We are living in an era of change and evolution. New markets, businesses, and companies are emerging every day. What does that mean for all businesses? It means that competition is inevitable. Hundreds of companies are competing for the same consumer base and target audience. In the battle to be the very best, your company needs an edge over your competitors.
In such a scenario, it becomes imperative to study and analyze what your competitors are up to and what their strategies are to survive in your industry.
Before we dive into the full list of the top competitor and research tools, let us first understand what they are and why it’s so important to use them…
What are Competitor Analysis and Research Tools?
Competitor analysis tools are tools that help you identify major competitors and help you research their products, sales, and marketing strategies. They essentially help you track, analyze, and learn from your competitors’ business strategies.
Using these spying tools will help you learn about your business competition and it gives you the golden opportunity to gain an edge over them.
Now that we’ve got across, let us come to why we should consider using these tools…
Why Should You Use Competitor Analysis and Research Tools?
While functioning in an economy where everything is evolving in nature, failure to adapt could potentially lead to the end of great business ventures. Hence, your company must develop continually.
Who starts market trends? Companies and competitors do; which is why constantly analyzing the market becomes a necessity. That’s where competitors and research tools step in! Here are some reasons why you should consider using these spying tools:
1. Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
Competitive analysis can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your company as well as those of your competitors. It is important to have a deep understanding of the market to know what are your company’s assets and what needs to be worked upon. The result? Your company would be better placed to attract and retain customers.
2. Design and Adjust Your Marketing Strategy
To make an effective marketing strategy, you need a deep understanding of your target customer base, the market and competition, products offered, and their pricing, etc.
Using these tools, you can understand market dynamics that help you determine how your company and product fit into the current environment. With the help of this information, you can design and optimize your marketing strategy!
3. Spot New Industry Trends
By gathering competitive intelligence using spying tools, you can research the data collected from your competitors and predict where the market trends are shifting. Accurately predicting these shifts and upcoming trends allows your company to provide a much better user experience for your consumers and capture more market share.
4. Set Yourself Apart from Your Competitors
Every company has its own unique selling point (USP) that sets it apart from its competitors and makes it stand out in the market. Analyzing your competitors’ USP helps you mold your company in a way that provides you with a competitive edge.
Manually studying competitor strategies and their performance can be a mundane task, but to relieve you of this pain, here’s a list of the top ‘spying tools’ that are present in the market today…
List of Top Competitor Analysis and Research Tools
Now that we know the advantages of spying tools, here’s a comprehensive list of competitor analysis and research tools that’ll do the work for you:
Competitor Analysis and Research Tools for Content
One of the simplest ways to remain up to speed with your competition is to monitor their RSS feeds or publications they’ve been mentioned in. elink.io is a new-age application, with a robust RSS Feed Reader that allows you to add RSS feeds of your competitors, Google Alerts, and industry-related publications.
Using elink.io, you can follow an unlimited number of RSS feeds to make sure you’re able to remain updated on the latest information being posted by your competitors, and additionally, you can search by keywords in your feed as well.
Using this tool, you can get an overview of when and how often your competitors are publishing new content. You can also analyze the topics on which the content is being created to study the industry trends and audience preferences. At any point, you can bundle your articles and turn them into content that can be shared with your team as a single private page or an email newsletter.
Some Key Features of elink.io:
- Allows you to save an unlimited number of RSS feeds
- Filter and search articles based on keywords
- Easy-to-read interface without clutter
- Allows you to bundle important articles and turn them into shareable content
- Free Plan – 3 RSS Feeds
- Pro Plan ($10-$15 per month) – Unlimited RSS Feeds
Next up – Buzzsumo enables you to look at the top-performing content by topic or competitor by analyzing the engagement received and the number of social shares received on any piece of content.
Using this competition finder tool, you can assess and evaluate your competitor’s performance on content and keywords, find out who is performing the best in terms of industry content.
Based on this assessment, you can find out which industry topics are raking in the most number of audience. This enables you to create content on similar topics and facilitate your own content-creation process.
Some Key Features of Buzzsumo:
- Monitor mentions of your brand so you can respond timely
- Keep up with industry news and trends
- Track your competitors
- See what people are saying about the products in your industry
- Pro Plan – $99 per month
- Plus Plan – $179 per month
- Large Plan – $299 per month
- Enterprise Plan – $499+ per month
Competitor Analysis and Research Tools for Social Media
#3. Fanpage Karma
Fanpage Karma is your one-stop solution for all your professional social media management needs. From analyzing and researching to communicating and publishing, Fanpage Karma does it all.
Using Fanpage Karma, you can follow your competitors’ social media handles and see their top-performing posts as well as the increase in the number of their followers every week, etc. You can also learn more about customer engagement, and the best time for posting.
Some Key Features of Fanpage Karma:
- Analyze your competitors’ and your social media interactions in real-time
- Provides detailed analysis by keywords
- Immediate alerts when a competitor posts something
- Analyzes data every 10 minutes
- Free Plan – Facebook
- Professional ($69 per month) – One network of your choice
- Business ($199 per month) – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, WhatsApp
- Enterprise ($299 per month) – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, WhatsApp
#4. Sprout Social
Sprout Social offers a suite of competitive reports to analyze and understand competitor performance on social media from various angles. It offers an insight into what your competitors are posting and provides a comparison point to measure your own growth.
