You can create a Website in less than 20 minutes – then what?

It’s very easy to create a website. Why not? Almost every business and professional person of note has a website. Surely, if you create a website your business will flourish, and with billions of web users to target – wow, the money is there to be made.

A recent blog page by wix.com “7 Tips for Creating a Stunning Website for Free” achieved 3.7 million likes. Indeed, the people want websites.

So you can start to create a website. It’s very easy…

How to create a website

There are many posts that instruct you on how to create a website. The most mentioned steps are as follow:

  1. Search the internet to find a credible website host (e.g. Texo.co.za);
  2. Choose a website hosting plan;
  3. Pick a domain name;
  4. Fill in your details;
  5. Finish your registration; and
  6. Create a password.

A website host provides server hardware and network infrastructure so that your website can operate optimally. Texo, for example, also hosts WordPress, a free and open-source content management system.

In fact, WordPress powered 26% of the internet in 2016 (Manage WP).

Types of websites that you can create with WordPress

With WordPress, you can create about any type of website that you want. The Theme Country listed the 12 most popular WordPress websites:

  1. Blog or Personal Website – creating a blog or personal website is one of the most common reasons for using WordPress.
  2. News and Magazine Website – WordPress makes it easy to set up a news and magazine website.
  3. Business Website – you can choose from thousands of business themes for your WordPress site and then tweak the layout to better represent your business.
  4. eCommerce Website – there are several high-quality WordPress plugins and themes that incorporate eCommerce features.
  5. Online Job Board – create a community job board using WordPress. By using a forum theme for WordPress, you can easily organize job categories and create a space for people to post or find jobs.
  6. Business Directory – you can also use WordPress to create a business directory.
  7. Online Communities – create your own online community dedicated to a topic that you love. Share information with other people and use the subscriber option to build an email list.
  8. Portfolio Websites – showcase your talents with a portfolio website. There are hundreds of premium and free WordPress themes for setting up your own online portfolio.
  9. Knowledgebase / Wiki Websites – start building a large knowledgebase or wiki-style website using WordPress. One of the great features of WordPress is the ability to use categories and tags to categorize your content.
  10. Niche Affiliate Websites – affiliate marketing can be a useful way to earn extra money, especially if you go about it in the right way.
  11. Photography Websites -as with portfolio themes for WordPress, you will have a large variety of photography themes to choose from. These also focus on the images used on your website, instead of the content.
  12. School or College Websites – WordPress could be a useful option for creating a school or college website. You can easily design a professional website for the school or college while adding resources that faculty and students will find useful.

So, you’ve created a website, and chosen your website type – what now?

Because it’s relatively easy and cheap to create a website, many people only think about what to do with their site after it’s been activated. Some people spend lots of money promoting their new websites with AdWords and Facebook with little or no success.

As it should be with any other business, you need a business plan for your website. You can read more here: Every Business Needs A Business Plan. After you’ve established what business you’re going to do with your website, you need to find out where your business will come from.

If you want to make money from your website, you to make the following happen:

  • Get people to visit your website;
  • Give the visitors what they was looking for on your website;
  • Get them to subscribe, buy or contribute to your site;
  • Let their online experience be so great that they bookmark your site and tell their friends about it.

You therefore need to know:

  • Who are your audience? (your target audience).
  • What do they want from your website (their needs – problem solving, entertainment, etc.)
  • Where and how can you communicate with your target audience (your digital marketing strategy – e.g. on Facebook or Google’s AdWords?)
  • Who else is after your target audience? (Who are my competitors?)

I think you’ll now start to realise that it takes a lot of planning, money and knowledge to get your website to work for you.

Concluding

So, next time you click on a link like: “How to make a million dollars with your website in 20 minutes”, you’ve helped the owner of the website to achieve her goal – getting traffic to her site. It’s good for her business (ad income), although not many users will return or register with her site. Then again, there’s billions or other users looking to make money online…

If it’s too good to be true, it is probably just that. To make honest money online takes a lot of time and resilience.

