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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!
I have had some success in WNC with my product in stores and I want to have an online presence. My company specializes in an organic, antibiotic-free, chemical-free additive that goes in feed. I have a facebook and a website but I am having little success. I was featured on a podcast of a New York Times Best Seller and had some success from that.

Here is what I have so far - http://facebook.com/beenectarcompany and http://thebeenectar.wix.com/home

What is the best way to get my product out online? Thanks everyone!
 

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Chris,

Here are a few thoughts after I read your web site. I did not read your Facebook site.

It was hard to figure out what you are selling. I think you want to be more up front about that, especially on the home page. I think the only place I saw content describing your product and buying it was in the FAQ.

I did not see a price anywhere for your product. You won't get much interest without showing a price.

Register your site with Google and the other search engines. I Googled "Bee Nectar" and your sites did not come back in the search results. You might also want to reconsider your company name: there is already a "Nectar Bee Supply" company that markets to beekeepers. I don't think there is a legal name conflict, but it might be a little confusing.

Essential oils and combinations of them are not anything new and not regarded as a panacea. They are included in many products. I am not aware of them being regarded as a "cure" for varroa. You risk immediately discrediting yourself by implying a varroa cure in your "Does it work?" paragraph without backing it up with some valid studies. I did not see any study references in your site. To my knowledge (my ignorance!), you are not a recognized bee expert yet. Getting some product endorsements from existing experts and strong study results will help a lot.

Related to the point above is the detraction from using essential oils. Some believe using essential oils to be a bad idea or not necessarily a good idea. Here is just one example from Michael Bush's site. Michael Bush is one of those recognized bee authorities.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnotreatments.htm
"Essential oils were not only disrupting the smells in the hive, but the microbes and the more I observed and read studies, the more convinced that the microbes were very important."

I don't post this to be disagreeable, but rather to show you a tiny snippet of the opposition you will encounter "silently", as in no one will ask you about it. We'll just move on to the next posting thinking, "Oh, another essential oil combo..." Showing your product's effectiveness in valid study data, ideally in partnership with a bee expert or two would be a wonderful thing and will take you a long way. It can be the ticket to getting published in the bee journals.

Good luck and happy new year!

Jim.
 

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Jim identified some of the basic things you need to do. One thing to realize is that the market space for your product is crowded with a lot of similar products (Honey-B-Healthy, Hive Alive, Nozevit, Pro Health and a few more) , so you have to make a distinction as to why your product is better and be able to back that up. From there you have to slug it out and sometimes your best ally is the beekeeping suppliers (and in my opinion you have to work with suppliers that actually know something about bees, will take time to talk with customers who have questions, who will actually use the product and aren't just Walmarts of beekeeping). That takes work, money, time on your part to make those contacts but sometimes "boots on the ground" is more effective than trying to "high level bomb" with the web, although the two are and need to be complementary.

In our case we receive 2 to 3 new products each month in different categories from companies looking to market to beekeepers. In the last couple years the bulk of the products fall into the category of supplements of one form or another. Nearly all make the same claims even though the products are wildly different things (iron supplements, vitamin supplements, microbials, essential oils, etc). A non-marketing comments I would note is that it looks like you are packing in glass bottles? Hard to tell from the photo on Facebook (and none on the website) but if so I would reconsider as it is a shipping nightmare.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Capital - I am changing from glass to a food grade plastic (for the exact reason you stated) good call. I am going to try and take some better pictures of my product and put it on the website and facebook. I have not heard of some of the products you mentioned. I initially started experimenting with feeding additives because I didn't want to do all of the antibiotics with my bees. I am still using the wax seal for a visual catch on the shelves and my price point is lower all around (bigger margin for the retailers and lower price to the customer.) I just want to help people with bees.

Thank you capital bee and Jim again for the suggestions! I have made some big changes on my website.
 

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Chris,

I professionally work in IT developing and supporting a major financial services web site, but not in a marketing role.

CapitalBeeSupply makes some great points about your existing competition. You might want to put your and competing products into a table as Consumer Reports might to show the various features ticked off for each product. That would make a nice visual to see how your product compares to others. Watch out for legal usage of other product names.

The university study you added to your site is from 1996 and reads like an undergraduate's class research project. Jim Amrine appears to be the lead researcher. Mr. Amrine updated his research in 2006. You might want to contact him as he could be on a 10-year update schedule and you could embed your product into his research activities. You might also want to contact Bob Noel.

http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/varroa06.htm

At the bottom of this page, Mr. Amrine states:

Bob Noel, 108 Blackiston Ave., Cumberland, MD 21502, telephone 301-724-3529, is the brains behind our protocols. He is the inventor of Honey-B-Healthy� and of the 50% Formic Acid Fumigator. For more information, please visit his web site at http://rnoel.50megs.com/2000/index.htm

Quality research references are also important. If you follow the rnoel link above, one of the first things you are likely to read is:
Disclaimer: While care has been taken in the preparation of the information contained in this website, we cannot claim it to be true and accurate.

That might just be a CYA, but is terrible to start off a reference for your product. (You didn't cite this, I just found it doing minimal background research.)

This brings us full circle and shows why it is so important to understand your product and your competition. I would take away from these pages, with no additional knowledge, that the sum total of all this research is embedded within Honey-B-Healthy. Why not just buy Honey-B-Healthy? I think you need to be able to positively answer this question as a marketer to break into an already crowded market.

Jim.
 

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Capital - I am changing from glass to a food grade plastic (for the exact reason you stated) good call. I am going to try and take some better pictures of my product and put it on the website and facebook. I have not heard of some of the products you mentioned. I initially started experimenting with feeding additives because I didn't want to do all of the antibiotics with my bees. I am still using the wax seal for a visual catch on the shelves and my price point is lower all around (bigger margin for the retailers and lower price to the customer.) I just want to help people with bees.

Thank you capital bee and Jim again for the suggestions! I have made some big changes on my website.
I wish you luck with the product. Every product made has had its humble beginnings and had to start somewhere, so perseverance is a word that you always have to keep in mind. Getting a strong local following and radiating out from there can be a good strategy. Being able to utilize the product in various ways can be helpful as well (e.g. it can be mixed it in syrup, but can also be put it in pollen patties or used as a mist or spray alternative to smoke are some of the things other products describe)
 

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Great advice so far, FYI you can't currently order your product online.
 

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You need to get a domain name and run as a subdomain on wix. Also the site isn't responsive. It is a bit of a pain scrolling around on my tablet :)

Write more content. Good content and success stories. Tell us what this product does. Why tea tree? Why lemon grass? This will help you rank in search and build authority.
 

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