Think you might have a billion dollar business idea that you want to show to the world, but lack the funds or knowledge to actually build the product at this point?
We have all heard or seen of horror stories where tons of dollars have been spent to design and build the full product, only to receive little traction and eventually dies off.
Wouldn’t it be so much if there was an affordable and quick way to validate that business idea to find out if people were actually going to buy your product or your book before you proceed with all the investment of time and money to produce it?
We are extremely excited about it because we are going to demonstrate in this article step-by-step how this issue can be solved with digital marketing. Using online methods and tools, you can validate your idea with your target market to gain feedback about their preferences.
Outlined below are the three steps that you can follow to validate your business idea with digital marketing:
Step 1 – Analyze Demand
In this step, you can start your validation process by analysing your demand. Instead of building a full product and realize no one wants it, you would want to take a step back to use these digital marketing tools to get validation of your business idea first.
You may be wondering the number of potential customers for a product or service, or if a market is growing or shrinking. If so, there are five ways you can use to help you answer those questions quickly!
Perform Keyword Analysis
Most people start with Google when they want to find something, so have a tool to know what people are searching is definitely a gold mine. With that said, the Google Keyword Planner tool can help you assess the demand based on the search volume of a certain product.
A Search Term for ‘Mens Clothes’
Doing a quick search for ‘Mens Clothes’ can easily how you what your customers are searching. The higher the average monthly search, the more demand for a certain product. In this case, there is definitely validation if you are looking to sell Mens Clothes.
Check Out Your Competition
Buzzsumo is another great platform to search which websites are getting the most attention, including how much each social media platform shared that particular content too.
Search results of iPhone 6 Plus on Buzzsumo
Alternatively, if you are looking something specific from Twitter, you can try Topsy as well to learn what customers are talking around the hashtags on Twitter.
If you actually have competition in your niche, it is really not a bad sign. In fact, it is actually a good thing as you know that people are more likely to validate your idea if your product or services are similar.
View Current Market Trends
It may not be wise to develop a product such as film camera especially when the market is on a decline. A great place to actually search that would be Google Trends which tracks the keywords people are searching over the years. Knowing if the market is stagnant or even growing could help you make a better informed decision too.
You can use the keywords from the Google Keyword Tool Planner to search here too. Using ‘Frozen Pizza’ as a search term, you can see the trend is on a slight decline. With information like that, you can decide if you still want to continue to proceed with your business idea. However, a declining trend would only mean lesser validation for a certain product or service.
Approach Target Market Directly
Why not seek the opinions of your target market? This is probably one of the best ways to get validation as people are telling you directly if they like a product or not.
You can start by searching Facebook pages with targeted keywords. If you are offering exercise programs, you can search for groups offering exercise tips.
With so many people in such groups, you can always ask for opinions in such groups and get actual responses from people that would most likely be interested in your product or service already. Similarly, why not try Reddit by searching pages to find communities that would be interested in your product or service too?
Making an online survey and asking specific questions would be great to get specific answers. Using services such as Survey Monkey can help you create professional looking surveys quickly. You can then post these surveys onto the communities you found on Facebook or Reddit (And even offer a lucky draw prize to entice people to fill in). Alternatively, Google Customer Surveys offer paid services that help you push your survey to targeted demographics too.
Example of a survey using Survey Monkey
Check Out The Marketplace
How about validation with a physical product? Check out Amazon for similar products and see the reviews and ratings on it. It is a great way to get free product research from people who bought such a product, and find out if the product met their needs.
Step 2 – Get People Interested In Your Idea.
This step is going to be exciting, as we are going to start getting people to validate YOUR business idea. Even without building any product or service at all, you can still get people excited over your idea. Once you know that there is a demand of people wanting your product, you know that it is already validated and you could start delivering your product or service once you finished it.
Here are four great ways to get validation of your business idea quickly.
Build A Landing Page
A landing page help to clearly describe your product or service, with a specific call to action such as a ‘Sign up Now’ or ‘Buy Now’ button to gauge the interest of your consumers. The more leads you capture, the more validated your idea is.
Of course, your landing page should look presentable and should be clear on its objective. A great example of using a landing page as a validation platform is an app called 520/90, where they let customers ‘test’ the app on the landing page. It then directs people to sign up for their mailing list and got about 4000 people validated their idea, which are also potential customers when they launch the app.
It is easy to create a professional looking landing page, with a few websites that are dedicated to help you building one such as Lander, Instapage, and Unbounce. Best of all, it is easy to setup and use, as all you need to do is drag and drop icon and texts to create your landing page. These services usually include a 30 days free trial when you sign up, so you can essentially make a landing page for free.
