Best way to research your audience???

24 replies
Hey guys,

How do you go about researching an audience before you enter a niche??? Are there tools you use?? What's the process that goes into finding out the most you can about your niche audience?? Thanks
#audience #research
  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Reverse engineering. Study your competitors and look at who they target and where they get their traffic from. Of course, the most obvious source is their link sources but you can get hints from their referrer traffic sources too once you figure out their target audiences.
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    • Profile picture of the author keith88
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      Reverse engineering. Study your competitors and look at who they target and where they get their traffic from. Of course, the most obvious source is their link sources but you can get hints from their referrer traffic sources too once you figure out their target audiences.
      Thanks, how do I see there referrer traffic sources???
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      • Profile picture of the author writeaway
        Originally Posted by keith88 View Post

        Thanks, how do I see there referrer traffic sources???
        As I said, once you figure out their demographics, that's the hint you need as to their referrers. The most obvious and easiest to get info is their backlinks. That will show you part of their audience.

        You have to put in a bit of legwork figuring this out since its much easier than shooting in the dark and trying to recruit a user base out of thin air. Reverse engineering still takes work but nowhere near as much effort as producing a user base out of nothing.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Rather than chasing after niches, I have always searched within broad networks or groups of people such as within associations, professions and specific demographics. This can span hundreds of highly profitable niches, and marketing to them is a matter of matching relevant products to an engaging funnel sysytem.

      What I do is search for topics/subjects of high interest for my targeted demographics (age, profession, specialty, occupation, etc), then look for websites and publications providing suitable content. Generally, recurring ads found in special interest offline/online outlets and publications strongly indicate the type of products that are most likely to succeed. In researching new niche products of interest to my target demographics, I usually use several resources:


      Magazine newstands

      Trade association newsletters

      Directoryofezines.com

      Writers' Market

      Magazines.com

      Dummies.com

      Pulse.Ebay.com

      JupiterResearch.com

      Amazon.com

      Google.com/trends

      Wordtracker.com

      For example, the largest and wealthiest demographic is "baby boomers"; they own more than 70% of financial assets in the U.S., and control nearly half of all discretionary spending (Over $4.6 trillion in the last 6 years alone). In addition, they have a HUGE interest in dozens of very competitive niches and are the most stable and loyal customers you could ever find.
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior X
    Visit the most popular forum and read all the most popular posts there.

    Read the top three books on the subject. (Amazon will help here)

    If the niche has a magazine devoted to it (most do these days) read some back issues.

    Jeremy
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  • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
    Originally Posted by keith88 View Post

    Hey guys,

    How do you go about researching an audience before you enter a niche??? Are there tools you use?? What's the process that goes into finding out the most you can about your niche audience?? Thanks
    The best way is go to niche forums and yahoo answers. Read articles on your niche, and and magazines, newsletters etc.

    This will give you plenty of information about what your niche is looking for.

    Jim cockrum is all about finding your audience before you buy a website or blog. Here is a link that might help you out with your question:

    Search Results find your audience | Jim Cockrum Blog
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  • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
    Hi Keith,

    One possibility is to hire someone to do market research for you. Believe it or not you can find market researchers on Fiverr so it only costs $5 to get started with them.

    I was going to do this for a recent project, but never followed through. Nevertheless if you learn even one thing about your market using this process it *could* pay off deeply

    Best of Luck,

    Justin
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    • Profile picture of the author writeaway
      Originally Posted by Justin Mandel View Post

      Hi Keith,

      One possibility is to hire someone to do market research for you. Believe it or not you can find market researchers on Fiverr so it only costs $5 to get started with them.

      I was going to do this for a recent project, but never followed through. Nevertheless if you learn even one thing about your market using this process it *could* pay off deeply

      Best of Luck,

      Justin
      Good point. There are also keyword researchers available for $5. I've seen reports and they are very helpful-they find low competition keywords with decent search volumes. They predict the number of opt-ins you'd get.
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  • Profile picture of the author sovereignn
    Become one of them.

    Do what you can to become one of them and see everything from their perspective.

    If you yourself know/have the needs and wants that they have

    Then you'll succeed with ease
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  • Profile picture of the author Miguelito203
    Originally Posted by keith88 View Post

    Hey guys,

    How do you go about researching an audience before you enter a niche??? Are there tools you use?? What's the process that goes into finding out the most you can about your niche audience?? Thanks
    When you're starting out, it's recommended that you go into a niche that you are already part of. For instance, I was a Spanish major in college, and the first niche I went into was the "learn Spanish" niche. It was really easy for me because I not only knew the niche but a lot of the products as well. I was basically able to type from my head.

    If you're looking into going into a niche that you know something about, I recommend using forums. It's important you be able to learn the "why" and what motivates these peoples' buying decisions. Also, if it's a physical product, I recommend using a site like Amazon.

