It’s Okay: Monitor Competitor Campaigns & Content Themes to Help Inform Ad Strategy

Level: Intermediate

By: Sara Will | Director of Search Engine Marketing

The Idea

Reverse engineer your competitors’ strategies to learn what works and gain a competitive advantage.

Impact

We’ve had clients make some meaningful strategy shifts based on our analysis of their competitors’ campaigns. For example, one client wasn’t sure whether to invest in buying the rights to a favorable Gartner white paper. But after our analysis showed their competitor was using the paper to drive good results, they bought the rights and used it themselves. Now the Gartner papers are a cornerstone of their content and ad strategy – and they continue to drive good results.

A competitor review for another client demonstrated that the client was leaving “top of funnel” keywords unprotected while their competitors were always appearing. The client has since expanded their strategy to target early stage buyers – and seen great results.

Explanation

Mimicking your competition is rarely a good strategy, but it’s smart to keep tabs on the competition and learn from their experience. An accomplished advertising practitioner can reverse engineer a competitor’s strategy and make insightful recommendations that can have a dramatic impact on your strategy and results.

Limitations

None? With the right tools, experience and mindset the investment is minimal and the upside is potentially huge. Everyone should be doing a regular competitive review.

Works Best for Advertisers With

  • Competitors that receive enough traffic to be represented in competitive tools

Pro Tips

  • Don’t limit your competitive review to a single advertiser. Even if there’s only one main competitor you’re focused on, it’s helpful to understand the whole ecosystem. Sometimes a smaller adjacent player is doing something really smart that you can learn from. As usual, agility and expansive thinking beats a “box checking” approach.
  • Use multiple competitive intelligence tools – different tools offer different insights.

While no single tip or tactic is going to be a silver bullet, the cumulative impact of multiple tactics can ultimately make a huge difference and help you gain a competitive advantage. Here at Closed Loop, we believe success is about doing 1000 little things right and then keep them optimized at all times to ensure optimal results. We excel at this.

If you’re spending more than $30K/mo on digital advertising and wondering if you could be getting better ROI contact us for a free audit that is guaranteed to make you think differently about your campaigns.