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The Best Tweets from #SEMrushChat: How to Hack Your Competitors’ Marketing Strategies

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The Best Tweets from #SEMrushChat: How to Hack Your Competitors’ Marketing Strategies

Melissa Fach
The Best Tweets from #SEMrushChat: How to Hack Your Competitors’ Marketing Strategies

On June 5th, #SEMrushchat discussed "How to Hack Your Competitors’ Marketing Strategies" with guest Joe Youngblood. The responses from Joe and our community showed that gathering data from your competitors is not as simple as most people believe.

With experience comes knowledge, and our community offered their expertise. Keep reading to view their insights, which should help you when evaluating competitors. 

 You can retweet any of the tips below by clicking on the Twitter logo next to the quote. 


How do you find gaps in your competitors’ marketing strategies?

Markitects, Inc.
Markitects, Inc.
When doing Competitor Research, we often assess our clients' competitors' gaps by reviewing their messaging across their websites and social media. Although difficult, the biggest marketing gaps come from messaging and positioning of a company.

Mark Gustafson
Mark Gustafson
See what they’re doing! Go to their site to get in their remarketing campaigns. Get on their email list. See how they rank on organic search? What’s their engagement like on social? Put your self in the shoes of someone in-market!

Joe Youngblood
Joe Youngblood
Start by looking at the the most popular platforms and gauge your competitors activity level there. That includes SEO, Local SEO, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Imgur, Snapchat, Email Newsletters, etc. Find the platforms / places they have no or low activity in and see if those places work for you.

ThinkSEM
ThinkSEM
You can use tools or even just your brain to audit your competitors' marketing efforts, but you can never actually KNOW for certain what's working or not without having full access to their analytics :)

Julie F Bacchini
Julie F Bacchini
I like to use a combination of old fashioned manual searching and tools to get the best sense I can of where they are advertising, what they're pitching and the overall quality of their efforts.

What insights can you get from your competitors’ website traffic?

Simon Cox
Simon Cox
Contentious point. Unless you have access to your competitors log files you are not going to know. There are services that guesstimate competitor traffic and that can be useful to find out where they are targeting effort. You could do that looking at their site!

Heather Harvey
Heather Harvey
Not much unless you can put it into context. Traffic alone doesn't mean anything unless you can see the full details of the customer interactions, journeys through the site, conversion rates etc. Huge traffic doesn't mean anything if it's not converting.

Marianne Sweeny
Marianne Sweeny
AT best, it is a predictive indicator of ebb and flow. With time and money you could see how reactive their users are to events within the vertical. Traffic alone is a thin metric. What the traffic does and where makes it more meaningful.

Julie F Bacchini
Julie F Bacchini
I'm not aware of a way to actually see another site's traffic stats? But, I do like to look for commonalities in types of content and rhythm of content creation & sharing. Gives me ideas of things to potentially test out.

Joe Youngblood
Joe Youngblood
You can learn a lot from your competition's website traffic including— Finding pages that might be helping them convert more sales/leads - If they're losing traffic due to updates / issues - Discovering new content formats to use (i.e., Research, etc.).

Melissa Fach
Melissa Fach
Something to keep in mind, some sites inflate metrics you can view on live pages, like views, reads, social shares, etc. They do this for obvious reasons; you can't believe everything you see — true data is in analytics.

If you could learn only one parameter of your competitors’ online performance, what would it be?

Grant Simmons
Grant Simmons
Channel spend over time - we don’t know conversion efficiency but if they’re savvy, they’ll be allocating to the best performing channels. So we get to know, what’s working for them and the value they attribute to it. Start of a competitive strategy.

Kyle Whigham
Kyle Whigham
Excellent question! I would have to say I would be more interested in learning about a competitor's lead gen/conversion data. Having that data would then allow me to analyze those pages that drive leads/conversions, and implement on my client's site.

Simon Cox
Simon Cox
How they convinced their board to spend more on organic SEO than PPC.

Mark Gustafson
Mark Gustafson
Show me the most profitable customer journey with % of revenue included :). I want to know that they came in through organic social, clicked on an ad about the sale. Got on an email list. Finally did an organic search and purchased. That data is GOLD.

Joe Youngblood
Joe Youngblood
For me it's finding out what content/messaging works for the competition to drive a lead/sale.

Itamar Blauer
Itamar Blauer
Their highest converting landing pages. This information could be the building blocks to creating pages that lead to new business.

What traffic-generating sources worked for your competitors but didn’t work for you? Why?

