Staying on top of your competitor’s marketing tactics is key to be ahead in the game. This knowledge consists of both knowing what to track and how to be effective at it.
Here are the 3 critical things online businesses should track about competitors:
1. Website changes
It is a standard practice nowadays to keep an eye on competitor keyword rankings. Rank tracking helps inform us of how our competitors’ tactics are working. When your competitors introduce marketing changes to their websites is when it really comes to play. Sometimes even the smallest change can have a great impact on the SERPs. So it does come in handy to know what your competitors dig at the moment.
What to keep an eye on:
Things like any times of structural markup or microformats, meta changes, changes to internal linking, changes to crawlability and the like are a good place to start.
2. Social media and blog posts
Tracking the social channels and posts of your competition is a good way to gain insight into what they’re sharing and what’s performing well for them. Keeping an eye on the content that performs well is one way to spark ideas of the content of your own.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when tracking your competitors’ social media:
What are they writing about? How often? How long are the posts? What style do they take? How do they distribute them on social? What else do they share? How do they engage?
And now take a look at how this is working. You may see a lot of traction from writing about a topic you haven’t considered or a big gap in their content that you’ve created things for. Another benefit is you can reverse-engineer the marketing strategies of your competitors based on the analysis of their social media marketing campaigns. There is a lot of space for opportunities in this sector.
3. Promotional email campaigns
Tracking your competitors’ promotional campaigns and special offers provides important insights into their product details and how you can outperform your competitors.
Things to note when tracking email campaigns:
Are your competitors building a brand? Are they selling stuff? Are they providing tips/value? Are they sending long emails or short emails? How often do these emails come out?
Noticing the similarities across all your competitors’ email campaigns will give you the understanding of what works in your industry. Also, it is a good way of drawing inspiration for your own email marketing efforts.
By keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing across all verticals, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring your product remains stronger than the rest. The best benefit is that you can avoid a lot of mistakes. Either you see something they are doing right and implement it before you miss out or you can learn from someone else’s mistakes. After all, it’s all public, you just need the tools to do this easily.
Now that we’ve learned about what to track about competitors let’s take a look at the 5 tools to get you started.
Socialinsider: Social Media Competitors Analysis and Reporting Tools
Social Insider gives you a glimpse into your competitor’s content performance on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: when they post, their engagement metrics, audience growth since the day the page or profile was created, and their overall digital strategy. Using machine learning algorithms, Social Insider will get you behind the scenes access to their content strategy, how often they boost their posts and the ratio between boosted and non-boosted posts. If you’re looking to go above and beyond your social goals — you’ll need this tool in your arsenal.
Competitors App: Universal Tool to Track Your Competitors Online Business
While many tools target a particular niche, this tool analyzes multiple areas of your competitor’s online marketing strategy to give you an overview of their efforts to spot potential avenues for growth.
Competitors App helps marketers to track their competitors’ lead generation and conversion funnel by monitoring website changes, social media activity, promotional emails, search engine performance, ads and much more.
Brandmentions: Brand Monitoring and Reporting Tool
BrandMentions allows you to track and engage in online conversations in real time. Works great for tracking competitors, managing your brand reputation, media & brand monitoring, content marketing and much more. It has one of the world’s widest web mention databases, covering both the web and the most important Social Media platforms. Among other important competitive advantages, the app offers real-time website traffic monitoring, instant mentions and links alerts, fully-personalized and automated reports, sentiment analysis, historical data, and a wide coverage of countries and languages.
Spyfu: Competitor Keyword Research Tool
Spyfu is frequently mentioned as the most helpful keyword phrase tool available. It shows how many keywords your competitors rank for and how much their keyword focus overlaps with yours. SpyFu allows you to download a report of the most rewarding search phrases your competitors are utilizing as well as advertisements they have actually put out. With the help of available metrics, it is possible to create a much better technique for your very own organic and paid search campaigns to contend with your competitors’.
Owletter: Monitor Your Competitors Email Marketing Newsletters
Owletter collates your competitor’s newsletters and homepages into a simple, user-friendly dashboard, giving you a searchable database of your competitors’ emails. Owletter’s analytics spots changes in your competitors’ email frequency, and likewise picks up on trends to help you optimize when you should send your own emails. This tool is an efficient, data-driven alternative to keeping up a dummy email account to track your competitors.
5 more competitors’ monitoring tools worth trying out, featured at picksaas:
- Brand24 — application to monitor your brand’s reputation on the internet/social media
- Mention — a well-priced alternative to monitor your online presence, well-designed for small businesses
- Mediatoolkit — a brand monitoring app with a basic free version
- SentiOne — the only competitors’ monitoring app with real-time, non-delayed monitoring in its basic version
- SproutSocial — a social media management application to schedule and analyze social media activity, including your competition
Analyze the data and take action
While each of these cloud tools is effective on keeping an eye on competitors it is also important to keep in mind what happens after you run the numbers. Make sure to translate the data you uncover into some sort of action. The ultimate goal of the competitive analysis is to improve your own marketing strategy. And the more information you receive from your competitors, the better.