As a B2B marketer it is essential to be aware of what your competitors are up to. Good competitor analysis helps you develop and maintain your USP and ensures you can learn from and copy what your competitors are doing right. Your competitors are your biggest threat and your best source of new ideas, be it for content or marketing strategies.
The complexity of the digital marketing world means it can be a challenge to get a full picture of where your competitors are placed and how much resource they are devoting to differing channels. Luckily, there are a lot of analysis tools available to help. At Bizmut we provide comprehensive competitor analysis for our clients. Here is a run-down of the most essential tools we utilise to help us do that:
- Social media ad libraries
Social media is a great source of inspiration and information from your competition. If your competitors have a substantial social media presence then you can easily stay up to date with the content they are publishing + their latest creatives, landing pages and offers.
The process is made even easier with Facebook/Instagram and LinkedIn where you can look up details of advertising activities by brand. In LinkedIn you can just click the link ‘ads’ within a competitor’s profile. For Facebook and Insta, use their ads library page.
SimilarWeb is an essential tool to get an in-depth analysis of where your competitors stand online, and how you match up. The tool helps you analyse and compare your competitors’ traffic, traffic sources and engagement. It’s a great source of headline comparison data and helps you understand how you rank, also by different geographies, in your particular vertical.
There is a good level of detail with SimilarWeb as well. It shows you where your competitors are focusing resources, with a breakdown of their activities by channel and publishers, even down to individual placements on particular sites: a great source of ideas for your own strategy. Also, the referrals view gives you a good idea of who your competitors are partnering with and which of these sites is bringing in most traffic for them.
SEMRush gives an in-depth look at your competitors’ search and display advertisement strategy. The tool shows detailed information on bidding strategies, on the keywords that are being targeted and on how that traffic is being funneled/which offers they are receiving. It also shows which landing pages are most successful at attracting organic traffic. The tool gives a full picture of the scale and focus of your competitors’ paid media activities, where they are getting their traffic from and the creatives they are using.
- Technology lookups
Tech lookup tools are especially useful for B2B SaaS companies that want to know which business their competitors are winning. Tools such as SimilarTech, BuiltWith help you see what technology is present on the sites of target companies, providing valuable insights about the state of their existing technology and showing if they are using online tools provided by a competitor. In some cases, it is even possible to see when a trial with a piece of competitor software is coming to an end, and potentially target that company with a special offer timed to coincide with that event.
Tech lookups also have details about pixels and tracking on our competitors’ websites, giving further insights into which marketing channels they are using.
Getting the best from your analysis tools
With so many great tools out there, often the challenge is what to leave out more than how to get more information. You need to be selective and come at your analysis with a clear goal in mind.
A good competitor analysis should be not just reviewing the state of the market and spotting threats, it should be providing inspiration and concrete recommendations as well. So, don’t just include data in your report because you have access to it. Instead, choose your insights and highlight the stuff that could have an impact.
At Bizmut, thorough competitor analysis is a core function. Our team has the experience and expertise to make best use of the tools available, choose the right headline KPIs and then cut through the noise to deliver focused recommendations for our clients.