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How to Spy on your competitor’s online marketing strategy

In business, “spying” is understandable and acceptable. It means knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitor. This will help you with your business goals and allow you to plan out your next move. In today’s world of vast technology, spying means checking what your customers are digitally doing right and introducing such rewarding measures in your business. Below are some ways to spy on your competitor’s online marketing strategy:

1. Use social listening to monitor your competitors
Social listening tools can be used in a variety of ways, from market research to discovering relevant influencers from your niche. And another great way to use them is, of course, to monitor your competitors and their online mentions. Many social listening tools let you monitor pretty much the entire web, not just social media but also blogs, forums, news sites and other online publications.

Below are steps you can do with social listening:
Set up searches of your competitors’ names and websites to find all online mentions: this can help you uncover some interesting things, such as what mentions they’re getting in top-tier publications – how can you get a mention for your brand as well?
How many mentions are they getting: are they getting more mentions than you?
What is the sentiment behind their mentions?
What is their share of voice – and what is yours?

All of this information will help you benchmark your own business against your competitors, but it also helps you see a picture of their overall strategy – and the results they are getting in return.

Of course, generating traffic back to your website is no easy feat. There are so many things that you need to do, so many different tactics that you need to use – and you’re also competing with countless other websites at the same time for the attention and time of the same audience. In this case, understanding what your competitors are doing to drive their traffic can massively help you improve your own.
. How much traffic are they getting?
. Where is their traffic coming from?
. Which keywords are they ranking for?
. What sites are linking in to their website?

There are some tools you can use to monitor traffic and SEO – one option is Alexa, which you can use to:

a. See any websites’ traffic stats, including engagement (bounce rates, daily time on site), how many unique visitors they have and where their traffic is coming from (including the percentage of search traffic)
b. Find new competitors based on how their audience is overlapping with another competitors’ website (or your own website)
c. Compare your website stats against your competitors and compare traffic sources to discover new traffic opportunities
d. Find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for and discover potential low-competition keywords that you can rank for

2. Use Social Media
Social media has become one of the most important marketing tools we have available at our disposal; it helps boost brand awareness, customer engagement, website traffic and even conversions and sales – if used the right way.

Monitoring your competitors’ social media presence can help you a lot when putting together your own strategy; here’s what you need to find out: Which social networks are your competitors using? Simply search for their brand names on all major social networks to see where they have accounts; which ones are the best performing? Where do they have the most followers and engagement? This can help you choose the best platforms for your own social media strategy.

3. What is their content strategy like? What types of updates do they post on each social network and how well are they performing? This can help you understand what types of updates work best for your target audience, both in terms of content formats (videos, Stories, images and so on) and in terms of the topics they choose to cover. Use this information not to copy their updates but to understand which updates work and which don’t and use that knowledge to inform your own content strategy for social media.

Who are their followers? Who forms their target audience? Where are they from? Monitor their followers to find opportunities to connect with more people
What social media ads are they running? Should you use the same platforms for your own ads?

4. Monitor Your Competitor’s Email Marketing
Analyzing emails is as difficult as it sounds, but there are tools like MailCharts to simplify things a little bit. MailCharts aggregates emails from competitor campaigns to help point you in the right direction. They gather subject lines and also data like send frequency so you can see whether you measure up to the competition or not. The tool also compares your campaign to its own massive library to make sure you are sticking to best practices like timing, subject line length, frequency, and so on.
Another great tool is Owletter which aggregates competitor emails, analyzes them and presents the data on a simple dashboard for your spying pleasure.

In conclusion, it is important you diligently implement the information you have garnered from your competitor. With proper application, it is certain you will have an edge than your competitor.

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