Rival IQ is a marketing-intelligence tool that allows clients to track and analyze their competitive market landscapes across social media, social content, the Web, and SEO-based metrics. Features include the ability to easily identify what social media content is performing well across a set of companies, individual post level engagement analytics, comparisons of major language elements used to describe each company in a given landscape, and email alerts for breakout posts, major metrics, and positioning language changes.
Monthly cost ranges from $99 to $199 for individual companies and starts at $399 for agencies.
Rick Silvestrini, head of marketing at CreativeLive, has been using Rival IQ for about six months.
How do you use it?
Rival IQ gives me tremendous visibility into everything that’s happening in the online education landscape without having to spend a lot of time looking for it. The platform is so easy to use that I never actually have to log on to get critical, real-time information. That’s the best part for me.
As head of marketing, I don’t have a great deal of time to go into social media management tools and look at everything that’s happening with all my competitors or the minute details of statistics.
It’s important for me to see highlights and weekly aggregate data, and Rival IQ delivers the most important, immediate, up-to-date information into my email inbox.
You set up perimeters of what and whom you want to follow. I have every company that’s relevant to our business – direct competitors, collaborators, and more – so when anyone in that landscape has a big social media moment, it gets dropped into my inbox.
I can see when companies are changing messaging, launching new campaigns, and what consumers are really responding to without have to stare at all of the individual posts from 20 different companies. I know everything that’s happening while it’s happening and I can update my leadership and marketing teams in real time.
There are people on my team who use the tool on a more granular level on a more regular basis.
I actually don’t know what you do if there’s a problem with the platform because we’ve never run into one. The folks at Rival IQ also send us regular updates on new feature launches.
How does it serve your business needs?
It allows me to keep an eye on what my competitors are doing, what their most successful campaigns are, and on what consumers are responding to across the entire competitive landscape.
There’s an SEO function within Rival IQ that keeps an eye on competitors’ pages and social media descriptions. When they change their description, it can indicate a change in how they’re thinking about their own business. That’s given me insight into things that happen before they occur.
For example, when competitors start talking about themselves in a different way, you can get a sense of what they’re focusing on – maybe they are thinking about a rebrand or a shift in strategy, for example.
That’s great because you know what consumers are responding to and you’re able to change your own tactics to map to that. You can optimize toward things that work in real time and see what competitors are doing and stay ahead of that or have a reactive plan ready when necessary.
Every week, I get a summary email that details our week-over-week social media performance. This helps me manage my team because the numbers are very clear. They tell me if we are getting better at creating and distributing content that our consumers respond to, and that’s really helpful. It takes the subjectivity right out of it.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
It’s all Web- and email-based. I believe they have an API that allows you to pull in data directly, but we don’t have any integration.
We manually put some Rival IQ data into performance spreadsheets.
What are the main benefits?
Real-time visibility into everything that is happening in my landscape from a social media perspective.
The ability to see what content consumers most respond to published by anyone who is relevant to me in any way, which allows me to optimize my content toward what consumers are responding to.
Another benefit is the ability to keep a strategic eye on competitors and know when they shift strategies or try new things. Having data emailed to me automatically and when there’s something I need to look at, such as a breakout post somewhere in the space.
What are the main drawbacks?
Instagram and Pinterest aren’t included at this time.
What would you like to see improved/added?
I would like to see more social networks added and more analysis built into the product. I know Rival IQ plans to add more networks, and they’re doing so pretty rapidly.
I would also like to be able to view longer-term trends in my landscape with perhaps some recommendations about things we could be doing better than the competition, such as post more or less of a certain type of content.
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