Web scraping is one of the best tools for competitive content analysis. It allows to automate data collection and get the deepest insight into competitors’ content

What do you usually do when you want to purchase something or learn a new skill? You take your smartphone or laptop and search for reviews and how-tos trying to find content that will satisfy your intent. Fortunately, there are tonnes of content available nowadays. [si_guide_block id="15270" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Competitor benchmarking guide" description="Benchmarking is vital when you're refreshing a website through a major redesign, but it can also be useful to review more regularly to see how competitors' marketing changes."/] Things get more complicated when you are on the other side. If you are a startup that wants to launch a content marketing campaign, you may realize that the market is quite saturated (not to say overwhelmed). According to the …

The biggest delusion you can have about your venture is “My idea is completely new, I have no competitors”. If you truly have no competitors, you probably have no market either

Getting an edge over your competitors is important, and only possible when you truly and deeply understand the competition. Which brings us to one of the best ways of gaining new insights for your company: Market research! With the advent of sophisticated software and technology, marketers today have the ability to dig deep into the activities of their competitors and get some incredible new ideas about their audience. Because of these reasons and more, it is immensely important to conduct regular and thorough research into your compadres. But first:

Market Research - it’s not what YOU think

Market research is a structured and objective…

9 Tools You Can Use to Spy on Your Competitors

Businesses that focus on their target audiences, ideal buyer personas and customer pain points are ahead of the marketing game. But they’re still missing a crucial step to success. Failing to thoroughly investigate what your competition is doing - and how they’re doing it - can leave you in the dark and in a permanent state of second place. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to spy on your competitors. Simply studying their websites can give insights into what they’re doing right and wrong, and what you can do better. Take it a step further, and go deep into your competitor analysis by searching for their backlinks, studying their email marketing funnels and researching what kind of paid and organic search keywords they’re focusing on. Need some resources to get started? Here are seven tools you can use to spy on your competitors. …

Survey your market and come out on top

If you’ve got a product or service to sell then your marketing and advertising has to be on top form. Thankfully, being the best has only one simple requirement: be better than what else is out there. This means that a successful marketing strategy must include detailed research of what else is being offered in your market – it takes time, effort and attention, but you want to be the best, right? The condensed process boils down to identifying your competition, recognising their strengths and weaknesses and harnessing that knowledge to come out on top. This process is not about the theft ideas from your competitors, though it’s great for inspiration! The key is to spot untapped areas (the weaknesses of your competition) of the market and push them as USPs. A thorough knowledge of your competition’s marketing technique will allow you to improve your strategy…

Tools to uncover competitor video content approaches

In the past, competitor analysis meant hours of trawling through your competitors’ social media sites and building time-consuming reports. Nowadays, SaaS based systems can do some of  the hard work for you. All you need to do is log on, input your competitor details and see for yourself exactly what’s going on behind the scenes. Some systems are free and do not even require a login. In this post you will find out about some great tools that will help you uncover great video marketing strategies and ideas.

Changing landscape of video strategy

After Google, YouTube is the internet’s second largest search engine. A growing number of viewers are beginning to subscribe to business channels too. In fact, the number of people subscribing daily has increase three-fold since 2013. As more businesses start to tap into the power…

Daniel Buchuk on the launch of SimilarWeb

As part of our occasional feature giving readers the low down on new tools for digital marketers to collect insight, in this post we ask Daniel Buchuk from SimilarWeb to introduce their service. SimilarWeb enables companies to benchmark performance against competitors. If you're interested in this process and other tools available, check out our post detailing competitor benchmarking services. 

During the interview, Daniel talks about the story behind SimilarWeb, why their tools are different to those in the marketplace such as Alexa or Compete and the availability of  free features.

1. What inspired you to create SimilarWeb, when there are already other competitor benchmarking tools?

There's an increasing demand for online competitive intelligence and existing high-end tools in the market are often too complex and unaffordable for the mid market. There are simply no solutions…

A review of process and tools available for online competitor analysis

Although we know it’s important to analyse how your own website is performing in terms of visitor numbers, customer demographics and conversion rate, we should remember that it's important to look outwards too. Competitive intelligence analysis can tell you how you are performing relative to your competitors and provide some insight into their visitor numbers, audience plus marketing and search strategies. Effective competitor intelligence analysis can provide real actionable insights that just aren’t possible using standard web analytics tools such as Site Catalyst, Google Analytics or Webtrends. By understanding more clearly as to what your competitors are doing, you can make more insightful decisions about what to do with your online marketing activities.

Key benefits of conducting online competitive analysis

You can apply competitive intelligence analysis allows you to gain insight on: Competitor activity -gain insight into the activities and tactics of your competitors. Questions that…

Our pick of the best tools to review and improve all aspects of your online marketing

When I train or give talks to marketers on digital marketing, I see that tools are popular. Often people will reach for their pens when I mention a tool to help inform their marketing. New, free tools are naturally the most popular! Since we launched Smart Insights we have reviewed many tools in posts which we highlight in the "Tools and Software" sections in many of our free Quick Guides. I thought it would be useful to bring these together in one place so you can check out tools you could use for benchmarking many different aspects of online marketing. Since many of the tools we've covered help us compare one site or aspect of online marketing against competitors, I've collated these here and Dan and I have a new guide explaining how to run…

How E-retailers can make a sustainable ‘price match promise’ to grow business while protecting margins

As recession continues to bite, forcing even well known and loved names into receivership, we all know it’s essential to keep customers buying from us. And, in order to achieve this, you have to be absolutely certain you are offering the best price around. Of course in any market sector, there are many online retailers, all competing for the same customers and, more importantly, their money.  To triumph in the face of such intense opposition you’re going to need an angle or edge; something to make sure you’re ahead of the competition and that allows you prove it too. This is where services like Competitor Price Watch (CPW) can help. In this post I'll describe the concept behind these services and finish with three…

Our recommended tools for comparing your visitor numbers against competitors

All site owners want to know "how do we compare to our rivals" in number of visitors, but of course web analytics tools don't give you that. Instead you have to turn to independent benchmarking tools. I still hear a lot of folk saying they use Alexa, but they really shouldn't unless force to - there are much better tools available - this is what we recommend. Although the main purpose of these tools is comparing trends in visitor number, they also have other less well-known features that are also helpful to marketers when completing these activities: Benchmark number of site visitors against competitors - can be useful for justifying investment in traffic building, reviewing their seasonality or comparing campaigns Review audience composition e.g. demographics for competitors Review the reach and audience of potential partner sites such as blogs or publisher sites Find basic information on…

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