How to perform market research online

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In this article you can learn 16 ways to perform or conduct market research online to create the business plan, marketing strategies, methods to collect customer data, analysis of customer demands and problems, identification of new business opportunities and ideas, price setting and product placement.

Below are online market research tips and ideas, I hope will be helpful for following:

Home based business owners and freelancers to find targeted clients, bloggers to find new keywords and article ideas, entrepreneurs to create business and marketing plan, amazon sellers to sell on social media, travel agencies to find marketing ideas and for students to research career and jobs etc. even this article is also very helpful for me to conduct research. I think research skills play a great role in everyone’s life. Let’s see, how it will inspire you about research.

Let’s start, How to perform market research online.

There are various methods to conduct market research on the Internet. Here are the steps that you can follow.

1. Use keyword research tools such as Google Keywords Planner

Google keyword planner is a web application of Google Inc. and the old version was Google Keyword Research Tool. It’s a great product that helps Google advertisers to calculate traffic for a particular keyword that they selected for their PPC ad campaigns.

Keyword research tools are used to identify what people are searching for Google. Technically it’s also a big part of search engine optimization. But you can use similar keyword research tools to identify what kind of solution related to your products and services people are searching on Google. Using these tools will help you to find market opportunities, sentences, and a group of words. You can also check that how many people are searching on Google for a particular keyword.

For example: If you’re providing freelancing, website designing, graphic designing or data entry etc. services for clients from a home-based business. Then you can use Google Keyword Planner to search for keywords that your clients searching on Google.

Search on Google Keyword Planner about “Website Designing services” and exports the keywords to excel sheet those are relevant to you and have less competition. For example, if you selected “Custom website design services” then target everything around this keywords e.g. responsive website designs.  Use these keywords in your website, freelancing profile, advertisement, Facebook ads, banner, business cards, and YouTube videos and write blogs related to this keyword. That’s an example.

Another benefit of using Google keyword planner is that you can target keywords according to the location (country, city), language etc. If you’re providing services and selling products in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh then you can use Google keyword planner to find out what people are searching on Google related to your products your services.

I hope you got my point. But you can learn more about keyword research tool on YouTube, Blogs and on the website providing keyword research services online.

2. Find the search terms in Google Trends

After collecting the keywords (min. 50 to 100) from Google Keyword Planner, now it’s time to visit Google Trends. Google Trend help researchers to know latest trends and data related to their products and services.

For example, you can search “WordPress Website” keyword, and then it will help you to find the trends, related products, services in the specific country with visualization (line chart).

Now you can create a spreadsheet in which you add countries, trends words, sentences, blog, news, related to products and services you’re providing.

Research on Google trend is also helpful for freelancer and student to find out latest trendy skills, online courses, and jobs.

3. Examine promotional Email in Gmail

Subscribe top players, websites, competitors and in your targeted customer’s websites. Now see each promotional email, guides and informational content you’re getting. Examine the current trends and efforts of other companies and competitors.

For example, if your targeted customers are selling eBooks by using email marketing or on the website. Then find out the mistakes, loopholes in their marketing campaign, designs and content. Because you’re launching or promoting your own services, it’s really important for you to connect with the sources where your targeted customers are spending time, buying product, services and promoting their content. That helps you to create a better marketing plan in which you can highlight the loopholes.

As you can also analyze promotional emails of competitors and see what and how they are targeting a similar audience, you’re looking for.

After examination of promotional content and learning about their strategies in Gmail account. Then it’s time to collect main points in excel sheet. And visit Google Keyword planner again, and search for keywords that placed in the sheet from the promotional email.

In keyword research tools, Google Trends, blogs and forums you need to find out that is your concern or main points that you collected are real or practical?  Is there are any services, blog, advertisement?

If there is no specific solution then it’s time for you to create a plan in which you can include “What are the problems you’re going to solve? How much you’re pricing? And most important is how you’re going to promote solutions.

For example you can send them direct message or email. Tell them those certain things are not much effective such as design, heading or anything that you found. Show them how you’re going to help and why you’re telling that. It’s also good and helpful for them because your research can increase their profit and market value and definitely they will like your help.

It’s not about research. It’s about how to find problems people have and they don’t know that these are the reasons behind their failures in business, career, and marketing.

I hope in below points you will get the answers. If any confusion then comments below so I will understand your situation. But first read all the points.

4. Social Media Groups, Pages and Trends

Billions of users are doing likes, comments, and shares each day for various reasons on social media. The reason for using social media for conducting the research is to track the targeted audience behavior and pattern. You need to track, observe and compare how specific people use social media.

Now join social media groups, likes pages in which people are connected. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Google + etc. social networking sites really help you to get data that can be used to make better marketing and business decision.

For that join Facebook Groups and like Facebook Pages. Now keep observing what they are sharing in what time of the day? What is the age of person sharing a content that is related to your product and customer? Facebook help you to see demography, interest, likes of people and their content they are sharing with the people publicly.