Content not available.
Please allow cookies by clicking Accept on the banner

Image

PixaBay.com

Video: Raiken Profit

Affiliate Marketing – Let other people help to market your products

Affiliate marketing 1 is a commission-based arrangement where referring sites (publishers) receive a commission on sales or leads by merchants (retailers). MThink reports that 90 percent of advertisers indicated in a survey that affiliate programs were important to their marketing strategy. The majority of publishers also revealed that affiliate partnerships drove more than 20 percent of annual revenue. Let take a closer look at Affiliate Marketing (AM).

What is Affiliate Marketing?

AM enables you to expand your brand’s online presence by working with affiliates who operate niche sites that attract a specific market. In other words, you let other people market your products and send you website traffic. In return, you pay them a percentage of any sales that are made that originate from their efforts (Shopify.co.za). The main advantages and disadvantages 1 of affiliate marketing are as follows:

Advantages of affiliate marketing:

  • The retailer gain more visibility in the paid and natural listings of the result pages;
  • Retailers can use different affiliates to target different audiences, product categories and related phrases;
  • Affiliates may be more responsive to marketplace changes;
  • Affiliates allow retailers to reach customers through generic phrases;
  • The reach of the retailer’s brand can be increased by using affiliates;
  • Greater awareness can be generated, especially if the retailer is not well known;
  • Pay-per-performance – the costs of acquisition can be controlled well.

Disadvantages of affiliate marketing:

  • Incremental profit or sales may be limited;
  • Affiliates may exploit your brand name;
  • The retailer’s brand reputation may be damaged;
  • The programme management fees may be high;
  • It may take a lot of time to form and maintain good affiliate relationships.

How does Affiliate Marketing works?

The basic premise with AM is that you let other people market your products and send you website traffic. In return, you pay them a percentage of any sales that are made that originate from their efforts. Subsequently this is done by giving them special hyperlinks that they can post on their website. These hyperlinks usually contain an ID code which helps to track their efforts.

Further, when we talk about AM, it is important to note that there are different types 2 of affiliates. Each affiliate type fulfills a different role in terms of value, volume and reach.

The digital platforms that affiliates can use are as follow:
  1. Reward sites – drives sales by rewarding its members through a share of commission it earns from an advertiser.
  2. Content sites and blogs – are often focused on a niche interest and feature unique content. Since content affiliates form part of an Affiliate Program’s long-tail strategy they rarely are large volume drivers. Nevertheless, unique content suggests editorial credibility and often has a positive impact on an advertiser’s search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
  3. Email affiliate – sends emails to its own (or 3rd party) data base to drive brand conversions.
  4. Comparison websites – offer consumers the opportunity to compare products of different advertisers. Although comparison websites can generate large sales volumes, they vary a lot on how they structure their rankings. This ranking is not always based on best product but often earnings per click (EPC).
  5. Retargeting Affiliates – affiliates retarget most commonly through tags that they place on the advertiser’s site and try to re-engage with consumers who have not completed their purchase. The advertiser has full control over traffic source and targeting options.
  6. PPC Affiliate – A PPC (pay-per-click) affiliate is a search specialist who drives traffic to an advertiser’s site by bidding on relevant keywords via a custom-built landing page. The key to a successful trial with a PPC Affiliate is to set up strict guidelines which help ensure affiliates are compliant.
  7. Voucher and deal sites – generate sales by offering their users a discount code that can be redeemed online against their purchase.
  8. Social Affiliates – works via highly targeted posts on social networks or sponsored tweets, which can help to drive awareness and assist in generating need. It is important to keep the creative relevant, with a strong call to action.

Measuring the success of Affiliate Marketing

Retailers must determine what they want to achieve with their AM program before starting with it. Knowing what you want to accomplish is fundamental to determining the key performance indicators (KPIs) that go along with your program objectives says John Lawrence, Senior Analyst at Visual IQ. The most commonly adopted KPIs for affiliate marketing are leads, conversions, conversion rate, cost per acquisition (CPA), revenue, and return on ad spend (ROAS). Once you’ve identified your KPIs, you need the right tools to measure against them. Traditionally in affiliate marketing, the sale is credited to the last click prior to a conversion. The affiliate partner responsible for driving a user to an advertiser’s website receives a commission for the purchase.

