Measurement

Where Can I Find Resources For Competitive Analysis Data?

CopyPress

Published: August 30, 2022

Running a competitive analysis is a great way to get insights into the business and marketing operations of top rivals and direct competitors in your industry. But to do an analysis the right way, you need the right competitor data. To protect your team and your company from lawsuits, you can only use data you obtain legally, like any information your rivals make available for public consumption. Today, we’re looking at the top resources to find competitive analysis data to fuel your next research and strategy project with topics like:

What Is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is the process of gathering, reviewing, and analyzing data about your brand competitors, and the market to plan your business strategies. It’s potentially the closest you’ll ever get to being a detective as a marketer. This framework allows you to collect information from published and unpublished sources ethically and legally. When done right, it paints a picture of your industry landscape and allows you to find opportunities for your company’s growth. This intelligence also lets you tackle struggles or challenges before they arise.

While most competitive intelligence goes beyond getting a surface-level overview of your rivals, sometimes that’s the first place you have to start before you can dive deeper into understanding a brand’s strategic moves and growth plan. The definition of competitive intelligence varies by company, industry, and department. Data collection and analysis all come down to exactly what you want to know and how you intend to get that information to shape your brand strategies.

17 Competitive Analysis Data Resources

The sources you use to find competitor data vary based on the information you want to collect. We’ve collected a list of free, paid, manual, and automated resources to help you find the competitor data you need for your analysis:

1. Competitor Analysis Tools

When most brands want to spy on the competition, the first thought is to get a tool to do the work for them. That thought process is for a good reason because there are plenty of competitive analysis tools available that provide the information you need about your rivals.

Plus, you don’t have to spend a lot of effort doing in-depth research yourself. The less time you spend hunting for information, the more time you have for the actual competitive analysis and other marketing planning and strategy efforts. You can find competitor analysis tools for all different areas of a rival audit, such as content, SEO, social media, and advertising. Here are a few examples of free and paid tools that help your data collection:

  • Ahrefs: An SEO analysis tool with a site explorer component that allows you to check the top organic keywords and traffic estimates for any URL
  • Buzzsumo: A content analysis tool that looks at the top-performing content for topics relevant to your brand and your competitors across social media platforms and the internet
  • iSpionage: A paid ad analysis tool that looks at keywords and ad spend for the online ad spaces a competitor targets
  • Mailcharts: An email marketing analysis tool that reviews details like subject lines and send frequency from competing campaigns similar to your own
  • SEMRush: An SEO analysis tool that allows you to check competitors’ organic search rankings and backlinks for keywords and individual content
  • Similarweb: A content and SEO analysis tool focused on traffic and backlinks to show incoming and outgoing traffic from a domain
  • Social Blade: A social media analysis tool that tracks and reports the follower counts and trend statistics for big-name brands on a variety of platforms
  • Sprout Social: A social media competitive analysis tool that tracks social strategy across platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

2. Competitor Websites

Your rivals’ websites provide a lot of valuable information about their brands and their marketing strategies. A company’s website is its online headquarters. That space links out to a brand’s other assets, including eCommerce sites, social media profiles, and content offers. The website is one of the most logical places to start when looking for information about your competitors. On a company’s site, look at the language and message frameworks used. Doing this task helps you determine the brand’s audience segments and the target of every page or promotion.

You can also look at the information highlighted on the home page, or what content qualifies for its own landing page. This information gives insights into the brand’s special offers and the trends it follows. Everything you find on a company’s website sheds light on gaps in your own marketing strategy. Are there techniques you could borrow for your brand’s website to better target your audience?

3. Conferences and Trade Shows

In-person or hybrid events like trade shows and conferences are full of competitor data to collect. The entire purpose of these events is to show off a brand’s best attributes. Most companies bring a lot of informational content, like brochures or pamphlets, to pass out at these events. It’s easy for your team members to walk by booths and grab these materials to take back with you and study.

Conferences and trade shows are also places where companies make big announcements or demonstrate new products to launch. These reveal not just where those brands stand in the current market, but where they plan to go next, too. Other data you may uncover at in-person events are partnerships or brand connections among indirect competitors in your industry. The more you know about brand alliances, the better prepared you may be to join or fight them in the future.

4. Featured Snippets

Thanks to a variety of changes and updates over the years, search engines like Google provide more information than ever about any topic. Information about your brand competitors is no exception. Search features like knowledge panels and other featured snippets give you information beyond demographics and can also show you others’ approaches to content marketing.

