You don’t know what you don’t know, or maybe you’re all too aware of the gaps in your information!

Either way, when it comes to the strategy phase of projects – whether that be a website strategy, a blog strategy, a social media strategy or something else – we always start by doing some research.

There are a variety of research methods you can take advantage of. Which option we choose largely depends on what type of digital marketing strategy we’re working on and, even more importantly, what combined questions we have.

Below are three research tactics that we find ourselves recommending to clients more and more often based on the questions they – and we! – are trying to answer.

Media Intelligence

For questions like:

  • Who is talking about products or services that I offer? How old are they, what’s their gender, where do they live, and what are their other interests?
  • How do users feel about products or services I offer? Were users surprised by a recent announcement? Are they anticipating an upcoming product or service launch?
  • How do I stack up against my competitors when it comes to what I offer, our customer service, or our campaigns?

Take advantage of Media Intelligence to gain insight from online conversation!

With the right tools, you can quickly process billions of articles, posts, and comments across publisher sites, social media channels, blogs, forums and review sites to discover what’s being said and who is saying it.

You can build extensive search queries using the name of your brand, products, services, competitors and more along with lots of parentheses, “ands,” and “ors” that allow you to find conversation that’s relevant to you.

The trends in conversation that you’ll uncover will drive what you’re offering, who you’re offering it to, and how you’re positioning it for months to come.

Keyword Research

For questions like:

  • Are people looking for the products or services I offer? What kinds of words and phrases are they using to find them?
  • What frequently asked questions do users have about my products or services?
  • What should we write our next blog post or whitepaper about?

Do some Keyword Research to better understand what users are Googling every month!

Using a variety of tools, you can gain insight into what users are querying in search engines like Google and Bing. You’re able to see not only what users are searching, but also (on a monthly basis) how often they’re searching for it.

You can uncover opportunities within:

  • Short-tail keywords, like “ice cream”
  • Long-tail keywords, like “how to keep your ice cream from melting”
  • Local keywords, like “ice cream in Allentown, PA”

I scream, you scream, we all scream for data!

You can even determine whether there are any trends over time around keywords that are important to you: is search volume around this keyword on the incline or decline?

Website Surveys

For questions like:

  • Why are users visiting my site?
  • Did users find what they were looking for on my site?
  • Is my website easy to navigate?

Deploy a website survey to learn what your website visitors think!

Start by writing survey questions, which can be a balancing act! Don’t ask so many questions that users become fatigued by your survey – but make sure you ask enough to gain insight. Don’t ask too many open-ended questions – but ensure you’re gaining actionable insight from users’ responses.

The survey’s flow is almost as important as the survey questions themselves. Which questions comes first, second, and third? If someone answers “Yes” to our first question, do they get a different set of questions than someone who answers “No” to the first question?

When it’s time to deploy your survey, you’ll need to consider when and how. Is it when users enter or exit your website or when they arrive at a certain section of your website? Something else?

Once you’ve collected responses from a large enough sample size, you can begin analysis!

 

The amount of research you can do is never-ending! But once you’re able to hone in on the types of digital marketing questions you’re trying to answer, it’s easier to identify the research method that’s the best fit.

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.

Each of the above research methods require platform investments and subject matter experts to get the answers you’re looking for. Contact us to learn more about one of these research methods!

Emily Massaro

About Emily Massaro

Emily is our Digital Marketing Manager, overseeing the activities of the Digital Marketing Department. In her role, she works closely with the team in campaign strategies and execution in all service offerings including Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Paid Search, Content Marketing and more.