Online communities are among the most important qualitative tools driving online market research today. But, how can you use it and prove ROI?
Many success stories start with creating personalized studies to gain information about your audience. And with an online community, you can make your own activities, tasks, and discussion forums to gain beneficial findings.
Additionally, you can target and engage a specific segment of participants to further mine data and feedback on products, services, concepts, or ads.
To do that, follow these 4 key steps for creating your awesome online community:
1. Get your data in
- Combine different tasks in the community to create interesting activities and assign specific segments to complete each one.
- Utilize activity based-research and mobile-ready applications on screens like iPads and Smartphones.
- Determine your own questions; choose to deploy “quick polls,” videos, and instant activity-based reporting.
2. Socialize responses
- Share each individual’s responses with the community for wider discussion and feedback. This can lead to unexpected, successful, business-changing insights.
- Use the discussion board with both research and community-led topics for engaging participants in an ongoing conversation.
- Ask engaging, discussion-oriented questions like “Who are your favorite local retailers and why?” or ask the community to review an advertisement.
- Moderate and monitor responses to guide participants, answer questions, and screen posts.
- Interact with community members to encourage further conversation about their comments or discussion posts.
- Continually add more topics to the discussion board to keep the level of chatter high and participants engaged.
4. Take insights out
- Access the data on demand. In a properly run community, you should be able to see exactly what the online community members’ answer, rate, or discuss.
- Code responses to organize valuable insights. You can also select excerpts and categorize similar answers.
- Run quick reports during the community session to keep a watchful eye on participation, coding, and poll data.
- Track responses and produce longer, comprehensive reports at the close of the community.
By following these 4 steps, you'll easily be able to prove a significant return on investment through the actionable insights you gathered, more informed business decision making, and enhanced loyalty and satisfaction of the participants (your customers).