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How can spy tools help you outrun your competition?

Understand what your competition is doing and do it better.

What do marketing spy tools look like?

The marketing domain, now termed digital marketing, has advanced to a point where there’s a tool for every activity that impacts the business. The common ones are CRM, automated posting or social media scheduler, data farming, marketing automation, chatbots, SEO, ad management, project management, and social. And there’s one more that’s interesting- spy tools.

Whether you’re a marketing company looking for new ways to upgrade your client’s online presence and improve their ROI or just an entrepreneur looking to keep up with your competition, listen up. To gain a competitive advantage and have impactful campaigns that can attract and convert leads, spy tools are a must.

Imagine data divided into actionable bites, to improve your content, make your website more reputable, to understand how a prospect experiences the marketing funnel you’ve created and which keywords to bid on.

Now think of a situation like this. You’re practicing white hat SEO techniques while the company next to you stuffs their webpage with keywords, a standard Blackhat practice. If you didn’t know what was going on, you’d think your marketing strategy was poor. Another possibility, you’ve found an empty market space your competitor hasn’t exploited and it’s yours for the taking.

Spy tools provide the kind of insight we would get as if we were in our competitors’ office and it’s completely empty. Kind of like a secret mission.

With that in mind, it’s important to know what you can do with the data. If the spy tools you’ve purchased don’t increase web traffic or provide you with high-quality leads, you’ve made a poor decision. Marketing stacks that are optimized for growth improved ROI, and provide increased traffic should be the goal.

With that out of the way, we’ve identified three areas where a spy tool could help.

SEO: Backlinks

Building a reputable backlink portfolio is what pushes your website up the ranking list. Think of references by your customers. They create a sense of reliability in your business. In the same way, prospective customers who look at your content will feel reassured if they’ve seen your website on a different page that’s reputable.

Gaining backlinks means building relationships with talented bloggers and trustworthy companies who put quality content on their websites. Google still considers backlink as a strong ranking factor in deciding where your website lands up in the user search.

SEO spyglass is a spy tool that allows you to see a website’s backlink count and the no. of new domain referrals. It has a free version that you can try out also.

The balance between internal and external linking is important too. Try to link the pages of your website together in an orderly way so google can use its crawler technology to traverse the website in a smooth manner.

SEO: Keywords

Organically driving traffic to your page to land you on page 1 of the search engine is a challenge. You’ll need to know the strategies employed by your competitors.

Marketing tactics done twice have diminishing returns. So, if you want to use a try a new approach, you’ll need good, reliable data to know what has already been done.

For SEO, inbound marketing remains king. Attracting users who enjoy your content means you’ll always have potential consumers to capitalize on. Try Neil Patel’s UberSuggest to get a comprehensive idea of what keywords are being targeted and the level of competitiveness surrounding them. You can also try Mozpro, Ahrefs, and SimilarWeb.

Paid Media

Ever wonder why you spend so much on your pay-per-click campaigns? Yes, continuous monitoring and optimization can save you huge dollars. But, on top of this, if you have gained exact insight and learned which keywords are benefitting your competitors, you save both time and money and can easily gain a higher ROI on your ads. For paid media, Ubersuggest also provides CPC data and that’s useful if you’re looking to bid on a keyword.

There are tons of PPC monitoring tools available these days, some of our favourites are – SEMrush, Ahrefs, iSpionage, and SimilarWeb.

Content Development

If you’re looking to create content that resonates with your fanbase, then go through blogs, articles, and social media posts from other companies and use metrics to understand their popularity.

Likes, follows and shares have always been a wholesome way of figuring out what works. Companies tend to park on platforms where they’re more likely to gain more followers and customers. For example, acupuncture clinics are more likely to be on Instagram and HR recruitment services on LinkedIn. Keep that in mind and look at the data for other companies, filtering out the best platforms for your client’s product/services and strategize your marketing efforts.

BuzzSumo is a great tool to view the trending content and the engagement that the published pieces get in the similar keywords.

How do these tools help?

With the use of these monitoring and analysis tools, you will be able to get insights and data on the below:

  • What are the trending topics to write?
  • What are the common pain points/solutions that are being expressed in the content?
  • Who are the people engaging with the content (buyer personas)?
  • What is the length of the article and the structure that gets the most engagement?
  • What are the keywords that are currently being used in blogs, web content, meta keywords, post captions, and hashtags?
  • What are the content formats that are being used – is it videos, infographics, carousel posts, stories, blogs, podcasts, or webinars?
  • What are the design trends that are being followed to attract the target audience?
  • What product/service is being mentioned and is most talked about in the competitor’s content and what’s their performance?
  • Most downloaded or shared content.

This kind of information can be used to optimize a number of internal strategies within your growth marketing stack.

What about spy tools for social media?

Social media is your new business identity. With average usage of over 4 hours per day, your target audience can be tapped into easily on social channels. With that in mind, companies are now extremely mindful of how they use this to their advantage. With the use of social media monitoring and analysis tools, you will be able to gain insights on:

  • Trending topics and identify the focus areas of your competitors
  • The most engaging topics that your target users like
  • Influencers and thought leaders in your domain
  • Events to talk about
  • Hashtags to piggyback on
  • Location tags that really work
  • What are the design trends that are being followed to attract the target audience?
  • Which handles are being mentioned in the social posts?

Using the above data, you can frame and develop a strategic social media strategy that empowers your business to reach the target audience while positioning your business as a thought leader, gaining leads in the process.

Spy tools are not the end solution

It’s easy to get lost in a shopping spree but thinking spy tools alone can solve your problems is not the right approach.

Use them to gain insight into what your market and competition are doing. Leverage the data and insights and bucket it into categories like SEO & content development, PPC, and social media. Then integrate each one into developing a consolidated marketing calendar.

We hope you’ve learned something from this blog. If you’re looking to create a digital marketing strategy from scratch, we’ve got you covered here at Greyscale digital.

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