Using social media monitoring to track the effectiveness of a competitor’s content marketing strategy is smart for any indie to do. Why? Because knowing the number of shares your competitors’ pages get helps you understand your own content marketing’s strength. Comparing your numbers of likes, Tweets, etc. is a good way to learn what works and doesn’t, as well as how to improve. Problem is, getting these numbers isn’t always easy. Especially when competitors don’t use social sharing buttons that tally and display shares. For those scenarios, here’s how to use social media monitoring to track competitors’ content marketing effectiveness and improve your own.
How to Use Social Media Monitoring on Competitor Sites to Improve Your Content Marketing
There are several tools that track social media shares, however, HubSpot’s LinkTally is my favorite. I’ve used this social media monitoring tool since it launched over a year ago. I like it because it’s easy to use; fast; doesn’t require a download, registration or other annoyance to access; and it’s FREE.
To use LinkTally, visit the social media monitoring tool at linktally.com. Enter the URL of the page you want to track and click “Tally.” (The tool works fine if you leave the “Email” field blank.) LinkTally will count and display the number of shares that URL has received on the major social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
If you need statistics for other social media networks, you may want to try ShareTally…although I don’t like it as much.
Identify Where You’re Failing
To begin analyzing your marketing’s effectiveness, compare key pages on your site to corresponding pages on competitor sites: landing pages, blog pages, etc. Make note of where you and your competitor excel, as well as theories for why this may be. I.e., “my competitor’s blog posts lead with engaging images, mine don’t,” “my competitor’s lander has a sweet trailer video, mine doesn’t,” etc.
Improve Your Content Marketing
Take what you believe is working from your competitor’s site (your theories from above) and implement it on your own. Test for at least one week, then use LinkTally to measure the results. If you see a significant spike in shares, consider your theory validated. If you don’t see a spike, keep testing.
As you use competitor insight to improve your marketing, keep in mind that it’s okay to test concepts, but never content. For example, if you notice your competitor is using lots of imagery in his blog, and want to test the same thing, go ahead. However, testing the same images is copying and never okay.