Competitive monitoring: why should you be careful about monitoring competitors?

As more companies use many ways to connect with customers, Competitive monitoring can be tough.

  • What are they posting on social media?
  • What’s their email marketing strategy?
  • What type of posts are they sharing on their blog?
  • Where do they get most of their website visitors from?

You need to know all of this.

Competitive monitoring helps you stay updated on this information.

It’s the first step in competitive analysis, where you gather the data needed to make smart business choices.

In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of competitive monitoring and show you how to keep an eye on the competition using top strategies, tips, and tools.

What is Competitive Monitoring?

Competitive monitoring means regularly watching what your competitors are doing. This includes:

  • Checking their social media posts
  • Keeping an eye on price changes
  • Looking at their marketing campaigns
  • Noting new product launches

And more

The goal is to see where your competitors are doing well and find ways your brand can improve.

It also means collecting data on market trends and important industry information. Analyzing this data helps businesses get useful insights and create long-term strategies to stay ahead of the competition.

Why is Competitive Monitoring Important?

Competitive monitoring helps your business stay ahead. It gives you valuable information to keep growing and adapting.

Here are three key benefits:

Get Ahead of the Competition

By watching your competitors, you can learn from their successes and mistakes. This helps you create better strategies, improve your products, and stand out.

For example, if you know a competitor is about to launch a new product, you can quickly respond by improving your own product or preparing a counter-strategy.

Identify Untapped Markets

By tracking competitor weaknesses, customer demand, market trends, and potential threats, you can find new opportunities.

For instance, you might discover niche markets your competitors are ignoring or new features their customers want. You can then target these areas first.

Stay on Top of Industry Trends

Business trends are always changing. New technologies, customer preferences, and viral trends can impact your industry.

Competitive monitoring helps you stay updated, adopt new technologies early, align with customer preferences, and take advantage of profitable trends.

Discover Where You Can Improve

Keeping an eye on your competition isn’t just about watching them; it’s also about understanding your own strengths and weaknesses.

For example, looking at what your competitors are doing on social media might show where your strategy needs work. Maybe you need more interesting content, better formats, or better times to post.

Looking at what your competitors are doing can also show where your products, services, or how your business works might need some work. This can help you make things better.

Set Goals for the Future

Watching what your competition does can help you set goals for your own business, like how much you want to sell, how happy your customers are, how many new people sign up, or how many people get involved.

For example, if your competitor gets good reviews on Google all the time for customer service, you can set a goal for your team to get the same or more good reviews.

Or, if your competitor shows up a lot when people search for important words online, you can make a goal to show up more than them by making really good content about those things.

How to Keep Track of Competitors

Keeping an eye on your competitors means more than just seeing what they’re doing. You need to gather, understand, and use that information wisely.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Identify Your Main Competitors

Find out who your main competitors are and split them into three types:

Direct competitors: businesses like yours targeting the same customers.

Indirect competitors: similar businesses aiming at different customers.

Replacement competitors: offering alternatives to what you provide.

Search online using Google, social media, forums, and local search to find them.

Step 2: SWOT Analysis

Break down each competitor’s:

Strengths: What they’re good at.

Weaknesses: Where they’re not so good.

Opportunities: Things helping them from outside.

Threats: Problems they face.

Use this to plan your own strategy.

Step 3: Compare Important Data

Look at key numbers like how active they are on social media, how many people visit their website, and how happy their customers are.

Tools like Sprout Social can help you track and understand these numbers.

Step 4: Decide When to Report

Choose how often you’ll update others about what your competitors are doing.

You could do this every week, month, or three months, depending on what suits your industry and your team.

Make sure everyone knows what your competitors are up to and how they’re doing.

Tools like Sprout Social can help you collect and show this information so everyone can understand it and make good decisions.

Top Tools for Watching Competitors

You don’t have to track all your competitors yourself. There are tools that can help!

Here are the top three:

1. Sprout Social

Keep an eye on competitors on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter).

Use Facebook analytics and custom reports to compare how you’re doing.

Get more detailed insights with Premium Analytics.

Listen in on public conversations about your competitors and your own brand.

2. Ahrefs

Understand how your competitors are doing online with this SEO tool.

See what keywords and content they’re ranking for with site explorer.

Find out where their website traffic is coming from and what keywords are bringing in the most visitors.

3. Crayon

Use artificial intelligence (AI) to make competitor analysis easier.

Automatically gather updates about your competitors and put them in a visual dashboard.

Work together with your team and easily share what you find.

Make sales materials and newsletters with what you learn.

Make custom dashboards to make reporting simpler.

Watching your competitors can help you in lots of ways. It can help you do better than them, find out where you need to improve, set goals that make sense, and keep up with new things happening in your industry.

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