    Don't copy stuff word-for-word. Just read to get an idea of stuff. Close the info, and write it in your own words.

    Good luck,
    Joey
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  • Profile picture of the author keith88
    You guys are the best..... Incredible ideas. Thank Everyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I use Google, forums, and blogs in my niche. These should be enough to get a good understand of the problems (or wants) that a group of people have.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ravikanth
    @myob
    With your approach it is possible that the first and the last recommendation, in the life cycle of a subscriber, are completely different and unrelated to each other. Am I correct? It implies that you progressively let your subscribers disclose more about their interests. I find such a process hard to imagine

    This is the first time I am seeing someone suggesting choosing a demographics rather than a niche. This is something which I have been contemplating for a while and did not know what to do about it. I can see a few benefits with such an approach-for instance customized jargon in the content.

    Is there any resource(ebook or website) which can help me choose a demographics and research their interests? Your post leads me to a couple of "hows".

    For someone with no experience,
    what criteria should I employ in choosing a demographics?
    how do I find the interests of a chosen demographics?

    your post already gives pointers on finding products in the chosen niches.

    do you recommend staying away from the student demographics?
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

      @myob
      With your approach it is possible that the first and the last recommendation, in the life cycle of a subscriber, are completely different and unrelated to each other. Am I correct? It implies that you progressively let your subscribers disclose more about their interests. I find such a process hard to imagine
      Quite often this is the case, absolutely. People are not single-dimensional; they have a variety of interests. As each sales cycle progresses, subscribers are offered a selection of other niches to choose from, each of which has its respective autoresponder sequence. Most of my subscribers are getting multiple daily emails from several niche lists.

      In many of the late sales stages, subscribers will also call in to my sales staff regarding product questions, which result in personalized marketing responses including telemarketing, direct marketing and even on-site sales. Much of my marketing and repeat sales continue offline; far beyond the email life cycle.

      Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

      This is the first time I am seeing someone suggesting choosing a demographics rather than a niche. This is something which I have been contemplating for a while and did not know what to do about it. I can see a few benefits with such an approach-for instance customized jargon in the content.
      Actually, there are a number of Warriors that I know of here who are using demographics as a marketing criteria. And this is taught in Marketing 101 as standard practice. Some of the biggest companies target demographics for marketing multiple products in a wide variety of categories.

      For example, certain ethnic groups are extremely lucrative, but are hesitant to buy from those who don't speak the language or reflect nuances of culture. In addition, conversions can be much higher by speaking the "language" or jargon of occupations ie medicine, law, skilled trade specialties, etc. Demonstrating intimate affinity beats the competition all-to-hell.

      Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

      "Is there any resource(ebook or website) which can help me choose a demographics and research their interests? Your post leads me to a couple of "hows".
      Companies spend millions of dollars in market research to get this information, and even they sometimes get it wrong. But to reduce chances of a product flop, you might want to look at JupiterResearch.com and dummies.com. They have done much of the heavy lifting in researching interests for a variety of demographics.

      Also, an excellent book I have often recommended is "Branding Against the Machine, by John Morgan (Available on Amazon or at a fine bookstore near you). This book shows how to achieve prominence in even the toughest, most competitive arenas and provides a contrasted insight between the timid email marketer who seems afraid to offend and lose subscribers with those who blast away with frequent hard hitting promotions.

      Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

      For someone with no experience,
      what criteria should I employ in choosing a demographics?
      how do I find the interests of a chosen demographics?

      your post already gives pointers on finding products in the chosen niches."
      Perhaps the easiest way would be to identitfy a demographic of which you can readily relate, as suggested by Miguelito203 above. Chances are, there are ezines, websites, and offline magazines of interest to them. If not, that demographic is unlikely to be viable for commercial marketing. Look at ads within these outlets to get an idea of the type and variety of products being sold. You may find the same or similar products on Amazon.

      Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

      do you recommend staying away from the student demographics?
      No, not at all. Students do have discretionary income, and help from their parents is common. Consider also marketing to postgrad students or academia. And if you can attract the attention of university department chairpersons, they frequently buy products for their courses and labs using reimbursed personal funds.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lucian Lada
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        Quite often this is the case, absolutely. People are not single-dimensional; they have a variety of interests. As each sales cycle progresses, subscribers are offered a selection of other niches to choose from, each of which has its respective autoresponder sequence. Most of my subscribers are getting multiple daily emails from several niche lists.
        Do you to it in the context of "would you also like to learn about...?", like the way products are recommended on Amazon, using the "People also bought this...".

        What I mean is that if you are in the weight loss niche, where I heard are a lot of women over 30, and a lot of them have children, do you also recommend them another pen-name to offer parenting advice? In this case, the weight loss autoresponder series goes on, but they also subscribe to another list.

        Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

        What methods can one use to learn and use the jargons, nuances of a specific community?
        Simple: you learn everything there is to know (or as much as you can) about that niche, you become an expert, and then everything flows naturally. Don't stress it too much, if you're really good at one thing, you'll understand both jargons and your audience (the nuances of the community you're referring to) - they are in a symbiotic relationship.
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  • Profile picture of the author theseohouse
    I think the social media is the best way to reach our audience.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bobby Asburn
      Originally Posted by theseohouse View Post

      I think the social media is the best way to reach our audience.
      You are right and only proper strategy can take us to reach our audience.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan B Rusu
    Keyword research & study your competition. those are the 2 that I do
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  • Profile picture of the author Ravikanth
    @myob
    Thanks for helping me out. I usually read your posts more than a couple of times to make sure I understand everything. I just got the John Morgan's ebook - Talk about authority marketing . I have a few more dilemmas.

    Do you think encouraging comments on our niche sites helps increase the optin rate?

    I have seen you mention that you create personas and pen names which the audience would connect to. When the subscribers call and meet in person, how do you handle such situations? The person in the picture might not be the same as the one who is actually meeting.

    What methods can one use to learn and use the jargons, nuances of a specific community?
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  • Profile picture of the author eladwin1
    The way I use it is keyword research, and testing of my competitors, the keyword research you can explore the keyword tool of Google, where I find the niche that works best for me and the secret is a niche with minimal competition!
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Although I operate on a much smaller scale than Paul (myob) does, my approach is very similar. Over the years, I've found a demographic that I have a particular affinity for, and I'm gradually reshaping my business to focus on that demographic.

      Although the niches (as that term is used here) vary, they all have common characteristics which appeal to my chosen market.

      Does that mean that every niche area will appeal to every segment of my market? Of course not. It does mean that there is a high likelihood that a given niche area will appeal to part of that market, though...
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

        Do you think encouraging comments on our niche sites helps increase the optin rate?
        This may work, although I have never tried it. IMO, you should test it, but be aware you may eventually be overwhelmed with spam. It is a common SEO tactic to post keyword embedded crap just for the backlinks.

        Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

        I have seen you mention that you create personas and pen names which the audience would connect to. When the subscribers call and meet in person, how do you handle such situations? The person in the picture might not be the same as the one who is actually meeting.
        This is not a problem when contact format is established. My pen names and personas are positioned as "brands" for specific niches. Subscribers are always invited to call in to speak to someone in either the sales or customer service dept. The primary focus of each niche autoresponder is to generate and screen tightly qualified leads for my sales representatives.

        Originally Posted by raviandkanth View Post

        What methods can one use to learn and use the jargons, nuances of a specific community?
        First of all, never try it without getting assistance from a representative of the community. One of the quickest ways to kill credibility and sales is trying to fit in where you don't know what you're talking about. I have a staff of writers and sales people who specialize in the niches and networks where I market.

        "Samson killed a thousand men with the jaw bone of an ass. That many sales are killed every day with the same weapon." - Tom Hopkins

        Originally Posted by Lucian Lada View Post

        Do you to it in the context of "would you also like to learn about...?", like the way products are recommended on Amazon, using the "People also bought this...".

        What I mean is that if you are in the weight loss niche, where I heard are a lot of women over 30, and a lot of them have children, do you also recommend them another pen-name to offer parenting advice? In this case, the weight loss autoresponder series goes on, but they also subscribe to another list.
        Every email message contains rotating ads for 3-5 Clickbank products from selected niches. When a purchase is made, the buyer is incentivized to opt-in to the respective niche autoresponder series. The marketing cycle begins within this niche with a series of promotions for incrementally higher-end products. Each niche has its own pen-name and persona; there is never a cross-connect among niches.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marcus Rockey
    I use Quantcast, Alexa, Digg, Delicious, Market Samurai to start.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    My process across 4 niches now is to...

    1. Go to where my market is...forums, blogs, Amazon comments, etc...and watch what they are saying, what frustrates them, what they are buying, what they like and what they don't like.

    2. Examine competition - what problem are they addressing is the most fundamental question - you can always differentiate with an alternate solution, the key is knowing what is behind the demand

    3. Use this to construct a "test" or "beta" run...for an infoproduct business, this is a smallish report/ebook or simply articles; for e-commerce, a quick blog or multi-page site. The idea here is to test multiple angles and products/services as quickly, cheaply and effectively as you can to spot a winner...then you go fast and big

    4. Quickly engage with your market on the hot button entry point and let them pull you into back-end offerings as well as adjacent markets

    In software lingo this is called "iterative" development - but it is a fundamental way that most successful businesses make it big.

    Jeff
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