Learn how to identify best performing competitor ads and you get three birds with one shot: you get to stay in the know about what your competitors are doing, there’s creative inspiration galore, and you’ll never run out of campaign angles and offers you could make while promoting your eCommerce brand.
Watching over your shoulder for competitor ads is a crucial part of eCommerce marketing strategy.
Scraping the web, hunting for ads “out in the wild” and “Browsing to look for ads” are not effective strategies. This costs time, it’s random, and totally inefficient.
Here’s how to identify best performing competitor ads quickly and effectively:
Get a Holistic View First
If you want to research how your competitors do marketing, start from a “zoomed out” view of “everything” your competitors are doing for marketing. eCommerce marketing strategy starts with their eCommerce site -- go there for a quick start.
Check your competitors' social handles (including Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube). Do a quick check on their content marketing profile -- do they have meaty content on their site? How is the site positioned for SEO?
How is the eCommerce site designed? How are their product pages designed? What other aspects of their product pages catch your attention?
From there, we can drill deeper into finer aspects of competitors’ marketing strategy
Spy on ads and campaigns, from Top Down View
By top-down view, this is what we mean: when you look at an ad that an eCommerce brand rolls out, you’d want to guess what happens after a user clicks on the ad. Where is the ad likely to lead them? Is the ad creative made for reach or branding? Or is it an ad created directly to promote a particular product or product category?
Are the ads promoting a single product or a bundle of products? Are your competitor ads a part of broad and evergreen campaigns or are these seasonal campaigns?
After clicking on the ad, where is the user likely to be sent to? Is it to the eCommerce site directly? Is the user sent to a dedicated eCommerce landing page?
On the eCommerce landing pages (if any), are your competitors asking for a “sale” or is there a request to sign up for a coupon code?
Notice the marketing flow or the campaign flow and you’ll get a fair idea as to what you should do (or shouldn’t do) with your own marketing campaigns.
Look out for Oldest “Active” Ads
Using Panoramata, identify the ads your competitors are running for the longest time by checking the oldest active ads.If some of these ads are “social ads” -- being run on social platforms such as Meta (Facebook), Instagram, Twitter, and so on. Social ads often have several comments underneath the ad itself.
Read those comments to glean insights on the brand itself, their quality of customer service, possible issues with competitor products or any relevant service issues (comments will usually highlight some of these as users put them out in the open).
These ads not only give you creative inspiration but will also reveal insights about their customers’ experiences as well.
You’ll get insights on the brands since users reveal issues on the ground level which would have been impossible to get otherwise.
Find Angles Your Competition Uses
What are the most common angles that your brand’s competitors use while running ads and other marketing campaigns? Do they focus on benefits or features more? Does your competition often take “pot shots” at other players within the industry?
Are the ads “image heavy” with product images mostly? Or are the ads being run with a focus on “people using products”?
Do the ads feature social proof, testimonials, and so on? How is the ad copy written?
Do campaigns run ads comparing products with other products? Finding out what angles your competition uses tells you what you should (or shouldn’t) do.
Get a Crash Course On Offers & The Marketing Flow
While you are out there looking for ads and creatives using Panoramata, these are not the only things you’d look for.
Check out the marketing tools that your competitors use. Find out what your competitors are doing with respect to aspects such as content strategy (including SEO profile and content) , website design changes (using the snapshots feature), take a quick look at their landing pages, and so much more.
Delve farther than the obvious by also checking out the email marketing campaigns that your competitors use -- including subject lines, email marketing frequency, the actual content of the emails, images used within emails, and more.
You’ll also be able to create inspiration lists or build complete repositories of competitor campaigns using Panoramata that you and your team can have access to.