onducting market analysis is very important to the success of any business. As an entrepreneur, you need to research your target market in order to ensure that your marketing efforts are reaching the right customers.
When conducted correctly, audience analysis gives you an idea of what your brand message, content strategy and propagation should be. Only a carefully researched target audience analysis, coupled with the right analytics and internal data, can help you secure a specific target audience.
A market analysis should contain the following information:
- Your target market.
- The demographics of your audience.
- Market growth since inception.
- Strategy on how to attract, capture and retain your target audience.
- Opportunities that your market presents.
If you have never done market research for your small business, it might be difficult without some guidance.
How do you perform an audience analysis for your small business? What are the tools to make it easier? Are there websites that provide the data you need? Can you conduct this research for free or without having to break the bank?
I am here to tell you that there are plenty of free resources online that can help you conduct an audience analysis for your small business.
The Three Best Market Research Websites
You can make use of data and information from research websites to determine who your target audience is. These are the three best market research websites you can use.
American Fact Finder
American Fact Finder is a website created by the United States Census Bureau. With this website, you have access to data from the U.S. census. Depending on the location you are searching, you can get information on age, ethnicity, household income, educational background, type of housing, total area population and more.
Pew Research Center
The Pew Research Center is a haven for specific data sets about your target market including social and demographic trends, and global attitudes.
MyBestSegments from Claritas helps businesses determine who are their best customers by studying consumer behavior, like their buying habits, to discover that segment’s lifestyle and demographic traits.
Set Up a Threshold for Your Target Market
You should be familiar enough with your industry to know the people who are likely to patronize your goods and services. Record those you think will buy and make sure you edit it after every stage of your analysis. Add information like age, sex, profession, income, education level, and geographical location. Make sure you also include interests, hobbies, lifestyle and online behavior. The moment you start this research, your description of an ideal customer is likely to change.
Boost Audience Awareness Using Google Analytics
People that buy goods/services are likely to spend over 8 hours daily consuming digital content. As an online marketer, it's best to find out more about your potential clients by monitoring their behavior online. Google Analytics is the perfect tool to achieve audience segmentation. It's the easiest way to carry out audience research analysis and it's also free to use.
Using Google Analytics, you can get information about people who are regular visitors to your website: their location, browsers or devices used and even their demographics. You can also monitor custom URLs and study traffic across your various channels to know the types of content that your customers relate to. There is a lot of data available for research that it's possible to be overwhelmed. So to avoid that, use filters so you have a better understanding of your audience's behavior.
Understand Your Audience Using Social Analytics
Social media is a goldmine with enough handy information that you can tap into. Hence you can do some audience segmentation which is the process of dividing your target audience into smaller groups, based on similar demographics or interests.
There are so many social channels that it's important to know the ones that your audience makes use of the most. You can use Sprout Social and Google Analytics to show you where your potential customers are as well as monitor referral traffic. Hashtags analysis is also another way to find out what your audience is interested in. These are valuable pieces of data that can give you an insight of your target audience’s online preferences and behavior, that can be used to sharpen your brand’s message, style and content.
Watch Your Competitors Closely
You can learn more about your audience if you take time to study what your competitors are doing to get their attention. Find out who your target audience follows and identify your direct competitors. Assess their online behaviors from the tone and frequency of their posts, along with their content style. Learn from how they advertise their goods and services. Let their results serve as a good template for your digital strategy.
Another important use of this is that you can find lapses in your competitors. Make sure your business fills these gaps as this makes you unique and valuable to your customers.
Criticism and Existing Client Information is Very Important
There is a goldmine of audience information in your sales team and customer data. Your sales team has first-hand dealings with your customers. They experience customer anger, praise and confusion. Hence they have an idea of what the customer wants.
This is why many B2B marketers research their target audience using their sales team's feedback. You can also use data from sales to get specific audience information like your major customers, where they make their purchases, what pushes them to buy and the times of day they are likely to transact. The combination of both feedback and client data will help you uncover important target market attributes that will help curate the best marketing campaigns.
You should use all of these strategies, together with customer responses to attain an effective audience analysis. When you are done, you should be more enlightened about your target audience. This information will make it easy for you to solve the problems of your ideal customers in a personalized context. A better experience for them is bound to make them repeat customers and help retain their loyalty to your brand.