Market Research Is King
Wherever you go online, you’ll see “content is king” splashed over articles glorifying content marketing. Indeed, the notion of “giving value” as a trade-off to acquire leads is not lost (and it’s very effective). Have you ever thought of what makes content marketing (and other forms of marketing) a valuable practice? The most crucial part of it all is understanding the target market. Every decision made about strategy depends on that.
Understanding your target doesn’t mean getting a general sense of who they are in a superficial way but as a result of concrete analysis.
Market research takes on different forms for different projects. It generally starts with creating buyer personas for your product and comparing these personas to what exists. The hardest part of for some creators and freelancers is seeing their efforts as a product. You need to be open to the fact that your product is not perfect and extensive market research will show you the gaps that your product doesn’t fulfil a need or desire. This gives your room to improve your product.
Even free offers are products as they are the end results in some form of manufacturing process, though it might be a simple process like typing out a document. The best products reflect a healthy awareness of its buyers. It was meant to challenge or complement them one way or another.
Developing a buyer persona begins with some educated guesses. Outlining the demographic of your target is the first step of creating a solid buyer persona. Expanding on the traits and assumed behaviors will allow you to generate a marketing strategy that capitalizes on the needs of your intended target. Don’t think that one round of revisions is enough to get you started. A sound buyer persona depends on positive conclusions. If you infer that dogs do in fact like cats, then present your evidence. Monitoring sales trends and cases studies is a good way to start.
Examine the communication patterns of your intended targets. Where are your potential buyers converging? Are they online? What are they searching for? Also, look at the platforms they are actively participating in. Niche down and look at their interest groups. By paying special attention to the hashtags they follow, the profiles they follow and what their social circle engages with. You know the saying “birds of a feather flock together”? Well, this applies wonderfully to marketing. Creating multiple buyer personas to reflect the variations of a particular social group can help you expand your target without venturing too far out of your niche.
The next important thing to do is test your buyer personas. Now that you’ve created a few targets, you need to introduce your product to these audiences. This could be in a small test group or by creating a “trial” version of your service to test the waters. Using A/B split testing is another great way to of gathering data about your intended audience.
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