Conducting online brand research is an important process to improve your customer and user experience. It can be very helpful to increase the understanding of your audience and their needs, as well as develop positive strategies.
What is online brand research?
Online brand research involves processes that can help identify information and opportunities on a service or product. This can be done through gathering data such as audience demographics including age and gender and analysing or interpreting it to improve the product or service prior to launch. The data analysed can also include behaviour patterns to see what choices your users are making before completing a purchase or making a conversion.
What is the purpose of online brand research?
As mentioned above, brand research can lead to opportunities to build new strategies and improve user experience. It can also identify key demographics that enable you to correctly cater for your market.
With brand research, you’ll be able to identify your competitors and explore how you can do things differently to succeed. When you understand your customer, you understand their behaviour, and by knowing this you can tailor your marketing strategy.
The online brand research processes
There are multiple ways you can conduct online brand research. It’s important to plan out the methods of research in order to get the most out of your study and be prepared for every situation. The two most common methods are primary research and secondary research.
Primary online brand research
Primary research involves a more direct approach to gathering information. Conducting primary research often requires you to have selected your target audience, and using it to create a summary.
Examples of primary research include conducting interviews, distributing surveys and hosting group observations. Interviews can be done over the phone or online via video call, surveys can also be done online on platforms such as SurveyMonkey, and observations can be done through group video calls.
Primary research gathers data that has not been collected before, creating brand new conclusions that you can use to your advantage when creating a marketing strategy.
Secondary online brand research
Secondary research, unlike primary research, involves using existing research to form conclusions. Using public knowledge and primary research sources, you can define your audience and use this information to compile your own summary reports.
This can make processes more efficient by saving time and resources, however, the research might not always be specific enough to the data you’re aiming to collect, so many opt for primary research.
How to conduct online brand research
Research current trends
A good starting point is to research the current trends within your industry. This can help you decide on campaigns and strategies that will attract attention and stay relevant. It will also help you to decide on topics that are at a high point of discussion and answer consumer questions.
Research current competitors
Researching your competitors can be a great way to see what they currently offer and how you can work to stand out by offering more or something unique to your brand. This can encourage you to ask certain questions during primary research in order to see if new ideas will receive positive feedback.
If you don’t know who your current competitors are, try searching for your keywords on Google and see who ranks for the same terms the ones you target. For example, if you are a sofa company, search for ‘Corner sofas for sale’ and see if other brands are ranking higher than you. You can also use tools such as Ahrefs and SEMrush to pull up data on competitors.
Work out your intended audience
You might already know who your target audience is, however, once you have researched your competitors you can also determine more specific demographics. This includes factors like age, profession, gender, industry they work in and income. This will help you when designing your user personas when producing campaigns.
It’s important to refrain from including your own opinions into the data collected. This is because although unintentional, it can cause the results to be interpreted differently rather than from a neutral perspective. You want to remain objective so that you can accurately analyse the data and use it to improve your product or service.
Prepare questions that will engage the audience
Once you’ve worked out your competitors and your target audience, you can now start to think about questions for your research. These need to be relevant and need to be asked in a way that gets useful responses.
For instance, if you work in the mattress industry, you’ll need to consider questions that may have multiple answers. For example, when asking ‘what type of mattress do you prefer?’ rather than an open-ended response, give participant options such as ‘Firm, medium-firm, soft’ etc. This can gain more specific answers and there’s no confusion to the response.
To make questions more engaging, you can reach out on social media or through other channels for online campaigns. This can include methods such as polls which can get instant responses that are then shared with other users. Again, multiple choice questions can be a preferred method for participants because it’s quicker and requires less effort.
Create a conclusion based on findings from your online brand research
Once you have collected all of the data, you can start writing up a conclusion of the findings. This can be in the form of a summary showing graphs and percentages to see the overall results. You can then road map an action plan to combat any issues and move forward with your brand.
Brand tracking services
Brand tracking is a great part of online brand research. By measuring your current marketing activities, brand tracking can analyse what you need to do in order to meet your customers needs. It gives your the data to identify issues and opportunities, and act on them to rise above competitors..
Market segmentation for online brand tracking
Market segmentation can also improve your brand through online research. Looking at your current strategy and carrying out an in-depth analysis on your audience’s demographics such as age and gender can create a segmentation model that is adapted to your brand. It can also be used to see what is driving consumers to competitor brands through behaviour analysis.
If you’re looking to utilise online brand research to increase your user experience and reach out to target consumers then take a look at all of our services. You can also contact us to find out more.