The information that appears in a knowledge panel gives you background about your competitors, like their locations, founding dates, contact information, and company leadership. The knowledge panel also gives related search terms, which may help you find additional competitor brands you hadn’t considered.

Featured snippets tell you more about your rivals’ content. Google pulls information for featured snippets automatically from its index. While Google hasn’t come right out and said how it chooses the content, it’s likely based on the same ranking factors used to pick content for the first page of search results. Finding competitor content in featured snippets allows you to see where their SEO strategies are working. It also gives insights about how you could update your own content to be better and knock theirs out of position zero.

5. Job Listings

Job advertisements give insight into the inner workings of a rival brand. What positions is the company hiring for? What qualifications do they want from job seekers? Watching a brand’s job ads can help you discover things like if it’s scaling up production, opening new locations, or increasing the size of the workforce.

All of these indicators point to increased revenue and an increased market share, which is something to be mindful of with companies in your shared spaces. This doesn’t mean that if your rivals are expanding you have to do the same. But it can even out the playing field and affect how you position your brand in comparison to another.

6. Lead and Client Conversations

Introductory meetings with potential leads or strategy sessions with clients can reveal a wealth of information about past experiences with your competitors. Clients typically aren’t bound by confidentiality agreements like some former employees may be. Clients have the right to switch providers at their discretion and have full authority to speak about their experiences with a brand.

Asking leads and clients about past interactions with rival companies may come up naturally in strategy discussions. You may ask questions like, “what was missing from your past partnerships?” or, “what can we do to help meet some of your needs that your last solution didn’t?”

This line of questioning can help you find answers about the competitive landscape without being pushy or making people feel uncomfortable with providing feedback.

7. Market Research

Market research helps you learn information about consumer behavior and economic trends. But it can also go further and tell you about potential competitors and their market positions. Performing market research on your own brand can also provide insights for marketing and sales teams to make informed decisions for the business. Creating feedback loops in focus groups, surveys, and polls can give you information about the market such as:

  • Demand: Do people want the products or services for sale in the industry or market?
  • Market size: How big is the audience?
  • Economic factors: What is the average employment rate or income range of the target audience?
  • Location: Where does the audience live and where are they willing to shop?
  • Market saturation: How many competitors do you have?
  • Pricing: What are your competitors charging for similar products and solutions?

You can use the data from your research to make comparisons between your brand and competitors. The results help you find where you have an edge with your audience.

8. Organic Search Engine Results

One of the easiest and fastest ways to get information about a brand rival is to run an online search for the company name. Most times, organic search results bring up information like the company’s website, social media profiles, and popular content. You may already know these things exist and have mined them for competitive analysis information. The things to hunt for on search engine results pages (SERPs) are brand mentions from other sources. Does this company engage in guest posting? Where else is the brand name mentioned besides the company’s own channels?

It’s not enough to find out where the competitor brand gets mentions. You also have to find out why others are sharing that content or talking about that company. This is all part of the process of social listening. Consider setting search alerts for a brand name or promotion to keep track of them around the web. Google Alerts let you track keyword mentions across searches. The program delivers a report to your email so you can see when and where your competitors’ mentions pop up across the web.

9. Product Descriptions

Your competitors’ product descriptions give you information about the features they think are worth highlighting in their offerings. This resource speaks to where the brand’s marketing team puts its own positioning. Product descriptions also reveal what the company’s marketing team finds to be its best-selling angle or conversion point. Look at the language used and the features highlighted to see how the products or services compare to your own. Does this brand offer anything yours doesn’t? Does it talk about certain features that your product descriptions don’t?

10. Public Financial Reports

Public companies have to publish their financial reports about revenue and profits. If any of your competitors fall into this category, you legally can see where they spend their budgets and earn income. Many of these reports break down fiscal information by products, services, market segment, and other factors.

Even if your competitors aren’t public companies and don’t have to publish financial reports or statements, some might do it anyway for transparency. Even if they don’t, your competitors may discuss their financial situations in interviews, podcasts, or presentations at conferences or trade shows.

11. Published Content

Any piece of content your competitors publish gives you information about their target audience, how they address search intent, and their brand voice. Look at the types of content channels they use, such as blogs, podcasts, or email marketing. You can also look at the topics they cover and the angles they take with each piece.

