Modern customers have a lot of power and control. They can search for products or services and make buying decisions independently. Besides, instead of consulting your sales reps, they will most likely ask for reviews and referrals from those within their networks or check online reviews. Bearing this in mind, you should adopt a marketing strategy that complements modern customers’ behavior. Note that the same applies to bloggers and website owners. With millions of WordPress websites up and running, you can easily be drowned out by the noise. The sheer number of websites makes it difficult for most beginners to cut through. One mistake that most bloggers and website owners make is trying to catch everyone’s appeal. They post content that targets the general audience.
You should identify a specific niche and audience if you want to grow your blog or website successfully. Knowing your audience makes it easy to create content that relates to them. They can also share and recommend to others. This is why you should conduct detailed market research.
What Is Market Research?
Market research essentially involves gathering information about your target audience or customers to determine the viability of your content, product, or services. This should be a priority for anyone who wants to start a blog, website, or eCommerce store. Proper market research will allow you to meet readers and buyers in their comfort zone. Understand your audience’s needs, pain points, and expected solutions; you can tailor your content or services to appeal naturally to them. The market research also involves learning about your competition to get the upper hand on the market. Market research provides crucial business intelligence on new opportunities, which can help in driving revenue.
What Are the Types of Market Research?
Generally, there are two types of market research. They include
- Primary research – involves collecting data through online surveys, online focus groups, and in-person interviews. In the primary research, you are tasked with collecting and analyzing data to generate actionable business insights.
- Secondary research – As the name suggests, it involves using data produced by third parties, including government statistics, industry reports, and statistics.
How to Conduct Market Research
Market research is vital for understanding your target audience, competition, and market conditions. Below are some tips on how to conduct market research for your blogs and websites.
1. Create a Buyer’s Persona
If you were to buy one of your friends a gift, you would probably think about their likes, dislikes, and other personal characters that point out their tastes and preferences. Creating a persona for your website is the same, only that you are preparing web content or product for your target audience. That said, before hiring a designer to complete your blog or web design, you should have a good understanding of your target audience.
A buyer persona should highlight the behavioral, psychological, and demographic profile of your target audience. These are characteristics that define your ideal website or blog reader. This is important because even though you are writing blog content for a large group, you should relate or connect with them at a personal level.
Use the following template to complete a basic buyer persona;
- Name (to differentiate your personas)
- Work details
- Demographic information (age, gender, location, education, salary, hobbies, interests, and more)
- Goals and challenges (what are individual life goals? What challenges do they face, and how can you help?)
- Values (what does your target audience value the most?)
2. Conduct Keyword Research
Most people think of SEO as a complex and overly technical process required for your page to rank well. However, most tend to forget that keywords provide direct insights into what’s on the minds of internet users. Keywords exist because several people plug them into search engines, looking to find more information about something. That said, doing keyword research helps you better understand what audiences in your niche are looking for. While the process of keyword research is quite lengthy, the following tools can get you started:
- Google keyword planner
- Keyword discovery
- SEM Rush
- Keyword permutation generator
3. Make Use of Website Analytics
If your blog or website is already up and running, you can gain valuable insights about your audience from various analytics software. You can gather a lot of information that can give life to your already established marketing persona. You can gather these analytics from the following options:
- Google analytics. You can enable Google analytics from “advertising features” on your audience tab. This will provide insights into the age, location, gender, and interests of your web visitors. You can also search for keywords they used to land on your website.
- Google webmaster tools. Webmaster tools provide a simplified and better way of finding out specific search queries that bring traffic to your website. This is also a great way to find out other related topics your audience searches for online.
4. Analyze Your Competition
You can also learn a lot about the market by scoping out your competition. Identify who are your main competitors and analyze them. The best way to know who is interested in your website or blog content is by looking at what other people in your industry are doing. Fortunately, even if you don’t know some already established names in your niche, a simple search can list them all. Having identified your competitors, you can learn more about their audience by looking at what’s working for them. For instance:
- Which content performs best? Find out which of their articles have a lot of comments, likes, and shares. Competitor analysis tools like Feedly and Buzzsumo can come in handy.
- What content type do they produce? Analyze content type and length. With this, you can understand if your audience prefers short-form or in-depth articles. They might also like other content forms, such as infographics, pictures, and videos.
- Which topics have they written about? Take note if they have covered topics that you haven’t covered and are performing well.
- What is their audience saying? Check the comments section to see comments made by other people.
5. Collect Direct Feedback
Another straightforward way of understanding your target audience is asking them. For this, inquire from people who have used your website, read your blogs, or used your services. Find out what they liked, didn’t like, or missing from your website. You can achieve this in the following ways.
- Ask questions on social media – you can also talk to your audience on social platforms. Engage your followers on comments sections and stories on Instagram.
- Customer feedback – monitor your audience’s unsolicited feedback. Responding to audience comments is a great way to start conversations and learn more.
- Polls and questionnaires – you can create a short poll using various customer engagement tools, such as SurveySparrow or Bitrix24, for your audience to fill. Advertise it on your website or send it to those on your mailing list.
Conducting Market Research – Endnote
Understanding your target audience is vital for any successful blog or website. Knowing your audience ensures that you produce beneficial content that suits those visiting your website. You can also relate to your audience’s challenges and pain points. If doing this seems daunting, market intelligence tools can ease your market research. This tool makes it possible to make educated guesses that accurately predict your audience.