You already know that starting your own business (online or off) takes a lot of research. You need to learn everything you can about your chosen niche. You want to know as much as possible about your targeted prospects for whatever you’re marketing. It’s also important to know all about other products currently being sold in your niche. As a matter of fact, if you want your online business to succeed, you will always have more research to do. Keeping an eye on your competition is essential, even after your business is all in place. In order to be able to give your customers better value than your competitors, you must keep tabs on them.
Twitter looks like it’s just for talking with other people. In many ways it is, primarily, a social outlet for people to have conversations with each other in one hundred and forty characters or less. You will also find Twitter utile in that you can view the trending topics within your given subject matter. This will detail the desires of those in your target audience. You will also know what they’re not looking for. You’ll also be able to determine the people they listen to and the ones they avoid, and the true reasons. You can also follow the tweets of your competition so that you can see what they’re promoting and how. This will be entertaining to you while you’re doing what’s required of you.
BoardTracker is a software program that will allow you to see what’s abuzz in the various chatboards. This software will look for posts about your competitors. The software is preprogrammed with over thirty thousand forums so any posts that are relevant to your competitors will get flagged and you’ll be told about it in your email box. You may want to track whole threads, or you may just want the software to find singular posts. This software is even great for tracking what you’re up to. This is very important for image management.
If financial information about your competition is what you’re after, the best place to look is Google Finance. This works better for bigger companies. It allows you to review income statements that have been filed by companies and business owners. You will also find anything that may have been published online about the company, such as news stories or press releases. If your main field is populated by sole proprietors and freelancers this tool might not be very useful. If your Internet marketing company is larger, however, and has corporate status this tool could be very valuable.
It will probably feel a little gross to be researching your competition so intensely. If you were to aim this much attention at a single person you’d probably be called a stalker! The fact is, however, that it’s something you have to do when you are in business, either on or offline. If you want to offer something better than your competitors, you have to know what they’re doing. The successful marketer is the one who can show that he or she offers the best value, and this isn’t possible without knowing the competition inside out.