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Top 5 Niche Research Tools for Marketers
When you make the decision to become an online entrepreneur, you can’t start building the foundation of any business model or seeing any profits from your leadership until you have a niche locked down.
Decisions to be made include personal ones, like whether or not you’ll enjoy being in that niche – as well as profit-based decisions such as whether or not there’s ample products to promote (or create).
But you also have the responsibility, as an online entrepreneur, to carefully study your niche so that you know – before you put in much effort – how to attack the market and squeeze out your competition.
Niche research can be done using specific tools at your disposal – from actual software to concepts. Let’s cover the top 5 methods marketers use to study the needs of their audience and then you pick the one(s) you feel work best for your niche.
Keyword tools are far more than just a piece of software that churns out a list of words and phrases. They give you insight into the demands of your niche audience.
Some of them take it a step further, allowing you to carefully analyze the ads and positioning of your competition. There’s nothing illegal or immoral about gathering this data – you’d be a fool to embark on your journey without it.
There are many keyword tools you can use, and most marketers take a multi-pronged approach, utilizing a variety of keyword tools to gather their information. Some are paid tools and others are free.
Google Keyword Tool and Ubersuggest are two of the most popular free keyword tools you can use. They both allow you to begin your research with a keyword or phrase, and that delivers a series of similar or relevant phrases you might also be interested in.
Ubersuggest ranks their list according to popularity (volume of searches) for the top 10 results, and then provides you with both an alphabetized and numerical listing of the data.
Paid tools like Market Samurai or SEMRush are tools that give you more information – such as who’s currently ranking for each phrase, what the cost per click is, and what your chances of ranking well against organic results will be.
Some tools let you spy on the ads being places and paid for to rank for those specific keyword phrases, so you can see what products the competition is promoting.
Direct Competitor Spying
There are direct ways to spy on your competitors, too. You can go straight to their blog and keep tabs on what they’re doing. Before we dig into what you want to look for, keep in mind that your goal is not to become a copycat.
When you copy other peoples’ work and ideas, it makes you look more like a follower – and sometimes a thief depending on how much you copy – so use the data you gather to inform yourself only.
That said, competitors are great for gaining insight into a niche. There are several things you can spy on, such as:
- Topics they use for each blog post
- What opt in freebie they’re giving away to build a list
- Comments their readers are leaving for them
- What they’re talking about on their social media accounts
Make sure you opt into their list to keep tabs on their content. They might provide breaking news in your niche, or know of a product about to launch that you also want to promote.
Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. You also want to subscribe to the RSS feed of their blog. It’s okay to engage and interact with them, too. If you’re both in the same niche, it means you have the potential to secure a joint venture with them someday.
Don’t just spy on the top gurus, either. Sometimes small bloggers have great insight or unique slants that you can learn from – and even curate information from if you know the proper way to credit your resources.
If you’re not sure who leads the market in your niche, then you can always go to Google and type in your niche keyword and the word “blog.” You can then visit the top results to see who has a following.
You can do the same thing using YouTube. YouTube is one of the top search engines for a reason – many people use it for information. Look up your keywords and look for leaders that have active, thriving accounts and track their participation in the niche online.
Google often has tools built into their system that can help you research your niche better. Google trends is one example of this and you can find that here: http://www.google.com/trends.
First, you’ll click on the Explore option. Then choose to add a term. Your term is your keyword or phrase that you want to look at in your niche. From there, it will deliver a glance at the topic’s interest online – and you can choose to look at its forecast as well.
Here’s what the phrase “anti aging” looks like with the forecast tacked on as a dotted line at the end. This graph shows the interest from 2005 through 2015.
You can also see a list of breakout terms that have experienced an explosion of growth in terms of searches. So here’s what anti aging delivers:
Then you can take one of those breakout phrases and investigate it as a great niche possibility – and take it to a good keyword tool to get some exact phrase ideas.
Ask Your Audience
Whatever questions you have about your niche, why not go straight to the source? You might think no one is listening, but sometimes – more often than you realize – it’s an issue of people preferring to lurk.
You can break this habit and get some direct feedback from your niche audience if you set it up so that they can contact you directly rather than making them post publicly such as in blog comments.
The first thing you want to do is ask your audience for their $0.02 via email. If you have a question about which product they’d like for you to review, for example – ask it in your next email autoresponder and invite them to simply reply and answer you directly.
If you do blog about something and want to ask them a question, you can certainly invite comments, but also give them the option to use a built in blog contact form where they can reply to you instead.
Another option is to use a survey tool. There are free ones you can use – and you can either ply the data (give them choices) or let people provide their own answers.
Survey Monkey is a great tool to survey your readers with. You can sign up for the free, basic plan or a professional option that gives you unlimited surveys and other perks.
The free plan lets you ask 10 questions in your surveys and get 100 responses per survey. You log in and design your survey with the questions you want to ask.
Then you send your audience (your email subscribers, blog readers or social networking followers) your link to the survey. After the responses come in, you have the opportunity to analyze the results.
Your questions can be in different forms. You can ask a question where your audience gets to provide a comment, choose between multiple answers, rank or rate things, etc.
Using items that are already for sale is a perfect way to get ideas for your own niche profit funnel! Whether you’re promoting affiliate tangible items or digital ones, looking at certain things can help you understand your audience and their needs.
Start by looking inside the table of content of info products. You can do a “Look Inside This Book” on Amazon. Get to know what topics within your niche that other people cover. There might be something you’ve left off your list!
Head to the product specs and description area. Whether it’s a tangible or digital product, the seller will have written out some important points about the product that he or she feels you should know about.
Go to the reviews section, too. In the reviews, you get more than just whether or not people like or dislike the product. You get information about what quirks they find important.
For example, if you are in the health niche and juicing is one of your product reviews that you’re sending traffic to, you’ll want to know that the size of the feeding tube is very important to those who juice regularly.
This helps you review products in a way that makes your readers respond better to what you have to day. They’ll feel like you’re inside their mind when you can touch on all of the points that they’re considering (all thanks to the consumer reviews).
You can also get information in digital marketplaces like ClickBank. Inside ClickBank, you get stats of each product, so you can see what’s converting and what has a high refund rate.
If the seller has an affiliate program page set up, then you can go there straight from ClickBank to gain even more information. They’ll often have keyword lists for you, PPC ad campaigns based off of their previous campaigns), and keyword-laden articles you can use.
Grab their tools and use those in your niche profit funnel – but tweak them to make them your own. Don’t be afraid to request the information if it’s not openly provided. Most product creators will be happy to send you their research if it means you’ll be promoting for them.
There are dozens of niche research tools on the market – and more always evolving and being released on the web. You want to test them all as you find out about them. You never know which one will help you strike gold in your niche!