Then, you can look at your own content and see how it stacks up. Using some of your content analysis tools may help you make these comparisons. Another tip is to sign up for your competition’s emails, newsletters, and alerts. Yes, this might help some of their metrics, but it doesn’t boost their SEO like some other forms of content investigation. By subscribing, you don’t even have to go out and do the work to find out what they’re telling or offering to the audience. Instead, it comes right to your inbox.

12. Question and Answer Forums

Question and answer forums are places where your industry audience can ask questions and topics and information they don’t understand. These are also places where your audience may give recommendations or suggestions to colleagues about the best products or solutions. These online sources can help you discover which brands, products, and sources your audience recommends and why.

Paying attention to these forums gives insight into what your audience wants and needs, and areas where you can show off your unique selling proposition to be a better solution. Forums are also good places to check on what your audience is saying about your brand and its offerings. Look to see if they make comparisons between your company and its rivals.

13. Review Websites

Reviews and review websites like Yelp or Angi may tell you more about what goes on behind the scenes at a company than the audience-facing marketing messages and channels do. On a review site, that company’s real customers air their opinions about product or service quality, customer service procedures, and other experiences with the brand. Unless the brand pays for customer reviews—which isn’t illegal but it is shady—review sites are the best way to understand a brand’s customer experience without having to become a customer yourself.

The key thing to focus on in reviews are the questions customers still have after working with a brand, and the problems left unsolved. These are the areas where your company can capitalize. Can you answer the audience’s questions with your own content? Can you solve their problems or provide solutions to ongoing pain points? If so, it’s worth creating a marketing campaign around these pieces of information to highlight your unique selling proposition (USP).

14. Search Engine Ads

Search engine ads also give you information about your competitors’ marketing strategies and how they’re structured. First, look at the keywords your competitors target with their paid ads. Why are they using those specific keywords and what products or services do they push with them? The headline and description text of each ad also give you insights into their marketing tactics. What keywords or phrases does the competition use there? What is the USP for the ad that’s supposed to make the audience click and convert?

This information tells you where the competitor’s marketing team has positioned or wants to position the brand in the current industry landscape. Knowing these details helps you figure out if it’s worth it to compete directly with their positioning or find a new, better angle for your own brand.

15. SEO Statistics

Looking at your competitors’ SEO statistics gives you information on how you can adjust your own SEO strategy to outperform those ranking higher on the SERPs. Many SEO analysis tools give you information about key competitive areas like:

  • Keywords: Tools can tell you what keywords and phrases your competition targets. Any relevant industry keywords they cover that you don’t are opportunities for you to fill those gaps with content.
  • Backlinks: SEO tools can tell you which pieces of content have the most backlinks and from where they come. This information gives hints about a competitor’s domain authority.
  • Domain authority: This metric tells search engines how trustworthy a website and its content are. The higher your competitors’ domain authority, the better chance they have of ranking higher in SERPs and reaching position zero.

16. Social Media Profiles

Similar to a company’s website, its social media channels serve as online hubs for a brand’s content and marketing messaging. Different from most websites though, social media channels allow for two-way interaction between the brand and its audience. With these profiles, you get to see not just what your competitors share and the marketing messages they find most important. You also get to see how the audience reacts to those messages in real time.

You can use social listening on these platforms, too. Use the search functions to find both direct and indirect brand mentions. Consider looking up specific product or service names and what people have to say about them on each platform. Consider following your competitors’ profiles or setting up alerts for industry hashtags or topics. That way, you can receive alerts when new posts and mentions appear.

17. Trade Publications

Trade publications are article and resource collections targeted toward brands and teams in a particular industry. Besides providing a wealth of information about your niche market, these resources can also help you keep an eye out for competitors’ success, innovations, and expansion opportunities. Information from these publications can also help you find new potential competitors just entering your market that could be worth analyzing in the future.

Let CopyPress Do the Competitive Research For You

Instead of spending your time doing competitor research, let CopyPress deliver a comprehensive analysis report right to your inbox. Our content marketing analysis tool compares your content to three brands you indicate as your top competitors. It also gives you a list of other potential rivals you may not have considered.

With this report, you can find gaps in your content strategy to target with new SEO and people-first content. The document provides information on your backlinks and potential syndication partners to increase your reach and readership. Intrigued? Drop your information in the form below to get started.

WHAT SHOULD YOU FOCUS ON IN YOUR CONTENT MARKETING?

FREE Report: Feel Confident About
the Next Steps in Your Content Marketing

Get a customized content analysis for your business including
how you stack up against your competitors. See where you could
make the biggest impact in your content marketing!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We value your privacy. Period.

CopyPress

Read More About Measurement