how to do market research for a small business for free online

Simple, Powerful, And Free: How To Do Market Research For A Small Business Online In 2022

No matter how big a business is, a small business must also have a good strategy to market its products.

Question: How to market a small business? The point is to know first who the potential audience for the business is, then introduce it to them. The initial step can be done by conducting market research for the small business, promoting it locally, and strengthening its online presence. The good news is, it can all be done online with a free powerful tool called Google Trends.

It looks simple. But in reality, each stage has several attempts.

Here later you will find ideas or ways to market a small business based on what often happens in the field. Not just a theory, but also a realistic approach to how someone can be successful in marketing their small business.

We will try to explain how to market a small business with language that is easy to understand, with logic that is easily accepted even by people who have been new or beginners who may have never been in the business world before to promote a small business.

Are you one of those who also feel confused about marketing a small business? Maybe this article will be the right answer for you. Read on in the next few sections.

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Marketing tips: How to market a small business in 2022.

When we talk about how to market a small business, then we should not underestimate the term “small” first.

Although the size may still be small, we have to think about it carefully.

And in fact, a big business, a mature business, they all used to be a small business.

In fact, with good strategic planning, how to market a small business today can be the basis for becoming a big business later.

Of the many actors or small business owners, what usually happens is that they usually all spend a lot of energy focusing on their products. This is also not wrong, but there is another important thing that must also be considered is who the market is.

Even for experienced businesses, in their product management, they design a product even based on what the market needs.

How to quickly market or promote a small business depends on how well the business owner knows who the market is and what their needs are. From this condition, it is highly recommended for a small business to do market research.

With the right market research, the next step in marketing or promoting a small business will become easier.

The importance of market research for a small business online.

Don’t be like most people when it comes to marketing a small business. Don’t just be able to make a product, but then can’t penetrate the market.

With market research, we can find out what the market’s expectations for a product are.

A small business that uses market research to market their business, will find that their business will be recognized by the market faster, making it easier for them to promote their small business products.

So what exactly is market research?

According to the SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration), market research is a process (steps) to find prospective customers and also to find out other details such as their demographics.

Good market research will combine consumer behavior with economic trends to find out the latest updates in the field so that they can come up with up-to-date business ideas.

Especially for the purpose of marketing the products of a small business, it is very important for us to know who our customers are, and what their expectations are.

With market research, it is also possible for us to find demographic information, so that we can better know the opportunities to get customers.

You can imagine, what happens if we promote a product to an audience that doesn’t need our product? Of course, we will sacrifice time and money. And in business, this means a loss.

Market research can reduce business risks, whether it’s for a small business that is just starting out, or an existing business, which is still looking bright even today.

Market research has a close relationship with competitive analysis.

A competitive analysis allows us to bring out the uniqueness of our business. Where for this purpose can be done by making a unique product, which is needed by the market.

Market research can also be used to determine the feasibility of a product or service. Companies can conduct market research to find target markets, and get opinions or feedback from customers about their interest in a product or service.

In our opinion, there are two approaches that can be taken to find out what the market wants:

  1. Based on experience: the expertise of a small business owner knows what the market wants.
  2. Based on data: real data on how the market is interested in a product or service.

Someone who has experience going directly into their business, usually they will find it easier to do market research. They will easily answer or know some points about the market such as:

  • Market expectations of the product or service.
  • How many people are interested in the product or service offered.
  • The income range of its prospective customers.
  • Where the customer lives.
  • A selection of similar products on the market.
  • The price that the customer is willing to pay.

There are two main ways to do market research. The first is to do it yourself based on business experience (including directly asking the customer), or the second is to use a third party that specializes in market research.

Here later what will be discussed is how to do market research for a small business online. In fact, even though it is done online, we can get accurate data about market desires, trends, and also the demographics of customer prospects.

Market research is an important part of its relation to research, business analysis, predictive analysis, product management, and development (R&D) of new products or services.

>> Furthermore, you can see business tips and guides through this link.

How to market research for a small business online.

Above has been explained in general about the meaning of market research and also how market research can be done.

But it should also be noted what exactly is the purpose of a small business doing market research. By knowing the purpose, information from market research results can then be translated into real efforts to market products or services.

In general, the purpose of a small business doing market research is to find out the market related to a particular product or service, so that it can be one of the determining parameters for how the market will accept it. Furthermore, market research can be a way to gather information for the purpose of market segmentation and product differentiation.

A business analyst or product manager can use information from market research to determine which features could be developments for a particular product or service.

Google Trends: A tool a small business can use to do market research online for free in 2022.

Who doesn’t know Google?

Everyone knows Google. Especially with regard to searching for information on the internet, it has become commonplace if someone now relies on the Google search engine.

Google Trends is a platform provided by Google, where here they summarize how people search on Google.

Especially for researching the market, with Google Trends, we can find out how someone searches for a product or service. We can look more specifically in a certain period of time, even up to five years back, for a particular search. This feature allows us to find out someone’s trend towards a product, making it easier for us to do predictive analysis of the market going forward.

When we talk about the online market, of course, we have to immediately imagine how people buy products or services online.

Actually, it’s the same thing someone does when buying goods, both online and offline. The only difference is the medium.

