If you run a business, then you would know how tough it can be to always stay ahead of the competition. While the online world has allowed for global sharing of data, it has also provided a platform for new businesses to pop up. Apparently, everyone thinks of themselves as an online entrepreneur nowadays. And while a lot of businesses don’t get off the ground, some of them might end up entering your niche, and yes, cause trouble. Similarly, if you’re trying to break into a market, you need to understand how it works, what the customers are looking for, etc. This is why brand monitoring is so important.
What comes to your mind when you find out that a certain product is from Chanel, Nestle, or Coca Cola? You feel a sense of assurance about the said product or business being of high quality. This is what brands strive to achieve. They want to strike the right chord with the target audience. Letting them know that can give them what they want.
Due to the internet, people are open to their opinions. They write reviews about the things they like. Whether a product is good or bad, you’re sure to find a lot of opinions about it.
So, brand monitoring is about going over these reviews, right? Well, going over reviews isn’t technically wrong. But brand monitoring entails a lot more than that. And manually going over relevant content consumes a lot of time and gives rise to errors. This is where data scraping comes in.
Ever wonder how Google is about to provide you with all those search results? That’s because Google has web crawlers that collect relevant data from all over the Internet. Without diving deep into the mechanics of it all (I think algorithms would be the correct term to use here), these web crawlers allow for quick retrieval whenever a specific keyword is mentioned in a search.
In the same manner, web scraping involves fetching web pages and then extracting relevant data from it. This collected data can then be saved for future use.
“Future use” as in? Helping you with brand monitoring, of course!
Brand Monitoring is Easier with Data Scraping
With all the collected data you’ll get from data scraping, you can go ahead and use it for various purposes to help grow your business.
1. Looking for Opportunities
As a business, you’ll need to be two steps ahead of your competitors. You’ll need to look for opportunities in your respective market. Through data scraping, you can know about what your target audience needs.
Are they tired of the same color? Is the general population looking for certain features you can provide? Due to data collected from social media platforms and forums, you can see upcoming trends and then try to capitalize on them.
With the correct data, there’s no need for you to wait for trends to occur. You can be pro-active about their inevitable debut or even try to make a new trend.
Finding the right opportunities can help new businesses reach out to potential customers by offering products or services that competitors haven’t thought of yet.
2. Competitor Analysis
Talking about competitors, you need to keep an eye on what they’re doing. Not to destroy them, of course, but in a manner that can help you learn from them. Through scraping online data you can see what works and what doesn’t for your competitors.
Using such data can help you implement the same strategies as your competitors or to tweak and make them better for your business.
3. Promotional Strategy
By knowing what your target audience needs, you can come up with relevant promotional campaigns. As a new business, you might be tempted to run ads as soon as you enter the market. While initial promotional campaigns might get your name out there, using the same M.O. won’t help you in the long run.
You need to create promotional campaigns that your customers can relate to. The likes and dislikes of people change. Through web scraping, you can know about the preferences and then run ads accordingly for better engagement.
Reading tons of reviews for any business is time-consuming. But a good crawling service can go through relevant reviews and store important information. Not all customers will call the helpline to share a complaint. Some of them will take to their blogs to vent about their experience.
By understanding what they say in their reviews, you can help make your brand stronger. You’ll also be able to know if someone is unnecessarily trying to slander your brand’s name.
5. Price Reviews
It all comes down to who can offer a better price in the world of business. If your competitor is selling the same product or service at a lesser price than yours, then the target audience is going to flock to the competitor.
Through web scraping, you can get to know what the specific clientele thinks about the price range and then price certain products or services accordingly. Even putting up a big sale will help matters if your customers end up finding something similar at cheaper rates from some other source.
Web Scraping Tips
If you find reliable web crawling services, then do make use of them to help you with monitoring your brand and increasing its awareness.
Ensure that the best web scraping services you’re interested in actually deliver. Read customer reviews. This isn’t actual web scraping, but you get the point right? By reading reviews you’ll understand whether to trust a particular service. In a similar manner, data scraping provides you with content that helps you understand your brand’s presence better.
If you decide to do web scraping yourself with various tools, here are some tips:
1. Cache the data
Make sure you cache the websites you visit, so there’s no need for loading a web page again.
2. Use Statistics
You might not enjoy it, but make use of statistics (think of it as a friend or at least friend-adjacent). Divide data up with regards to gender, demographics, and more to help later analysis.
3. Store URLs
Keep the list of URLs that have been fetched. If for some reason a web scraping tool crashes, at least you’ll know which URLs you’ve gone through instead of starting all over again.
All in all, brand awareness is a must if you wish to succeed in the market. Believing in your business is all well and good, but you need your customers to believe in the brand too. They’re the ones whose loyalty you need.
So, make use of web scraping. Collect all that relevant data that can help you make your business a success. As mentioned above, the collected data will give you an idea about what your competitors are up to, what your customers think of you, and any upcoming trends you can make use of.