Analyzing target customers is an expensive, time consuming process if you approach it in the traditional way. However, if you have been reading this series of articles for the Online Marketing Guerilla (OMG) you will know that we can find everything we need to know in just a few hours using free web resources.
The OMG does not waste time, money or effort on anything that doesn’t directly help them to achieve their objectives, so here is how you can locate, analyze and understand more about your target customer groups than your competitors. Throughout any research, you should be looking for what to exclude until all you are left with is pure gold to your business. With practice you can do this in a matter of a few hours, not days.
What you need to know about your customers is:
– Where do they spend their time when they are online?
– Where do they go and what do they do when they are offline?
– What needs and problems do they have that you can help them to solve?
– How are they currently satisfying their needs?
– What do they like about the products they are using?
– What do they dislike about the products they are using?
Use or adapt these questions as column headings in a spreadsheet to enable you to organize the information you are gathering from the following free web resources.
1. Go to Google Blog Search and type in the topic you are looking for, being as specific as you can with search words so that you go straight to directly relevant content. Look for blogs with the highest numbers of readers and check the advertisements and any links that the author recommends, as many of your potential customers will be clicking those links and buying the products being advertised.
2. Research what articles are being read on your chosen subject. Go to about.com and ezinearticles.com, both of which are rich in expert content and carrying links and advertisements that you need to check out.
3. Go to big-boards.com and Google Groups and look for forums with high membership and comments and again follow the links and advertisements. Select groups worth joining and become part of the discussions so you are actually talking with your target customers
4. Go to YouTube and type your topic into the search box. Look for high numbers of viewers and clips that carry sponsored ads and links embedded in the clips themselves. This is the latest upcoming information source that your customers are turning to.
In just a few hours your spreadsheet will be full of valuable information. Go through it looking for anything you can exclude and it will be easy to make decisions about where you are going to place your own ads, blogs, articles and videos so that enough customers will see them and click your links to enable you to achieve your objectives.