Virtual Focus Groups

March 15, 2023

ViB Editorial Team

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By participating in focus groups online you get the opportunity to network, learn more about different organizations, and expand your knowledge about various companies and industries. Considering that Zoom has seen a 2900% increase in daily meeting participants since December 2019, the relevance of being able to meet virtually cannot be overstated.

Finding the best focus group websites is key to participating in quality discussions. You might also try browsing focus group panel reviews to get a better idea of which panels are successful and which ones were less helpful. 

Ideally, you should aim to join a group that’s led by a knowledgeable panel. These volunteers meet to discuss a certain product or idea, so it’s important that they come prepared to share their thoughts in a meaningful way. 

Survey Junkie is an example of a focus group website, offering users up to $150 per session. While the site is free to join, it can be difficult to find and qualify for group meetings. 

Respondent is another site that hosts paid focus groups online. You can join from anywhere in the world, but the downside is that the site keeps 5% of what you earn. It’s important to read the terms and conditions of your site of choice so that you know exactly what you’re getting into and whether or not it’s going to meet the needs of your business.

Make your virtual events lively, engaging and more productive.

Different focus group sites are geared toward different types of users, so there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all solution to finding the perfect focus group. You just have to see what’s best aligned with your company objectives.

Online focus groups

There are many types of online focus groups, but they’re usually separated by free vs. paid. People participate in free focus groups without compensation, while they receive money for participating in paid research studies. 

Virtual focus group paid studies can offer tremendous insight into the B2B or B2C process, as participants have incentive to provide the most valuable feedback possible. 

On the other hand, those participating in free studies aren’t getting paid for their time. If they volunteer to be a part of the group, it’s because they’re interested in offering feedback for the sole purpose of asking questions, expressing their concerns, and helping your business to become better.

One of the major cons of paid focus groups is that they can be costly. Hosting one or two meetings a year isn’t likely to put a dent in your budget. But if you expect to be holding regular focus groups, it’s important to factor in all expenses related to the process. Still, paid research studies are a great way to gather B2B feedback. 

Focus groups allow you to collect direct feedback and chat with stakeholders on a personal level. This can enable you to build better working relationships with the companies you serve.

Virtual focus groups allow individuals and organizations to connect with their target audience and gather valuable feedback. These groups are important in the B2B space, as they provide a platform for companies to foster relationships with other businesses.

Virtual focus group best practices

Before forming a focus group, you should take the time to learn about virtual focus group best practices. For instance, it’s best to use popular video tools like Zoom and Skype so that more people can join in on the conversation. 

Just keep in mind, hosting an unstructured session in the more mainstream platforms may not give you the direct feedback you need. However, hosting a focus group on Zoom is easy—simply have people register for the event and send them the unique code or password required to join the event. 

For more tips on how to run a focus group on Zoom, you can visit Zoom’s website or view an FAQ page. Another best practice is using relevant tools. Virtual focus group tools can help keep everyone engaged.

You can avoid many of the disadvantages of online focus groups by adhering to best practices. The best online focus groups make it a point to provide relevant information to both hosts and participants. 

ViB’s Virtual Networking Forum (VNF) is one such platform that enables users to host lively, interactive conversations online. The VNF allows participants to control the direction of the conversation, by voting in or up topics for rapid fire conversation. 

Additionally, at the conclusion of the session, VNF generates a detailed report with action items so that you walk away from each meeting with a valuable overview of what was discussed and what steps you can take next.

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Virtual focus group size

It’s important to consider online focus groups advantages and disadvantages so that you are better equipped to tackle any challenges that may arise with the process. 

Some of the benefits of this kind of qualitative research are:

  • It helps businesses generate content, improve PR
  • Help them spread brand awareness through channels like social media. 

The disadvantages of online focus groups primarily are: 

  • Miscommunication. When chatting virtually, it can be hard to read certain verbal and facial cues. 
  • Some participants may feel that they can’t voice their opinions freely in a group setting. 
 

Pro tip: It can be helpful to take virtual focus group size into account, limiting the number of participants in each meeting so that you have time to get around to everyone and people aren’t intimidated by a large group. 