Seeing how many people sign up with your mailing list is a great way to get validation quick. You can also track your landing page with Google Analytics to see how much traffic is visiting your landing page too.
Crowdsource Your Business Idea
A popular way in recent times to validate your business idea is through Crowdsourcing, with many sites such as IndieGogo or Kickstarter. The best part of this is getting validation without the need of building finish your product or service, but just showing the world your business idea. The more backers or supporters you get, the more validated your business idea is.
The best part? You get to collect the money upfront, which can help towards building your finished product or services.
Use Google Adwords
Building a landing page would definitely not get you traffic immediately, thus Google Adwords is a great way to get validation for your product or services quickly.
So how does Google Adwords help you validate your idea? Tim Ferriss, the author of ‘4 Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, And Join The New Rich’ ran a Google Adwords campaign with a $200 budget to advertise the same book, but creating different ads for different titles of the book. The ‘4 Hour Work Week’ emerged as the champion and had the most clicks, which showed how interested people were. He eventually sold over million copies of his book.
Why does this matter? He showed how easy it is to cheaply test his product and quickly get validation at the same time. He also managed to get people wanting to buy his product the moment it launched too.
To show how easy it is to use Google Adwords, we will run through how easy and cheap it is to setup a Adwords campaign, just like how Tim Ferriss did, to quickly get validation of your own business idea.
If you are starting out a new Google Adwords account, Google is giving away a $75 coupon if you spend $25. Once you set up and activate your Adwords account, you can begin by clicking the ‘Create your first campaign’ button. You would want to start by setting your bidding option to up to $0.50 per click and a total budget of $20 per day. If you see that you are not getting any clicks, try raising your bid up by $0.25 every couple of hours until you start getting traffic.
While you need a good understanding of Adwords to actually get results, what we are covering is mainly getting validation of your business idea, and see if people are willing to click on your links.
After setting your budget, you would need to enter your headline, descriptions and your URLs. Do enter the correct headline and description and direct people to the correct page too. If you feel you are not getting clicks, you can always create a new campaign with a different headline to see if it gets more clicks.
Example of what to fill in for creating an ad
The next key component is selecting your keywords, which are basically the words your consumers would type out in the search engine in order to find your website. Try not to use too generic terms when choosing your keywords as those are usually very competitive and may cost you a lot for just one click. Remember that you can use the Google Keyword Planner Tool in order to generate more keywords, and also check out how much each search term roughly costs as well.
Using the example of the Mens Shirts and Clothes, you would not want to use the keyword ‘Clothes’, but something more targeted like ‘Mens Business Shirts’ or ‘Mens Long Sleeve Shirts’. The more specific your keyword, the easier it is to get cheaper clicks, and lesser competition as well. Remember, your keyword should be something a potential customer would search and should make sense.
Use Facebook Advertising
Another great advertising platform you could use to validate your idea is through Facebook Ads, which have tools to help you target the relevant target market easily.
You can start by clicking the ‘Create Ads’ Button, and clicking ‘Increase Conversions on your website’ to begin with as you want people to sign up. Digital Marketer has proved that picking the option of increasing conversions has 5 times the conversion rate over just sending clicks to your website.
The best part about Facebook Advertising is the ability to target the right audience, and it shows you the potential reach of people depending on the requirements that you entered. Fill in the relevant demographic information according to what you need.
Your budget should be set at $20 a day as well for a start, and set to start from today. Alternatively, you can choose to use a lifetime budget if you prefer.
The last step is actually to insert your Headline, description and picture of your ad. If you already have a Facebook page, do link it to your advertisement as it is required for advertising on newsfeed. Just like Google Adwords, setting a proper headline with a proper description is crucial, with a great picture that describe what your product or service is all about.
Step 3 – Evaluate And Improve Your Results.
The last step in the validation process is just re-evaluating your results and improving the process if there is a need to. Review your analytics to see if people are clicking your keywords, or if people are leaving their emails on the landing page. You can always go back and setup a new Adwords campaign with different headlines to see if you get better results too. If you feel it is working well, you can always scale up your budget to get more traffic.
You will know if your idea is being validated if people are leaving their contact details with you, or even asking you when they can purchase your product or service. At this point, it is all about nurturing your leads to covert them to potential customers.
If you feel you are not getting much results or validation, you can simply repeat the process from step 1 and going through all the points again. However, if it still does not yield positive results, it could mean that your product or service is not feasible, and your business idea is not validated.
By simply repeating these three easy steps, you can affordability get validation of your business idea from your consumers, who may already be interested in your product or service. These methods do not take a lot of time to execute, and might save you from over-investing in your idea.
P.S. If you need the free $75 Google AdWords voucher, just drop us a note via contact form and we’ll get back to you in no time.