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BizReport : Internet Marketing 101 : July 31, 2009

Internet Marketing 101: Setting your niche apart

It happens online and offline: a business opens but the traffic never materializes. A few months later that business folds, leaving only a sad storefront in its wake. Online the story is the same, but there are steps to be taken to find traffic, keep it coming and keep your business going.

by Kristina Knight

Welcome to Day Four of Internet Marketing 101. You've figured out your product, you've defined your niche and are developing ad campaigns to build your list. Next stop, building a loyal following - with even more advertising and niche-building.

For online entrepreneur Bert Ingley, who runs an ebook empire focused on sports video game strategy books, the biggest problem in the online marketplace is the ever-increasing amount of new businesses diluting the marketplace.

"Over the last five months, there are dozens of small little niche sites now and it's probably the same across the board. People have lost jobs and are trying to create an income for themselves or add to the income. Fortunately the video game industry is strong and there is room for growth," said Ingley.

One way to solve the problem is to continually work on your product, reinvent your content and keep existing customers happy - because a happy customer will refer others to you. And, of course, keep marketing. In addition to driving traffic with a focused SEO campaign, consider branching out into social marketing.

Entrepreneur Aaron Bradley, a producer and musician, has seen social marketing efforts increase over the past year. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and the rest can help brands build interest and drive traffic to the main ecommerce hub.

"I'm seeing a lot of people who are going into social marketing and I'm seeing that even the way people are searching is changing. Google and Yahoo used to be the only way to search but now people can search social sites like Twitter and Facebook to find what they need," says Bradley.

And never forget that list building needs constant attention. Andrew Morden, CEO of the Internet Marketing Center advises focusing your efforts in every area.

"We use pay per click, search engine optimization, affiliate networks, AdWords, the list goes on, to help new niche marketers build their lists," said Morden. "Marketers need to focus on these things but also need to understand how and why SEO works. It is very competitive and to stay ahead of trends, marketers must continually update and be dynamic with advertising. From there, think about solving specific problems for specific market segments."

Tags: ecommerce, Internet Marketing 101, Internet Marketing Center, online advertising, online business

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