Smart companies know they can learn a lot by investigating the competition.
Keeping up with what your competitors are doing not only helps you understand what you’re up against, it can also help you formulate your own winning marketing strategy.
Learning about the competition’s successes and mistakes can help you find new areas of inspiration and evolve your strategy―it can even help maximize your marketing budget.
So why does carefully researching the competition often fall to last place on your to-do list?
Monitoring your competition can be time consuming and haphazard. That’s why implementing media monitoring is a good strategy for understanding the impact of your competitors’ online marketing and campaigns.
What Does Competitor Media Monitoring Provide?
Here are four critical business insights competitor media monitoring provides.
1. Detect early warning of changes in the competitive landscape
Unlike manual searches and monitoring which rely on historical data, online media monitoring can help you discover relevant mentions the moment they are published online—including on your competitor’s own media channels.
Media monitoring allows you to effortlessly gather updates on your competitor’s new products and upgrades, campaigns, new hires, corporate social responsibility projects, cooperation with other partners, and more. These updates can help you adapt your marketing strategy so that you’re not falling behind.
2. Understand your competitors’ weak spots
Because of social media, customers have gained the power to influence brands. If customers are having any issues with a brand or business, they will likely post comments online—whether it’s on their personal Facebook profile, the company’s Instagram feed, or on an online review site, such as Yelp or Glassdoor.
While negative reviews can hurt your brand’s reputation, they are also opportunities for your business to tailor your marketing efforts toward addressing problems. In addition, you can spot customers who are unsatisfied with other brands in the industry, and use that insight to stand out from your competitors.
3. Ensure your company has a presence on key web platforms
It’s easy to miss the online communities and networks where your customers and competitors are spending their time. Competitive analysis gives you a window into how your online presence compares to your competitors. Below are some important metrics to think about:
- Traffic sources – Understanding where your competitors’ traffic comes from can help you identify and reach your target audience. Many users originate from popular industry and media journals, blogs, press releases, social media channels, videos, or any other websites that sends visitors back to their site.
- Backlinks – Search engines use backlinks to determine a site’s rankings. If your competitors have more links than you do, they’ll likely outrank you in search engine results, making it more likely for users to click on the link to their website when looking for products or services. It’s important to focus on your site’s backlinks to make sure your site ranks as high as possible in search results.
- Content – Authoritative, valuable content helps sites appear higher in a search engine results page. If you see that your competitors are outranking you, you can look at their articles on industry publications to see what they’re doing right and where you can improve.
- Social Media – Analyzing your competition’s social media profiles can provide insight into how to be successful with your own feeds. You’ll be able to spot which channels your target audience use most, and which ones you can stop wasting your time with. Analyzing the images and tone that your competition uses that are most popular with followers (i.e., that get the most number of likes) can help you tailor your content to better appeal to your target audience.
- Keywords – If you’re getting beat in the search engine results pages for certain keywords, it is a good idea to review the keywords in which your competitors rank highest and look for opportunities to outrank them. An alternative strategy is to target less competitive keywords that still represent your company’s unique position in the industry or marketplace.
4. Track brand advocates
Your top competitors have influencers and brand advocates who promote a particular product on online communities such as Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Tracking the activities of these brand advocates can help you better understand your customers, and why they may choose a rival over your brand.
Much like understanding your competition’s weak spots, tracking brand advocates will give you an idea of your competitor’s strengths. Better still, tracking these brand advocates will give you a sense of how well competitors’ product launches and marketing campaigns are performing at a grassroots level.
Influencers can even provide you with potential ideas for your own brand campaigns and strategies.
Don’t miss out on the critical insights media monitoring provides
Knowledge is power. The more insight and data you can gather about your competitors, the better you will be able to understand and compete against them.
A competitor’s web presence provides a treasure trove of information that your company can benefit from, both in terms of marketing and making strategic business decisions. By strategically monitoring their online presence, you can understand the impacts of their online marketing.
Most importantly, you can stay current with changes and trends in your industry and create a stronger game plan. Don’t let implementing a clear process for monitoring the competition fall to the bottom of your to-do list.
Remember, your competition is probably already monitoring you. Learn more about our media monitoring and social listening solutions.