Boost your small company’s marketing with an RSS feed reader.
It’s easy to use, inexpensive and even just using its free functions can yield great results in how you plan your next campaign.
RSS has all the hallmarks of an incredible market research tool, and that sad part is that not many people seem to realize this.
What is RSS?
RSS came about as a means to solve the then-pressing problem of ‘how do I effectively follow and stay on top of so many blogs?’ A problem, which never really went away and if anything, has only grown bigger. Hence why RSS is due for its comeback.
Really Simple Syndication allows users to view posts and updates from multiple sites in one place (the RSS feed reader) by subscribing to RSS feeds coded into each site’s source code. That’s it! Simple and straightforward.
How is it used?
RSS is best used as a way to receive and consume a large volume of information, which is shown in a chronological order. Advanced RSS readers have greatly widened the pool of feeds that it can support. Inoreader for instance supports most types of social media platforms. Install its browser extension and you’ll be able to detect a feed directly and subscribe to it with a click.
RSS feed for your small business
You’d be surprised just how many applications there are for RSS. It has emerged as the ideal, low-cost tool for social media listening and monitoring, as well as brand monitoring. It can perform a lot of the tasks other tools like Sprout Social can do, but you’re not required to play the big price.
So what’s so great about RSS feed readers? Well, you can…
Engage your audience
Do you actually know your audience as good as you think you do? The biggest mistake companies make is to trust they know their customer intuitively without actually doing any continuous effort to remain in step with their audience.
RSS readers give you the tools to penetrate your audience’s digital presence better than you could on your own by simply opening your mentions. What does your ideal customer actually want from you? Answer this question and apply it to every part of your marketing. Better yet, every part of your communication style and customer care.
Post relevant content
A useful byproduct of engaging your audience is learning the type of content that they appreciate and respond to. It’s every brand’s dream to generate massive amounts of social engagement as soon as they post something on the Internet.
Part of that hinges on knowing where your audience gathers on the Internet and goes viral. From then on, it’s a matter of emulating the content they enjoy. You don’t necessarily have to try to be as newsworthy as Denny’s Twitter account. It’s fine to post content that solves their problems.
Be up to date with all the latest trends
Using RSS as a monitoring tool also gives you an excellent opportunity to keep your fingers on the pulse of what’s happening not just in your sector or industry, but around the world. Inoreader has worked towards giving users the best possible discovery tool for this purpose.
We’ll get into this point a little further down below.
What to monitor with an RSS feed reader?
RSS readers show some great versatility when it comes to what you can effectively monitor and that’s in no small part to its excellent search and filter features. This is entirely dependent on what reader you’ve chosen as your main tool, but you can mostly perform these tasks easily and with just a little bit of tweaking in the settings.
Keywords are the building blocks of successful marketing. You have keyword research done for SEO and PPC ads, but mostly keyword research and monitoring has wide applications for tracking your brand’s overall performance and public standing.
Following branded keywords through Google Alerts and filtered news feeds, you’re able to get a deeper understanding of your audience’s reactions and what the trade press thinks. User and pro reviews give you a solid foundation upon which you can improve your products and customer care in the long run.
Taking advantage of the customizable feeds and non-branded, industry-specific keywords, you are in the best position to notice a trend as soon as it rears its head. Successful brands are those that can swiftly respond to changes in the industry.
These can happen on a smaller scale (seasonal uptick in demand or demand in a specific region you haven’t tapped in) up to a grander scale (a sizable disruption in how a product is consumed). Either way, you get the heads-up before anything significant takes place – your signal to pivot and retarget your messaging.
Just as easily as RSS can be used to monitor your own brand, it can be pointed towards your direct competitors. You definitely should be doing competitor analysis, because competition is the best form of market research and litmus test. As a small business, you’re working at the margins of the market. Risk taking is not something you can frequently do. Certainly not without getting your hands burned.
Competitors in leadership positions have the resources to experiment with marketing and big PR moves. Their successes and failures color your own understanding of the market. What works for your shared audience. Most importantly what doesn’t.
Bloggers and influencers
I’ve also included bloggers and influencers, because we live in the era of influencer marketing. In a social media world, customers wish to relate to the content creators they enjoy most. That’s why you see podcasters, youtubers and Instagram personalities champion specific brands – all through the lens of personal experience. Sure, influencer marketing took a hit ever since the pandemic, but where one area has faltered another has emerged.
Following influencers popular with your target demographic reveals a lot about your audience in terms of interests, values and the language they speak.