The ideal size for your focus group depends on your industry, what product or idea you’re discussing, and the length of the meeting. 

Online focus group, qualitative research can be extremely helpful for businesses that want to hear directly from consumers and partners. You might also wonder whether it’s best to host an online focus group vs traditional focus group. The main difference between the two is setting. 

Online focus groups are hosted online, and traditional groups meet in person. Generally, online groups allow for more participants, but traditional groups tend to offer a more intimate feel, so you should determine what’s most important to you in a focus group.

Online focus groups example

A great online focus groups example is representatives of a brand meeting with consumers to get their thoughts on the latest product going to launch. These focus groups are centered around showing branded designs, brand mark, colors, approach and ultimately the feedback of the group.

Online focus groups paid meetings are another variation designed to extract quality feedback from participants. 

Online focus groups qualitative research can be used to make better business decisions, but perhaps more importantly, it offers insight into the customer experience. The best way to understand the people you work with is to speak with them directly, and the data obtained via focus groups can help you improve your products and services going forward. 

The VNF can help facilitate productive focus groups. While traditional webinars and virtual events limit the flow of information, VNF encourages two-way dialogue with participants. It also provides numerous opportunities for attendees to connect—before, during, and after a session.

How to run a focus group

As far as how to conduct online focus groups, it’s best to turn to other businesses in the space for inspiration. Take a look at how others are facilitating virtual focus groups and try to incorporate the best methods into your own business. 

You might also research some of the best virtual focus group tools to enhance your meetings and promote participation. For more ideas on how to run a focus group, you can also join in on one yourself. Take note of the things you liked about the discussion, as well as the things you could do differently in your own group.

With testimonials and case studies from Guardicore, Nutanix, and more, VNF helps users discover relevant opinions to meet their business objectives, gather feedback from highly qualified panelists, and access ViB’s network of millions of technology professionals.

ViB’s focus groups differ from traditional groups in that they involve exceptionally qualified participants that pull from the collective expertise of the overall community. Users provide ViB with their questions and audience targeting criteria, and then ViB gets to work on making it happen—all you have to do is moderate. 

Later, you receive a video and transcript of the session so that you can go back and study key points. This can be used for many use cases: product or market research, capturing customer feedback, demand generation and more.

Focus group guidelines

Establishing focus group guidelines can help keep everyone on track and ensure a productive meeting. There are many different ground rules for online focus groups that you might consider. 

For example, many groups try to avoid controversial topics. Other focus group ground rules examples include the order in which participants are allowed to speak and following a set agenda. 

When facilitating virtual focus groups, it can also be helpful to set different roles. Focus group roles should include a moderator, as well as someone to take notes and action items. If you don’t have the resources to provide those, consider using ViB’s VNF which provides all of those for you.  

By setting some basic focus group rules for participants, you can get more out of your discussion. You might also collect participant feedback on guidelines for conducting a focus group, asking them what they liked and disliked about the meeting after the fact and using their responses to make improvements to the way you run group sessions.

How to generate sales leads online

In terms of how to generate sales leads online, you have several options. Starting a blog is one of the best ways to do so. B2B lead generation blogs are designed to attract leads with quality written content. 

Ideally, you should provide something of value to blog visitors, such as information about their needs or interests. If you’re thinking about starting a blog to generate leads, it’s important to follow blogging best practices. These include blogging on a regular, consistent schedule, including CTAs, and optimizing your titles. 

At the end of the day, whether you’re generating leads from a blog or otherwise, you should understand how to generate leads in sales B2C and how this differs from B2B lead gen. In the B2B space, businesses are targeting other businesses. They need to be much more knowledgeable about the content they’re promoting and be able to demonstrate how their services can see another company’s needs.

B2C lead gen, by contrast, targets individual customers and centers around brand awareness and getting consumers closer and closer to making a purchase. In other words, B2B lead gen is more about fostering an ongoing relationship between companies, while the B2C strategy is designed to turn leads into paying customers. Some of the best practices for B2C lead gen include the use of content marketing, paid ads, and gated content.

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