When I was nine years old, I ran home and told my mom with a wide grin on my face, “I got 9/10 in my last test!”

Instead of giving me a pat on the back, she asked, “what scores did the others get?”

That hit me pretty hard. Not gonna lie, that test was easy, and quite a number of my classmates scored 10/10.

But before we go off on a tangent about Asian parenting, the lesson here is you can’t evaluate how well you’re doing without comparing against others.

Same goes for your brand.

It’s always better to get that reality check yourself than have someone else tell you, “you aren’t as good as you think.”

And that’s where competitive monitoring comes in handy.

Why bother monitoring your competitors?

If you’re wondering why you should spy on your competitors, here are a few reasons:

  • Benchmark your brand: you can’t tell how good your brand is doing if you don’t know where you stand in your industry. You may think having 500 mentions a week is great, but what if your competitors are bringing in 5,000? Competitive monitoring gives context to your own metrics.
  • Learn from their hits and misses: You’re able to watch your competitors’ business strategies play out, and analyzing them helps you learn from others’ mistakes and avoid making them yourself. Likewise for their successes.
  • Find new opportunities: Monitoring is not just about watching and taking notes. It’s also about using the intel to take actions. And that can range from reaching out to influencers talking about your competitors to generating leads from their unhappy customers.

But the list of benefits goes on. The thing is, competitive monitoring gives you key insights to make better decisions, and that can go beyond marketing and sales. It can be used for improving your product, your customer support, or your PR strategy.

The great thing about competitive monitoring is it pulls in all this data without you having to go searching. Your monitoring tools automatically collect a range of valuable information.

But what exactly should you be looking at, and what do you make of each of those metrics?

In this post, I’m going to explain all the different metrics you should track, and why they matter.

8 competitive monitoring metrics every brand needs to track

Some of these metrics you may need to track constantly. Others you can just take a look every once in a while, when you’re changing strategies or looking for new ideas.

Let’s start with the most important:

1. Share of voice

You may already know who’s the market leader in terms of revenue generated. But does more revenue mean more popular on the cyberspace? Share of voice tells you who’s creating the most buzz online.

If you’re generating a lot of sales but not a lot of online discussions, it may mean that your marketing team needs to step up their game, and that you’re leaving money on the table.

On the other hand, if you’re being mentioned a lot online, but your sales numbers aren’t reflecting that, you might want to look into what those conversations are about, or reevaluate your online marketing strategy.

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2. Share of voice over time

To take it one step further, share of voice over time lets you see the evolution and identify trends.

You can track different time periods of holidays and festivals – if you’re in B2C – or campaign launches, to see the correlation between your competitors’ marketing efforts and the buzz generated.

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For example, you can look for large spikes in social media activity for your competitors. Then go through the mentions to pinpoint why more people were talking about them than usual. Is it a successful strategy you could adapt? If you noticed dips in certain periods, see if there’s a pattern, and grab the opportunity to push extra hard on campaigns during their down times.

3. Share of voice by locations

This is crucial when your business is international, or if you want it to be. When entering a new market, it’s important to know what the existing playing field looks like.

Who’s leading in what countries?

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By looking at what countries your competitors are present, you might also discover new markets that you should venture into. If you’re contemplating opening a new office, check where you’re most popular, and go where your potential customers are.

4. Top languages

This goes hand in hand with share of voice by locations. By looking at the top languages of your competitors’ mentions, you’ll discover new demographics to target. You may find that you need to adapt your marketing campaigns, website, and offer support in specific languages that you didn’t think about.

5. Brand sentiment

Sentiment is kind of like a metric that adds context to other metrics. So you might have the majority of the share of voice against your competitors, but you won’t want that if all those conversations are negative.

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It will add more context to your share of voice metric, and compare and contrast the sentiment of different competitors’ social mentions. You’ll be able to report on how the market views your brand in comparison to your competitors in response to different campaigns and events.

You can also look at individual positive and negative mentions of your competitors. What do people like and dislike about their product or marketing campaigns? This can help your sales, marketing, and product team figure out how to offer more of what your customers are looking for.

6. Top platforms

As much as it’s important to know where your audience are physically, we need to know where they are digitally. That’s where top platforms come in handy.

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You can have a clear view of which channels bring in the most discussions for you and your competitors, be it social media, blogs, forums, or more.

This helps you figure out where you need to double down and focus on, and which ones you should just forget about.

7. Top influencers

We talk about influencer marketing a lot at Mention. We know that influencers can help you grow your audience quickly. The problem is, they aren’t that easy to find, especially if you’re just starting out. And even if you’re an established brand, you can never get enough of them.

So tracking your competitors’ is a great way to build your influencers network. Since they’re already talking about your competitors, they’re more likely to say yes when you reach out. Their audience will also probably be a great fit for your brand.

So if you’re Samsung, you’d want to look out for the top influencers talking about Apple, and make sure they’re talking about you, too.

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With Mention, you can find influencers on social media (Twitter and Instagram) or the web, see their interest topics and other info, and interact with them directly from the app.

8. Trending topics

Trending topics is a quick way to find out what conversations about your competitors are about, without having to go through every single mention.

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This is useful for understanding what people are most interested in, so you can steal ideas for content creation and future marketing campaigns.

Start sleuthing

Over the past few months, we’ve given you all the reasons you need to start spying, a competitive monitoring strategy, how to do a 5-minute competitive analysis, and now, all the metrics you need to be looking at. Honestly, there’s only so much we can say. All that’s left is for you to pull the trigger.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into the exciting world of competitive monitoring, see how Mention can help you:

competitor monitoring

Joei is a Content Marketer at Mention, where she turns dry, uninspired content to engaging narratives. Or at least she tries to. Is usually eating otherwise. Connect with her on Twitter @joeei.

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