Here later we will try to explain how to use Google Trends. Not only theory, but later you can see how to do online market research using Google Trends with examples.

And the good news: Google Trends, this great tool from Google can be used for free. Now we can do market research online without any limitations.

To access it, we just need to visit the URL address of the Google Trends website at https://trends.google.com

Here are some steps a small business can take to conduct market research for free using Google Trends:

  • Use creativity to get more accurate market research results.
  • Know the location of a specific market to maximize marketing.
  • Explore searches related to our small business.
  • Know topics related to the product or services you are researching.

Below is an explanation of each of the points above.

Use creativity to get more accurate market research results on Google Trends.

This article is suitable for someone who has previously seen or visited Google Trends, or even one who has never.

Google Trends does not display detailed information directly on its platform, but we must enter the specific topic we want to research.

This is where it takes creativity to get more accurate market research.

Say you have a software development business in the United States.

With Google Trends you can do market research to get business ideas related to the software world. At the same time, you can find out trends about software, demographic information, what people are looking for about software, and other topics related to software.

See below, you can directly write “software” in the Google Trends search field. And immediately you will be presented with all information on the market related to the world of software.

It doesn’t stop here, you can do more detailed research by digging further about the topic you want.

You can find out more about market conditions based on location, time range, category, and type of search online. And you can even get more detailed market research by looking at it based on web searches, image searches, Google shopping, and Youtube searches.

Know the location of a specific market to maximize marketing.

​​If you have previously been able to find an overview of how internet users are looking for your product or service, with Google Trends you can also find out which areas are interested in your small business.

Still with the same example, market research for small businesses engaged in software development in the United States, Google Trends shows that there are many subregions in the US that are looking for software. When viewed from the data below, the top five regions are New York, the District of Columbia, Kansas, Maryland, and Virginia.

Especially for information about this location, you can again search for it with other location categories, namely Subregion, Metro, and City.

In the world of market research, knowing a certain location in that area is interesting in the small business that we are developing is a very profitable thing. We can immediately focus our marketing in these areas.

If you are going to promote or advertise for your small business, you can maximize it in those areas. By selling products to people who are really interested in our products, the chances of our products being sold a lot will be greater.

And even if you are going to make an advertisement, you might consider using the language style of the people in the area, so that they feel familiar and the road to sales conversion can be shortened.

An example of another advantage when knowing the location of the prospects for our products is when we will expand our small business. We can open branches in those areas.

It’s very smart to be around people who need a product or service from our small business. People will look for the closest solution they can come to, and they will come to us.

Explore searches related to your business, product, or service.

Knowing what people are looking for about the products or services that we offer is also important when we do market research for our small business.

By knowing what they are looking for, at the same time we can also find out what the market really wants for our product. It’s also good for the idea of ​​adding strength to our product.

In addition to market research, knowing what people are looking for about our products is also good for our product management. One of the goals of doing product management is to know that the product we are going to launch is capable of responding to market needs. To answer the needs of the market, of course, we must first know what the market is looking for (want). 

From the data displayed by Google Trends above, it can also be used as an idea to create a new product. In this case, it seems that the market is currently looking for software for business needs such as work management and CRM. And it seems there is also interest from the market for software to support life insurance companies.

With Google Trends, we can find out what the market is looking for even within a certain time. To get the latest updates, we can set the time to the closest such as the last seven days, the last month, or the last three months.

With Google Trends, we can find out what the market is really searching for the product or service of our small business.

Knowing what people are searching for our product is also good as a reference for product promotion. Moreover, if we do promotions with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), we can use the search queries we get from Google Trends as keywords to create articles which we then direct to specific pages of the small business products or services that we are offering.

Know topics related to the product or services you are researching.

Knowing the trending topics around our products or services is also very useful when we are going to develop or promote our small business.

In doing product development, of course, we can’t just make a product. We have to know whether the product we are going to develop is really needed by the market or not.

Carrying out targeted and measurable product development will secure our small business capital as well. With the right market research, we will not spend on things that are not necessary or that do not have a direct impact on our small business.

In relation to product promotion, knowing the trending topics discussed by the market can be a tool to make marketing efforts more optimal and targeted.

We can make product promotions by using these related topics as a way to get the attention of the market we are aiming for.

If we are going to promote products online, the topics related to our products or services that we get when we do market research can be used as references to create content that supports our small business marketing.


Conclusion: Google Trends is a powerful tool for a small business to conduct market research for free in 2022.

Market research is important so that every business can survive and run smoothly, not least for a small business.

It is important to know how to do market research so that a small business can determine a business idea as well as a plan so that it can be realized in the future.

Small businesses usually put forward a budget concern for every step they take. They will be careful in using their capital.

Good news for everyone, there is a powerful tool to do market research for small businesses for free, which can be done online, namely Google Trends.

In conclusion, by conducting market research using Google Trends, a small business can get real insights about the location of the prospect’s audience, and searches or topics related to products or services.

Above, it has been explained how a small business (or startup) in the software field conducts market research along with examples.

You have a small business and want to do market research, you can use this article as a reference.

Use your creativity and knowledge of the field of small business you are running, enter it into Google Trends, and note all the results. You will need it to grow your small business.


Disclaimer:
Image illustrations are obtained by taking screenshots when the author conducts research for this article.

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