It’s fairly hard to run a company these days without an online presence. Over four billion people — over half of the world’s population — use the Internet, with most of them expecting the ability to check their computer or phone for additional information about the businesses they encounter. It seems, first and foremost, a good internet presence provides you a legitimacy that those who don’t have it lack. But it can also do a lot more. While it’s true you can develop a decent online identity fairly easily and for relatively little cost, it’s also true that you can establish a great one with just a bit more effort. Take a look at how you can use market research to maximize your internet marketing efforts and create a truly effective web presence:
Use Market Research to Identify the Places Online Consumers Gather
Consumers come in a lot of different shapes and sizes with a lot of different interests and experiences. Designing an internet presence that speaks to the majority of them is hard. However, it can be made easier with data that directs companies to the online places that their consumers frequent the most so they don’t waste their time and money creating profiles on the wrong platforms. For instance, a lot of younger people (millennials and Gen Z) are leaving Facebook and Twitter. If they conduct market research, those companies that cater to young professionals know that they probably shouldn’t focus their marketing resources on traditional social media sites, but rather on building a better presence on Snapchat and/or looking for collaborative partnerships with prominent influencers instead. Consumers look for and share content in many different ways, and companies that research those ways before they use one platform over another are better able to deliver messages that actually reach their intended targets.
Use Market Research to Talk to Online Consumers
Companies should also use market research for internet marketing decisions because it helps them identify the appropriate terms to use to talk to consumers, especially their customers. Market research helps businesses identify keywords to use, not only to officiate better search engine optimization, but to appear interested and vested in learning what people want to see and hear from the companies they support. Companies that can “talk the talk” — that can identify with consumers — foster a familiarity and trust which often translates into more interest, more clicks and more sales.
Use Market Research to Attract Online Consumers
Of course, market research for internet marketing can also help companies engage with consumers. As mentioned, the world wide web is a vast platform with limitless ways to attract (and repel) billions of people. A little advance digging helps businesses determine the triggers that both excite and inflame consumers. It’s not always intuitive. For example, companies would be mistaken to automatically assume that just because baby boomers are aging, they aren’t still active or tech-savvy. Designing content that doesn’t appropriately recognize the desires and skills of boomers — for example, by presuming they only want to enjoy retirement or don’t know how to use Facebook — would only alienate them. Instead, good research that seeks consumer opinions and considers market trends enables a company to match real interests with real products, demonstrating a genuine desire to understand and meet the needs of the people it serves.
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Building an authentic web presence is the key to better internet marketing. Consumers want to be heard. They want information that is relevant and speaks to them in the right time and place. They don’t want to be underestimated or manipulated. The only way companies can give consumers all this is if they do their due diligence. Companies must use market research for internet marketing decisions. Otherwise, they’re just blindly attempting to address a demand that may or may not actually exist. Our team at Communications for Research (CFR) has over 20 years crafting studies that get to the heart of consumer need. Contact us to learn how we can help you get actionable data that improves your practices and your bottom line.