How To Improve Your Digital Footprint With Competitive Intelligence

Competitive intelligence (CI) has emerged as a fast-growing market, which is expected to reach $1.2 billion by 2030 with a forecast compound annual growth rate of 12.25%.


9 out of 10 Fortune 500 Companies already use competitive intelligence to gain a competitive advantage, with 53% of CEOs concerned about the competition of disruptive businesses.


As you’d expect from the name, competitive intelligence is often focused on competition and how organisations can use it to fend off threats and exploit opportunities.


But another key area of growth is CI’s relationship with understanding your digital footprint. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at that relationship and how to improve your digital footprint using competitive intelligence.

how to improve your digital footprint


What Is A Digital Footprint?

Before we look at how to improve your digital footprint, we need a clear definition. In a corporate sense, your digital footprint refers to your brand’s presence online. 


It encompasses your owned digital profile including your website, social media accounts, online ads, blog posts and any other controlled assets. It also incorporates your earned digital profile, which includes customer reviews, social media mentions and references in third-party publications.


Your digital footprint (occasionally referred to as your digital identity) is ultimately the collective traces of your organisation left behind on these digital touchpoints.

What’s The Impact Of Your Digital Footprint 

Your digital footprint can influence how people think, feel and talk about your organisation and its products and services. This is why it’s important to understand how to improve your digital footprint.

It can influence stakeholder decision-making, such as a customer’s buying decision, an investor’s decision to invest or a candidate’s decision to apply for a vacancy.


It can also have a big impact on your brand visibility and awareness. A limited digital footprint can hinder your ability to acquire new customers, attract employees and grow.

Your digital footprint contributes to the story of your brand. It can give people a clearer understanding of your history, values, products, services and credibility.

Negative elements of your digital footprint – such as bad reviews, complaints or controversial content – can also provide risks to your organisation. This is particularly risky if you’re unaware that they exist or how those elements are affecting conversations about you.

What Can Organisations Do With Their Digital Footprint?

1) Monitor and track

Regularly monitoring your digital footprint is crucial to stay informed about how your organisation is perceived online. This involves keeping an eye on various metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, customer reviews and search engine rankings. By closely monitoring these indicators, you can gain insights into your digital strategies’ effectiveness and identify improvement areas.

2) Understand audience engagement

Analysing audience engagement with your digital footprint is essential for understanding your target market and their preferences. By examining user behaviour, such as click-through rates, time spent on web pages, and social media interactions, you can gauge the effectiveness of your content and user experience. This understanding allows you to tailor your digital efforts to better meet the needs and expectations of your audience.

3) Compare competitor digital footprints

To gain a competitive advantage, it is crucial to compare and analyse your digital footprint in relation to your competitors. By conducting competitor analysis, you can identify industry trends, benchmark your performance against market leaders and uncover potential gaps or opportunities. Understanding how your competitors use their digital footprint can provide insights for differentiation and innovation.

4) Identify threats and opportunities

A comprehensive understanding of your digital footprint enables you to identify both threats and opportunities. By monitoring online discussions, customer feedback and industry trends, you can proactively address potential reputation risks and respond to customer concerns. Additionally, you can identify emerging trends, untapped market segments or new content opportunities that can be used to gain a competitive edge.

5) Make data-informed decisions

Data-driven decision-making is essential for optimising your digital footprint. By analysing the data collected from various digital channels, you can make informed decisions regarding content strategies, marketing campaigns and resource allocation. Whether it’s adjusting your social media strategy based on engagement metrics or refining your website design based on user behaviour data, insights from your digital footprint will help drive strategic decision-making.

6) Identify opportunities for improvement

Managing your digital footprint is an ongoing process. It requires regular evaluation and refinement of your digital strategies based on the insights gained from monitoring and analysing your data. By continuously assessing your performance, experimenting with new approaches and adapting to changing market dynamics, you can optimise your digital footprint and maintain a competitive edge in the digital landscape.

Role Of Competitive Intelligence In Managing Your Digital Footprint

A) What Is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive Intelligence is the process of gathering, analysing, and interpreting information about your competitors, market trends, industry dynamics – and your own organisation.


It is undertaken by organisations of all sizes to gain a competitive advantage. It involves systematically collecting and analysing data from various sources to understand the competitive landscape and your place in it. It can drill into specific strategies, strengths, weaknesses, and activities of competitors.


Competitive Intelligence provides valuable insights that can inform your strategies, identify opportunities and mitigate risks in the marketplace.

B) How Is Competitive Intelligence Gathered?

Competitive intelligence is typically gathered using a CI platform – a SaaS product that automates the process to provide access to real-time information.


This has replaced manual methods of intelligence gathering, which was time-consuming and often left gaps in knowledge. With a competitive intelligence platform, multiple online sources are tracked automatically and data is gathered and categorised via a dashboard.


Users are able to view new insights in real-time or receive the most relevant data in alerts. These alerts are often sent via integrations with your existing communication channels, such as email, Teams or Slack.


The intelligence is typically used to make smarter strategic and tactical decisions, to compare competitors and identify threats and opportunitie

How To Improve Your Digital Footprint With CI

The key value of competitive intelligence when it comes to your digital footprint is being able to track it alongside that of your competitors. This enables you to compare and analyse differences that point to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. 

Here are some examples of how to improve your digital footprint using competitive intelligence.


1) Uncover competitor strategies

Your competitive intelligence platform will track and analyse your competitors’ online activities, such as their website content, social media engagement, online advertising, and SEO tactics. By gaining visibility into their strategies, you can identify successful approaches, learn from their achievements, and adapt those strategies to enhance your own digital footprint.


2) Identify industry trends and best practices

Through comprehensive data tracking and analysis, competitive intelligence platforms allow you to stay informed about emerging industry trends and best practices. This knowledge empowers you to adopt the latest digital strategies, ensuring your digital footprint remains relevant and aligned with the evolving landscape.


3) Optimise content creation and distribution

By using competitive intelligence, you can gain insights into competitor content that generates high engagement and organic traffic. This information helps refine your content creation strategy, enabling you to craft compelling blog posts, produce engaging videos and share informative infographics that resonate with your target audience.


4) Enhance user experience (UX)

Competitive intelligence platforms enable you to analyse your competitors’ website design, navigation, and user interface. By identifying areas for improvement and incorporating intuitive navigation, responsive design, and personalised experiences, you can enhance your website’s user experience, increasing engagement and improving your digital footprint.


5) Optimise search engine rankings

By tracking and analysing your competitors’ SEO strategies, you can identify insights for how to optimise your own search engine rankings. By understanding their keyword usage, backlink profiles, and content optimisation techniques, you can refine your SEO efforts, increasing organic visibility and attracting more targeted traffic to your website.

6) Refine social media engagement

Competitive Intelligence platforms provide insights into yours and your competitors’ social media strategies. By analysing posting frequency, content types, tone and influencer collaborations, you can fine-tune your social media approach, improving engagement, expanding your reach and strengthening your digital footprint.



7) Track reputation and customer sentiment

Competitive Intelligence platforms allow you to monitor customer sentiment and track your reputation in comparison to competitors. By analysing online reviews, social media mentions, and customer feedback, you can identify areas for improvement, address concerns and enhance your brand reputation, bolstering your digital footprint.



8) Understand and optimise your digital footprint

Your digital footprint exists whether you track it or not. By using competitive intelligence, you can understand your online presence and its impact on revenue more effectively than ever before. You can see what’s helping to build your brand and sales and what’s actively working against them.

It enables you to prioritise what needs to be addressed through your strategies and campaigns to build the best digital footprint possible.