Ever wondered why your competitor is always one step ahead? They have an engaged social community, a seemingly endless stream of unique content and better buzz but their budget is on par with yours so how do they do? Free online tools, that’s how.
You’re in luck because we’ve just returned from the Ad Tech Australia conference where free online tools were discussed at length. We’re excited to tell you about eight of them today:
1. Google Trends
This is a free online tool that allows you to compare the popularity of search terms, trends and even your competitors!
Want to write a new blog post this week? Before you decide on a topic get on Google Trends to find out what people are searching for and talking about right now.
2. Google alerts
The easiest and simplest way to have news about your competitors delivered straight to your inbox! You can also use these alerts to keep on top of trends and issues in your industry.
We’re really excited about this one – Buzzsumo is a nifty little tool which allows you to analyse the performance of content or topics across a number of social channels.
The site can show you how many shares you and your competitors are getting. It also gives you an insight into the kind of content consumers are sharing, on what platform and at what time. These are really valuable insights that will help you plan a content calendar to maximise results.
Not everyone has time to create unique content on a daily or weekly basis but it is necessary to share things regularly on social media. The solution is usually to share external content from news sites. It’s not a bad approach but it does mean you’re directing traffic away from your owned assets. Snip.ly gives you an opportunity to draw them back in with a call to action and a link back to your website whenever you share 3rd party content.
Want to know how many times your content was shared across social media? Jump onto LinkTally.com, put in the URL and this tool will aggregate all shares across Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn.
6. Facebook Insights
This is a pretty powerful tool and it’s available to everyone with a Facebook business page. Facebook Insights will tell you the best time of day to post your content, the best day of the week and the kind of content that is most popular with your audience.
This is a great tool to help you track down an email address for someone you need to get in touch with, great for both marketing and sales.
Want more of a presence in the media but don’t have the time or resource to run a PR program? Sign up to Source Bottle, it’s a free online platform that connects journalists with businesses. Keep an eye out for any opportunities that are right for you and your business. For more great tips to help generate positive PR for your small business, check out our earlier blog on the topic.
So there you have it, 8 free tools that will help you get ahead of those pesky competitors. A big thank you to Ryan Bonnici from HubSpot who shared a number of these gems during his great presentation at Ad Tech Australia yesterday.
Originally published March 17 2016 , updated January 18 2017