Free digital tools to boost your business

I just learned some free digital tools that would extremely help your business! I can’t believe those tools were available all this time and I didn’t know how to use them properly (ie: for business specifically).
This i why I will share with you today the below links, you might know some, but maybe you didn’t really think of using them and see how useful they could be! Those are tools that will help you get more insights into your competitor, your consumer, your product, your band, your market, your campaign in the digital world!

So there you go, I will list them 1 by b 1:

1- GOOGLE BLOGS:  Insights from bloggers into your product and benefits behind blog filters
Have you wondered what people talk about your product, and what exactly key influencers are saying? 93% of people research online before buying any product.. and a majority of these helpful online contents, are actual blogs written by real people which make the opinion or review or idea about it much more trustworthy because it’s not “advertising”

So far, Google has an amazing simple tool which is: GOOGLE BLOGS
With this filtered tool, not only you find blogs on topics you’re interested in, but you can get a huge insight on what the customer is blogging about your actual product/brand and hence affecting the rest of the online community. As a brand manager, you should be present there among your target and listen to everything they’re saying, so that you get incredible insight, find out relevant problems, look for solutions or change the communication strategy if necessary etc… After all it’s in your interest to make sure that people are talking positively about your brand.

Let’s say that I manage Le Charcutier Aoun brand (supermarket). I would type in the search space Le Charcutier Aoun and I would automatically get mentions of my product from bloggers out there. You can either chose to interfere and interact, or listen as it’s a great learning tool.
So by reading some blogs, I can directly assume the following about LCA:
People are talking about my advertising campaigns, and they are surely generating word of mouth around it but they are responding negatively to it by saying that it’s basically stereotyping the Lebanese community in all ads (this might be a good trigger to start looking differently at the future ads…)
Of course to facilitate things even more, you get to choose if you want mentions from the past day, week, month or year!
So people, use it as often as you can, especially if you just launched a campaign or if you’re sales are dropping, you might get real insights from there!

2- GOOGLE ALERTS: Monitor the web for interesting new content
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your choice of query or topic. That way you can be instantaneously updated on information about anything you’re interested in that is available online (in my case on Social Marketing!) The information of course will be gathered from blogs, news, videos, discussion, releases etc…)

Let’s go back to our Le Charcutier Aoun brand example, it’s in my own benefit to always keep track on what my competitor is saying, doing, promoting, releasing or what people are writing about it!
This is why I would most probably subscribe to Spinneys or TSC alerts, even to my own brand to see what’s being said out there.

3- SOCIAL MENTIONS : get Real Time social media search and analysis.
This is one of my newly favorite discovered tool and I absolutely love it!
That simple free easy to use tool allows you to get Real Time social media search and analysis.
Let’s say Le Charcutier just launched a new campaign, and I want to monitor how people are responding right now or for the past week to my campaign whether on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc..
Not only you get to read all the comments that mentioned your brand, but you actually get for free a complete analysis on top left corner of those social mentions!
In LCA case, we can see that it is more of a neutral brand, either people don’t talk much about it, or when you do it’s not emotion led at all.  That shows me that people do not necessarily love my brand nor show enough interest or strong attitude towards it

This also could be highly valuable for journalists, or politicians as well, it gets you instant valuable information on public opinion around a subject.

4- GOOGLE AD PLANNER: Which websites attract your target customers?!

Google ad planner is an GREAT free tool that will help you and guide you in your strategy whenever you want to develop an online media planning.
Clients always do a big mistake by telling us that they want to be present on the top 5 visited websites in Lebanon, but this is not necessarily useful for their brands as they are not considering the profile demographics of people visiting these websites.
Online marketers and media planners know that there are a lot of challenges involved with creating a web advertising campaign and making sure that your adds are placed on relevant websites. It is important that you scale your ad campaign’s reach and keep it relevant to your target audience.
Let’s say again that Le Charcutier Aoun wants to be present and put a web banner on which is among the most visited websites in Lebanon.
However, you can quickly notice that this is a bad decision since the demographics data u get from Google Ad Planner shows that most visitors are males constituting 70% ! However the supermarket’s target should be more focused on communicating to women who form 85% of the customers!

There is also a reverse tool which is to type the profile demographics that you want, and your search results will get you which websites they mostly visit! Sadly this tool is not yet available in Lebanon.

5- GOOGLE TRENDS – Reflects what keywords people are searching for on a daily basis.
Google Trends is the best thing that we can get for free, and it’s still very useful for basic analysis and research. It reports graphically how often a number of search terms have been searched for on Google over time. It’s a great competitive intelligence analysis! Many marketers on the Internet don’t know about it. Some know but don’t understand it and so don’t get the benefits out of it that are possible.

It doesn’t seem possible to understand the behavior of Internet users, far less anticipate it. Google Trends doesn’t explain why some changes happen, or how, but it does a good job at visualizing them. A marketing analyst however can get much more from this tool than just graphs.

This process of finding new search topics with growing interest can be extended to virtually anything with a potential market value, like new products or services, or even to new concepts and ideas. If you are lucky, you can anticipate mass phenomena and newly-coined search terms. You don’t need to be an expert to uncover variations of on-line interests in almost real time. You can now compare a number of interesting topics and phrases and, who knows, maybe you witness a baby star being born!

So why should we care about trends?
Traffic. If you know the keywords people use when they search, you can bring more traffic to your websites. Of course you can also analyze crowd behavior, event sequence and significance. All patterns tell a story! You just need to know how to search for them and read them

Spying on Competition. To the right of the trends graph there are a list of links that show you articles that are ranked high for the keyword that you chose. Look over those articles, get some ideas, spin it and submit it.

Keyword analysis. Get some fantastic data about keyword searches in the Google search engine. For example if you wanted to know how popular Levi jeans were over the past 6 years you could type in “Levi Jeans” and get data that would show you the search trend for Levi Jeans. It will not only give you the search trend but you can begin to focus the searches on country, city or even by language.

As a basic exercise, go to Google Trends website and compare “table tennis” and “ping pong”. Which do you think is more popular? Which country would you think either is more popular? Curious? Go to the Google Trends website and check it out for yourself.

I did the below exercise for myself, trying to compare Audi Bank and Blom Bank. From the search results I get, it is obvious that Audi Bank is more searched over Google, which means it is better marketed than Blom Bank.

That’s it for today! Hope you learned something new from this article.
If you are curious enough, read as well about Google Insights and Google Realtime.

Just practice and play with these tools as much as you can – the more confortable you get with them – the more you get out of them and alter some of the marketing you are doing.



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