Nowadays, if you aren’t digital, you aren’t maximizing your potential. Especially in a world dealing with COVID-19 and its resulting social isolation, having an online presence is the only way to stay relevant, engaged and informed. For businesses, in particular, harnessing the Internet has moved beyond mere convenience; customers are now demanding it for their safety. It’s likely that the process for compiling market research will follow suit, connecting companies with respondents virtually, more often and more comprehensively than ever before. Here’s a quick overview of how to do market research online:
Utilize Web Analytics
One of the easiest ways to get started with online market research is to search for the keywords that people use to learn about products and services on the Internet. A simple search on various search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) can tell you a lot about how people look for and find information and can lay bare any trends occurring over time. It will also shed light on your competition, revealing how other companies use keywords to direct their business. With this information, you can begin to incorporate the right words into your own marketing efforts, materials and content, thus, directing traffic directly to your products and website. You can find words to use that produce similar search results but with less competition, as well. Use these keywords on your website, blog posts, meta titles and descriptions and any social media sites to increase your online visibility and separate your company and your products from everyone else. There are many web analytics tools — some free, some not — but even the most basic manipulation of data sources can give you a good place from which to propel the rest of your research.
Monitor Social Media
Of course, anybody can monitor social media sites. Taking note of when and how people interact with you online can give you a lot of great data, especially concerning the level of awareness consumers have for your brand. Listening and responding to online chatter not only drives engagement with consumers, it provides you with a better understanding of your customers, including the words they use, the actions they take and the many ways they communicate; you can use this information to meet them in ways that resonate and translate into sales.
Use Digital Survey Platforms
This all, obviously, channels into the application of digital research methodologies. Both qualitative and quantitative research can be performed virtually, removing the possible exposure to disease (a very real concern during the current pandemic) that comes with in-person interactions with respondents. Even in a non-Covid 19 world, the use of digital research methods was trending upward; the ubiquity of smartphones and the shortening of human attention spans often making online surveys an easier and cheaper way to reach the largest number of respondents. To do market research online, then, you really need only to make the decision and do it. People are so used to communicating online that a survey or interactive poll or forum administered virtually is hardly a novelty. Indeed, many consumers would rather be reached online, perhaps owing to the increasing cohort of tech-savvy people flooding today’s market with little time for pen and paper. Whatever the case, digital platforms can yield a similar type of data as traditional research methods. Some might even say they generate more and/or better data, since a lot of respondents are more likely to open and complete a virtual request for information than a paper one.
Want More Information?
To learn more about how to do market research online, please contact our team at Communications for Research (CFR). We have over 20 years of experience crafting all types of studies and can help you improve your business decisions and increase your ROI.
You might also like to download this free webinar for information about how to shift a calling center to a work from home operation to better comply with current restrictions imposed by COVID-19.