Many small and medium businesses struggle with competitive intelligence. After all, when you and your staff are bogged down in day-to-day operational work, how do you find the time to do research on competitors or market activities?
The reality is, whether or not you have the time and resources to do competitive research, you need to know what your competitors and the market are doing. There's nothing worse than being blindsided by changes in your competitive environment, especially when it's a threat to your business that you didn't see coming. And considering how many free resources there are online these days that help streamline the research process, there's no reason for you not to be doing some kind of competitive monitoring.
Here are some of the free tools and resources we recommend using to jumpstart your competitive intelligence efforts.
A free Google Chrome extension that shows work and contact information across different communication channels. With this tool, you can pull up a LinkedIn profile and see mutual friends that you share with that person on Facebook. You can also view public information from Facebook and LinkedIn through Gmail.
Offering free and paid options, Paper.li is a newsletter tool that helps you find and collect content based on targeted keywords and phrases. It uses natural language processing, machine learning and social media to curate the most relevant stories for you.
Ever wonder where your competitors are running digital ads? What Runs Where gives you a snapshot of what ads are being run on which websites. It's useful for informing your ad placements, as well as getting insights on where your competitors are placing theirs. Definitely a tool to keep in your back pocket for advertising research.
With this free tool, you can subscribe to your competitors' RSS Feeds and get notified when they publish new content. You can quickly and easily monitor your competitors' publishing schedules and also see overviews of topics that they are covering. Feedly also shows you website that have covered your competitors so you can identify new opportunities for link building.
A collection of free resources about business and economic conditions gathered and provided by the U.S. government. Whether your organization is B2B or B2C, these resources provide helpful data on various areas of customer and market research.
Looking for Something More?
If you are interested in exploring tools that offer more customization and scalability for your organization, we may be able to help! At CI Radar, we provide low-cost, high value solutions that curate and deliver accurate, relevant insights every day. Click here to learn more about what we do. We may just have the solution you need!