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Know Your Audience – Online Market Research

Before beginning any Internet marketing project or campaign it is crucial that define your audiences.

Whether you’re building a web site, creating an email newsletter, setting up shop on a social network, or conducting online PR, your efforts are far more likely to fail if you haven’t identified and defined who will be the recipient of your message(s).

Your first step, then, for any Internet marketing effort will be identifying the audience(s) you want to target and your second step will be researching those audiences.

You’ll want to create a profile of who those audiences are; not just their demographics, but what technology they use, how they consume information, what is their online behavior? The results of your research should be applied to your Internet marketing efforts.

Let’s say, for instance, that your audience are heavy users of instant messaging; you’d want to make it easy for them to share your content with their buddies list. If your audience loves to watch online video, then you should set up shop on YouTube and the other video sharing sites. You get the idea.

There are plenty of market research firms you can hire to help you define your targeted audiences and you can buy market research reports online. But if you haven’t got much of a budget for market research, fortunately there are a lot of free sources of research online that you can tap for your own research.

Here’s a list to help get you started:

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.

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