They also offer interactive charts and graphs that can be customized according to your competitor research objectives. Moreover, they offer direct access to consumer sentiments by tapping into publicly available social conversations, making it easier to distinguish your company from its competitors.
Some Key Features of Sprout Social:
- Uncovers trends and actionable insights from social data
- Streamlines social monitoring to engage your target community
- Measures your company’s performance with rich social data and dashboards
- Standard Plan – $99 per month
- Professional Plan – $149 per month
- Advanced Plan – $249 per month
Competitor Analysis and Research Tools for SEO
Moz is an SEO software that provides an analysis of how authoritative a site is according to Google. Moz assigns a domain authority (DA) score based on a website’s likelihood to rank in search engines.
Moz allows you to conduct a competitive analysis as you assess your competitors’ websites and determines a site’s search potential at a glance. It also provides statistics on backlinks, anchor texts, and some other important SEO indicators.
Some Key Features of Moz:
- Tracks performance of your traffic-driving keywords across 170+ search engines
- Categorizes, prioritizes, and compares keywords and phrases to fine-tune your keyword and content strategy
- It adds to, manages, and creates keyword lists in one place
Pricing for Moz Pro:
- Standard Plan – $99 per month
- Medium Plan – $149 per month
- Large Plan – $249 per month
- Premium Plan – $599 per month
#6. Traffic Travis
Traffic Travis helps you to track your competitors’ ranks based on whatever keywords you choose. You may also verify how this rank changes: whether it increases or decreases with time.
This tool helps you understand why, in the ranking of certain keywords, your competitors can outperform you. You will see which keywords are working for your rivals as well and allows you to keep tabs on your competitors.
Some Key Features of Traffic Travis:
- Helps you monitor your search engine rankings so you know where to focus your efforts.
- Helps you spot keywords that you should target
- Uncovers technical mistakes that may be affecting your rankings
- Professional Version – $97
Competitor Analysis and Research Tools for Email Campaigns
Email marketing is one of the most tedious ways of conducting a competitive analysis. MailCharts is used by e-commerce email marketers which gives access to historical data as well as insights from thousands of curated brands.
It helps you browse email examples that are organized by category and lets you dig into insights and trends. It allows you to compare your email campaigns as opposed to your competitors’ to give you an understanding of where you stand.
Some Key Features of MailCharts:
- Lets you easily find brands with its powerful search filters
- Showcases high-level overviews of key email metrics and data
- Presents actionable data and visuals in the form of email reports
- Free Plan – Track 3 companies
- Starter Plan ($99 per month) – Track 10 companies
- Business Plan ($249 per month) – Track 25 companies
- Enterprise Plan ($999 per month) – Track 100+ companies
Owletter automatically organizes emails aggregated from competitors into a simple, user-friendly dashboard. The analytics tools of Owletter spots changes in your competitors’ email frequency, and even picks up on patterns to help you optimize your own.
Some Key Features of Owletter:
- Spot trends over time
- See how frequency changes with seasonality
- Spots opportunities in when to send your own emails to your clientele
- Starter Plan – $19 per month
- Pro Plan – $39 per month
- Unlimited Plan – $79 per month
Competitor Analysis and Research Tools for Paid Advertising
iSpionage is the perfect tool to analyze your competitor’s paid advertisements. It studies the multiple aspects of PPC campaigns, including the number of keywords a brand is targeting on AdWords, etc.
It also gives an insight into who else is competing for PPC ads for a particular industry topic, in addition to how much their projected monthly budget is.
Some Key Features of iSpionage:
- Identifies top AdWords competitors and reveals their approximate monthly budget and PPC strategy
- Gives you a complete of AdWords competitor keywords
- Identifies competitor’s profitable ad copy
- Saves a list of your competitor’s SEO terms
- Starter Plan – $59 per month
- Professional – $99 per month
- Advanced – $299 per month
- Professional – Contact Sales
SEMRush is another popular tool that is used to analyze and research competitors’ paid traffic. It carries out keyword research and creates a compelling ad copy. Moreover, it analyses your competitors’ ad strategies and locates the keywords they are bidding on.
You will also see how many of the URLs of your competitors can be found on the search result page for a given keyword by using this tool.
Some Key Features of SEMRush:
- Lets you explore your competitor’s ad texts and banners
- Discover what audiences your competitors are targeting
- Learn more about the performance of other Google Shopping advertisers
- Pro Plan – $99.95 per month
- Guru Plan – $199.95 per month
- Business Plan – $399.95 per month
- Enterprise Plan – Contact Sales
Now that we’ve provided you with a list of the best competitive analysis and research tools, the final step for you is the choose the right tools depending on your needs!
Tweak your marketing strategy based on this analysis and fine-tune it. The result, you may ask? A better reach for your products and expansion in your consumer base. Sounds pretty great, right?
Go ahead and try out these tools and let us know which one’s your favorite by tweeting to us at @elink_io. Happy spying!