If you’re looking to ensure that your company is at the forefront, staying up to date with trends and making profitable decisions, then online brand monitoring of competitors is key. By monitoring your competitors, you have the ability to develop an understanding of their behaviour and actions. This understanding allows you to make better business decisions by responding to market changes and learning just what customers want.
Online brand monitoring of competitors allows you to strengthen your own brand and position it as being the answer to all of the needs of your audience. In this article, we’re going to take a look at just what online brand monitoring is and we will explore 7 simple ways that you can do this yourself.
What Is Online Brand Monitoring?
Online competitor brand monitoring is all about identifying your main competitors and then learning from them. The actions that your competitors take that you need to learn about include:
- Marketing campaigns
- Content creation
- Website changes
By learning about the actions that your competitors are taking it allows you to anticipate what moves may be made in the future as well as allowing you to identify any weaknesses that exist. Ultimately, it’s about developing a greater understanding of your sector and learning which strategies will allow you to become more successful.
Online brand monitoring of competitors is essential for all businesses regardless of the sector in which they operate. It means that you’re able to stay one step ahead and dominate your space.
The Benefits Of Online Brand Monitoring
Online brand monitoring adds a degree of completeness to your business strategy. By learning about how your competitors behave, you can understand exactly what you should, and shouldn’t, be doing. To truly understand the benefits offered by brand monitoring, it’s worth breaking things down further.
Let’s explore 4 key benefits that your business could experience:
1) The ability to identify flaws
Rather than having to look internally at your own business, you can often identify flaws more easily by looking elsewhere. Doing this is also cheaper as it can avoid you make costly mistakes yourself.
With online brand monitoring, you’ll be analysing the data that you’ve gathered and this will allow you to dig deep and discover any issues that are associated with your competitor’s marketing strategies. You can then compare your own strategies and adjust where necessary.
2) Staying up to date with trends
Online brand monitoring allows you to keep an eye on what’s trending in your sector. This information is extremely useful when it comes to developing products, services and marketing campaigns. If you want to know exactly what your target audience is seeking then brand monitoring is what gives you this knowledge.
3) Identifying strengths and weaknesses
Any effort that you put into analysing your competitors will give you a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses. By looking at rivals you can learn where your business excels. You can also identify best practices and use this to optimise your own offerings.
4) Learn about new brands
The last financial year saw over 800,000 new businesses being launched in the UK alone. Of course, the nature and size of these businesses will vary wildly but some of these will go on and become your competitor. By staying in the know about up-and-coming companies, you can analyse what is working for them and adapt accordingly.
Factors To Consider When Conducting Online Brand Monitoring
When it comes to online brand monitoring, there are various factors that are worthy of your attention. Here’s a look at just 3 of these:
Pricing strategies – how is your competitor pricing their goods or services? Are they undercutting all other rivals in order to dominate them or are prices broadly in line with industry standards?
Marketing strategy – when you know the marketing activities that your competitors are carrying out, you can position your own business so that it’s able to respond appropriately and effectively
Social media activity – keeping an eye on your competitor’s social media efforts can provide you with a whole host of information. You can gain insights into what’s happening right now as well as gaining a glimpse into what may be planned for the future.
With 93% of marketers around the world using social media, you can be sure that there’s plenty to study and analyse.
Best Approach Towards Online Brand Monitoring
Brand monitoring can be carried out in a variety of ways, with some methods being more effective than others. Here’s our take on the best methods that are available:
1) Manually checking their website
This is perhaps one of the easiest things that you can do. By making the effort to regularly review your competitor’s website, you can take a peek at what’s going on and gain insight into any changes. You may find that the website is poor in terms of image quality and user experience. This could give you an obvious area where you could easily excel.
2) Google Alerts
If you want to stay up to date with what your competitors are doing then Google offers a great, free, tool that can help. By setting up Google Alerts, you can be notified each time that new content is published on the internet that relates to your competitor. This means that you’ll never miss any announcements or significant changes.
3) Check out online content
If your competitors are looking to dominate the search engine results then you can be sure that they’ll have a content strategy. By checking out their content, you can establish if this is something that you can do better.
As well as taking a look at the likes of blog posts it’s also worth signing up so that you receive newsletters so that you can see exactly how they are communicating with their audience.
4) Social media
We’ve already touched on the valuable information that you can discover by taking a look at your competitor’s social media channels. By reviewing this on a regal basis you can access golden nuggets that you can then apply to your own brand.
Another important factor to take into consideration when monitoring social media channels, are the type of platforms that are popular outside of Europe and North America, if you’re operating outside of these regions. For example, monitoring competitors’ presence on Sina Weibo is crucial if you’re operating in China or Line if you’re focused on the Japanese market.
5) Read customer reviews
By tracking your competitors’ presence on customer review websites, you can get real insights into the product, marketing and customer service standards. If you approach these reviews as a potential customer, you’re able to get a great feel for what the strengths and weaknesses are. If you’re opting to monitor customer reviews, it’s wise to shortlist a list of prominent websites to gain a more objective perspective.
6) Monitoring online vacancies
On first glance online job postings by competitors might not seem relevant. However, monitoring your competitors’ vacancies on their website or other third-party recruitment websites provides insights. Aside from mentioning the skills sets required for individual roles, they also reveal wider company strategies.
For example, the decision to list more marketing, branding and UX design specialist roles could signify an attempt at rebranding or a positive growth trajectory. Moreover, the job posts are likely to reveal potential changes to competitors’ culture, vision and mission.
7) Competitor intelligence platforms
Competitor intelligence — or competitor insight, as it’s sometimes called — is the information and understanding you gain from tracking your competitors’ online activity. It can involve using multiple monitoring solutions or, as is the case with WatchMyCompetitor (WMC) and various other tools, a single platform that automates the entire process. These platforms can track competitors’ entire digital footprint and provide users with real-time updates.
Using WMC For Online Brand Monitoring
If you want to get the best out of online brand monitoring then WMC is an invaluable platform. It’s a fully automated competitor intelligence platform that provides real-time insights into your competitors and market.
Data is captured in a single dashboard, with each insight shareable through integrations with your existing communication channels — including Slack, Teams and Power BI.
By utilising our platform, you’re given access to more than just the raw data. You’re able to access in-depth intelligence, specifically filtered according to your teams’ needs, when it comes to competitor’s pricing, products, services, investments and personnel news.
With this intelligence, your business is empowered to make better decisions that will help you protect and grow revenue.