Understanding your competitors isn’t just an advantage – it’s a necessity.
But where do you begin?
Enter competitor audit.
It’s a strategic process designed to dissect and decipher your competitors’ moves, strengths, and weaknesses.
Let’s go into what it is, what types of competitive audits are there, and the 4 steps to conduct one with a media monitoring tool.
What Is a Competitive Audit?
A competitor audit is a structured way to identify and research your competitors. It helps you analyze their performance, identify threats they pose to your business and uncover opportunities to gain a competitive advantage.
A well conducted competitive audit informs your PR and marketing strategy and gives you a roadmap for strategic next steps. It also establishes competitor benchmarks you can use to measure how your business is performing.
What Types of Competitive Audits Are There?
Competitor audits can be divided into four main types:
- Traffic audit
- Content audit
- Pricing audit
- Reputation audit
This is an analysis of a competitor’s website to understand their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. It involves examining their website structure, keywords, backlinks, and other SEO elements. The goal is to identify what they’re doing well, where they’re lacking, and how you can improve your own SEO strategies based on these insights. It can help you prioritize fixes based on potential traffic impact and ease of implementation.
Tools like SEOptimer, Screaming Frog, SE Ranking, Semrush, and Ahrefs are commonly used for a traffic audit. For example, you might use Ahrefs to analyze the backlink profile of a competitor’s site, identifying where their backlinks are coming from and what keywords they’re ranking for. This can help you understand what SEO strategies are working for them and how you can adapt your own SEO efforts.
A content audit involves a comprehensive review of all the content a competitor publishes across various platforms, including social media, websites, and PR efforts. The goal is to understand what type of content they’re producing, how often they’re posting, and how engaging their content is. The audit can reveal gaps in your own content strategy and provide insights into what kind of content resonates with your target audience.
To conduct a content audit, you would need a variety of tools. For instance, Determ is an AI media monitoring and analytics software that provides real-time insights into a brand’s public image and media presence. It offers features like sentiment analysis and real-time mention alerts, making it a powerful tool for content audits.
For example, you might use Determ to monitor a competitor’s social media presence and PR activities. You can track their posts, the engagement they receive, and the sentiment around their brand. This can help you understand what type of content resonates with your target audience, and how you can adapt your content strategy accordingly.
A pricing audit is an examination of a competitor’s pricing strategy. It assesses their pricing process to ensure consistency across similar accounts, maximize profitability, and benchmark against other companies. It can help identify strengths and weaknesses in your own pricing strategy, eliminate pricing errors, and determine the ratio of price to quality of goods.
There aren’t specific tools for a pricing audit, but it involves thorough market research and competitor analysis. For example, you might analyze a competitor’s pricing page, promotional offers and discount strategies to understand how they price their products or services. This can help you identify if your pricing is competitive and whether there are opportunities for you to differentiate your pricing strategy.
Reputation audit is an important aspect of understanding how a brand or company is perceived in the market. A reputation audit involves analyzing mentions of a brand, company name, trend, event, or other specific topics. This can be done using social monitoring systems like Determ, which collect data into one place for examination. Out of all competitor analysis tools, media monitoring tools are the only ones that are able to analyze a brand’s reputation in one place. The audit provides insights for launching a new business or product, as well as the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
With reputation audit, you can:
- Analyze customer relationships with the company.
- Identify problems with business processes.
- Identify new audience groups.
- Compare your brand to the competition.
- Analyze market leaders and outline development points for the brand.
- Conduct market analysis before launching a new product and perhaps even predict emerging trends.
For example, you might use a tool like Determ to monitor a competitor’s online reputation. You can track their brand mentions, the sentiment around their brand, and how they respond to customer feedback. This can help you understand how your own brand is perceived in comparison and identify areas for improvement.
4 Competitor Audit Steps With a Media Monitoring Tool?
One of the best ways to conduct a comprehensive PR and marketing competitor audit is by using media monitoring tools. This way you’ll be able to conduct a competitor social media audit as well as their PR efforts audit.
To conduct a competitor audit with media monitoring tools, you should follow these steps:
Identify your competitors
Your competitors are top performers in your industry, whether that’s big corporations or challenger brands. Make sure you differentiate your indirect and direct competitors. A direct competitor offers similar products and target the same audience, while an indirect competitor may have similar offerings for a different audience or different offerings for the same audience.
This way you can figure out:
- Who your target audience fixates on
- Who the media is talking about
- Which influencers are covering your industry
- Who’s creating content on the topic you’re tracking
- Who has a greater share of voice than you, etc.
Collect the right PR data
Once you’ve identified your competitors, start collecting information on them. Media monitoring tools can provide you with valuable insights and data visualizations. This includes both information available on websites as well as social media.
You can set up individual feeds and searches for each of your competitors. This way you’ll see if they are being discussed a lot online, talked about more or less than you, and perceived negatively or positively. Understanding these PR metrics is crucial for competitive benchmarking.
Additionally, you can set up tracking of their owned channels (social media and websites). This way, you’ll always be up to date with their activities and efforts.
Analyze the data
After collecting data about your competitors, the next step is to analyze it. This involves interpreting the data to understand your competitors’ strategies, strengths, weaknesses, and market positioning.
Here are some concrete examples:
- Content Performance: Review your competitors’ content to understand what resonates with your shared audience. For instance, if your competitor’s blog posts about a specific topic are getting a lot of engagement, it might be a topic your target audience is interested in.
- Keywords: Discover the keywords your competitors are ranking for. This can give you insights into their SEO strategy and help you identify potential keywords for your own strategy.
- Sentiment Analysis: Media monitoring tools can help you understand whether your competitors are perceived positively or negatively. This can give you an idea of their reputation and how it might be affecting their business.
Implement findings into your strategy
The final step is to use the insights gained from the audit to refine your marketing strategy. Here are some ways you could do this:
- Differentiate Your Brand: If your analysis reveals that your competitors are all focusing on a particular area, you might decide to differentiate your brand by focusing on another aspect.
- Improve Your Products or Services: If your competitors are receiving positive feedback for a feature that your product lacks, you might consider adding it to your own product.
- Adjust Your Marketing Strategy: If your competitors are successful with a particular marketing strategy, you might decide to implement a similar strategy. For instance, if they’re getting a lot of engagement from video content, you might decide to create more videos.
Remember, competitor audit goals are not to copy your competitors, but to learn from them and find ways to differentiate your brand. The insights gained from a competitor audit can help you make informed decisions and ultimately gain a competitive advantage. Interested in competitor audits with a media monitoring tool? Book a demo with our experts today.