Today’s consumers have a lot of power. They can research your product or services and make purchase decisions without any input from you at all. As a small business in an ever-changing online space, it’s important to have a deep understanding of who your buyers are. If you search the web for ‘how to conduct market research’ chances are you’re going to come up against a lot of stuff that just isn’t within your small business budget. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to help.
What is Market Research?
Market research is the process of gathering information about your target audience or current customers to determine how viable and successful your product would be or already is among these people.
Why do Market Research?
Small businesses already have a lot of day-to-day operations to deal with. It’s hard to make time to do market research, especially when you might need to learn how to do it in the first place! Here are some benefits of doing so;
- It helps you to create more compelling marketing materials
- It helps you to identify more targeted niches interested in your company
- Can suggest new product or service directions
- Gives you early updates on industry trends
Essentially, effective market research helps you get inside your customers’ heads, which is exactly what you want! Here are some of our favourite affordable market research techniques;
Quora is a social media platform based on questions and answers. On Quora, users can submit questions on any topic they like, as well as answer questions related to their expertise.
Setting up your Quora profile will let you get notified when questions are tagged with the topics you select. That makes it easy to see what burning questions your audience is asking. Because Quora orders its answers based on voting, you can also see which solutions they think are the most valuable.
When it comes to market research for your small business, free public questions from your audience are hard to beat!
Reddit for Market Research
Reddit refers to itself as “the front page of the internet,” and for good reason – Reddit is currently the eighth most trafficked website in the world with over 52 million daily active Reddit users worldwide. It contains a wide variety of communities, linked content, original content, and memes. But among cat videos and funny gifs, there are some surprisingly insightful conversations.
Reddit is organised into “subreddits,” which are communities focused on specific topics. Finding subreddits based on your industry is a good way to find useful information. Users are anonymous, which usually means they will share a lot more freely.
Facebook has risen up as one of the major community building platforms for business. Type your industry into Facebook search and you’re bound to find a variety of related groups.
Some Facebook groups will be run by other business owners, others are simply people interested in the same topics. Regardless, reading through the conversations and questions asked in Facebook groups can be a valuable source of market research.
Chances are you’re not the only business in your niche. How are the most popular websites in your industry trying to appeal to your audience?
A tool like SEMrush can tell you which content ranks the highest in search engines. Both are good ways to identify potentially high-value topics. Beyond content, look at the other marketing materials your competitors put out.
- What kind of messaging are they using on their website?
- How are they creating cross-sell and upsell opportunities?
- What does their team look like – who’s actually doing their marketing?
As you grow your business, this kind of information becomes more useful.
There’s no guarantee that your competitors are doing everything the best way – but seeing how they are managing their business can spark ideas to improve your own. Here’s how you do this kind of research:
- Collect all of the info your competitors make publicly available
- Comb through their website and about page, download flyers and brochures, and check out the events they attend.
- Make absolutely sure you get on their email list, so you can see what kind of messages they like to send.
Market Research may seem like a lot of work, but it is crucial if you want to get inside your customer’s heads and gain an edge in your industry. Here at Ame, we can help you conduct market research through our bespoke digital marketing solution tailored to your specific business goal. ‘Strategise’ is a complete marketing strategy guaranteed to show results. Get in touch with us by calling 01752 746890 or head to our contact page > https://amesocial.co.uk/contact-us/