What are trend-tracking tools?
Trend-tracking tools are software and other methods used to collect and analyze consumer data. These tools can help your company understand what your customers are looking for and where your industry is headed.
These tools include traditional market research methods such as surveys and focus groups, as well as software for social listening and analytics.
How do they help your business?
By staying on top of industry trends, you can anticipate customer demands. You might see a demand for a product or service before other companies do. Trend-tracking tools allow you to anticipate changes in consumer buying behavior.
Trend analysis tools can help you identify emerging opportunities in new markets. They can even help you detect negative trends around a particular brand or product.
13 trend-tracking tools to keep tabs on your industry
There are many tools available to help you track industry trends, but not all of them are helpful or provide consistent results. Here are a few that work.
This service aggregates all of the stories, outlets, keywords and trends that interest you in into one easy-to-manage list so you can keep up with trends and news stories. Feedly can save you time from scouring the internet for the information you are interested in.
Stratfor is a geopolitical intelligence firm that provides intelligence information and aggregates trends and articles from sources worldwide. This is an excellent resource for businesses that operate internationally. You can use it to help anticipate opportunities and events worldwide so you’ll have a better understanding of international developments.
Facebook can also operate like a news aggregator. You can “like” industry publications and quickly review them via the Pages Feed. The feed is useful because it combines pictures and enough text to know if the article is relevant to you.
Social media offers a wealth of ways to track industry trends. Learn how to get the most out of each network.
Slack is a chat application that allows teammates to communicate easily. It acts as an internal social network where users can share a variety of content, including relevant news. Users can also have one-on-one conversations.
5. Private lists on Twitter
Twitter offers business a lot of value. Private lists on Twitter are one way to manage and sort a variety of industry-related information.
6. Moz Top 10
The Moz Top 10 is a semimonthly email newsletter that shares inbound marketing news, insider tips and relevant links uncovered by the Moz team. This newsletter is a great way to stay current on internet marketing trends.
7. Launch Ticker
Launch Ticker is designed to help entrepreneurs receive important tech news in their inboxes. It avoids the need to browse every blog post that is published. Launch Ticker has both free and paid plans.
NewsBlur allows you to create your own RSS feed. You can set it up to receive news relevant to your industry.
The Flipboard app’s user-friendly interface lets you quickly read and digest information from your chosen publications. It offers an easy way to identify industry-relevant sources and congregate that content in one location.
10. Your network
One nondigital way to keep track of trends is to build a network of other business owners within your industry. Set aside time to connect with your network regularly to keep up with the issues and trends they are seeing.
11. Custom Google Alerts
Google Alerts can help you stay on top of industry news, competitors and your own press. Google allows you to set alerts for any keywords. Whenever those keywords appear in a news article, Google will send you an alert with a link to the news source. You can choose how often you want to receive the alerts.
12. Google Trends
Google Trends is a website that shows how often a particular search term is entered into Google. It’s one of the best options for companies focused on keyword research. You can use Google Trends to track search terms and receive detailed analytics about the people searching for these terms.
Topsy is a free search tool for Twitter that allows you to search for tweets all the way back to Twitter’s inception in 2007. You can also use Topsy to track your own company on Twitter and analyze the content you share. The site ranks each piece of content for you in order of how often other users share it.
Scott Gerber contributed to the writing and research in this article.