Whether your brand strategy is in the construction phase or up-and-running, there’s a cool little feature that I think is well-worth incorporating. Google Alerts is a free service available to anyone with internet access, and it can add value to so many different brand-building tasks.

Your Brand Strategy Should Include Google Alerts

Signing up for Google Alerts is simple. Just go to https://www.google.com/alerts, enter your preferences and off you go. You’ll receive an email (to the inbox of your choice) every time something is posted to the web that includes the keyword(s) you’re focussing on.

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GET YOUR "SPY ON" WITH GOOGLE ALERTS

Pretty great, I know, but what’s even more exciting is what you can do with the information you gather through Google Alerts. I urge you to build your brand strategy by regularly using the information you mine to accomplish the following:

  • Stay abreast of industry trends. There are a whole world of bloggers out there who make their livings from finding and sharing the latest trends from around the globe. When you receive a Google Alert regarding up-and-upcoming people and advancements in your industry, incorporate that into your communications as soon as possible. Your clients (and your competition) will be impressed (and puzzled) by your brand’s cutting-edge. Caveat:  I never recommend adjusting your brand identity to conform to trends, but rather, creating a brand strategy with enough intellectual space to accommodate whatever’s hot at the moment.
  • Spy on your competition. Wouldn’t you love to know what’s going on in the opponent’s locker room? Google Alerts will save you time by notifying you every time your opponent publishes something new. Of course, this method is far more efficient than visiting your competitors’ websites at the top of every hour.
  • Gather material for blog posts, articles, and social media updates. By now, you probably know that regular, daily, updates are essential parts of any good brand strategy; but if you’re like many people, you struggle with the creation of content. What to write about? What would be most interesting to my target audience? I’m running out of ideas…  Sound familiar? Google Alerts is the answer. Not only will you read blog posts that you want to share, but you’ll read articles that you want to emulate or expand upon. You’ll read things that you don’t agree with – and feel compelled to write about why. The possibilities here are as endless as the Google Alerts you’ll receive.
  • Know what people are saying about your business. This can be integral to finding out who is watching you, who you are best serving, and where your problem areas lie. No matter how badly you want to fire back or ignore criticism, rise above that and use it for the betterment of your brand strategy.

I can’t think of a better way to gather inside information than with Google Alerts. No brand strategy should be without this little gem. To learn about the other gems that make regular appearances in our brand strategies, connect with How to Build a Brand on Facebook.

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