Google Alerts is one of the many tools provided by the mega search engine to help users maximize their web experience. A free service, Google Alerts allows you to set up and schedule web searches based on specific search terms. After a search is established, which only takes about 60 seconds, Google will notify the user by email about the latest web pages of their interest. Currently, there are six types of alerts: news, web, blogs, comprehensive (a mixture of all), video, and groups. You can receive these alerts once a day, once a week or as-it-happens.
The possibilities are nearly endless, because you can set up any search term that you desire. For example, if you wanted to know when new information was posted about the swine flu, the cast of Twilight, or the drama surrounding Tiger Woods, you could do that.
While Google Alerts can be great to use for personal reasons, it can also be a powerful tool for business-to-business marketing.
Here are the top ways to use Google Alerts for BtoB marketing:
1. Track what people are saying about you. With as many blogs that are out there today, someone is bound to say something about your company at some point. You need to know what is being said so that you can get involved in that conversation, especially if it’s something negative. By hearing what others are saying, you can gain tremendous amounts of insight on how your customers perceive your company and what improvement can be made.
2. Research what people are saying about your competitors. If someone if talking about you, you can bet that they are saying something about your competitors, too. Use this as an advantage to find out what your competitors are up to and what they might be doing that is either positive or negative. There is great opportunity in being able to capitalize on something that your customers may not be delivering.
3. Find out what’s happening in the industry. Track the key industry organizations to find out the latest news. This will help your company stay ahead of the curve and it can also be a way for you to be seen as a thought leader. It may also present different opportunities, such as various speaking engagements, partnerships and more.
The beauty of Google Alerts is that it is totally customizable to your needs and it gets delivered straight to your email account. It also saves you time from performing your own Google search and having to filter through the results. There’s no reason not to utilize this tool, because it is cost-effective and provides you with great insight that you didn’t have before.