Learn about Your Market through Your Blog

Your blog offers a wonderful way to interact with your target market and learn about their thoughts, feelings, and buying habits. Blogs are actually a form of social media that should be used to interact with your audience. If you use your blog well, you can find out all kinds of information through it. This resource is only available to members. To access it, login or join now as a free member [/MM_Member_Decision]

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Ask a Question

One of the best ways to learn about your market is to come right out and ask a question. Write a blog post on a topic related to your business or product, and then at the end, ask readers what they think. They'll give their opinions in the comments and you'll learn valuable qualitative data.

Always Answer Comments

Once you ask the question and start reading comments, your job is far from done. Take the time to respond to every commenter. Thank them and comment on something they said, or answer their question if they've asked one. You can also use this opportunity to follow up on their comments and ask them for more details.

Email for More Info

You can also choose to email respondents for follow-up details. Sometimes this is a better approach because they may be more willing to share their opinions privately with you. You may also not want to look like you're soliciting information. Only use the email address they provide on the blog's comment form.

Making Your Blog a Nice Neighborhood

Often, people won't leave their comments because they're afraid of getting attacked or insulted. A way to help them overcome this is to be as supportive and personal as possible. While your blog should generally stick to business, share a personal story sometimes. Make sure you have a nice, smiling picture as an avatar. Be friendly and welcoming, and readers will be more likely to interact with you.

Use Comments for Future Posts

When people comment on your blog, they tell you what they like or don't like. They may also express interest in learning more about something. Use this feedback for future posts. For example, readers may ask a question about something you said in the post or something related to it. Start a list of these topics. You’ll get the double benefit of a ready source of new blog post ideas while giving your audience what they want.

Spy on Your Competition

You can get great information about your market just by looking at your competitors' blogs. There's a good chance you share your audience with them, so see what their readers have to say in the comments. You can use your competitors' blogs for future post ideas as well.

Beyond Your Blog

The technique of asking questions to get a discussion going for market research purposes is one you can use anywhere. Try it on your Facebook profile, Twitter feed or any forums you belong to. The key is to approach it not as a marketer gathering information, but as a friend asking for opinions. This makes people much more comfortable and the information they give you will be more honest and thoughtful. [/MM_Member_Decision]

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