Discover the essential competitive intelligence tools

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What are the best tools to monitor your competitors effectively?

Once you have created your professional website, you should implement competitive intelligence to keep up to date with the latest news.

Let’s give you some examples of competitive intelligence tools that will help you organize monitoring effectively, and save you time. Competitive intelligence might be time-consuming, but it’s essential on the internet.

You already know the objective of competitive intelligence and its tools, and especially if they are useful for your business, project or website.

There are different methods and competitive intelligence tools. In the same way, you’ll find many websites and platforms. Each of them will present a different aspect of competitive intelligence. This will enable you to start following trends and competitors totally.

competitive intelligence

Pull method: searching information for your monitoring

This method gets its name from the eponymous verb. It means that you search information actively and periodically. This method enables you to collect data, ideas, information, quality and relevant inspirations from day to day.

However, the pull method is implemented periodically because it might be time-consuming. Therefore, choose the right moment to start competitive intelligence on your favourite platforms.

Mind maps for effective digital monitoring

There are organizational tools that enable you to classify and illustrate your thoughts with visual elements, in the form of a structured plan or mind map, following the associative path of your ideas.

A mind map is a diagram used to represent ideas and concepts. It’s a visual thinking tool to structure information, better understand, remember and have new ideas.

For example, you can use the following websites:

👉 Mindmeister.com

It’s an online software that enables you to create and collaborate with others on these mind maps. This tool is available on the internet, IOS, and Android applications. Mindmeister has different plans to suit your needs. However, the Basic plan is free and enables you to add up to 3 mind maps, collaborate in real time, and email the customer support.

👉 Bubbl.us

It’s a tool for brainstorming, thanks to the creation of mind maps. It’s an American collaborative tool, you can find on the internet (no downloading is needed). Furthermore, it enables you to save your maps in the form of images or graphic coloured and attractive representations.

Thus, you can represent visually a subject with subparts, annexes, inspirations, sources… A mind map is used when you need to convey an idea, concept, project, or emotion. You can discuss with many interlocutors or update your digital monitoring easily, thanks to this display and these tools.

This tool is very useful for digital marketing. This notion might be abstract for some people, but its ins and outs become clearer with a fluent message you can edit with just one click.

You can create any type of mind maps, such as the one about the toolbox and digital monitoring about e-learning.

digital marketing

Social media as a monitoring tool

There are different specialized social media to share and monitor trends. Here are some examples:

👉 Instagram has an illustrated news feed with a hashtag system, as well as a location and classification by themes system that enable you to find the last or the most popular publications.

👉 Pinterest also enables you to create a mood board. You can create files and pin images, as well as classify or share your inspirations.

👉 Dribbble is for professional web designers (or digital graphic designers). It’s a specific platform for creation, sharing, and exploration of fonts, animations, UX/UI mock-ups, illustrations, mobile, and web design… If you want to redesign your website, reorganize your pages, draw your inspiration for a project or know web trends, this platform is for you.

competitive intelligence tools

💡 In general, internet users spend a lot of time on the internet, especially on social media, every day. You just need to implement methods for classifying information to make the best of these monitoring tools.

Push method: the information comes to you

The method for digital monitoring is called the Push method. This method refers to the information “pushed” towards users automatically. This enables them to save a lot of time, and offers a continuous monitoring in the future. You must install and automate your monitoring tools once; the rest will do itself. 😉

However, you need to handle the tools you use, and you might receive too much information (information overload refers to the fact of having too much information). Therefore, choose your tools and monitoring sources to ensure a quality content.

Monitoring through RSS feed

RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication or very simple publication) are free content feeds from websites. More specifically, there are files with automatic content that depends on the updates of a website. There are 3 different ways to read an RSS feed:

  • By using a web service to add content

  • By opening a free account on an RSS feed aggregator

  • By downloading a free program

👉 Netvibes.com enables you to create a page that gathers all the new publications of your favourite sources, including social media.

👉 Theoldreader.com offers the same type of service that enables you to browse among the news of your favourite websites and share these contact details with your contacts.

👉 Flipboard is an aggregator specializing in data feeds from social networks. It works like a magazine by indexing all the publications that interest you.

online marketing tools

Google Alerts as a monitoring tool

Google offers a useful tool for business intelligence, investigate themes or keywords, control your online reputation. For example, you can collect publications that talk about you, your brand, and events in which you participate…

To that end, you just need to create an alert (on Google Alerts) for one or several keywords to receive the main current subjects on search engines.

google alerts

You can choose if you want to receive the results by email or RSS feed.

Create a newsletter to boost your monitoring

The newsletter is one of the most former marketing tools, which is used for sharing relevant information. Billions of emails are sent worldwide every day.

What is the key to success for newsletters today? They enable a company, blogger, or association to give custom information in real time, and create a privileged communication between the source and the destination (the company and the reader).

They are useful to keep yourself informed about the new products, services, or brand.

 Don’t hesitate to follow and subscribe to your competitors’ newsletters. It will be possible to draw your inspiration from them, and be on the lookout for their new services and products.

Other solutions and tools to organize your website monitoring

These trendy tools will enable you to keep yourself updated with publications without an RSS feed.

  • Feed43.com enables you to create a “News feed”, including from websites that don’t support it originally, and monitor the publication of new articles with the opportunity to customize your feed.

  • Feedly.com enables you to access on a single page all the brand-new articles of your reference websites and all the new publications of a specific sector (design, technology, motor industry, film industry, fashion…).

  • Scoop.it enables you to gather data and then to edit and share them.

  • Paper.li or Press Jack enable you to create your newspaper with contents collected on the internet.

Conclusion on monitoring tools

You have everything you need for a strong diary monitoring.

As a reminder, your digital monitoring learns towards two concepts: the push and pull methods. These methods include many monitoring tools to organize yourself in an effective, relevant and fast way.

  • The Pull method:

    • search engines

    • bookmarks and favourite pages

    • meetings, videos

    • social networks

  • The Push method:

    • the tools that enable to receive RSS feeds

    • the automated monitoring for sending notifications

    • mailing lists

Leaving comprehensive monitoring with tools enables you to be up-to-date on marketing, graphic, economic, political, technological trends… to enhance your digital identity.

A high degree of vigilance on specific topics will make famous your credibility and expertise, and will also enhance your digital visibility.

Thanks to all these monitoring tools and methods, whatever you use one or several, you will be reactive and proactive, and will be able to implement the strategy that will make a difference to create a successful business or project!

Anaïs Sautarel
Translator
As confident in the mountains as with foreign languages, our contents and tool travel around English-speaking and Spanish-speaking countries with me. 🌍

Last update: September 13, 2022

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