Optimizing your Affiliate Marketing campaign

Retailers need to use their budget for the digital marketing campaigns effectively.  Therefore you should ask questions such as “Where should I put my money to make the most of my affiliate marketing program? Which channels work best? What strategies should I employ to get the most out of my spend” according to Greg Bayer in Target Marketing. Greg offers the following advice:

  1. Test, test again and then test some more. Keep optimizing the campaign — there are always more tweaks to make while it’s in motion.
  2. Differentiate yourself from the pack. Changing up your creatives can keep things fresh for consumers and boost your revenue.
  3. Email marketers: CYA (Clean Your Addresses). It’s vital to scrub your list of inactive or closed addresses that will inevitably result in bounced emails.

Concluding

Looking back at 2016, Rae Hoffman (MarketingLand) asked whether Affiliate Marketing will be a viable business model in 2016? She suggests: “As affiliate marketing emerges as a viable native advertising alternative for traditionally display-funded larger publishers, the competition in obtaining affiliate sales will increase.” Markus Taylor writing in VentureHarbour concurs that the challengers for affiliate marketing revenue will be stronger in terms of technology and resources. From tighter legislation for affiliates, to Google cracking down on thin affiliate content, and a general increase in competition on the web, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for affiliate marketers to get ahead in the game.

However, Rea gave the following assurance (pondering on the ongoing growth of Affiliate marketing): “One thing is for sure: Affiliate marketing is still a viable business model.”

Notes:

1 Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F. 2012. Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice, Pearsons Education Limited, Edinburgh Gate, Harlow, Essex CM20 2JE, England.

2 Vijay Solanki, 2016. IAB Australia Affiliate Marketing Handbook.

Image: Flickr.com

Demographic Segmentation – Dividing the Market by Generations

Customers of different ages (or generations) behave differently when they go shopping in a store or online. This aspect of human behavior and demographic segmentation are sometimes forgotten by retailers. The market for retailers is in turmoil because of changes in consumer behavior, intense competition and digital disruptions. Subsequently most retailers have to reduce the price of their products to maintain their sale volumes.

Other retailers are retrenching staff and replace them with productivity enhancing technology. The sad thing is that smaller retailers can’t keep up with these market disruptions. And, their customers are getting fed-up with shed-like stores, generic products, and unfriendly or no sale-staff. On top of that – the breadth of the product mix in big retail stores are getting narrower and depth swallower. That leaves the customers with not much to choose from in certain product categories.

Most of the big retailers have forgotten one of the fundamentals of marketing: to offer products that satisfy their customer’s needs, demands and preferences. A strategy that smaller retailers may consider is to focus on offering products according to the age group of your customers. To explain this, we first have to look at the market segmentation construct.

What is market segmentation?

The purpose of market segmentation is to identify the classification of consumption patterns by dividing a market into several homogeneous sub-markets 1. It is therefore assumed that each segment of the market will have similar needs, and will respond in a similar way to the market offering and market strategy. In other words, when you segment your market, you want to determine which customer will buy or prefer your product.

There are four different types of market segmentation and all of them vary in their implementation in the real world writes Hitesh Bhasin in Marketing91.com. The four types are:

  • Demographic segmentation – has variables such as Age, gender, family size, income, occupation, religion, race and nationality.
  • Behavioral segmentation – divides the population on the basis of their behavior, usage and decision making pattern.
  • Psychographic segmentation – uses people’s lifestyle, their activities, interests as well as opinions to define a market segment.
  • Geographic segmentation – divides people on the basis of geography. Your potential customers will have different needs based on the geography they are located in.

Demographic segmentation is one of the simplest and widest types of market segmentation used. Hence segmentation by generation is a popular way for retailers to segment their customer market.

