There are many ways to make money online. One of those options is by paid online focus groups, which help corporations get to know their customers better and learn how to improve their services or products. They can be done by the old-fashioned method of working closely with a group of six to twelve people who share common interests, however, technology development allowed for an easier way of collecting valuable data. And that is working and providing information over the internet.
So, What Exactly Are Online Focus Groups?
Online focus groups are a subcategory of qualitative market research techniques. Qualitative methods seek a greater insight into people’s behavioral patterns, their desires, ideas, likes, and dislikes.
The gathered results help companies transform their business operations, in order to attract more patrons and increase profit, by exploring new product or service concepts, understanding the impact of the brand on the market, developing innovative advertising campaigns, differentiating their image from competitors, and changing their prices.
Online groups usually make 8-10 correspondents engaged in discussions and debates over the internet. The time it takes for a moderator and participants to finish a verbal or written interaction is about 60 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the type of collaborating tools and the research purpose.
Tools used to assemble a target audience and conduct research include:
- Text based panels;
- Chats over smartphones;
- Webcam video interviews;
- Audio-based focus groups;
High-priority engaging research platforms for collecting productive conclusions that many choose are webcam interviews and chat-based analysis. Their simplicity and real-time deliberations provide the beneficial data of immediate personal thoughts and ideas.
It is an ideal give-and-take solution for every party involved. Moderators get what they need for the business to evolve, and contributors get financial aid for their help on the matter.
What Are the Advantages of Online Focus Groups?
Focus groups, in general, investigate complex human behaviors and changes, as well as a deeper understanding of the recurring problems. This large personal connection provides quality solutions, yet the main benefits of selecting and interrogating focus groups online are:
- Obtaining detail information of perceptions, feelings, and interesting ideas from all around the globe. This helps small business form a larger picture of the market they want to explore and ease the transitional process of expanding their services to identified profitable locations. Moreover, large companies can detect flaws and issues with their current or future business operations, and deal with problems at hand or prevent future mistakes.
- Another advantage of online research is affordability. There are no unnecessary costs of travel and lost time, as interviews are done immediately and on schedule.
- Due to the ability to connect from distant locations, the range of information is broader and more insightful.
- Online focus groups can provide on-point opinions, which can later be used as advertising quotations to improve the company’s public relations.
- Anonymity and payment are guaranteed to willingly engaged participants.
Although these are all fair points regarding the beneficial side of online focus groups, there are, however, a few disadvantages to using of this technique:
- Opinions differ and conflicts may arise, which can shift the focus of the main subject. This can sometimes be hard to control and turn around;
- Results can be difficult to analyze;
- Moderators can sometimes have a hard time trying to engage individuals and make them participate in the process;
- The focus group may not be comprised of active consumers or a representative voice of non-users;
- Some participants may feel pressured to agree with the opinions of the majority;
- Dated and inappropriate moderation techniques;
The Difference Between Online and In-Person Focus Groups
In-person focus groups belong to a more “traditional” type of conducting a research. The group of 4-8 people comes together for an interview with a moderator in person. This usually lasts from an hour to two and a half hours, while the group brainstorms numerous product ideas, concepts, and provide feedback.
The true difference lies in their closeness and collaboration. As they are all in the same room, the data is more accurate, since they can be more deeply engaged in the topic, while non-verbal signs show if an individual is being subjected to the opinion of the dominant people. In addition, the process of developing useful ideas is more “alive” and productive. And the overall process is more personal and humane, as the moderator can intervene in person and calm the group.
What About the Payment?
The beauty of online focus groups is that participants get paid for their involvement. A quid pro quo service generally offers between $10 to a $100 per hour. It is basically easy money from the comfort of one’s home, as long as the person has a stable internet connection. Nonetheless, seeing a real profit can be tricky for those who don’t know a proper way to find high paying offers and get the invitation to participate.
There are a several ways to start working remotely and earning well by entering this job field. Numerous opportunities await, if a person can:
- Join online paid forum surveys – Enter the community where members share their online paid survey experiences.
- Become more active on social panels – There are many online social panels that pay after every conducted piece of research.
- Sign up for it – Make an account on focus group sites and become an active member to get invites.
- Ask to be invited – There is no shame in asking, so if the opportunity presents itself, go for it by simply posting a question and waiting to see if you will be granted access.
With the digital age comes digital interaction. It is no wonder that many corporations decide to cut costs while approaching a broader market through the use of the internet.
Companies get lots of valuable information, which they can later use to become leading brands, while the participants get a chance to shape the product and improve services for a lower cost. Online focus groups are a win-win situation for all, especially for those who want to earn money from the comfort of their chair.
I am a blogger with a Master’s degree in English language and literature from University of Belgrade. I simply love computer games, especially World of Warcraft, which I have been playing since the beginning. I like surfing the Internet, looking for awkward facts and using them when people least expect.