Julie F Bacchini
Julie F Bacchini
Again, you can't know what is WORKING for a competitor. You can only guess based on where you see them putting their efforts, proportionally. You don't have to go everywhere they go. Be careful comparing to larger brands too. You have no idea how much they care about the performance levels you might. They could be satisfied w/ hitting a single KPI consistently.

ThinkSEM
ThinkSEM
Unless we were told specifically -- or hacked into their analytics -- we'd never know what worked because we won't know what's converting. That's what matters: not traffic, or shares, or anything we can see or think we know from competitor analysis tools.

Stevie Howard
Stevie Howard
LinkedIn seems to have always been a difficult beast to tackle. I saw this most for a nurse staffing company. Instead, we found that Facebook was our biggest asset even though our competitors thrived in LI.

Kyle Whigham
Kyle Whigham
Youtube, definitely Youtube. Not sure if it was a lack of creativity, budget, or quality, but could never quite get any traffic to OR from our video content, while some competitors laughed all the way to the bank b/c of their video content.

Jeff Ferguson
Jeff Ferguson
It varies based on the client, but luckily, it is rarely search in any form. That said, competitive research can sometimes provide the best insight of all - to stay away from a channel because your competitor owns it due to a larger budget, etc.

What lesson could a brick-and-mortar business learn from an online-based company (SaaS, e-commerce, media, etc.) to improve their online visibility?

Dean Brady
Dean Brady
Don’t go on every channel because it's easy. If you don’t want an empty store, don’t create channels you won't tend to with the same effort as your store.

Joe Youngblood
Joe Youngblood
The biggest lesson small businesses can learn, in my opinion, is that you have to meet the customer where they are. So many still want to stick with the old way of doing things, but they need to keep up with the changing nature of digital marketing.

Julie F Bacchini
Julie F Bacchini
Unless you're a bank or some other vital service, no one wants one more app they have to download to deal with you. Don't fall into that trap unless you have a REALLY compelling reason for it.

Reboot Online
Reboot Online
That online reputation can be just as important as offline and that being available wherever your customers (potential new ones and existing) spend their time can be hugely effective.

Marianne Sweeny
Marianne Sweeny
Align your messaging to be consistent across all devices and channels. Customers usually start on on 1 device and complete on another unless they absolutely have to input credit card #s on mobile device. THey may also come from a social channel to the website.

Nerissa Marbury
Nerissa Marbury
Go to where your audience is already playing online and listen/engage there first. Once you have a better understanding of the needs/wants, create and share with intention.

Thank You to All of Those That Participated

Each week, I will be watching the SEMrushchats looking for tweets I believe will offer expert-level insights to our blog readers. So, keep sharing your advice and don't miss this week's SEMrushchat on Wednesday, June 5th at 11 AM ET/3 PM GMT; the topic will be "How to Boost Your Online Performance with Competitive Intelligence." 

Hack Your Competitors' Strategies

Reveal Their Top Landing Pages

Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com

Melissa Fach
SEMrush

SEMrush employee.

US Personality of the Year 2017 Winner, SEMrush Blog Editor, and Pubcon Community Manager. Herder of cats. Superman fan. Non-cook.
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Comments

2000
Hamza Ali
Pro

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

Interesting conversation.

How can we figure this out for product-based compannies who's focus is getting the right talent to apply?

What metrics do we guage and how? Currently, a lot of the efforts from our talent acquisition team is on ground and offline (competitor insights gushed from interviews, how many people are applying from a specific competitor, how they talk about the company culture and why they're leaving, industry surveys and reports, our own polls and discussion with existing employees and who they'd refer and why, etc.)

But online, how do you guage it? In our industry's case social engagement isn't much of a indicator as nearly everyone under estimated social for employer marketing and branding and we sprinted with the idea and haven't stopped since 2018. We're ahead by a margin and intend to stay that way: our new social calendar for the next quarter is focused on drastically scaling our content production and promotion. Gary Vee style min 18 posts a day (combination of original, unique, reshared and repurposed).

So yeah, what do we asses in the competitor marketing strategies for reaching and targeting?

Secondly, except LinkedIn, do you have other platforms in mind or experience with that we should leverage? What about community building for separate departments (like software engineers, designers, marketeers, etc.) Would appreciate ideas too!

Thanks!
Dan King
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Bummed that I couldn't stick around for this chat, but this is a great recap of the conversation. Good stuff in here! #fistbump
Nick Samuel
Pro

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

Dan King
Same, I always seem to miss SEMrush chats on Twitter. I would love to participate some time...maybe after work would suit my UK timezone better :-P

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