8 of the best social media competitor analysis tools for 2021 (+3 new)
We cover 11 competitive analysis tools including social media competitor analysis tools, SEO competitive analysis, content analysis, and more! Here's all you need to analyze your competitors from every angle.
- Awario for social analysis
- BuiltWith for technology lookup
- SEO PowerSuite for competition research
- BuzzSumo for content analysis
- Google Trends for content strategy
- SimilarWeb for website traffic monitoring
- iSpionage for ad tracking
- Owletter for newsletters analysis
- Sparktoro for the target audience comparison
- Feedly for content research
- Owler for financial competitive analysis
- In conclusion
The “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” quote is often attributed to Sun Tzu, a Chinese general and military strategist. And while warriors needed armor and enormous amounts of human sacrifice to stick to the advice, modern methods of spying on your competing companies are way less atrocious: today, just a handful of dedicated tools for competitive analysis can help marketers in pursuit of uncovering the strengths and weaknesses of their competition.
Over the last few months, we’ve tested multiple competitive intelligence solutions (not just monitoring software) for social media marketing, newsletters, SEO, and more. While we highlighted social media competitor analysis tools, social media platforms are not the only places where your competitors make moves, so we included competitive analysis tools for other areas as well.
This article is our selection of the top competitor research toolkits for everything your business might need to try in 2021.
1. Awario for social analysis
Social media analytics are vital for any list of competitor analysis tools. I couldn’t put together a list of social media competitor analysis tools without mentioning our own, but only because I’m sure it will add value to your company.
If you’re thinking of getting started with competitive analysis, chances are that you’re already monitoring mentions of your own brand. The caveat is, it’s not very convenient to search for your brand along with all of your competition manually across multiple platforms.
Even if you're only interested in, say, Instagram competitor analysis and your competitors Instagram account, online conversations pop up in unpredictable numbers, so using a monitoring tool that will automate this process is a smart idea.
Awario is a platform that helps with social media competitor analysis. I’d recommend starting with creating mentions monitoring alerts for any keywords. Make sure to set up alerts for your top competitors, as the tool tracks brand mentions in real-time across the major platforms, forums, news, blogs, and web pages and present all metrics in branded, shareable reports.
Better yet, make sure to also add a link to each competitor’s domain in the Alert Settings - this way, your feed will also include mentions that link to your competitors’ content (even though they might not explicitly mention their brand names).
This way, you’ll discover the channels your competitors are active on. The variety of marketing platforms is huge, and you might discover new places where you can reach your target audience. As your competitors are most likely to have the same TA as you, it makes sense to do the engagement analysis of their platforms.
More to that, you’ll figure out which influencers and bloggers mention your competitors, and will end up with a solid list of potential partners to build relationships with.
Awario offers three types of reports: Mention Statistics, Alert Comparison, and Influencers. All of them include a bunch of statistics and social media marketing insights including demographic data, average engagement rate, sentiment, and more. With Awario’s Share of Voice chart, you’ll be able to track the growth of your campaign — it does competitor analysis for the number of mentions and reach of your company compared to your competitors.
Pricing: You can try Awario with a free 7-day trial. Pricing starts at just $29/mo for the Starter plan ($24 if billed annually) and goes up to $299/mo ($249 if billed annually) for Enterprise. Awario also offers custom plans for agencies and bigger brands.
2. BuiltWith for technology lookup
Have you ever found yourself wondering what research, analysis, and SEO tools your competitors are using? How about their marketing software? Free toolkits? Or the technologies their websites are built on?
BuiltWith is a market analysis tool that will give you answers to these (and more) questions. Just type in the URL of a competitor’s site, and you'll see the scripts, services, and plugins the website uses. On top of that, you'll discover all kinds of front- and back-end technologies used by any company.
Once you’ve found a platform or service within your competitors’ profile, you can look it up on the website to see its usage analytics, the number of users, market share, etc. This is a real goldmine if you and your competitors are technology providers: BuiltWith lets you both see the technologies used by your rivals and the detailed analytics on usage of your competitors’ services by other websites. Pretty cool, no?
Pricing: Running a check with BuiltWith is free, but more advanced features (like importing a list of websites using given technologies) are included in the paid version. The Basic plan is $295/mo, Pro is $495/mo, and Team is $995/mo. Plans differ in the number of users, lookups, and reports.
