Do you keep up with your competitors and industry trends as often as you should? As a small to medium size business, you know that keeping track of your competition is important for your future growth. Maybe you commissioned a study, or have a paper file of competitors or a summer intern did a bunch of research on the web. When it was created it was very eye-opening, but how do you keep your information up to date? Does your executive team have time to keep up with all of the articles out there on your competitors and industry?
Imagine a central location where a daily stream of articles on your competitors, industry trends and client news appears. This Competitive Research Portal can easily be set up using MyCurator. The key is that the information is highly selective and very targeted, not another fire hose of mostly irrelevant news. Using MyCurator’s relevance engine, you can weed out over 90% of articles, delivering the ‘must see’ information automatically.
You can build your portal right into your current blog or site, using hidden pages that only your team can access. You could also set up a new blog, with password access limited to your company. Either way, your new portal is based on a very powerful content management tool that you control and can extend as needed.
Automating your Content Collection
The first step is to identify the sources of your competitive information. These sources usually would include:
- One or more Google Alerts. These provide a continuous search of the web based on keywords you choose. You might directly search on competitor and client names. You could include keywords that describe your industry.
- Your competitors blogs, and maybe also your client’s blogs.
- Blogs and sites of industry authorities.
- News sites that focus on your industry niche, such as trade journals and niche blogs. Maybe a larger news aggregation site such as TechCrunch, depending on your industry.
- Twitter can also be a source of articles that are tweeted as a link, and you can set up searches on specific hash tags as well as keywords to find them.
You can easily add these sources into MyCurator with a simple click on the Source It bookmarklet tool.
Next step is to set up a Topic for your portal, and identify which Category on your live blog will receive the competitive research. It is best to use broad keywords so that you gather a wide range of articles. Use the training capabilities of MyCurator to add selectivity and target the articles that are most important. After training 20 or so articles, you can tell MyCurator to automatically post only the good, relevant articles to your new portal. Just set the Topic Status to “Auto Post Good – Active”. You now have your competitive research appearing ‘as it happens’ with only a few minutes a week required to keep the system trained.
Easy Access by your Team
Since your new competitive research portal is based on a WordPress site, you have a tremendous number of options to easily distribute your content.
- Use a plugin such as Private Categories or Private Pages or other Members only type plugin to keep the information private to your team or company
- You can create a daily or weekly email digest of the new articles using a plugin such as Subscribe2.
- Publish to your internal social networks such as Yammer or Chatter with Network Publisher.
- Add your portal’s RSS feed to Flipboard, Pulse or other reader Apps on your tablet or phone.
- Create a PDF of key articles for meetings or email distribution using PDF24.
- You can even send out Text messages on important articles using WordPress Text Message.
With a competitive research portal, you now have a single archive of timely, important information for your business. With minimal effort, your executive team, even your entire company, can be up to date on your competitors, clients and industry news.