised a chance to earn money, but where people rarely do so.

There is hope for earning money online, and this comes in the form of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a technique of promoting online businesses, where various online businesses join an affiliate program, and are paid for every visit, subscription, customer, or successful sale for the affiliate. The online business can earn commission through various ways, depending on the terms of the affiliate program.

Commission can be generate through pay per click, where an amount of money is sent to the member of the affiliate program every time a site visitor clicks on an advertisement posted on the affiliate site. Other affiliate programs pay on a pay per lead basis, where money is given to the member of the program every time a new customer registers through a link from the affiliate site.

Many businesses have grown and prospered due to this marketing technique. Small and medium-sized businesses, in particular, have enjoyed more popularity because they were able to latch on to large affiliate programs early. Due to the proliferation of affiliate programs, however, affiliate members tend to earn less money. Affiliate programs, moreover, have become derogatory, and tend to be associated with multi-level marketing scams.

Affiliate programs, however, can still allow you to earn money if you know how to select the best affiliate program that you should join. If you are interested in joining an affiliate program, take note of the following tips.

o Some affiliate programs require you to have your own website. Other programs will request you to follow an existing template that their affiliate sites use. If you already have your own website and are garnering many visits, then you may want to retain your website and look for an affiliate program that will require little of you in terms of online modifications.

If you are interested in adopting the affiliate program’s template, however, then ask for a copy of the site template, or look at the websites of their current members. If the template appeals to your tastes, and if the members earn more visitors than you do, then you may want to change the look of your website and join such an affiliate program.

o The most active affiliate programs are those that include gambling, retail, and adult associated sites. If your website does not cater in any way to these three markets, then do not lose hope. Also experiencing rapid growth are affiliate marketing programs associated with the travel, finance, and mobile phone sectors. If you can tailor your business to fit the needs of travelers, mobile phone users, or even gamblers, then see how you can fit into the affiliate program.

o Read the terms of commission, and see what ways you can earn money. There are different methods for you to earn commission through affiliate marketing. Pay per impression commissions are earned every thousand times an advertisement is displayed on your site. Pay per click commissions are earned every time the advertisement is clicked. Pay per lead commissions are given when customers register with the main affiliate site after going through your site. Pay per sale commissions are given to you as a percent of the order that a customer makes at the main affiliate site after going to them through your site.

An emerging commission model is the pay per call, a scheme where commissions are paid after calls are made to the main affiliate site after a referral from your site. Whatever the method you choose, make sure that you are ready to update your site to accommodate the advertisements that you will need to post. Make sure that your site keywords are also in order, so that you know what advertisements will be placed on your site, and what advertisements your site visitors may be interested in.

Explore these aspects of the affiliate program that you wish to join. As soon as you know the compensation scheme that you want, and the market that you want to cater to, then begin selecting among the many affiliate programs available online. The best affiliate program will be one that will cater to your market and even widen your market reach. The best affiliate program will be one that will earn you money and make your business grow online.

The Secrets Behind the Best Affiliate Programs: Doing it the Right Way

Aren’t you curious about what makes some affiliate programs work and what makes other affiliate programs doom to failure? More importantly, don’t you want to know what the people behind the best affiliate programs have in common and how and why they’re enjoying so much success?

Critical Success Factors of the People behind the Best Affiliate Programs

EXCELLENT PRODUCT OR SERVICE – The success behind the best affiliate programs is not primarily due to marketing expertise alone. Beyond that, the success that these programs achieved was mainly due to the type of product or service being endorsed by its affiliates. If you don’t have an excellent product or service to begin with, you can only achieve marginal and short term success from your affiliate program.

It’s important that you concentrate first on finding the right product or service to sell before worrying about affiliate programs.

FORTITUDE – If you want the street slang counterpart for it, fortitude is also known as “staying power”. The people behind the best affiliate programs, believe it or not, went through the same things that you’re experiencing right now, obviously not to the same degree but your experiences are fundamentally the same.

What separates these people from others is their fortitude. They understood that it takes a considerable amount of time for any affiliate program to achieve success. As long as they were reasonably certain about the soundness and effectiveness of their plans and strategies, these people were willing to wait and bide their time, even if it seemed that there was no tomorrow and absolutely nothing was happening to their affiliate programs.

But something did happen, and all their waiting paid off. It can happen to you too, if you’re waiting with the right affiliate marketing strategy.

THE POWER OF ADWORD OR ADSENSE – Pay per click ads or any of its improved versions is the best way to advertise about your products and services. It is also integral to the success of your affiliate program. Indeed, if you make a study of the best affiliate programs presently in the Internet, you’ll see how most – if not – all of them have made use of this type of advertising.

Of course, making use of AdWords or Ad Sense is not enough to guarantee total success for your affiliate program. You also need to understand the types of powers it does have and to what extent it can be used before you can effectively incorporate it to your affiliate program.

IT’S ALL ABOUT SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION – The people behind the best affiliate programs in the Internet don’t allow themselves to depend completely on other people when it comes to the SEO aspect of their programs. If you want to experience success, you need to understand exactly what’s required from you and what you can do about it.

Choosing to delegate the unpleasant and troublesome aspects of the job is not the way to go about it. If you don’t take time to understand the principles behind SEO and its various techniques and choose to let someone take care of it, how will you know if what’s being done for your affiliate program is right?

SEO is what drives traffic to your website, so isn’t that enough reason and motivation for you to sit down and finally tackle the concept of search engine optimization?

ALWAYS GET SECOND PEOPLE OPINION – Although the people behind the best affiliate programs are in some way or another confident about their decisions and choices, this doesn’t mean that they are convinced they know all there is to know about the Internet and about the products or services being advertised.

Adopting such an attitude is in fact career suicide. If you wish for your affiliate program to work, you need to acquire a second or even a third opinion about what you’re doing. Naturally choose someone you trust, capable of dishing out the truth no matter how unpleasant and whose expertise is a given. Don’t feel bad if you hear something critical, because you need to learn about these deficiencies in order for your affiliate program to approve.

WHERE TO FIND CUSTOMER LOYALTY – Old clients are easier and harder to please than new ones depending on the situation. Gather the contact details of die-hard customers by building an email opt in list. With such a list, you’re guaranteed an ear that’s ready and willing to listen to what you have to offer!

Incorpate all the factors discussed in your strategy and you’re sure to end up with a winning affiliate program as well!