 Segmentation by generation

According to Directory.com is a generation the entire body of individuals born and living about the same time with an average timespan of 30 years (the average period between the birth of the parents and the birth of their offspring). Generational marketing is therefore a way to segment the population as a unique strategy to target different age groups. Not every generation is alike, nor should they be treated by marketers in the same way2. The four generations that will be discusses are the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z.

The Baby Boomers 2

 

The Baby Boomers were born during 1946-1964 during the dramatic increase of births after World War II. The Boomers value individualization, self-expression, optimism, and “Be Here Now.” They have defined themselves by their careers and many are workaholics.

The shopping behaviour of Baby Boomers

When Boomers are shopping in stores, they place high importance on customer service (helpful salespeople, for example) in judging the quality of their experience (Business Insider). They are also comfortable with browsing, researching, and shopping online.

Generation X 2

 

Generation X was born during 1965-1977 and reached adulthood during difficult economic times2. They are likely to be self-employed professionals who embrace free agency over company loyalty. They value family first. These latch-key children grew up quickly, experiencing rising divorce rates and violence. They have taken greater responsibility for raising themselves and tend to be less traditional than any other generation.

The shopping behaviour of Generation X

Generation X shoppers can be categorized by their keen understanding of marketing and media. Research is crucial for these individuals – they use the web to reinforce their existing opinions on brands and products, rather than to form them to begin with (RetailPro).

Generation Y 2

 

Generation Y (or Millenniums) was born during 1977-1994 and are children of the original Baby Boomers. They grew up in a time of immense and fast-paced change including virtually full employment opportunities for women, dual-income households as the standard, wide array of family types seen as normal, significant respect for ethnic and cultural diversity including a heightened social awareness, and computers in the home and schools. Gen Y individuals are well grounded and wise for their age.

The shopping behaviour of Generation Y

Because Generation Y is tech-savvy, and well informed consumers, it is important that you engage with this generation digitally, says Egiel Nielsen SVP at SmartCentres. “They are looking for personalization, and an overall improvement in the experience they receive when shopping online. This means that communication must be significant and up-to-date”, explains Egiel.

Generation Z 2

 

Generation Z was born after 1994 and is the newest generation. Their parents marry later and are less likely to get divorced. They face global terrorism, the aftermath of 9/11, school violence, economic uncertainty, recession, and the mortgage crisis. They continue to experience the spread of “tweendom” including commercial exploitation of young girls (and to a lesser extent boys), that is, pushing a Tween lifestyle heavy on teen aspiration to the cost of the loss of childhood.

The shopping behaviour of Generation Z

Deep Patel writing in the Huffington Post Listed the latest buying trends of Generation Z:

  1. Attention spans of a couple of seconds – it’s how their brains are adapting to their digital environment. Accommodating their window of attention is crucial for companies trying to reach them.
  2. Instant gratification – any company or campaign geared toward saving them time will be a success if executed properly.
  3. Prevalence of influencer marketing – retailers must use prudence when dealing with influencers: don’t go too expensive or too cheap, and focus on promoters who fit your brand.
  4. Mobility: keep moving or you’re dead – when designing a website and a service, it is crucial to make the website highly mobile friendly.
  5. Racial barriers are becoming non-existent – brand yourself and your company as an inclusive, diversified institution.
  6. Generation Z are becoming more aware – ensure you have a quality product and service, and maintain a positive presence on customer reviews.

Concluding

Retailers that want to sell (or market) their products to a specific generation or generations need to follow trends regarding their buying behaviour closely. The advances in digital technology, online interactivity and customer mobility will pose challenges for retailers to keep up with. Lastly, it may be wise for smaller, local retailers to focus on only one generational customer segment.

Notes

1 Lin, C.F. 2002. Segmenting customer brand preference: demographic or psychographic. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 11(4):249-268.

2Williams, K.C. and Page, R.A. 2011. Marketing to the generations. Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business, 3:1

Images

Flickr.com