Building a Listening Outpost - 5 Keys to Monitoring Your Marketplace
At FuelDog when we start with a new client, the first thing we do is set up a ‘listening outpost’ to monitor their industry. This single screen RSS-driven dashboard aggregates content from leading media companies, thought leaders and news feeds in order to better understand what’s going on and being discussed in your marketplace at any given time. Knowing what your industry is reading and writing about can help you stay on top of new technologies, best practices, and innovations that you may have otherwise missed. Compiling key industry sources in an organized way, allows you to consume the vast amount of information necessary to keep your fingers on the pulse of your market.
And you’re not doing this just to have a new and improved way to waste an afternoon. The upside of creating a listening outpost is the ability to consistently generate ideas for fresh online and social media content based on the news, trends and patterns you identify. Your goal should be to make original, rich, content
that people inside of your industry find valuable. Good content draws visitors to your web presence, inspires rich social media interactions and results in an increase the visibility of your online presence
Here are five keys to monitoring your marketplace.
People in your organization already know who the key media companies are that focus on your space. Whether through websites, newspapers, magazines or journals, online content from these important media sources is very easily accessible at little or no cost. Subscribing to your industry’s several news sources provides you with insights into trends and patterns affecting your space and allows you to leverage your internal expertise to generate valuable content discussing them.
What are they key associations serving your industry? In many ways, associations act as media companies - producing digital content, research papers, conferences, tradeshows and webinars. Due to their unique position as an industry hub, thought leaders from various companies contribute their knowledge to the association. Be sure to track the news and content coming from these associations as their job is to cover the trends in your industry for their members.
Thought Leaders are experts in their respective fields who take their expertise and give it away to you for free (soon to be you). Typically they will do this through their blogs, Twitter accounts, or various articles that they publish throughout the internet. As a result of following what they write and talk about online, you too can see trends and patterns that exist in your marketplace, and use what you know to your advantage in business. Ask the smart people inside your organization which industry gurus they follow.
Proactively searching out keyword based alerts keep you informed about the constant happenings in your trade. FuelDog internally uses the Google Alerts system to track important keywords for the businesses and industries that we work for. Google Alerts
a system in which keyword based alerts are delivered to either your RSS feed or email’s inbox whenever your keywords are mentioned anywhere out in cyberspace. Some useful keywords to include in your alert system would be your company name, your competitors name, any partners that you are associated with, and the search keywords that are critical to your company
Organize your industry in a RSS reader
The most crucial part step in building a listening outpost once you have found all of your sources of information, is to organize it. An RSS reader allows you to create a dashboard view of your marketplace all on one screen and easily sift through the information . While FuelDog uses Netvibes
, Google Reader
and other popular readers like NewzCrawler
, and Omea Reader
will certainly do the trick. These readers grant you the ability to briefly scroll over the headlines, peruse 1-2 line summaries and if it’s something that you are interested in, click to dig in deeper.
With this ability to oversee the entire landscape of your industry, you are able to digest vastly more information than through traditional methods. This allows you to consistently generate new ideas for rich, valuable content
and is a critical first step in turning your organization from an observer, into a highly visible industry thought leader.