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7 Proven Ways to Monitor Competitors Effectively

7 Proven Ways to Monitor Competitors Effectively

Home Blog Media Monitoring 7 Proven Ways to Monitor Competitors Effectively

Ever wonder how the world’s most successful businesses stay on top of their game for years?

One of the many reasons behind the continued success of a big-ticket brand is that it monitors competitors.

Monitoring your competition gives you a closer look at what’s working well for other brands in your industry. You also understand how customers perceive these brands and what they do well to build a positive brand perception.

But how do you monitor the competition to find meaningful insights? In this post, I’ll break down seven proven competitor monitoring tactics for your business.

What is competitor monitoring?

Competitor monitoring involves closely analyzing your top competitors and monitoring their latest activity. A typical competitor monitoring process includes checking a brand’s marketing strategy, product launches (and updates), sales tactics, customer satisfaction, and more.

Every business leverages competitor monitoring at some level to define its growth strategy. Keeping tabs on your competitors also helps map your business progress.

5 reasons why you should monitor competitors

Let’s take a look at why you should build a competitor monitoring framework to monitor other brands’ performance consistently:

Performance benchmarking

One of the biggest benefits of competitor monitoring is that you can gather relevant competitive insights and analyze your business growth against a defined benchmark. This is particularly helpful for small businesses or new players competing against more established brands. They can monitor their competitors social media activity and other channels to set ambitious goals to drive success.

Stay on top of industry trends

Another reason you should monitor your competition is to be aware of your industry’s latest trends and practices. It will enable you to maximize innovation at your company by embracing new trends quickly. You can also be prepared to shift gears and change your core business goals based on strategic tailwinds.

identify trends

Level up sales and marketing

Monitoring your competition will give you a clear picture of how they sell to the audience and which marketing channel they use. You can note what’s working well for them and what’s not working well. This analysis will help iterate your approach to sales and marketing and analyze your sales conversion funnel.

Once you know what’s working well, you can put your creative spin on it and double down on these tactics to improve your own marketing efforts.

Discover customer expectations:

Seeing the competition can help you understand what your customers want. You can read reviews and survey customers to clarify their preferences. Use these insights to optimize the customer experience you deliver.

Enhance your offerings

Another crucial reason to stay on top of your competitors is to improve your product or service. When you know what you’re competing against, you can think of ways to differentiate your offering. Competitor monitoring will also keep you posted about the latest updates so that you can work on building new differentiators for your business.

Now that we know why you should have a competitor monitoring framework, let’s look at some tried-and-tested ways to monitor the competition and gain an edge.

How to monitor your competitors: An actionable playbook

As a business coach, I’ve strategized a growth roadmap for several businesses. Performing a competitor analysis is a surefire way to prepare the groundwork for success and plan.

Here are seven competitor monitoring tactics I actively leverage:

Use rival monitoring tools

Using competitor analysis tools like Mention is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get started.

With Mention, you can access crucial competitor intelligence from over 1 billion sources, including review sites, social platforms, competitors’ websites, and more.

The tool also prepares a comprehensive report comparing your business against others across several parameters. This is especially useful if managing multiple social media accounts.

For example, you can learn about a brand’s:

  • Share of voice in the market
  • Social media performance
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Areas of influence
Comparative reports

Mention can also reveal which influencers or key opinion leaders your competitors work with to expand their influence. You can use this information to build your community by partnering with popular influencers.

Not just that, Mention can bring the latest insights about competitors’ product updates, new launches, and customer reviews. You can take a look at their historical performance data as well.

Rely on social listening platforms

Social media is a powerful marketing channel for people to discover new brands, research various products, and make a purchase. So, another great way to stay on top of your competition is by using social listening tools.

Competitor analysis tools focused on social listening will help you gain competitive intelligence and understand how customers perceive a competitor brand. This tool can also analyze overall customer sentiments, identify patterns in brand mentions, and signal any emerging issues in public perception.

Media monitoring campaign

Here’s how you can leverage social listening to your advantage:

  • Track keywords: Social media platforms support keyword-powered searches. That means you can discover competitors’ posts using specific keywords. This will show you which keywords (or topics) are prevalent in your niche, and you can check out the kind of content brands are creating for these keywords.
  • Sentiment analysis: A social listening tool also reveals how customers feel about a brand. It will tell you the public perception of a brand and highlight which brands are well-liked by your target audience. You can identify their pain points to guide your marketing strategy.
  • Influencer partnerships: Social listening will tell you the influencers that your competitors are working with. This makes identifying which influencers to target to launch your marketing campaigns easy. Plus, you’ll have an overview of the best-performing content and influencers.
  • Audience research: Besides analyzing your competitors, you can also better understand your target audience. See what topics they’re interested in and the discussions they’re actively participating in. When you find a relevant conversation for your brand, you can join in these chats and create a positive impression.

Mention is a great option if you’re looking for a robust social media listening tool.

