To create a remarkable and memorable online presence, you will have to educate, inform, delight and inspire your audience. Whether you’re part of an exciting start-up, in a new role as a marketing manager or ready to proactively market your brand, our low cost (but effective) market research guide will give you a great foundation to understand your target market. It will help lay the initial foundation for an effective marketing strategy.
Over the past ten years Full Blast Creative developed a proven framework for launching brands online. Our framework has been poured over thousands of times and reiterated and revised as new platforms, tactics and tools have emerged. It’s our pleasure to share our approach and expertise as it relates to market research and to help you take your new or re-imagined brand to market.
Let’s jump in!
Bottom line, the more you know about your customers, the better you can target them with meaningful content related to your service or product, tailored to their preferences.
Personally, I like to review the Page Likes and Interests tabs because Facebook shows me which radio station, print publications and local businesses my target audience already enjoys. With this information in mind, I can launch a traditional campaign via print, radio or branded partnerships with local companies my ideal customers already have an affinity for. Sometimes, I also overlap my digital campaign with direct mail campaigns and again, Facebook Audience Insights helps me to determine which communities I should focus on.
If you’ve set up a Facebook Company Page but not a Facebook Ad Account, you won’t have access to Audience Insights.
To navigate to this resource, you will have to set up your Facebook Ad Account first. For the purpose of this guide, let’s assume that Facebook is an ideal platform for your business and that you do intend to run sponsored or promoted ads on the Facebook network.
At a glance, I can see which weeks or months of the year are peak season for the customer, and whether interest in their keywords is growing, shrinking or remaining flat over time.
These insights are critical for managing my clients’ budgets and production resources. For example, if I know that the second quarter is a key selling quarter for my customer, I may focus on delivering brand awareness and education during the first quarter to help build trust and an affinity. I’ll then go hard on content, ad spend and conversion strategies during the second quarter where that strong trust and affinity pays off in quick sales and conversions.
An additional super benefit to Google Trends is that the data can be downloaded into a CSV file so I can actually track and organize my results. I make a habit of downloading the weekly searches then identifying key weeks over time that require extra focus or a curated strategy to make the most of the opportunity all year long.
In Market Audiences
An In-Market Audience is composed of people who are actively searching and comparing your products or services.
When reading your in-market audience data, try and think about how your customers might search for a business like yours. For me, I try to imagine what my customers might search for if they wanted to select a marketing agency to work with.
I assume they would probably start with a Google search of local marketing or advertising companies, they would probably read up on a couple of recent reviews, they might click into a few sites and check out their blogs or resources, or they might even do a Google search on what to ask an agency during an initial interview – all of this activity is tracked by Google by firing or triggering Google “cookies.”
When a cookie is triggered, it indicates to Google that the user is a qualified candidate for the “Business Services/Advertising and Marketing Services” In-Market audience.
It’s important to note, In Market audiences are ephemeral or temporary. This means that this audience won’t be useful for a long duration. This makes a lot of sense when you stop to think about it. Just because I’m searching for a marketing agency today, doesn’t mean I will be searching for an agency one month from now.
Affinity audiences are a bit different. Affinity audiences look at an individual’s overall interests, activities, and lifestyle overtime to get a better sense of their overall identity.
Users who fall into the affinity audience likely haven’t searched for your business or specific products but they may have a natural liking or attraction to what you have to offer. Affinity categories are based on online patterns or can be based on the user sharing a close resemblance or connection to someone who would be interested in your products and services.
Google’s Keyword Planner is easy to use and can help you validate a business idea as well as demand for your products or service.
You will have to set up a Google AdWords account then visit: https://ads.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/
First, click on ‘Find New Keywords’ and enter a keyword you think people will use to search for a business like yours. Think of a list of commonly used search terms and phrases your customers might use.
Again, try and think exactly like your customer. What would he or she type in to find a business like yours?
For example, for my marketing company, my list might start with:
- digital marketing company
- marketing firm
- marketing agency
- marketing companies
Now I can see how many searches happen for each keyword, as well as how competitive these keywords are (with a range of low to high), and of course additional suggestions I may not have considered.
By looking at these search terms, I can start to formulate which keywords I should focus on first as I build out my website content, social content, Google AdWords campaigns, and sharable resources my target audience might enjoy or expect to see on my site. I can also get a sense of how competitive these keywords are in a local market and start to focus on a highly local, highly relevant SEO strategy.
Marketing Research doesn’t have to be overly expensive or complicated. There are some terrific, free tools that only require setting up your account and spending your time being curious about the trends you’re sure to discover.
If you’d like to learn more about market research and the best tools for market research, or if you’d like to learn more about using market research for local strategies, please connect with Full Blast Creative!