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Online Marketing Strategies For Small Business

When you conduct market research, you’ll need to collect a few tools of the trade. 

Tools to Help You with Your Market Research

Thankfully, today, there are many automated tools to help you conduct market research like a pro at very little cost and sometimes even free.

  • 1. Typeform.com – This is a beautiful form creator that you can use to collect information from your audience easily and post them right on your social media accounts. There is a free and paid version. It shows only one question at a time, which can help encourage your audience to finish. You can even accept payments via your forms if you want them to sign up for something after finishing your survey.

Link – http://www.typeform.com/

  • 2. Survey Monkey – This can be used free, or you can upgrade it to get more features. But, you can do a good survey with the free version for up to ten questions and 100 respondents. So, if your audience is small, you can get a good enough sample with the free version. There are wonderful analytic features with this software.

Link – https://www.surveymonkey.com/

  • 3. HeatMapCo – If you want to know what your audience is doing and looking at when they use your website, this is a great type of software to help you know how to improve your online real-estate and get the best engagement from your visitors.

Link – http://heat-map.co/

  • 4. Facebook Insights – Included with your Facebook business page, you can use their Insights tool for free. It will tell you the demographics of your viewers, the breakdown of your audience by interest, and much more. 
  • 5. AWeber – Your good old autoresponder service can be used to deliver any survey, questionnaire, or request for interviews to your audience. If you don’t yet have an email list, take some time to build one because having an active email list will help you with your market research exponentially. 

Link – http://www.aweber.com/

  • 6. Google Insights – You can use Google Insights Databoard to help you explore a lot of information. Use that info to create custom infographics, which can help you understand the information that you’ve researched.

Link – https://think.withgoogle.com/databoard/#

  • 7. US Census Bureau – Using the information you can find via the US Census Bureau is the best way to find secondary data, which can help you figure out where to find the audience to collect primary data.
  • 8. Personapp – You’ve heard that you should create personas representing your target audience, and this app will help you do it even better using real-life stats. Being able to visualize your audience can help immensely. 

Link – http://personapp.io/

Conducting marketing research is very important for the future of any business because it’s the only real way to know for sure what your audience wants and needs. If you’re not sure who they are, you can’t be sure about what they want. Doing market research will answer all of those questions for you. Using the right tools will make it easy to do.

How Important Is Market Research to Your Business?

It really cannot be overstated that market research is imperative to the success of your business. Understanding your market will ensure that you provide the right products and services to your audience products that they need and want. Plus, you’re pricing them most accurately at an amount they will gladly pay. 

Without researching your market, you’re just shooting in the dark. With the right type of market research, you’re shining a bright light on your target, so you’ll be a lot more likely to be successful. 

  • Helps You Focus on What’s Most Important – When you conduct market research, it will help you focus on what’s most important to your audience and, therefore, to you. You cannot make assumptions about your market without confirming them by researching the situation. You might find out that your ideas are wrong, or you might find out they’re correct.
  • Helps You Learn More about Your Audience – You might think that you can wing it, but if you don’t know everything about your audience that you can, you may make a mistake. For instance, Coke thought it was a good idea to come out with “New Coke” without really learning about what their audience would think about that. It was a colossal failure. 
  • Helps You Know Which Path Is the Most Profitable – When you learn more about your market, you’ll be able to create even better products and services that your audience wants. They will think that you’re able to read minds and will clamor to buy what you’re selling.
  • Helps Your Business Adapt to the Present – Even when you are marketing to the same general demographic, the morals, views, thoughts, and ideals of demographic change. That’s why companies that have been around for ages have to change their marketing plans and advertise periodically because people change.
  • Helps Improve Decision-Making Processes – Having the right information in front of you will help you make many better choices for your business and your audience. After all, decisions made with no information, the wrong information, or assumptions will almost always be wrong. Having the right information is going to make your choices so much better.
  • Helps Reduce Your Risks – When you know what your market is doing and what they want, you lower your risk of mistakes and failure when pushing out new products and services. Why waste time and money shooting in the dark when you can shine the light on your work and hit your target every time?
  • Helps You Develop New Strategies – The right marketing research will help you create alternative approaches for everything you do in your business. With market research done properly, the new things you do for your business will be more likely to work out.

Don’t just do market research once; consider it an ongoing need to stay competitive in your business. You’ll identify future problems faster, which will enable you to create products and services even faster too. 

How to Gather Your Primary Research Data

If you want to succeed as a small business, you need to understand the importance of conducting market research and gathering primary data. The difference between primary and secondary research is that you get preliminary information directly from your audience, and you get secondary information from other people who have surveyed an audience or conducted some research.

What Is Primary Data?

This is data you’ve collected on your own without relying on someone else to collect it. You go directly to the source for the information. Collect it and gather it on your own. In this way, you can organize the data in the best way for your business.

Ways to Collect Your Data

The very best ways to collect your data are conducting surveys, doing interviews, hosting focus groups, and sending out questionnaires. Before you start, learn all that you can about your audience, so you are sure that you’re collecting the information directly from the right source.

  • Conduct surveys – Using software like SurveyMonkey.com to send out a survey to your audience that you can analyze using a spreadsheet, pie charts, and other methods that help you to understand the data better. 
  • Do interviews – You can also interview people one-on-one that you know are in your audience. Use Skype, Blab. I’m Google Hangout or the old-fashioned telephone to help you conduct interviews with your audience.
  • Host focus groups – A focus group is a diverse group of people within your target audience with whom you’ll host a discussion answering a particular question. For example, let’s say you’ve created a sales page; you can host a focus group who will try to use your sales page and then report how it worked.
  • Send out questionnaires – These measure various variables of the group taking the questionnaire. They can comprise open-ended as well as closed-ended questions. A questionnaire should only be planned using positive statements and should make no assumptions about the respondent.
  • Observations – Sometimes, interviews can end up biased due to how questions are formed or the perceived judgment of the interviewer, but by observing your audience, you can gather a lot of unbiased information fast. 

The Benefits of Primary Research

Anytime you want to create a product or service or write an article or blog post about or to a specific audience, conducting primary research can be a good way to address your audience. You won’t make mistakes with assumptions if you know the truth about your topic and market.

Getting Started

First, ask yourself what you want to know. Which method will you use to make the discovery? Which participants will you use, and where will you find your subjects? Plus, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll access the groups you need to access. You also need to figure out what your own biases are to avoid having them show up in your research.

There are a lot of things to consider when conducting primary research that will make your work ethic. Always ensure that you have your subject’s permission to gather and use the information, assuring them that you’ll keep their personal information private. Don’t take advantage of people, and report your findings accurately.

Online Marketing Strategies For Small Business

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Online Marketing Strategies For Small Business

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