“How is my company doing online?”
That’s a pretty vague question unless you give it context. One of the best ways to know how your company is doing is to perform a competitive analysis. Keeping an eye on your competitors is an important part of digital marketing. We’re often times so busy we end up running our digital marketing campaigns in a vacuum, unaware of what our competition is doing to promote their brand.
Your company may be growing sales and leads but how does that stack up to your competition. Are your competitors growing online at a faster pace? Are they investing more in specific areas and at what rate? Do your competitors have a greater share of the potential social media audience than your company? If the answer is yes to any of those questions, you may need to rethink your budgets and strategy.
Below are three simple ways to keep track of competitors in search engines and social media.
1. Social Market Share & Content Engagement
How well is your company doing relative to competitors on Facebook? Are you gaining ground or losing ground? Insights, Facebook’s built in analytics tool, provides a simple way to keep tabs on your competitors. Simply pick five related Facebook profiles from your competition and enter these into the Facebook Insights “Pages to Watch”. Insights is a great way to see how you measure up to similar brands in new likes, posts and engagement. Dig deeper into why these brands are doing well to help build a better strategy.
There are also several free tools from Simply Measured to help you track Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and more. There are also paid tools like Buzzsumo and Moz Content that allow you to track your content and your competitor’s content performance.
Moz Content Audit
Using all of these tools together can give you a better picture of what’s happening in social media.
2. Competitor Paid Search Footprint
It’s difficult for a website to generate leads and sales with no digital advertising. Digital ads help drive brand awareness in addition to organic growth and help boost sales. Some studies have shown that the presence of ads can cut the click through rate on organic results by 50%.
(image source: Search Engine Land)
Ads and sponsored listings are taking more clicks from search engines and social media as new ad offerings from Google, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook take up space on the page. Companies know this and are investing more in Internet advertising.
Drop in Facebook Organic Visibility
(image source: Convince and Convert)
…the presence of ads can cut the click through rate on organic results by 50%…
Are you spending enough? Are you spending too much? Worse yet, are competitors bidding on your brand name? One easy way to see is by running a competitor in SEM Rush to see their paid spend. From here, you can begin to see why some competitors are doing better or worse in search.
3. Competitor Paid Media Footprint
Are you competitors running display advertising or special offers? Try SEM Rush again to see what creative and deals your competitors are running. These ads could be clues to what products are doing well or how your deals stack up. Do your competitors offer free shipping and you still charge customers $30 for shipping? Do your competitors offer deep discounts in their ads? These types of questions are the same questions your customers ask when trying to decide which product to buy or which vendor to contact.
Another great way to keep an eye on competitors is through a tool called spyfu. Monitor small changes to ads that can signal a shift in strategy or a cut back on specific products.
I hope these tips help you get a better handle on your business and the digital marketplace. What other ways do you track competitors? If you have enjoyed this post please share on Google+, Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook. Happy tracking!