You know the saying: “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer” right?

Well, “enemies” is too harsh of a word, but you get the point. The thing is that you need to know what is going on with your existing competitors, the new ones and in the industry in general. If you’re part of an industry that is highly competitive you need to differentiate yourself in order to be more successful. There’s a lot of ways you can do that. Whether it’s through your product or service, your content, customer service or something else.

Now, how can you keep track of your competitors? One possible answer for that is media monitoring. And it’s pretty easy if I do say so myself.

First things first

With the competitive analysis, you can get valuable information about your competitors and how you stand next to them. This way you can easily see what are your strengths and weaknesses. Or, in other words, what are the things you’re doing right and what needs improvement.

The main thing you should do is to set up your queries right. The way you’re going to set up queries depends on the type of information you wish to gather.

For example, competitor’s CEO got in some trouble (happens too often). Let’s say he gave an interview and said some controversial things that didn’t sit well with the public. In this case, you should track mentions of his/her name and see how the situation is developing and how your competitor is handling the crisis. This way you can get valuable information that consists of reactions from their customers and the public in general, sentiment of their reactions, the platforms they are using…

The gathered information will allow you to learn from their mistakes that led to a crisis, or if they handled the crisis situation right, you can learn from that as well.

When times are peaceful and quiet, focus on competitor’s ongoing campaigns, new product launches or just regular activities such as social media content. For starters, see how your brand stands with the number of mentions comparing to your competitors.

In the tool, I’ve set up a query for Apple and a few of its competitors to show you how it works.

Share of voice

As you can see from the graph below, the tech industry is extremely competitive. Among this group Apple, Samsung and Microsoft (as expected) are leading the way.

When it comes to the number of impressions (graph below), Samsung, with over a billion and a half impressions, is way ahead of its competitors. Impressions are important because they increase the engagement and more people get to know your brand. It doesn’t matter if the number of your mentions or impressions is low at this time. With the information that media monitoring provides you, you’ll be able to make better business decisions. Also, you can track whether you’re making any progress with the marketing strategies that you’re currently implementing.

What to track?

Remember the recent Nike #dreamcrazier commercial that got a lot of people talking? Well, this is a good example of a campaign you should be tracking if you’re a competitor. Just set up a query with the name of the campaign and let the tool do the rest. As you can see from the graph below, people had extremely positive reactions to the campaign.

By monitoring such a campaign, you can detect the platforms on which people discussed it the most (graph below), and relocate your marketing strategies to those channels. This can help you gain more attraction and even reach competitors’ customers. Also, it can serve as an inspiration and motivation to get creative and produce campaigns that have the potential to go viral as well.

Let’s get back to our example from the tech industry. The chart below represents the total mentions per channel of you and your competitors. This is another way you can detect the platforms where your competitors get the most attention and try to get some attention for yourself as well.

Get the influencers

Media monitoring is also great for finding influencers. Not only you can find your influencers, but you can also see the ones of your competitors. That way you can reach out to them and offer them to try your product, and maybe you’ll win them over. Collaborations with influencers can be very useful for reaching a bigger audience. 

To sum up

Like I said in the beginning, media monitoring is quite easy to use. It can save you a lot of time and money and also give you valuable information that will benefit your decision-making process. Tools like Mediatoolkit can help you always be one step ahead of your competitors.

If you want to get to know your competitors better, sign up for a 7-day trial!

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Updated on May 27 2020.

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