In business, there are always competitors. For some of them you’re a challenger, while some might be doing their best to challenge you. Whatever the case may be, you’d hardly feel comfortable not knowing what they’re up to.

Googling and monitoring social networks is definitely a fine start in collecting data about your competitors. It enables you to see their moves, as well estimate the level of their customer engagement.

But manual search and monitoring has a couple of drawbacks:

  1. Most of the data is historical, not current. In today’s world, the time of response to a competitor’s move is of utmost importance.
  2. Data collection is manual. You waste a lot of time searching for mentions, trying to go through repetitive news and data.
  3. No data storage. You are forced to develop your own archiving and analysis tools, which can take a lot of your time. If you are inconsistent, you’ll soon have accumulated hours’ and even days’ worth of doing these repetitive tasks.

The alternative is online media monitoring – an automated way to discover relevant mentions the minute they are published online.

  • Know immediately where they are mentioned in media

The internet, being the fastest communication channel in human history, allows for news to spread immediately. No need to wait for press clippings – if a television news show or a newspaper breaks an important story on your competitor, it is usually online and trending on social media within minutes. Use online media monitoring to find out immediately and see what the internet thinks about it. The data will help you make better decisions.

You can also use it to join the conversation and give your own view of the situation.

Automate gathering news their website and social media channels

A lot of news about your competitors won’t attract media attention at all, but your competitors will mention them somewhere on their owned media channels.

These include updates on new products, product upgrades, discounts, campaigns, new hires, corporate social responsibility projects, cooperation with other partners, etc.

Tracking your competitor’s website and social media will let you see and get notified of all of their moves. If they change their pricing, you can accordingly change your communication with your shared target audience. For example, you can emphasize your low prices, high quality or other distinctiveness of the products you offer. This is crucial, because success lies in making a proper distance from the competitors and getting to know what brought your customers to you and follow it up by reminding the customers of that point.

How to do it?

  • set up real time alerts on your competitors’ business news to speed up your reaction to their movements
  • get daily digests of what your rivals published for quick analysis of their content and possible changes in their business strategy
  • Keep track of what and where was published on them to see if they invested in native advertising and if their message is getting across.

Furthermore, did you ever try benchmarking your online reputation with competitors?

It’s not an easy thing to do. This is where online media monitoring can help.

Use it as part of your branding research strategy:

  • Gather website and social media mentions
  • See their reach
  • Measure how viral they went
  • See which topics are most frequently discussed
  • Determine their sentiment
  • Compare yourself with your competitors

Using data you get from this analysis, you’ll be able to compare your performance on web and social media. You can discover if the audience is engaging more on your competitors’ profiles, or if bloggers tend to review their products more often than yours. Based on your what your goals are, you can either make an effort to spread your online presence (for instance, by approaching the various influencers to spread your word), or focus on engaging your current customers and audience.

This era in business as well as life is of digital and information. To keep up with it, it’s essential to keep track of what’s happening online. Marketers worldwide are letting go of the “digital” prefix in digital marketing as all the digital actions leave an offline impact. It is becoming essential to stay informed about what is going on online, which is what online media monitoring does in a fast, easy and affordable way.