Maybe you do a quick Google to see if it already exists. But just worrying about whether an idea exists is a rookie mistake. In fact, competition not existing may be a red flag.
If something already exists, you need to analyze the competition and decide if you have a more elegant solution. It it doesn’t already exist you need to ask yourself some questions.
Why doesn’t it exist? Maybe there isn’t demand? Maybe the demand can’t be easily monetized? Who is the end customer and what are they Googling to stumble across your solution?
What is Market Validation?
Market validation is presenting your idea or product to would be end customers and learning from them whether your solution solves their problems. As the name goes, you are validating if there is a market for your idea, product or business.
Market validation is a thorough process that takes place in the early stages of a startup or product launch. Market validation usually occurs once a company has a minimum viable product (MVP). It involves going out in the field and conducting interviews and user testing.
However, I like to do an early version of market validation that involves nothing more than some strategic googling while utilizing a keyword research tool.
Market Validation vs Idea Validation vs Googling
As discussed, market validation is a bit more hands on and happens a few days, weeks or months after your initial idea. Googling to check out your competition and see what else exists usually happens shortly after the Eureka moment, but it isn’t enough. You can Google smarter. That’s where idea validation comes into play.
Idea validation involves Googling phrases around your idea and utilizing a chrome extension called GrowthBar. Using GrowthBar whenever you google a phrase, you will receive a bunch more information surrounding your Google results.
For idea validation, the useful information that GrowthBar gives you is:
- How many people are Googling the same phrase (Demand volume)
- How hard it would be to get your solution onto the first page via content marketing or pay per click ads. (Assessing the competition)
- What related phrases or terms people are googling to find similar solutions to what you are presenting. (Keyword suggestions).
GrowthBar is incredibly simply and intuitive to use. Once you download it, all the information is displayed right within your Google Search.
With market validation, or idea validation, you are primarily looking to make sure there is a high search volume for phrases around your solution. If you plan to market that product through content marketing and pay per click advertising, ideally those keywords have a low keyword difficulty and low CPC rate.
In this post, I am not going to go deep into keyword research or starting a blog, but I do have a free 13,000 word post on how to start a blog that covers all of that and more.
Search Intent & The End Customer
There are 2 more broad concepts to think about when you are performing your initial market validation using keyword research.
Not all keywords are created equal. Search intent refers to judging what the Googler is after based on the keyword’s they are searching. For instance, the word Ferrari is searched over 3 million times a month. 3 million people a month are not in the market for a Ferrari though.
Most of those Googlers likely just want to look at cool pictures of Ferrari’s. For the term, “Ferrari”, the search intent is low. People searching that term are not intent on buying.
However, “Ferrari dealership Los Angeles” has about 260 searches a month. In my mind, that search term has a higher intent. Those are people specifically looking for a Ferrari dealership. Sure, most of them are not going to want to buy a Ferrari, but a much higher percentage of people Googling that term will actually be in the market for a Ferrari. So the search intent is medium or high.
All this is to say, when you are using keyword research for market validation of your idea, be sure that the keywords are high search intent keywords. Keywords people would be searching to find and buy a solution similar to what you are offering.
Shortly after you get your flash of inspiration, write down who would be your end customer. Who would actually buy what you are selling, not just ‘think it’s cool.’
For market validation you have to make sure there are customers out there for your solution AND that they have the economic means to afford it. If you invent a solution your target audience can’t afford, that doesn’t do too much good.
Market Validation Success > Next Steps
If you think you found an idea with successful market validation, put your keywords into a spreadsheet. Make 4 columns:
- Keyword – List of the term
- Volume – How often that term is searched a month
- Keyword Difficulty – How difficult it would be to rank on page 1 for that term
- CPC – The economics of a pay per click campaign
The information will be useful when it comes time to market your product. However, if you truly plan to pursue your idea, it may be worth setting up a website and a blog right away.
If you can create SEO friendly content that captures your target market before your product is complete, you can then launch your product to an audience. Building out a content marketing plan and gaining tracion on Google takes time, so the quicker you start the better.
Market Validation / Keyword Research Conclusion
Ideas are great. I hope you have a lot of them. I also hope that this article has helped you to understand a quick and easy way to gain initial market validation for an idea.
Growthbar is a fantastic tool for idea validation and contains most of what you need to start a blog or create a content marketing strategy.
However, if you are looking for help in the area of content marketing or blog creation you can download my free blogging checklist or reach out to me directly. I like working with entrepreneurs to help them spread their ideas through SEO, video marketing and other growth marketing tactics. email@example.com
Thanks for reading.