3. SEO PowerSuite for competition research
After you learned which technologies and marketing platforms your competitors use, you can get down to SEO competitors, their strategies, and their weaknesses. The SEO PowerSuite toolkit will help you at each stage of your SEO campaign.
Rank Tracker is a keyword rank checker and research tool. You can download it to get a list of your top competitors based on a target keyword, analyze competitors and their domain strength (a ranking score that predicts how a website will rank in search engine results), uncover competitors' keywords to then adjust yours, and get a keyword report based on that information.
WebSite Auditor will dig through any website to understand how the search engines see your (or your competitors’) site. This software tool reveals all the website issues that can influence indexing, search rankings, or user experience. On every issue, you’ll get step-by-step instructions on fixing it. For content analysis and optimization, use WebSite Auditor's content writing tool for SEO that lets you optimize content as you create it.
For backlink research, there’s SEO SpyGlass. Its new backlink index will help you spot backlinks within competitors’ profiles and develop a link strategy of your own. You will be able to compare up to 5 link profiles in the Project Comparison module and get a list of websites that link to several competitors under Link Intersection.
Pricing: For trying out all the apps’ functionality there’s a freemium version. The Professional license is $299 and Enterprise is $699. Enterprise license offers White-labeling options, various types of exports, and scheduled reports.
4. BuzzSumo for content analysis
Keep in mind that when running competitive analysis, apart from direct and indirect product competition, you’ll encounter websites that compete with you in terms of content. And since content marketing delivers multiple opportunities to drive sales, increase engagement, and develop brand awareness, it's vital to find out what your competitors posting strengths are.
Understanding your competitors’ marketing strategies will give you insights on where you can improve or tweak your company’s current strategy. It will also show you trending topics in your niche. BuzzSumo is one of the most powerful competitor tracking software, as it makes engagement analysis easy, measuring the success of your content compared to competitor's content. You will find their most shared content (for example, by doing a Twitter competitor analysis you'll know who shared content on this particular platform), see the influencers who spread the word about competitors' products and services, and create reports that compare your performance to theirs. Apart from finding competitor data from web posts, the analysis tool performs social media analysis along with content formats that are more successful among your competition.
Pricing: There’s a 7-day free trial which is followed by one of four subscription plans. Prices start with Pro is $79/month, Plus is $139/month, Large is $239/month, and Enterprise has custom pricing.
5. Google Trends for content strategy
Like BuzzSumo, Google Trends is a great analysis tool for your content strategy. The best thing is that you can see how search rankings change over the years. It also gives you ideas on related queries. There are two ways to look at the keyword data: over a long and short period of time.
By adding your brand name and your competitors, you’ll be able to compare the interest in each one over time and see the results of your marketing efforts. There’s also a regional interest diagram, showing a map of the world with varying colors to show search volume by country. However, Google Trends can be used for monitoring competitors’ activity on the Web only, social media analysis is not available.
Pricing: The tool is free.
6. SimilarWeb for website traffic monitoring
The next important aspect of competitor research is checking competitors’ traffic and ad campaigns. SimilarWeb is an analysis tool for measuring website or web app traffic.
The competitor analysis tool gives you analytics on your competition’s traffic and the demographics of their audience. Since you and your rivals likely compete for a similar audience, their best traffic sources will usually work great for you as well. Knowing which websites bring them the most traffic enables you to target the same sites. Depending on the kind of websites you find, you can contact bloggers and ask them to leave comments on your product, offer to do a guest post, or come up with anything else that may be of interest to them.
With SimilarWeb, you can also discover where your competitors buy ads, which ad networks perform best for them, and even see the actual ads they are running. This can help you plan your budget and paid media efforts. On top of that, you can save money by either targeting only the best ad spots they use or going for the long tail (which may bring less volume but will also reduce the costs).
Pricing: SimilarWeb offers a free version, which is limited to 5 results per metric and only a couple of months of historical data. Prices of custom plans are available upon request.
7. iSpionage for ad tracking
iSpionage is another research tool for competitor analysis and tracking competitors’ ads. First, the platform will help you identify your top AdWords competitors. Then you’ll be able to find out how much they spend on the paid and organic search, see their published advertisements and landing pages, and find out their approximate monthly PPC budget. You can use this information to identify the top advertisers in your space and learn from the best in your industry.
If you have to present the results to your boss or are looking for a nice way to share data with your colleagues, iSpionage will help you with top-notch branded competitive reports.
