Doing research on your audience online is vastly different than doing it in person. When you do it online, you get a head start, since a website can automatically pull a user’s demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioristic factors. You don’t need to ask the user to fill out a survey, instead you set up a tool that can store a user’s information into a database.
Setting up a tool, such as a forum, can generate a database that stores behavioristic factors like consumption, attitude, loyalty, and buying pattern. It’s important to set as much tool as possible, so you can gather all the necessary data about your audience. It’s up to you to determine what data you should gather and what tools to use. Popular tools you can use are social media (to gather extra data like which page is the most viewed or shared on your website) or google analytic (to see which websites the user was on before and after visiting your website or which keywords are used to find your website).
Questions like where does my audience hang out online and what articles or videos they enjoy watching are important data, as they tell you where you need to go to bring in new customers. If the user spends a lot of time on fighting game, then you can advertise on fighting game websites. Remember to consider the 5 W’s when deciding what data you need before implementing the tools that drains your fund and time.
You should visit the local library and visit licensed or unlicensed databases to identify these markets properly using applicable resources. Gathering particular calculations and past historical data will help you analyze your current target market’s data better. Analyze how much your target market is willing to spend on your product or service and how often are they likely to spend. Using sources like average household expenditures can help you determine your audience’s spending habits by calculating the user’s age, computer OS, sex, demographics, and other applicable information you may have stored in your database. Consider doing research on similar product or service, as well as compliments and supplements you may find.
If you offer a niche service or product which doesn’t have existing research, you may have to either conduct your own research or find resources that are similar to your service or product. For a niche product or service, you will first need to assume (we do this anyways for predicting possible future clients. We create potential customers in our head and assume what they’ll be like). You need to spend at least a year to gather historical data that can be bumped against the assumption that you’ve made. Gathering historical data and guessing what will be effective in the future is business. It’s especially important to gather data on something new, so you can see the trend on a graph to determine if your niche is worth keeping in the long run (financial analysist will study the data for you and give you feedback). Remember to set up as many tools as possible to gather data (it may cost a little for storage, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Facebook and google are good examples). Just be sure to remember, too many tools may slow down the website and/or lower customer satisfaction.
To gather extra data, you may need to do an experiment on your website. Facebook has done this multiple times to its users. For example, you would put up or take down a certain content from your website, so that you can discover what your customers/potential customers like and dislike. Running experiments may help you learn almost everything about your audience, which is why it’s frowned upon, so I won’t be going into details.
Lastly, you can always pay your way to success. Digital marketing companies all over the world are ready to help you reach your target market quickly and effectively. Some digital companies own a lot of tools like blogs, so they may already have access to all the data that you may need. Remember to watch out for scammers when looking for a marketing company, as they can easily create fake traffic or falsify data.