Mention’s social listening tool will help you find trending topics and discover high-performing influencers on different platforms. Its conversation intelligence capabilities ensure you never miss a conversation related to your business or your competitors. These are important landmarks when you want to stay in control of your most important Social Media KPIs.

Influence score & sentiment

Analyze SEO and backlink data

A competitor monitoring framework is incomplete without analyzing SEO performance. Since organic search is one of the most promising channels for various businesses, you want to benchmark your SEO growth against the competition.

This is also important because most people discover new businesses from organic search. So, if your brand isn’t ranking above competitor brands, you’re likely losing a big share of visibility and revenue.

Here are some ways to monitor your competitors’ SEO performance:

  • Use a trusted tool: Rely on competitor analysis tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Ranktracker to better understand how your competitors approach SEO and how much traffic they get.
  • Find their best-ranking keywords: Track your competitors’ keywords , monitor competitors’ ranks, and create better content to outperform them.
  • Analyze backlink profile: Take a closer look at other brands’ backlink profiles to find link-building opportunities for your business.
  • Assess content strategy: Analyze competitor’s content by looking at the kind of topics covered by different brands. Check their content performance to find high-intent issues for your brand and gain a competitive edge.
Monthly competitor analysis

Source

Getting an idea of your competitors’ SEO tactics can guide your strategy. For example, you can use Ahrefs or Semrush to find any brand’s top-performing pages in terms of traffic. Then, recreate similar pages with your creative twist to divert this traffic to your website.

Monitor PPC and ad campaigns

Paid ads are also a critical part of any marketing strategy. A PPC campaign promises faster results than organic channels. So, you have to spy on your competitors’ paid search activities to find out what’s bringing a good ROI for them.

You can use PPC intelligence tools like Spyfu and AdBeat to analyze competitors’ ads comprehensively and which ad networks they use. These tools will tell you:

  • Paid ad keywords a brand is bidding on
  • Ad copy and other assets used in these ads
  • Budget allocated to a paid ad campaign

With all these actionable insights, you can eliminate guesswork when spending money on your PPC campaigns.

Competitor shared keywords

Source

For example, you can review different competitors’ budgets to evaluate the average amount each brand is willing to spend and their market share of those keywords. Use this data to define your ad budget.

You can also analyze their ad copy to create variations for your ads. Remember to use an A/B testing tool to test out different versions of your ad copies and pick the best-performing option. Plus, you can adjust your bidding strategy to ensure you optimally use your ad budget.

Track mentions in communities

Communities are the next big thing in marketing. Big and small brands build communities to connect better with their audience and sell more organically.

That’s why you need to keep tabs on your competition in communities. This is one of the places where you can get the most relevant competitive insights. Like social media platforms, you must actively participate in communities to stay on top of conversations around your industry and competitors.

While there’s no tool for community monitoring (yet), you can contribute to your chosen communities to increase your visibility among your audience and monitor your competitors. That’s a win-win!

reddit monitoring

Use website monitoring services

Tracking changes on the website will tell you all about a brand’s positioning, messaging, new launches, and company updates. You can also learn about their pricing changes and other promotional discounts through website monitoring.

To effectively monitor competitors’ websites, you can:

  • Set up monitoring alerts using a tool like PageCrawl.io to get real-time alerts about changes in specific pages or sections
  • Stay on top of key pages on their website, like homepages, pricing pages, promotional banners, and product listings

As soon as you notice big changes on a competitor’s site, it’s good to evaluate these updates and interpret where they’re heading. You also want to understand if you need to plan an update based on these changes.

Reverse engineer their offering

Lastly, one of the most commonly used competitive analysis tactics is reverse engineering a competing brand’s product or service.

This tactic necessarily means you buy a competitor’s main offering—their products or services—to test it out as a customer. This process will tell you all about this company’s strengths and weaknesses.

You can assess many aspects as a consumer, such as:

  • Buying experience—is it seamless, or are there any friction points?
  • Post-purchase experience—are there active efforts to create customer delight?
  • Customer support—is the support team accessible, and how quickly is help available?

Essentially, reverse engineering a competitor’s product/service will show you everything they’re doing well. At the same time, you’ll get a clear idea of where they’re lacking.

You can use these details to enhance and optimize your customer experience from start to finish. For example, if a competing brand sends automated activation emails to a new customer, you can create more personalized and interactive emails to one-up the competition.

Media monitoring campaign

Leverage competitor monitoring to gain an edge

Running a business in today’s aggressively competitive market is tough, to say the least. How do you strategize for success when your competitors are already miles ahead? Or maybe they’re targeting your existing customers and hurting your revenue?

Whatever the case, you need an airtight competitor monitoring framework to keep close tabs on all the players in your industry and stay ahead of the game.

What’s the best way to start competitor monitoring? Sign up on Mention and set up your brand to monitor your competitors holistically.

Eduard Klein

Eduard Klein is an International Digital Growth Marketer, Blogger, and Entrepreneur with a global mindset. He guides people through the process of starting and growing a digital business, and to ride the wave of digital technology and marketing without getting swept away.

Guest Blogger @Mention