Want More Business? Answer a Question.

What an honor!!! Yesterday, we were mentioned in Catherine Seda’s influential blog on Internet Marketing. Besides a veteran Internet Marketer, Catherine is the author of two great books on the topic, most recently “How to Win Sales & Influence Spiders“.

Her column this time focused on the use of Yahoo! Answers for helping develop your business and raising awareness for your on- and off-line initiatives. We have successfully been able to reach out to numerous new members of TuDiabetes.com through the good use of Yahoo! Answers.

Thanks for the privilege of letting us share our internet marketing success story with your readers and also thanks a lot for letting other people know about TuDiabetes.com -with 21 million people touched by it in the US and 246 diabetics worldwide, there’s SO MUCH to be done yet!

Yahoo! Answers: The Answer To The Prayers of Site Owners

Where is your target audience hiding? How can you present yourself to them most efficiently?

Thanks to the multiple internet marketing tactics available, this is not such a difficult question to answer anymore. Enter Yahoo! Answers: since its launched in late 2005, it has grown into one of the most exciting properties of the Yahoo! spectrum: “over 90 million users worldwide with around 18 million users in the United States”, according to Search Engine Journal.

With those figures, it’s easy to imagine how you can target your message very specifically to the people you want to talk to. In my case, I took it upon myself to give it a shot, as a means to promote TuDiabetes.com, a community for people touched by diabetes that I had founded earlier in 2007. So, how to start?

The depth and breadth of the site is monumental, so there’s a very good chance that you will be able to find a niche category that very closely fits your target. That was my case: Home > Health > Diseases & Conditions > Diabetes sounded like a winner to me when I saw it.

Once I spotted the category, I just started looking for questions that I could answer. But I took it upon myself to go beyond a plain “Yes” or “No”, when answering questions: I made sure to always give a useful reply, much like I’ve done in the past with Amazon.com reviews, one that I personally would find useful myself, if I were in the shoes of the person asking the question. When you do a good job, you can get your answer selected as the best one, which earns you 10 points. If you do not earn that award, for answering alone, you earn 2 points. If you just vote for the best answer given to another question, you earn 1 point. And if you only show up, you earn 1 point for doing so, once a day.

So, how does it tie into your business? Answering a question earns you more than just a reputation based on points in the eyes of the community. To the individual getting the (useful) answer, it may make a profound difference. Now, if you can tie in your answer with a link back to your site, which contains even MORE information that will be of value to the person, even better: it’s a pretty safe bet that they will follow the link and land on your site.

Provided that you are for real, and not just trying to play “bait and switch” on people (unfortunately, there are more than just a few individuals with no ethics that will try to take advantage of innocent people clicking around on Yahoo! Answers too), you will have earned the person’s trust after that visit to your web site: and trust lies at the heart of your ability to earn and retain that person’s loyalty and/or business (if you are selling a product/service).

Before you head out and start answering people’s questions on Yahoo! Answers, make sure to read this very useful tutorial on how to do this in more detail.