The evolution of the Internet has been a blessing for all marketers.
With just a few clicks of a mouse the Internet can provide invaluable insight into the thought process of current and future customers alike.
Prior to the development of the Internet, the only way to glean this information was through focus groups, surveys, and other archaic data-gathering methods that were as costly in terms of time and money.
Market Research Starts with Keywords
Once you’ve decided to invest in an online marketing campaign, the first step is to form a collection of relevant keywords.
Keywords are essential to figure out what your target customers are searching online.
Keyword Research Tools:
- Micro Niche Finder (Free Video Series)
- Market Samurai (Free Trial)
- SEO Moz (Free Trial)
Here are the top 5 methods that are used to do market research online.
For years, surveys have been one of the most reliable methods of conducting market research, especially when seeking quantitative data.
Today, online surveys are more popular than ever for a number of reasons, not the least of which is they cost far less than their original, in-person counterparts.
Online surveys are also completely anonymous, further adding to their appeal.
Take advantage of your natural readership!
Use your personal or company blog to write compelling posts that encourage engagement from your readers.
Include a though-provoking, open-ended question in the conclusion.
Questions encourage readers to post their comments and thoughts.
Email, email and email.
With minimal time and effort, you can create a compelling email templates for top funnel marketing.
Weave valuable content and targeted promotional offers into the fabric of your email to increase engagement rates.
Tailor your send lists to target specific audiences or demographics.
You can learn more about getting started with email lists in this article.
Forums and Q&A Sites
Take advantage of online forums and Q&A sites to data mine.
Search for discussions that are particular business to your business or audience.
Join a forum and prompt the members with a question of your own.
- Yahoo! Answers
- Isoft Easy Answers – Questions Aggregator (Paid)
Social networks have become the darling of modern market research.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter can tell you exactly what topics are trending and what people are liking.
Take advantage of these cost-effective tools.
Despite everything said in this article, there’s still a place for traditional market research
As easy as online market research is, offline market research can often go more in-depth. Things like focus groups provide more personal interaction with your market and the face to face setting will often encourage them to divulge more information.
Both online and offline market research methods have their strengths and weaknesses. Know what results you’re after and plan accordingly.