For small businesses, market research may be appreciated as necessary but not quite priority. If operating budgets balance on a shoe-string, then it can be safe to assume that advertising budgets dangle on a string of dental floss. Therefore, easy to use DIY tools that are free come in handy in helping SMEs win like Big businesses without investing in corporate type budgets.

One such tool that every SME should already be using is Google Trends.  Thanks to Google Trends, small businesses can unlock consumer insights without spending a single shilling. It’s a simple straight forward easy to use tool that gives you insights into what your target customer is likely to be  interested in based on what they are looking for online.

Depending on how wide the data available is for the location you are searching through, you can even be able to conduct product searches and compare different products.

A good example on how Google Trends works is if you type the word CAKE and select Kenya for region, you will get a dashboard with related topics, and search queries in a select region.

From the generated data, one can tell that there is significant interest in how to make cake. Another point of audience interest is the price of cake. Key consumer tastes focus on sweetness and confections like donuts.

As a bakery owner, these insights can guide me on what content would be of greatest interest to my likely target consumer on social media.  My Instagram page would likely showcase my sweet treats with equally sweet price deals to really connect with potential consumers of my products.  My Facebook page would probably feature a step by step short video demo on how to make a simple cake with affordable and easily available ingredients.

Relevant content means greater audience engagement which in turn means a higher likelihood that people will share your content and therefore increase your business visibility among your target customers. This translates to an 100% return on your advertising spend and a highly effective marketing campaign strategy based on very basic market research.

Blog photo by Paul Efe from Pexels

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