The 7 Most Effective Ways to Track Trends in Your Industry
If you are the type of person who loves keeping up with the Kardashians, then chances are high that you probably know everything that happens in their celebrity family. The same idea can be transferred to your business by keeping up with the latest industry trends if you want to stay above your competitors.
For business owners looking for a way to track trends in their industry, here are seven ways to boost your marketing efforts by approaching business the same way people approach Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe.
1. Research Online
The internet is full of websites, blogs, and forums, which all contain useful and updated information about your specific industry. If you want to stay on top of market trends, you need to find which of these sites are most highly regarded, and make it apart of your business strategy to check them regularly. Pick your favorite and make it your homepage, so every time you launch your browser you’re getting some new tidbits for market research.
If you think you’re on top of an emerging trend, it might also be helpful to have a strategy in mind to check metrics before you invest heavily in something that turns out to be a dud. For example, google trends can help you see how much interest there is in whatever has caught your eye, or you could try searching Twitter hashtags to see what sort of conversation is happening.
2. Keep up with Your Competitors
Sometimes it is advisable to peep through the window and see what your neighbor is cooking. You may discover a new recipe and twist it a little bit to improve your work.
Even with an optimized formula for industry research, you’re not going to be able to catch everything that’s happening at once. Luckily, your competitors can help close the gap for you. Make sure you check on what their marketing strategy is, but be careful not to outright copy anything or you could get into trouble down the line. Just pick a few competitors whose strategy you envy, and check back in with them now and then to see what you can learn about new trending topics.
For instance, your competitors could be making greater profits through the use of an online timecard software to manage their employees, and you would only discover such valuable information if you were to view their case studies.
3. Social Media Interaction
You can use social media specifically to find out what is trending. With sites like Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, you will find priceless information about what people love to eat, wear, drink, and drive, or anything else that relates to your industry. Furthermore, LinkedIn will let you see what other business professionals think about those topics. How are they reaching their audience? What do people want to see? You can learn a lot from what other business owners are doing, which can help you make informed decisions.
Then, you can use this type of information to your advantage by satisfying those customers’ needs.
4. Talk to Experts
Regardless of the industry you specialize in, you can never fail to find experts, or influencers, who have established themselves by building their reputation. Get in touch with them by following their tweets, updates, or websites for more information about the industry.
Often times, these experts will have found a way to monetize their expertise through eBooks or webinars. If you find an expert you particularly click with, it might be worth it to invest in some of these tools to get an in depth look at how they’re doing business. Plus, these resources sometimes come with freebies such as trend reports or referrals to analytics tools that might help you become an industry leader later down the line yourself.
5. Participate in Conferences
Conferences are not organized to bring different people together simply because they miss each other; they provide important information and ideas about the industry that you can use to your advantage, further advancing your business. Attending a conference might give you insider information when it comes to industry news, which can position you to take advantage of something before your competitors.
6. Routine Investigation
You have to be a good investigator to find out what is happening in your industry. For the best results, make it your daily habit to investigate the market, and you’ll start recognizing something promising before anyone else does, giving you that competitive edge.
You’ll be more familiar with certain search terms, and understand how other businesses have taken advantage of certain trends in the past.
7. Interact with Your Customers
Sometimes, the best way to find out the latest trends is by interacting with your customers through reviews and testimonials. You will discover important details about the industry, especially when you are dealing with customers who have used other services or products previously before choosing yours. Positive interaction gives those customers a reason to keep coming back.
These 7 techniques of tracking the trends in your industry are what you need to make you stand out in the crowded market. By researching what’s trending, you have the ability to implement additional inventions or features for a specific trend, market your spin-off, and maybe enjoy almost as much publicity as the Kardashians.