Smart consumers do research before they buy! We created a lot of social media channels, each focused on a certain niche. Each channel is active with newer stories and more traffic. ONCE YOU GET TO THE CHANNEL YOU WANT TO LIKE, FOLLOW, OR SUBSCRIBE TO, CONNECT TO IT FROM THE FACEBOOK AUDIENCE RESEARCH TOOLS.
The Free Audience Research Tools listed below can be utilized to help you understand your audience better and increase your advertising effectiveness.
Trendwatching provides a similar service to Google Trends, however rather than allowing you to explore the data for yourself, it provides free publications on nearly any topic. The website provides reports on regional consumers, as well as uniquely tailored publications to tackle nearly any contemporary topic. There is a goldmine of free information provided in the reports and it can be used to further understand the market you are operating in, or even form the basis of a forward thinking strategy.
One report in particular that we would recommend to anybody looking to understand general consumer trends and how they are changing is the 10 Trends for 2015. This highlights ten important opportunities for innovation that businesses can make use of and integrate into their current strategies.
Spezify is similar in concept to Omgili. It is a simple search engine that makes the measurement of brand sentiment and web presence an easy process. However, rather than searching message boards and forums, Spezify searches online social media. The result is a mood board style results page that provides links to pictures with your keyword in the anchor text. Pictures are collated from a wide range of sources including Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, eBay and more.
Combining the results from Omgili and Spezify can provide a fantastic overview of brand presence. In a digital age where dyadic conversations between business and the consumer are becoming a thing of the past, regaining control and being able to understand consumer interaction with your brand is a powerful tool and can help shape future brand strategies.
As some of you already know, one of the best ways to conduct market research is to ask your customers a handful of open-ended questions. You can do this for free with SurveyMonkey.
Specifically, with a free SurveyMonkey account, you can ask up to 10 questions and field up to 40 responses with each of your surveys.
Open-ended questions you may ask your customers include (but are not limited to):
- Why did you buy our product?
- What has our product helped you accomplish?
- How does our product compare to others that you’ve used in the past?
With just three questions — well under the limit of a free survey — you can learn quite a bit about your target market. If, for example, the majority of respondents say they bought your product because they were struggling to do their jobs in a cost-effective manner, that gives you a clearer picture of your prospects’ pain points and your competitors’ shortcomings.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
A government organization that “measures labor market activity, working conditions, price changes, and productivity in the U.S. economy to support public and private decision-making,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a wealth of information.
Because this is a blog post about market research — not an economics class — we’ll focus on BLS’ industry- and region-specific information. If you’re on the homepage and you hover over the Data Tools drop-down menu, you’ll see a hyperlink to something titled “Industry at a Glance.” Click on that, find your industry of interest, and explore the dozens of statistics that BLS has aggregated.
If, for example, you’re interested in the apparel manufacturing industry — either because you’re in the industry or you sell into it — you can see how earnings, prices, and productivity figures are changing over time.
Head back to the homepage, hover over the Subjects drop-down menu, and you’ll see a section labeled Geographic Information:
Select your region of interest, filter by state or metropolitan area (if necessary), and take a tour of BLS’ enormous library of area-specific data.
Though Google Analytics is not a broader tool for providing market research entirely, it can give feedback on how your customers are behaving when they are on your website. It will show you which of your products have more views and fewer sales, or which social media channel is getting more responses from your clients. In a nutshell, Google Analytics helps you to analyze the traffic on your website and give you a complete picture of your visitors and their requisitions.
- Reporting traffic
- Tracking conversion
- Keyword guidance
- Reference of third-parties
- Custom dashboard
If you are a small business that wants to avoid paying monthly fees, you can use their free service. If you want to use a vast amount of features, you can buy the Google Analytics 360 that will cost $150,000 in a year.
Google developed a free, collective tool known as the “Consumer Barometer.” This tool aims to help you understand buyers’ internet usage habits over the world. There are two different ways to use this service. One is to explore the primary data from the research, which comes up with an infographic format that sums the key trends and statistics. This will help you to identify the consumers’ internet usage habits.
The other way is to use the tool as a graph builder. In that way, you can access the full data from the report. Additionally, broken down into country grouping, you will be able to find out how buyers interact online.
- Graph builder
- Digital trended data
- Explore audience stories
- Discover buyers curated insights
Consumer Barometer is a free tool.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a fantastic market research tool for basic keyword research. You can create an account on Google Adwords for free to use the Google Keyword Planner. The main task of the tool is looking for the phrases or keywords that are related to your business. In brief, Google Keyword Planner allows you to find new keywords and get a detailed idea about how your audiences are searching for information within your market.
- Research keywords
- Suggestion for daily budget
- Monthly search details
- Column for new competition
- Add new keywords to existing campaigns
Google Keyword Planner is one of the free market research tools.
Google Alerts is one of the best free-market research tools you should use. You can set the email alerts to get notified for each new result in Google that matches your needs, such as web pages, blogs, scientific research, or newspaper articles. The tool also permits you to put the frequency, search terms, and many more to get the best results. Besides, you can take appropriate measures for getting potential clients and expanding your business.
- Free notification service
- Real-time alerts on keywords
- Track your competitors
- Create links
- Easy to use
You can use the tool for free.
Alexa is another great tool for researching a competitive market; however the information provided generally refers to a company’s web presence rather than necessarily its performance as a whole. This tool can be used to either research the position of your own web presence, or that of your key competitors. You can also see in what aspects you outrank your competitors and vice versa, which can form the basis for target and goal setting activities.
Some of the information provided by Alexa includes: audience demographics, geographic breakdowns, web traffic analysis and related sites. It is worth noting however that not all websites will be able to access Alexa’s data depending on their size, so when conducting your research, try to focus on your larger and more prominent competitors.
- You have 100% control of your own code, your own server setup and your own data (for newbies in web analytics this might be a disadvantage)
- Much faster interface than Google Analytics, which is extremely slow at least with big sites
- Session recordings and click heatmaps like clicktale (didn’t work for me, but I guess that tells me more about my technical skills than the application)
- No filter e.g. miss the option of excluding my own IP
- No data export from user interface. Data can of course be exported from your database but for non-savyy database user as myself, this is way to0 complicated.
- I indeed miss the possibility to combine different numbers (cross segmenting) from different reports. E.g. I’m not able to see what search terms were used to find a specific page. This is important for SEO-purposes.
These Audience Research Tools can be accessed free of charge in various forms. You can read the blogs, listen to the podcasts , subscribe to the RSS feeds, become a fan on Facebook… heck, you can do all of them! So go ahead and take advantage. This is your audience research hub for FREE!