Audience research can encompass a wide variety of people, listeners, viewers, readers, visitors, subscribers, or users. While good audience research can provide a whole host of information, for years overall results only delivered the two key aspects that many businesses were primarily focused on:
- Estimating the audience size
- Determining audience preferences
Audience research and surveys have evolved a great deal over the decades. Once, conducting this type of valuable research was once cost prohibitive, especially for small to medium-sized businesses. With the expansive reach of many different online options, we can use tools to reach people outside of our own customer lists. In the past, one would have to hire an outside resource to conduct these surveys, examine and evaluate the results and those interpretive reports could take weeks or even months to surface.
Here are five online tools which will assist with audience research, and help to target specific consumers without breaking your budget.
Just as their name suggests, AYTM allows the business user to create surveys quickly and easily that can be sent to their list of customers or use their panel of more than twenty million respondents. They offer quick turn-around time, usually within 24-72 hours, and inexpensive rates starting at 95 cents in the US and 75 cents for a global audience with surveys containing ten questions. Prices increase for a more targeted audience approach and with adding more inquiries.
GutCheck offers a different, more visual approach with the use of webinars and infographics along with many other tools. Some of their methods offer on demand results gaining insights from specific consumers by location, age, language and other segmented approaches. You'll have to contact them for specific pricing according to the type of project and number of panelists or consumers you'll be reaching out to for information.
Using their trademark Instantly Survey Builder, users can create their own customized and targeted questionnaires. They feature creative A/B testing, measurements for intent to purchase, evaluation of marketing messages, and even the ability to measure brand awareness and sentiment. Although they don't publish pricing information, they offer a free access platform to get started.
This well-known platform was once famous for reaching out to existing customers, but now offers more options when it comes to connecting with a reputable audience using many different targeting options with over twenty types of criteria to choose from. Pricing is offered in platforms starting at $100 for a ten question survey with one-hundred responses throughout the general US population. Similar to competitors, rates increase with more questions and targeting options.
This tool is more specific to smaller companies that have yet to establish authority in their field, but if used correctly it can make a large difference in overall success. With this tool you can evaluate different names for your business to see how the audience responds to them. Most companies don't get that kind of feedback on a business because they've stuck with one name since their inception, which of course you'll have to make an ultimate decision as it wouldn't be wise to change your name after gaining a strong following.
Whether you're an established firm or fresh startup, a thorough understanding of your audience is the foundation to developing content and products that people will respond to. With these tools there is no excuse for ignorance, subsequently no excuse for maximizing your reach and conversions. Is your audience waiting for you, or are you waiting for your audience?