Now create a spreadsheet and list the activities of people are doing from last 30 days or 1 year. You can only able to see the profile details those are in public or your friends.

See what your targeted customers liked, shared and commenting. Make a list of reasons why people joined a particular group.

After collecting the data of their social, motivational and psychological behaviors research now it’s time to show them the 1% part of your product. Test your marketing line, publish something based on your their activities, share something they don’t see often, connect with their goal. Make their goal like it is your desire to achieve. Think like they are with you. Don’t sell, but explore something related to your product indirectly. Then see what happen.

Now do similar research activities on other social media sites. Play with twitter hashtag for better data. Such as search twitter hashtag for your keyword, check trends and performance (counter) or activity on a particular tag. And then check those people who joined that tag. What did they do? Etc.

Similarly check the Pinterest board, what kind of images and content are mostly pinned. Do the same on stumble upon and all other social networks.

The goal of social media market research is to find out the problems, inspiration, solution, competitors efforts, user behaviors and most important their goals.

When you are able to find the goals people have in their mind then it’s really easy to spend marketing budget and campaign that not only increase your profit but also you will get peace of mind.

But never misuse any detail that is in public view. Because if you’re tracking someone, then remember you’re already in the network and your each activity are in records on the internet. So, do it but do not compromise the personal data of users.

5. Create Social Media and Page

After doing research practice it’s time to show 20% to your targeted audience. Now find the keywords that you listed on the spreadsheet and create a Facebook page, group, board, twitter hashtag etc. Then publish content, share other people content on that hashtag#.

If you got likes, tweets/re-tweets, comments, shares it means your research was successful. Now slowly but to the point explore the product and services.

Learn More: Importance of social media marketing in business success

6. Ask the question and answer on quora

Now land your research on Quora that is well known for high-quality questions and answers site. Ask question including your keyword? Or research for questions related to your products and services. Then see what happen! If there is an answer then there is something for you and your company.

The best practice to research on Quora is that become customer of your own product.

For example, if you’re a website designer. Then ask “What are things that need to be considered before hiring a website designer? “ Now you will get natural and some unnatural answer.

Collect the natural answer and analyze each point in an answer.  And also see which answer is upvoted most. You will also get competitors in answers. It depends on you that how you can find out that which answer is natural and which answer is looking like a sales pitch.

It’s not about that you’re making and testing people it’s about you’re learning. How you learn it’s depending on you, the teachers are always right.

So, asking and answering the question on quora related to your products and services. Now it’s time to analyze each point that you’re noticing. For example, how many people upvoted the answer. How many started to following you. What about the other answers and their links.

Remember, quora not only help you in finding answer and question but also the problem and solution people are getting. If you think you have a better solution then show them and they will definitely give you attention.

7. Create a website or publish content on existed website

The best way to conduct market research is your website. A simple one-page website is not that much costly and you can create it by your own. You can also use Tumblr.com and wordpress.com in which you can get various free and paid themes and you can launch your website in one day if your content is ready to add on the website. The website can take time for organic traffic, but not more than 10 days if you do the SEO and search engine submission correctly.

Now publish a blog article, marketing content, advertisement on your own website or friends site. The goal to create a website for research is that it will help you to identify who is your customer and what are their problems. You can also identify the customer by using other research tools. But a website with content and a small version of your product, if you’re publishing then it’s great to know exactly, what is the demand. And for that, you have to add Google analytics code to your website. Google analytics is the most important research tool on the internet.

How?

Because when you publish content your site then it is open for Google to crawl your website. If Google finds something that is really important to display to its users then your products and data will appear in the search results.

If you did everything honestly people will click on your website link or content link and visit your website. When people start visiting your website it’s time to see Google Analytics Report. Google analytics help you in research by showing you real time user analysis, country, landing page, website traffic source, tags, age, gender and much more.

You can invite your targeted audience from social media to your website by sharing content. You need to do pay (PPC) and free marketing (content marketing) on your website for minimum 1 month to get an overview about customer’s demands quickly.

Here you can get more ideas: – How internet marketing benefits business.

As you know your target is to do research for the product, market, business decision and price setting. Then you can install chatting plugin or chatting application on your website. You can install survey plugin in which you can ask a specific question from your website visitor. You can communicate with your website visitor by using chat pop up etc.

All these practices on the internet to conduct research are really helpful. But this can take time and more effort but give you the complete solution for your research.

8. Use paid advertising and PPC Ads for Survey and Research

It’s not a necessity that you can do the survey or research on the internet by creating, website or using social media.  You can also use paid advertising and PPC if you need quick research report.

You can research by creating Pay per click campaign. And ask the question directly or advertise solution and add a contact number. You can choose the specific audience, location, age, gender, keywords (product and service name, as discussed in the first point). You can also place a link to your website that helps to analyze the data in Google Analytics. But I think if people call you and communicate with you for a particular problem then it’s more than research tools.

