Business owners, who succeed in the long run, do so because they know how to stretch resources as far as they can go and draw out all potential value. With COVID as a chaotic force that has truly reshaped work, doing things better with less is a critical skill.
The tool able to do most for you without a steep learning curve and a low financial investment is the RSS feed reader.
If you’ve missed the great blogging bubble at the start of the century, you might ask yourself…
What is an RSS feed reader?
In short, RSS readers are third-party clients that are able to subscribe to RSS feeds (XML files in the source code of sites) and syndicate content from multiple sites to its own dashboard.
Think of an RSS reader as a Twitter feed, but instead of tweets, you receive every new post made by that site as soon as it’s published. You’re able to open the article within the reader and see all articles in order of publication.
How can it be useful for your business?
The very first thing to know is that RSS feed readers are versatile. Forget what you think you know about this tool, because it’s changed quite a bit since RSS was once popular. You’re no longer restricted by the type of sources you can syndicate. Sure news sites, blogs and comment sections are a good starting point, but there’s so much more to RSS. Podcasts, newsletters, YouTube, any social media, job sites.
What you do with the content and how you engage with it is also near limitless. As a result, your RSS feed reader…
Helps you discover the best content
In the information age, content discovery ranks as one of the most necessary processes a business should perform in order to remain competitive in any industry. Thanks to automation and thorough digitalization, turnover and speed of innovation have also picked up the pace. Those employed in marketing and leadership positions are required to keep track. And not only stay in step, but also be at the forefront.
RSS readers have grown into their roles as sources of information as well. Take for instance, Inoreader. You have a whole portion dedicated to discovery. Organized by topics and subtopics, the discovery zone presents the most popular feeds in its directory. This data is based on the overall number of subscribers from its user base and is a healthy determiner of relevance.
Helps you track the competition
Advanced RSS readers break ground in the area of social media listening and brand monitoring as the list of sources you can syndicate has no limit. Knowing your brand’s reception online has its perks (I’ve dedicated a point to this below), but keeping tabs on the competition has even wider applications for your overall marketing strategy.
Whether you direct your Google Alerts to your dashboard or outright subscribe to your competitors on social media, Inoreader does it all. In fact, you can create active searches for as many keywords as you please and receive hits on your competitors. You can follow Twitter searches as well. Any type of digital trail left by or about your competitors is yours to track with Inoreader.
Helps you learn more about your customers
A great portion of customer research can be performed through an RSS reader. Think about all the tactics you’ve employed on your own brand and competitors, and bring them to your research on your target audience. Identify your brand ambassadors and influencers to grasp their personality and online habits. This is important knowledge that influences where you take your marketing next – branding, brand voice, future campaigns, type of content generated, product features worth a deep exploration.
All of this owes its beginning to RSS feed readers.
Discovers experts in your sphere of expertise
Part of discovering the best content in your industry is discovering the voices that contribute best to conversations. You’re most likely to already know the biggest names, but there are always some blind spots and this is where RSS feed readers can realistically help. Inoreader has made it easy to connect the digital dots. Why not subscribe to your favorite thought leader’s Twitter tweets (you can totally do that) and discover who they engage with that you might not otherwise catch?
Inoreader’s discovery mode is very useful for this purpose as well as you can go through sample articles and happen upon interesting writers.
Manages your email and newsletters much easier
Newsletters have been once a very handy way to receive updates from sites. That is until everyone started a newsletter and increased the frequency. I’m probably not the only one spammed multiple times a week by the same site. We get it. You’re publishing a lot, but you might want to keep it to a weekly digest. I mean… if Google had to create three different inboxes for newsletters and social media notifications, then there’s a problem.
RSS feed readers can take the load off your inbox. Migrate newsletters to your dashboard where they don’t intrude on your daily process. You’ll discover the incredible joy of lightness in your inbox soon enough. As a result, you’ll have an easier time keeping track of important emails.
Improves your overall productivity
I’m sure you’re already rolling your eyes at the mention of productivity. Isn’t this the promise of every known application in the universe? Boost your productivity! I’ll definitely contribute to this chorus, because RSS readers are very much modeled on the flexibility of automation and further integration with other platforms. Inoreader has done a lot to make the user’s experience fun and seamless. Users can link their social media so they can share articles they like directly from their dashboard. You can curate your own email digest for the office. The browser extension for Chrome brings in a lot of features of the app onto your tabs. Perhaps its biggest strength is identifying RSS feeds directly on the page you’re on with only a click.