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Hannah Butcher
June 6, 2017

How to snoop on your competitors’ influencer campaigns

No idea what your competitors are doing for their influencer marketing campaigns? Start here.

When did you last do some competitor research and analysis? Three months ago? Six? Never?

It’s an easy practice to let slide – after all, you have your own work to worry about. But there are real benefits to spending a couple of days every few months assessing what the folks on the other side of the fence are up to. You’ll often come away with some speedy recommendations and additions to your own marketing plan, or with the leverage you need to get sign-off on your own plans (“Brand X is working with influencer Y – to outflank them, we need to do Z.”).

Today I want to focus on one area of competitor research, and that’s influencer marketing. It’s a particularly tricky one, because influencer marketing comes in so many forms across so many channels. To make your life a little bit easier, I’ve got some recommendations on how you can start to snoop on your rivals’ campaigns:

Backlink analysis

Invest in a good SEO backlink checker like Ahrefs and you’ll forever be thankful for the wealth of information it delivers.

For example, a link intersect helps you see which websites are linking to a handful of competitors but not to you. Look out for blogs here to see where partnerships exist between brands and influencers.

Within a tool like this you can also have a deeper look at the backlink profile of a specific website. You won’t see everything, as items are constantly added and removed from the index. But it’s certainly helpful.

What you’ll want to do is start identifying influencers and their connections to other brands in your sector. If they’re a brand ambassador for your closest competitor, they may not be the best partner for you, but have a look and see whether their values and your product/service would be a good fit for collaboration.

Social media analysis

Doing an in-depth social media review will be a labour of love, but there a few shortcuts you can take.

If you’re already following some key influencers on social media, learn to spot trends in what they’re posting. I have a particular interest in the travel sector so I can immediately start sniffing out an upcoming press trip for a brand, or see when a company launches a new campaign that requires a bunch of sponsored posts.

It’s even better when you can see activity starting on a specific hashtag on Twitter or Instagram. Influencers are natural promoters of their own content, especially if they’re working on a campaign they want to shout about to attract attention from other brands. This means you can take advantage of their updates on the hashtag and follow the campaign as it happens.

Once you have visibility of a certain campaign a brand is running, such as promoting an infographic they recently posted to their website, pop the landing page URL into a tool like BuzzSumo to see recent sharing and backlink activity.

Conferences and events

Go offline and get out there. Find out what events are taking place in your industry, including those that are likely to attract influencers.

For example, in the travel industry, we’d be silly to miss something like World Travel Market (WTM) when it’s taking place close to home. The place is crawling with influencers who are looking to develop relationships with brands for press trips and other editorial opportunities.

At the other end of the scale, you might find there are small-scale meet-ups being sponsored by one of your competitors who is looking to establish blogger relationships.

There is usually a lot of value in getting off your laptop for a while to observe things up close, and you never know who you might meet. It could be someone perfect for your upcoming campaign.

We’re always around to discuss influencer outreach projects in further detail. If you want to better understand metrics, or you’re looking to launch your own campaign in the near future, get in touch and speak to our influencer marketing team.

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