Performing research on the competition is an essential part of marketing. That’s true for online marketers as well as traditional marketers. But how do you spy on the competition without spending a ton of money? It’s real easy online.
Here are 4 ways you can spy on the competition surreptitiously without spending any money:
- Subscribe to newsletters – Your competitors, at least some of them, likely have an e-mail newsletter. Subscribe to it. One clever way to do this is to set up a ghost e-mail account at Hotmail, Yahoo! or even Gmail. Subscribe to all competitor newsletters through that e-mail address, and read every issue.
- Subscribe to blogs – You should read your competitors’ blogs every day. The best way to do that is to subscribe to their RSS feeds, or you can subscribe by e-mail. It’s best to create a folder in your news feed reader and put all competitor blogs in that folder. Read through the posts every day.
- Join community forums – Your competitors are hanging out in the top forums that serve your niche. You should join too. You don’t even have to interact with anyone. You can see what the competition is up to just by reading the threads.
- Create Google Alerts – With Google Alerts you can spy on competition you didn’t know you have. Create alerts for 20 of your top keywords and every time those keywords are detected by Google, you’ll be notified.
With these 4 espionage tactics you will always know what’s going on in your industry, especially with your top competitors.