What do customers really want?

red box bound in gold ribbon being held in a pair of handsWithout a crystal ball to gaze into for insight into best routes for marketing online, you’ll have to find an alternative.

I’m going to suggest 3 free tools you might use to discover just what terms  people are using for online searches on a particular topic. This, in turn, can help with your planning and creation of effective web content.

How well do you understand your customers?

Before you scroll down the page to find the links for the free tools I’m going to suggest you try, please consider going along with a suggestion, that you allocate a little bit of time in consideration of your customers/target market in terms of:

  • Their age?
  • Their location?
  • Their occupation?
  • Their income?
  • Their family circumstances?
  • Their lifestyle?

Actually visualising your customers is more challenging than many people want to admit, which is probably why they tend to avoid doing the exercise. That and the fact that there’s usually a number of different customer profiles that would need to be worked through in this way.

Customer profiling is really worthwhile, even though most people find it challenging to actually get down to doing it. If it helps, find a picture of an individual to help you focus/visualise on the type of customer under consideration.

When and where are your customers online?

Having gone through the exercise above, segmenting the types of customers you are trying to attract, you need to consider the type of content that is likely to appeal/be most engaging.

Successful online marketing success is also influenced not just by knowing what to publish, but where to publish and when. The ‘where’ and ‘when’ is going to be influenced by where your customers/target market is likely to be online at particular times of the day. For example, a mother of young children is perhaps more likely to be online either very early in the morning, or later in the evening when the children have gone to bed.

Customer segmentation and profiling can help with planning the type of content that’s likely to appeal to a particular group, but also where they’re most likely to be online and at what times of the day. The name of the game is knowing where and when published content is most likely to have maximum impact.

What are you customers searching for online?

Finding out what your customers are searching for online can help shape the creation of content that can provide answers to their questions. Below are 3 tools you might find useful to use.

Google’s Keyword Planner tool is free to use, after you’ve set up an AdWords account. The Keyword Planner tool provides you with facility to research words/phrases that people are actually searching for, which is a much more scientific way to approach trying to understanding your customer and what help they’re actually looking for.

Keyword Eye comes in several paid varieties, but there is also a free option which can provide useful insight into searches online, within the permitted 10 keyword searches per day.

To show you an example, I ran a test on the phrase “online marketing”, applied the filter for UK searches only, and the following was delivered. The larger the words the more the searches for that particular phrase.

word cloud

Keyword Eye WordCloud

Ubersuggest is another free tool worth checking out. All that’s required is a word or phrase entered and filters set re. country and whether you require a search of the web in general, or with reference to specifics such as shopping or video.

screenshot of ubersuggest dashboard

Ubersuggest Dashboard

Defining your online market strategy

Whilst publishing content regularly is definitely a good thing, publishing it without reference to the profiles of target markets can be considered like driving along in a car casting flyers out of the window to be blown around on the breeze. Surely it’s got to be a better strategy to spend some time planning where your ‘leaflet drop’ is going to be most effective – time and location-wise?

For many, the idea of defining an online strategy is as enticing as working on customer profiles; good in principle, but too much like hard work after a long day working in the business! If that’s you, be honest here, then I would like to prod you, just a little, to have a rethink because both exercises can provide considerable business benefits. There’s also nothing to be lost and much to gain from using free tools to find out what your customers really want.

How good is your current online marketing potential?

There are blue-prints available online relating to customer profiling and online marketing. However, it may be that you feel a little bit of input from an outside party might be a valuable starting point. This is where I might be able to help.

Initially, I’d look at what you’re doing online at the moment, in comparison with some of your competitors. I’d run reports to discover the quality of your website and the reach of your online marketing efforts. I’d then suggest improvements, in the short, medium and long-term.

If you wanted further input from me I’d work with you on customer profiling, then how to create effective web content and when and where to publish. Contact me, Susan Collini,  for a chat about how I might be able to assist you You can also read what people say about working with Susan Collini

Other ways I might be able to help

If you’ve found this blog post useful then please subscribe to this blog by leaving your email address in the box in the right hand column. You’ll then receive notification of all new blog posts, nothing else, direct to your email inbox. NB You’ll be given the option to un-subscribe any time you wish.

These previously published posts might also provide useful reading:

How do you get to feature on page 1 of Google?

Think you’ve got what it takes for Formula 1 online marketing?

What you can learn at the Dentist about websites

Becoming a social business

Share This