s a marketer, I am constantly searching for the newest and best marketing tools to enhance my company’s services and provide my business with the insights necessary to drive innovative digital marketing strategies. The world of marketing tools is dense, and sometimes finding the right tool for your business can be difficult. So for the first edition of this monthly post, I wanted to focus on a category of tools that are critical to digital marketing; spying on your competitors. With that in mind, I wanted to share 3 competitive marketing tools I have been using in this month, and why they’re so important for any business online.
SpyFu is an excellent marketing tool for anyone interested in monitoring the performance of their website and spying on their competition. Within SpyFu, you can simply plug in your domain, or your competitor's domain, and easily uncover:
Estimated organic SEO clicks per month
Percentage of Paid vs. Organic web traffic
Number of paid keywords (PPC)
Estimated monthly PPC clicks
Estimated monthly Google Ads budget
"This feature allows you to see how many ads the business has previously run, and what those ads actually looked like on Google."
And not only is this information available within seconds on SpyFu’s primary dashboard, you can also drill down into each of these metrics to further analyze its performance and inform future strategic marketing decisions. This is a huge help for anyone considering launching a new product into the market or reevaluating their marketing strategy to better compete within their industry.
At Duo, we love to use SpyFu to see a company's “Ad History”. This feature allows you to see how many ads the business has previously run, and what those ads actually looked like on Google. This can be extremely helpful in understanding a competitor’s target market and most effective ad messaging, while also providing you with a better understanding of how your business can differentiate itself within the market.
Facebook Page Transparency
Now Facebook will likely never be confused with the most transparent and forthcoming company in the world, however, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a few features that can be useful for your business in understanding your competition. The Facebook Page Transparency feature, which can be found on any Facebook Business Page on the right sidebar, is a very powerful tool that allows you to see whether or not your competitors are advertising.
As you may have noticed, I’m big on spying on the competition. Why? Because understanding your competition is key for differentiation and developed a strategy that harnesses insight gleaned from data rather than assumptions.
Within Page Transparency you can see how many ads your competitors are running, what platforms they’re using (Facebook vs. Instagram vs. Messenger), and again, what the ads actually look like on each platform. This information is incredibly valuable. It’ll give you an idea for what creative images might work best and what type of ad messaging you should craft to convince your target market your business is the right choice.
"This information allows you to get a sense of how sophisticated your competitor’s marketing efforts are and how invested they are in marketing initiatives."
The last tool I’d like to plug is Ghostery. However, unlike the previous two tools on this list, Ghostery is actually not a marketing tool — by description of course, but it is actually an ad blocker designed to improve load speed and prevent your data from being tracked. And although these are fantastic features of Ghostery, the main reason I like it is that it shows which trackers are being blocked.
Within each one of those trackers listed above, there is a drop-down menu listing what is included. For example, within Advertising, Ghostery may list that it is blocking AdRoll, Bing Ads, and Outbrain. This information allows you to get a sense of how sophisticated your competitor’s marketing efforts are and how invested they are in marketing initiatives.
Now, this bonus tool may seem obvious, but I’d be remiss if I did not mention it. My partner and I run our entire business on Google products and could not survive without them. With the ability to collaborate and share documents anywhere, Google should be your number one choice over Microsoft products for any sort of documents or spreadsheets. If you’re considering migrating over to Google, consider no longer. Google is the all mighty and their cloud-based amenities are the most powerful tools our business utilizes in any given day.
Well, that’s going to do it for my marketing tools of the month. Let me know in the comments about what tools you are utilizing this month and thanks for reading!
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