Friday 08 August, 2014
Trends in your market change fast. As an online marketer, you have to have your ear to the ground all the time to detect these changes so that you can respond to them as soon as possible. That’s what your competitors are doing and you need to stay on top. Here are some ways to find out what’s going on right now in your industry.
Sign up for Alerts
Sign up for alerts with a program like Google Alerts. With Google Alerts, you enter specific keywords and whenever something is posted online using those keywords, it sends you an email notification. You can sign up for your company’s name, your competitors’ names, your product names, and any other keywords that are related to your business. You can sign up for a periodical email roundup or a notification as soon as something is posted.
Follow the Leader
Identify thought leaders or influential people in your industry and follow them. Connect with them on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to their blog. Start by following companies you know and like and follow it up with a keyword search. You can sign up to follow a bunch of people and then weed out those that don’t post much of interest. You’ll quickly figure out who are the best to follow.
Keep in Touch
Keep in constant contact with your customers. Great ways to do this are through social media, online forums and reading their blogs. They will often clue you in to what’s new in your market. Listen to their conversations and pay attention to topics of interest. When a customer mentions something new and interesting, do some web research on your own to find out more about it.
Tune out the Noise
Be selective and look for only key information. You don’t have to read every single Facebook post or tweet. Become a good skimmer and separate what’s important to you from noise. For each bit of information you see, ask yourself whether it’s useful for you or not.
Join trade organizations and other online groups in your industry. Most trade organizations send out newsletters all about the latest news and trends in their niche. They’ll also have networking events and other benefits.
Webinars are a great way to find out about new things in your market. A webinar is like a seminar but it’s held on the internet. They’re often free and you can usually download a transcript or outline.
Take every opportunity to network with others in your niche. Ideas still get spread the old fashioned way, by word of mouth. Get to know people and stay in touch with them to find out what’s new.
Set aside a little time each day to read the news from your sources and see what’s new. Bookmark sites and blogs that you like in addition to the ones you subscribe to and check in with them. Work this into your regular schedule.