Welcome To The Golden Age of Competitive Research [DMC Recap]
With nearly 15 years of expertise in online advertising via PPC platforms such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, and more, Robert Brady is an expert in the digital marketing world. Along with his PPC knowledge, Brady also is proficient in conversion rate optimization (CRO), landing page optimization, marketing strategy and competitive research.
Brady’s PowerPoint focuses and key takeaways:
- Use scripts to pull Auction Insights and process for insights
- Tap into the Bing Competition tab
- Monitor and leverage competitors’ Facebook and LinkedIn Ads
- Get in your competitors’ audiences and funnels
Robert began his presentation by outlining the basics on using Auction Insight scripts and how they can help you track down what your competitors are doing in a more efficient and practical way. Using these scripts helps you compare your performance with other advertisers who are participating in the same auctions you are.
The presentation focused on Brainlabs’ most recently updated script which is already embedded in a template google sheet readily available for anyone to copy and use. He uses this tool to help show others the significance of Auction Insights as visual trends rather than just numbers in a spreadsheet.
Robert went on to demonstrate actionable items we can utilize from auction insights scripts that may have otherwise gone unnoticed without a visual representation of competitors’ trends in the market. He told how both current competitors and new entrants are important to watch closely, as they can quickly increase or decrease in their impression share.
What does this mean for you?
By analyzing possible motivations and reasonings with existing competitors you can dissect sudden changes and make a decision as to how to adjust your current strategy. Whether analyzing your competitors' data to find if new entrants are here to stay, or to find where certain existing competitors are starting to slack, Robert believes advantages are available if we are willing to utilize and act on these insights.
Bing Competition Tab
Another tool Robert focused on in his presentation was the Bing Competition Tab. Although this is essentially Auction Insights, this tool by Bing Ads offers a variety of ways you can view the competitive landscape. He walked through the importance of this additional Auction Insights tool in outsmarting numerous competitors since, in Robert's words, “advertisers are much less active in Bing.”
The Bing Competition tab can also be used to focus on new competitors who may have smaller budgets that prevent them from capitalizing on their campaign. Robert explained that these new competitors often will exhaust their budgets and allow you to swoop in and take advantage of the opportunity with a potential quick win.
Facebook & Linkedin Ads
Robert also walked through how Facebook and LinkedIn snooping can help you by leveraging competitors’ ads. When monitoring a competitor, many things can help you see who, what, and why they are targeting specific audiences and where their strategies lie. In his presentation, Robert showed how you can “troll” or snoop on Facebook to find specific interests advertisers are targeting, as well as ages and genders they are putting most of their efforts into reaching.
One tool Robert found helpful when doing competitive research was the Facebook Ad Library. This resource allows users to explore a library of ads with or without a Facebook account, including access to advertisements that would not previously show up in your snooping since they were not part of the advertiser’s intended audience or tracked personas.
Utilizing this style of competitive research allows for a more in-depth view of your competitors' advertising strategies and how you can adapt and improve your own. Robert mentioned that whether you like their audience targets or not, this information can help you pursue the same audience or steer clear altogether. Either way, you’ve gained valuable insight about your competitors that would have been easily overlooked otherwise.
Competitors' Audiences & Funnels
Lastly, Robert covered the importance of getting into your competitors’ audiences and funnels to better understand how they reach out to their target market. His strategy is to provide a way for you to see how each of your competitors focus on specific personas, when and how often they pursue that audience, and what they are doing to incentivize and lure that target market.
He suggests using a VPN with the incognito mode in Google Chrome in order to set up a variety of personas that can give you a fresh look at who your competitors are tracking and how they market to different ages, genders, etc.
Brady’s Plan of Attack:
By creating these personas and investigating your competitors' marketing strategies, you are able to learn:
- How to differentiate yourself
- When and how to be where your competitors are not
- Alternative methods other than relying solely on Google and the tools the rest of your competitors are utilizing
In closing, Robert Brady recapped the importance of investing time and effort in competitive research in order to leverage your competitors’ strategies and to take advantage of their weak areas while strengthening your own weaknesses by adopting their strengths and improving upon them.