3 Ways to Use Competitor Research to Develop Better Promotions & Ads

By Raubi Perilli

      Dec 24, 2020     Solutions    

You’re ready to run ads for your business. You want to launch a promotion that will drive interest in your business and send the customers to your door. There’s only one problem: you don’t know what type of campaign to run.  

Deciding on the right promotions and ad messaging can be a challenge.

You want to run the right type of promotion and get the most out of your ad spend. Thankfully, there is a way to identify the best options for your campaigns: it’s through competitor research.

How Competitor Research Helps Campaign Creation

Competitor research is the act of investigating businesses that are similar to you or that have a similar audience and analyzing their strengths and weaknesses. It’s a form of research that helps you find opportunities and threats for your brand.  

There are many aspects of competitor research. You can perform an analysis as it relates to brand, products, and operations. In this guide, we are going to focus on conducting competitor research as it relates to marketing campaigns.  

We’re going to share strategies that help you answer questions such as:  

  • How are my competitors marketing?
  • What promotions are they running?
  • What messages are they using in their ads?
  • How much are they spending?
  • What channels are they using?
  • How well are they doing?
  • How can we match some of their successes?
  • How can we differentiate our promotions?

When you have the answers to these questions, you can use what you learn to develop strategic marketing campaigns of your own. You can identify the messaging most likely to resonate with your audience and develop more competitive promotions that your customers will love.

How to Use Competitor Research to Inspire Your Ads & Promotions

While there are many ways to learn about what your competitors are up to as it relates to their ads and promotions, here are three simple strategies for learning a lot by doing a little. The first two tactics are free and you can do them without spending any money.

Sign up for competitor email and text marketing lists.

A very easy way to get information about your competitors is to simply sign up for their email or text marketing list. You might already be following competitor brands on social media, but email and text are a step closer to their marketing promotions.  

Brands often have exclusive campaigns and promotions that go out only to their lists. They also run segmented campaigns based on customer activity (like how you entered the funnel, the last time you visited, what you purchased, etc.). By signing up, you can get a better look at their marketing automation (if they are using it) and get ideas for your email and text marketing campaigns

Use the Facebook Ads Library to review competitor campaigns.

Following a competitor on Facebook or Instagram doesn’t necessarily mean that you will see all of the messaging they put out on the platform. When brands run ads, only the people targeted by the ad will see it on their feed. You may not see their paid ads even if you follow the page.  

But there is a way for you to review a competitor's paid ads on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook Ads Library is a tool that enables you to search for a brand and see a list of their Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger ads. (Instagram and Messenger are both owned by Facebook.)

Simply find your competitor and browse through their active or inactive ads to view their promotions and ad copy to get ideas for promotions and campaigns of your own.  

Use SEMrush to research paid search keywords and ad copy.

Another way to research the paid ads your competitors are using is through SEMrush. SEMrush is a competitor research tool that has a variety of capabilities that can help you research others in your industry (what organic keywords drive traffic to their site, how many backlinks they have, where they are mentioned online, etc.). One of the best competitor insight tools is the advertising research feature.  

When you enter the domain of a competitor, you can view their ads campaigns run through Google. This allows you to see the keywords they target in their paid search ads, as well as the actual copy they are using in the ads. SEMrush even provides an estimate of the traffic cost to give you an idea of how much your competitors are spending on pay-per-click search ads.  

SEMrush also offers insights on display ads run through Google. In this section, you can see sample ads and explore the creative your competitors are using. You can also access information about who is being targeted with ads and what sites are showcasing the ads.  

All of this information helps you get insight into who your competitors are targeting, where they are targeting them, and what messaging and promotions they are using. From here, you can get ideas for promotions of your own and identify keywords and marketing strategies that might also work for your brand. 

Related: 10 Restaurant Promotion Ideas That Attract Customers and Drive Sales

Create Campaigns Using Your Competitor Research

With these competitor research tips, you should have no problem coming up with new marketing campaigns for your brand. You can use the information to inspire compelling ad copy and promotions that set you apart from competitors and make you more attractive to your target audience.  

Put those strategic marketing campaign ideas to work using mySuite -- a marketing platform that helps you easily set up local marketing campaigns.  

Take what you know, design campaigns, and quickly launch them on mySuite. Once you run a campaign, use the detailed analytics dashboard to identify your highest performing campaigns and most engaged customers so you can run even more effective campaigns in the future.  

Signing up for mySuite is free. Launch your free account today.