6 useful online tools to research your audience, collect data and use it all effectively

Autopilot in Growth hacking on 4th of Dec 2018
Marketing research tools

Marketing research tools

As a marketer, it’s your job to design marketing campaigns and craft content that drive your business forward. But before you jump in, you’ll need to get to know your current and future customers better. After collecting and analyzing audience data, you’ll be able to deliver value at each step of your buyer’s journey.

Get a clear picture of who’s searching for your solution, what they desire, and the hurdles they face.

Collect audience data using online tools

There are a wealth of online tools that can teach you about your audience. What follows are give tools that help you identify segments of your audience that share certain firmographic, demographic, and psychographic traits.

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the most popular, influential, and widely-used analytics platform on the web—and it’s 100% free to use.

Google Analytics can provide you with powerful insights about your audience as well as their activity on your website. As you’re diving into the reports, pay special attention to:

  • Demographics. What’s your audience’s age range? How does your audience skew in terms of gender? Demographic data reveals who people are. It matters because it impacts how you address your audience. For example, how you communicate with a 48-year-old woman is incredibly different from how you talk to an 18-year-old college guy.
  • Technology. What browsers do your visitors use? What devices do they own? Understanding how your audience chooses to access your website will help you identify ways to improve your user experience. Let’s say 87% of your website visitors access your website from their iPhones, but your website isn’t formatted for mobile, making it difficult to view. Instead of losing countless potential customers, initiate a redesign that’s focused on making your website responsive.
  • Geography. Where do your visitors live? What languages do they speak? Geographic data can help you identify where to host your next event, which countries to target with social ads, and what languages to translate your content into. For example, if you discover a cluster of customers in Ashburn, Virginia who are absolutely crazy about your product, hosting an event there could help you solidify their loyalty.
  • Interests. Do your visitors like movies? Are they travel buffs? What industries do they work in? Your audience’s interests give insight into where they hang out and potentially the best places to advertise. For example, if many of your current customers are social media enthusiasts, ramping up your presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn may help generate new leads.

2. Google Ads

Successful B2B and B2C marketers are reviewing search terms on a weekly basis. They use tools like Google Ads to discover how their audience searches for similar solutions.

Following in their footsteps will help you answer psychographic questions about your customers, like “What are their pain points?” and “What language do they use?” But it will also help you identify new keywords to use in future website content and Google Ad campaigns, helping you show up both in organic and paid search results.

Simply go to your “Keywords” tab, then click on “Search terms” to see results. Doing so will generate a report of the actual Google searches that caused your ads to appear.

If you’ve never run ad campaigns on Google Ads, try using Google Keyword Planner (a tool within Google Ads).

3. Typeform and Survey Monkey

Another way to gather intel about your audience is to conduct a survey. Surveys allow you to quickly get feedback from your customers at scale. Say you own a clothing store. If you conduct a survey and find out that 80% of your most loyal customers have children, you could consider adding a children’s clothing line to your inventory. You can easily create a survey in minutes with tools like SurveyMonkey or Typeform.

Below is an example of a Typeform survey you can easily whip up for free and spread across all your channels and touchpoints. This one is a dummy made from a template — easily put together in 5 minutes and added to this article using a copy/paste embed code.

If you were using a survey like this to gather audience data, you could plug the results straight into Autopilot using the native Typeform integration. You could then use your data right away in an automated customer journey like this one.

When crafting your survey questions keep best practices in mind and encourage survey completions by offering an incentive; such as a product discount or gift card, to thank them for their time and input.

4. Autopilot

With Autopilot, you can scale your research efforts by creating automated customer journeys that simultaneously collect feedback from all of your customers.

Say you’re growing a subscription-based business, like a SaaS company or membership-based organization. You could include a welcome email in your onboarding journey that asks one simple question: “Why did you sign up?”

Emails like these are powerful because they’re open-ended. In other words, they give very little direction and prompt your customers to answer in their own words.

A great example of this is when LiveChat got 123 best-in-class reviews and a 4.85 star rating on GetApp after investing just 30 minutes in setting up an automated review journey.

LiveChat’s customers were sent a Net Promoter Score® survey. Those who gave LiveChat a score of eight or higher are automatically sent a follow-up email that prompts the customer to write a review on GetApp.

These reviews are an excellent resource when researching your audience because they allow you to discover what people like and don’t like about your company—their pain points and challenges, how they differentiate your product from competitive products, the benefits they reap, etc.

5. Twitter

Twitter Analytics offers audience insights that can answer both demographic and psychographic questions. From age and gender to interests and purchasing habits, this platform offers a wealth of insightful data about Twitter audiences, including your own.

It can also provide insight into how your audience differs from other audiences. For example, this is how Autopilot’s Twitter audience differs from Twitter’s “business decision makers” audience:

You can also use Followerwonk for more Twitter insights. Followerwonk helps you analyze audiences on Twitter (both those belonging to you and to your competitors). One feature allows you to analyze your own Twitter audience in quantitative terms—a great way to learn about your audience’s demographics

6. Facebook

Facebook’s Audience Insights offers demographic and psychographic data about its users.

It’s ideal for startups because you can design a custom audience based on the criteria of your choosing and then save it for viewing on a later date. You can also choose to analyze your own audience: Simply add your page to the “People connected to” field.

What if I don’t have an audience to analyze?

If you’re a B2C startup founder or marketer, you may not have customer data to analyze. If that’s the case, try identifying a suitable audience from websites like Prizm (a Canadian website that’s especially suitable for B2C marketers working on behalf of startups that are hoping to attract the attention of local residents) and/or Claritas (the American equivalent to Prizm). These platforms can give you a starting point to work with until you have customers of your own to analyze.

Learn how to generate leads and build a strong audience with a lead generation strategy.

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