I’ve discussed competitive research with you but we have not really discussed much about market research previously. So, I would like us to take a look at defining our audience and who they should be using market research. As an online service provider, you must take a look at a few key things. One way that can help you define your audience is through market research.
Market Research Tips For Finding Your Audience
There are a number of factors to consider as you do market research specifically to define your audience. Here are some of my tips for market research when trying to find your audience.
#1 – Defining Market Research
You know how much I love defining terms so here it is:
“Market research blends consumer behavior and economic trends to confirm and improve your business idea.
It’s crucial to understand your consumer base from the outset. Market research lets you reduce risks even while your business is still just a gleam in your eye.
Gather demographic information to better understand opportunities and limitations for gaining customers. This could include population data on age, wealth, family, interests, or anything else that’s relevant for your business.”-SBA
Within this same article (SBA) where the above definition was found there are also resources to help you conduct your market research including a number of statistical websites listed for you to view. I encourage you to take a look when you are ready to start.
#2 – Market Versus Competitive Research
You may be wondering how market research differs from conducting competitive research. In both cases, you collect data and take notes on the information relative to your needs. Market research, however, is not just about the data but compiling it to make sense of the data once you put it together.
Competitive research is different from market research in that you are usually collecting raw data with market research, not viewing websites of those who are in similar niche areas.
The bottom line is the difference in where get the data and then how you use the data you find.
#3 – What You Need To Conduct Market Research
To conduct market research you will need a list of reputable sites that contain statistics and information about your niche and client base. Finding this data can prove invaluable as it will be the key to unlocking your audience.
For Instance, I learned that “one-third of all Fortune 500 companies use the services of coaches.1“ This would be very valuable information IF I was targeting large companies IF I was an executive coach.
#4 – Google to The Rescue for Your Market Research
Utilize your Google Analytics as one way to detect the demographics of your audience. It can also prove useful in determining when and what they are clicking to find you. This provides a ton of information. If, however, it is not turning into sales or clients, you may need to reevaluate how you are trying to attract them to your services.
For instance, I get almost half of my website traffic from Google Search Engines. In reviewing data, however, my most read (or clicked on) page is an article I wrote quite a long time ago called, “7 Factors That Influence Mindset”. This would be great if I were a Mindset Coach, however, I am a business coach who was attempting to help online service business owners with their mindset.
Therefore, this article rarely converts to paid clients for me. I am glad, however, that it brings others to my website. The reason is that in the end, the more who visit it, the more Google will show it to others, so at least part of my website is getting traffic. And, that my friends, can and will attract more conversions. This is the reason I did not remove the article altogether.
There is another consideration in writing your SEO blog articles (or podcasts and YouTube videos). Keep it relevant to your ideal audience. Although I believed I was doing this when I created the article I now realize it was reaching the wrong audience so I have since refined my writing.
#5 – Sources of Information for Market Research
You may be asking by now, “What sources should I be using to not only find this data but also to record it?” Good question!
Once you find your valued market research data about your audience you certainly do not want to have to figure out where you looked it up again 6 months later. That is why saving the name and URL of the source you used as well as recording the data itself (& maybe screenshots) is crucial. Not to mention that it will be a huge time-saver in the future.
Below are a few companies (& websites) for some of the resources you can use to help you with your market research.
- SEM Rush – This is a great website to help you collect all kinds of data. You can set up a free account and use the platform for a short period. You can also sign up for specific insights (your ranking on specific keywords) and your overall report will be emailed to you. Once the time is up for the free option you can always pay $129.95 for the small package in order to keep refining the data and thereby refining your audience. You will, however, continue to be emailed some data for free including a report and changes in your ranking on some of the keywords.
- Neil Patel’s Ubbersuggests – This website Is a great bargain and is full of information. I love following him and taking in his blogs and other things when I can. He has an amazing wealth of SEO knowledge. The source starts out at only $29/month (after your free trial should you choose to stay). Considering other sites I think this one is an amazing deal, but sign up for free first to try it. You will find plenty of data on this site to help you refine your audience and the best ways to reach them. It even gives you the option to put in competitors and search some of the keywords and content they are ranking for at the moment.
- Your Google Analytics & Google Search – As discussed this is a great option for collecting current data and what is working for you. Do not forget to do your own searches in Google to see what gets pulled up. You can also use your Google Search dashboard as well.
- Google Trends – will help you look up what is trending in their search engines. By taking a look at some specific keyword terms related to your niche you may come up with some way and wording to reach your audience.
Now, let’s discuss how you will keep track of your data. This is as important as looking it up. Ways to keep it and track it on a regular basis can include digital notes.
Here are some of my favorites:
- OneNote – This is a digital notebook associated with Microsoft. It is set up like a physical notebook in many ways. Remember your old five-subject notebooks back in school? Well, think about it that way as you set up your OneNote. OneNote is by Microsoft and is usually included in most of their packages. Microsoft has packages starting at around $6.95 and up for an individual account.
- Airtable – This is a great way to record data in a table format which makes it easy to read while helping you keep track of these items. It is especially helpful if you have a team that also needs access to the data or if they need to add data to it. From a free option up to an enterprise option is available.
- Project Management Systems – Another great way to record the information and keep it organized could also be by using a PM System. Wrike is a great possibility.
#6 – Social Media Research
When conducting your market research to locate your audience we cannot leave out social media as a tool. This is quickly becoming as big as Google in places people utilize to search for what they need. Therefore you can also find your audience on social media. Once you have a good idea of who you are trying to reach then you can look for groups that have this type of person within them.
For instance, if your ideal client is a plumber, you may want to join a group just for plumbers on Facebook. The reason is that you want to be able to help them as much as possible within the group so that they begin to view you as an expert in that area. If you provide email marketing help and someone in the group asks: “Does anyone do email marketing and what is your success rate?” You could offer one reply and let them know that you specialize in this area and that your clients see ______ (fill in the blank with success stats) results.
Also, utilize social media platforms to see where most of your audience does hang out. Doing research is key. You can also take a look at some of your competitors to see what they are doing and who they may be reaching as well. This will help you know where you can be different and stand out from your competitors.
#7 – Market Research & You
One final area you should consider in market research is you. Using all the tools in the world will not answer all of your questions. So a great option is to post on social media that you are doing some ‘market research’ and need to speak with 3 to 5 (fill in the blank) “type of ideal client”. If you want to reach women who are coaches, for instance, you would simply say,
“Attention Ladies: I need 3 to 5 female coaches – I need to ask you a few questions market research questions that will take less than 10 minutes. I will reward you with some great tips to help you with your email marketing” (going with the theme above of being an email marketing specialist).
Thanks as always for stopping by to read this. If I can help you with anything please reach out to me.