In this paid survey practice you can ask a question that you think would be better to know about.

Such as “What is the problem you’re getting? What is that you’re not able to find on Google? What kind of products and services you’re looking for? What analyze before buying a product and services? Etc.

It can be a creative way to perform market research but I think paid advertising to communicate directly with clients and customer will be very helpful.

9. Research custom news on Google News

Custom news helps you in research to find out what are things currently happening around the world related to your products and services. The benefit of reading and watching the personalized news is that they are connected with our goals, business, and customers.

You can do research on the news website by typing your keyword such Gold Jewellery and then click on news tab. If there is the latest update about the keyword then you can see that on Google search results too.

And after that, you can add that data also in your market research sheet.

10. Check Domain Names

New and old domain names can also help you in the market research. There is a big connection in between your product, services, and domain name. I am not telling you that buy the SEO friendly domain. But research what is already booked related to your keywords. Visit those booked domain websites (if any) and see who, where, what, how they are doing things that you’re thinking to do.

Also, see domain price for a particular product and services you’re targeting. For example, if you want to start online bookstore then see the price and other related domain. If the price is high it means there is a demand. But remember they can be booked by domain resellers so need to consider few things. Such as research for domain names keywords on other websites, news, social media, and twitter. If there are activities then notice is that connected with your products?

11. Read customer reviews and feedback

Customer reviews feedback on competitor’s website, forums, and social media customer support pages and on your own website will be very helpful to conduct research about product quality, customer expectation, and price setting.

For example, if you want to write a book, then you need to see customer reviews, feedback on similar books on online shopping sites or online bookstore websites such as Amazon.

You can learn from customer feedback that what they liked and what they missed in the book. Then you can create or write the book accordingly that full fill customer need and demands.

12. Online market research companies

There are various online market research companies that can help you to collect customer data globally. Also, the research is done by using software, survey and various other methods as I discussed above with you by professionals.

Market research companies can create or may be created special web applications, social media applications, mobile apps and browser extension to collect customer data. In which they automate the data mining methods.

13. Find existed research and reports

You can also research data and information about your targeted market from existed survey reports. You can also learn many things from market research blog articles.

14. Send emails or direct message can be helpful in Market research

This method is mostly used for email marketing. But you can also send an email to your contacts, subscribers, social media followers in which you can ask their demands from you. There are various people who send to you reply very honestly about your product.  But do it like requesting for help or suggestion.

15. Market Research on business Portals, Promo sites, and Whois Data

This method is used by many business owners to collect data such as phone number, email id, business occupation etc. this is mostly used research method for selling and marketing product and services directly to the customer.

But you can use it to find out products and similar services you’re selling. You can check what others are selling in which price, what are the qualities in their products, what is different in that is not in your product.

I am not in the favor of forcing people to buy by using their mobile number and emails. Instead, personally, I think if our product and services are great and if we choose right marketing medium then people will definitely buy.

16. Listen & keep watching

Listening is most important skill and tool to conduct research online and offline. On the internet, listening mean don’t post, share or comment on anything. Just keep seeing, what is happening. Don’t react or change anything, but accept that is happening on social media, blogs, emails, news, WhatsApp messages, Skype messages and what people are communicating with you indirectly.

For market research you need power yourself in research mode in which you’re listening, watching and reading but not reacting to things. This will help you to understand what is happening in the market.

Because we’re so much busy on a day to day business activities. Those not allow us to spend some time in listening related to our products and services.

Etc.

So, Friends, that’s It, What I know about market research so far! I hope it will help you. Please use above method by using your own brain and heart.

Conclusion: – We don’t do research only on the internet by using online research tools. But our brain is also a research tool. As you know when sometimes we’re thinking and analyzing what is right or what is wrong and then we select one thing, that is also a research. Research is learning systematically about the source and inspiration.

This article is also a part of my research in which I am researching and presenting the solution for you. I am very confident that my research will be successful if not then I need to research more. But if you’re researching is not successful, don’t worry, because it’s obvious that research reports (website traffic, products sells report) can also make you negative but that’s great. Because then you learn the real truth, that no one is unable to give you, about yourself, your product and services. You need to find out the mistakes, correct those and move forward.

Personally, if you’re unable to think according to the facts, and then go with self-belief and launch your ideas, go in the market without research. The market will tell you what they want. As you know even research reports can be wrong.

Research is never ending process in our life. As I told research is learning, learning is research.

As Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said— “Learning gives creativity, Creativity leads to thinking, Thinking provides knowledge, and Knowledge makes you great.”

So learn to reach new conclusions and innovations. Produce the better product that solves problems people are getting around the world.

That’s it!

If you have market research ideas and suggestions then please comment below, because our thinking and research methods can be different.

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