Pricing: iSpionage offers a free account with 10 free competitor analysis reports per day and 3 competitor alerts. And there are 4 subscription plans: Prices start with Starter for $59/month, Professional for $99/month, Advanced for $299/month, and Enterprise pricing is custom. Purchasing a 6-months plan will save up to 50%.
8. Owletter for newsletters analysis
59% of marketers consider email to be their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation. Moreover, well-designed emails will enhance a relationship with existing customers or help acquire new ones. I believe that’s a good reason to spend more time crafting better emails than those of your competitors. With Owletter, you’ll be able to do the competitor analysis of newsletters: their frequency, schedule, and over-time trends.
The application captures emails from your competitors and organizes them in a simple, user-friendly dashboard. Over time, you’ll have access to an archive of emails with basic analytics for each competitor, such as how often their newsletters are reported as spam, the total number of emails they’ve sent, when they send emails more frequently, etc. This will help you spot changes in your competitors’ email strategy and come up with a perfect template for your own emails.
Pricing: You can start with a 14-days free trial. After that, you can pick one of the three subscription plans: Starter at $19/month, Pro at $39/month, or Unlimited at $79/month. Paying annually will get you 2 free months. Plans differ in the number of monitored websites, email alerts, and historical data storage.
9. Sparktoro for the target audience comparison
Sparktoro is a social media competitor analysis tool that focuses on researching target audiences. Thanks to Sparktoro you can learn more about your competitor's target audience including:
- Hashtags their audiences use and engage with (since the tool provides engagement analysis)
- Who are the competitors on social media they follow
- Influencer tracking: which influencers their audience is following
- Common words and links their audiences share
- Social accounts the audience follows
Sparktore pulls data from several platforms including Instagram, the web, and podcasts, but its core analytics is rooted in analysis on Twitter. While it doesn't provide comment monitoring as Awario does, it gives you a full picture of your competitors' audiences on social media platforms and the web.
Not only does Sparktoro benefit your social media marketing strategy, but it also amplifies social media competitor analysis to measure your audiences' likes and dislikes, identify your competitors' followers that might be curious to try your company, and discover actionable social media marketing insights.
Pricing: Sparktoro offers several free tools and features, including a free feature to audit your Twitter followers to find fake followers and bots The paid plans start at $38 and vary depending on the number of searches. The paid plans even provide contact data (emails and LinkedIn) for influencers.
10. Feedly for content research
In most cases, your competitors' content strategy is divided between their social media profiles and content platforms such as blogs or video platforms. While tools like Awario can take care of your competitors on social media, Feedly can audit their blog strategy for free.
Tools like Feedly can't be really described as competitor analysis tools, but they do have some features that can be used for competitive analysis. Feedly allows you to create a feed of content on a specific topic or from specific websites. You can choose popular topics such as "Social media" or choose websites from your direct competitors' list that you want to keep an eye on and build your own content feed.
It's extremely easy to use (especially comparing to sophisticated analysis tools) and easy to navigate. You can spy on competitors' updates and analyze competitors' content strategy — measure their content output, keep an eye on popular topics, see what people want to read or watch, and more.
Pricing: The basic version has the main free feature which allows you to make up content feeds for your competitors. Paid plans start at $12 and offer you more sources, the ability to analyze Twitter, and an AI analytics tool.
11. Owler for financial competitive analysis
However, it's not enough to analyze competitors on social media platforms, websites, newsletters, and ads. Competitive analysis always starts with the essential business analytics. Before you can start analyzing Instagram comments and followers, you need to know about the company itself. Owler allows you to access hard-to-find business data on your competitors and make up a competitor report with all the essentials: earnings, employee count, revenue, and so on.
It gathers data from different sources and applies state-of-the-art analytics to find your top competitors, explore related industries and, benchmark your company against them. You can analyze competitors' financials and get real-time notifications about major updates.
Pricing: Owler offers a free plan, but its capabilities are fairly limited. The paid plans start at $99 and include more data, customizable competitive analysis, and premium support.
Of course, markets devoid of competitors are rare: if a product is worth making, its competitive landscape won’t stay empty for long. If it does, the market for the product probably doesn’t exist.
So having competitors is not such a bad thing, especially if you keep track of their strategies on social media platforms and elsewhere and know how to beat them. To do that, you probably won’t need all the competitive analysis toolkits above; instead, choose the ones that will help you accomplish the goals of your business.
Got any other competitor analysis tools you'd to add to this list? Let me know in the comment section!