Believe it or not, spying is a key part of a solid digital marketing strategy. It takes the trial and error out of digital marketing by allowing you to spy on your competitors and find out what works and what does not. No need to reinvent the wheel if you do not have to.
And just so you know, your competitors are probably spying on you right now to know what you are doing. It’s a cold war people! So put on your tux, practice your smile, and hope you can handle a Vodka Martini that is shaken not stirred.
In this post we are going to look at:
- How to Spy on Your Competitor’s Social Media
- How to Spy on Your Competitor’s SEO
- How to Spy on Your Competitor’s Content
- How to Spy on your Competitor’s Email Marketing
- How to Spy on Your Competitor’s Paid Search
1. How to Spy on Your Competitor’s Social Media
We live in the age of social media so this is a good place to start snooping around. Luckily, a lot of transparency has been introduced on the major social media platforms to deter scandals like the one that hit Facebook and Twitter recently. It is now possible to gain insights that were previously hidden behind an iron curtain of secrecy.
For example, Facebook now allows it users to view the ads being used by brands and businesses run on the platform. You just go to the business’ page and click on “Info and Ads” found on the left side of the screen.
But this process is pretty manual and a little bit time consuming. A better option would be to use tools like QuickSprout, Phlanx, and Social Blade that present all the information concerning your competitors’ social activities on a spreadsheet. This allows you to compare your own progress without having to go under deep cover to view all their social pages everyday.
2. How to Spy on Your Competitor’s SEO
How quickly you rise through and dominate the search rankings depends a lot on who your competition is and how strong their SEO is. And because there are hundreds of factors that go into making it’s impossible to get important information you need without getting your hands dirty by doing a little digging. Luckily there are lots of tools available to help you do just that.
Some of the best SEO analysis tools include SEMRush and Ahrefs which help you analyze the keywords your competition ranks for and their backlinks among other things. Another great tool is MozBar which once installed helps you analyze the domain authority of any website you put in.
3. How to Spy on Your Competitor’s Content
Content is king, so spying on your competitors to see what works for them might well save the kingdom. But no, you do not want to open their websites and check out the comment section or count words and shares--that’s what amateurs would do. Super spies whip out the toolbox and go high tech!
The top tools for content analysis have to be Buzzsumo, Similarweb, and Feedly.
BuzzSumo takes the guesswork out of content creation by showing you top performing content under any topic and also any website’s top performing content.
Similarweb is pretty comprehensive as an SEO and content analysis tool that gives users insight on traffic sources for content, where a website’s traffic is being directed, and even where a website is getting referral traffic from.
Feedly puts things on autopilot by aggregating a website’s content on one page, adding to the page as new content is published. This is great because it means you don’t always have to go snooping around competitor’s websites.
4. How to Spy on 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.
5. How to Spy on Your Competitor’s Paid Search
Every good spy worth the suit he wears has to go out in style; that’s what spying on your competitor’s paid search is like. You’ve got the info necessary to take down the competition--social media, content, SEO--but you want to go over and beyond. The perfect tool for this is iSpionage.
iSpionage analyzes multiple aspects of PPC campaigns including the number of keywords and phrases a brand is targeting on Adwords. It also shows you the target keywords and who else is competing for them and what their projected monthly budget is.
There you have it: 5 ways to spy on the competition like a true life Bond! This message is NOT going to self-destruct after 10 seconds. Bookmark it and reference it while out in the field. Or better yet, reach out to us at Eternity if you need some expert help.