In online marketÃng it is critical that you keep up with what is going on in your industry. You do need to know who is doing what – and why they are doing it. You do need to take the time to research potential joint venture partners, products, and competing businesses.
Here are four excellent tools and how to use them.
1) Internet Archive – Also known as “The Way Back Machine”.
There are actually many facets to this amazÃng site but the feature that I use most is the ability to look at a historical snapshot of a website/domain.
There is a box on the site where you can enter any url, and it will show you “snapshots” taken of that website over time.
For example, if your were to enter my domain “williecrawford.com” you’d be able to sift through actual archived pages from my website between December 1998 and today. Every week or two a new snapshot of the site was taken and stored in the Archive.org database.
That lets you confirm how long a website has been online (provided it was archived), lets you see how a business evolved over time, and will even reveal to you things a marketer may have been testing that perhaps didn’t work out.
I use this tool to confirm how long a site/person has been in business. I also use it to confirm how long a person has actually been in a particular niche or discipline. I use it in deciding who to actually form business relationships with.
If you discover practices contrary to your standards, or that a potential business partner hasn’t been totally honest with you, then you certainly want to proceed with caution… or look deeper.
You can set an alert to have Google notify you via email any time that it finds a new occurrence of a term online (on a webpage, blog, etc.)
I set alerts for my name, my product names, my urls, and competitors’ names/products/urls.
Any time the system finds someone “talking about” the target term, it will send you an email (at whatever frequency you specify) notifying you of the new finds.
Once a day, I get emails notifying me of where my target terms have just been discovered. This points you to places where you are being blogged about, mentioned in articles, discussed on forums, etc.
It could alert you to positive or negative publicity that you want to be aware of.
3) Tweet Beeps – Similar To Google Alerts, Only On Twitter.com .
Found at http://tweetbeep.com, I use Tweet Beeps the same way that I use Google Alerts. Any time that my target phrases are found in ANY Twitter posts, I get a notification.
That will point out to you discussions that you may want to join for various reasons, to include “damage control,” thanking them for a nice compliment, to answer questions about your product, etc.
One creative way to use Tweet Beeps would be to ask those “tweeting” positive things about your product for testimonials, or to become your affiliates.
4) International Association Of Joint Venture Brokers
Found at http://IAJVB.ORG, The International Association of Joint Venture Brokers is a collection of joint venture brokers, super affiliates, product owners, publishers, and webmasters who use the site to keep track of product launches.
The site is a database of upcoming and ongoing product launches, live events, tele-events, and even free giveaways.
Members of the site enter their events into the database as an easy way to recruit new affiliates AND to let other members know that they are “claiming” a given launch date.
Savvy affiliates search through the database looking for product launches in their niche. They understand that when you know about an upcoming launch a month or more in advance, you can do things to gain a tremendous advantage in the search engines before most other affiliates EVER hear rumors of the launch.
During many product launches, your potential customers often go to the search engines to see what reviewers have to say about a given product.
Affiliates who knew about, and obtained a review copy of a product a month in advance, will have their reviews listed at the top of the search engines, getting sales from people who are not even on their lists… or have ever previously visited their websites.
Members pull up the listings of other launches planned in their niche and use that information to plan when they will do their own launch. This keeps them from going “head-to-head” with big launches that would otherwise drown out their own.
This also shows them launches that they could perhaps piggyback on.
They can often get mention of their product INCLUDED in an upcoming product, or they can plan on releasing their product just as the commotion from a big launch is dying down.
Perhaps your product does the same thing as product with a huge launch planned, but your product is cheaper. You could time your launch to catch potential customers who have a heightened awareness of the problem that your product solves, but who couldn’t afford the other product. You can sell to a lot of customers who actually feel POWERFUL resentment towards the product that they wanted but couldn’t afford.
As you can see good intelligence is extremely valuable. You absolutely must know what is going on in your niche. Fortunately, with the above four tools, it’s very easy.
About The Author
Willie Crawford is an internationally-acclaimed speaker, author, seminar and radio show host, and leading Internet marketing expert. When not out fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, Willie can be found sharing his 12 years of online marketÃng experience with members of The Internet Marketing Inner Circle. Join them at: http://TheInternetMarketingInnerCircle.com