Imagine this: You own a coffee shop on a busy street full of other coffee shops. It’s doing alright — meh — but the other shops are swamped with customers! However, you never visit any of them. So, you don’t know what they do better and don’t understand why people choose them instead of you.
Now replace that busy street with YouTube.
That’s a simplified version of what happens when you don’t do YouTube competitor analysis. You keep seeing others excel but you stay stuck.
So, in this guide, we’re going to show you how to do competitor analysis on YouTube to spot your mistakes and find new opportunities to grow your brand through video content.
Ready, set, go!
Table of Contents
What is YouTube Competitor Analysis and Why It’s Important?
YouTube competitor analysis is the process of analyzing your competitors’ YouTube channels and evaluating their content based on performance metrics, video types, posting frequency, and other key parameters.
If you wish to boost your brand with videos and shorts on YouTube — and you should, as 122 million people visit it every day — analyzing competitors is absolutely fundamental.
Why? Because it’ll give you much insight into what to do and what to avoid to beat them in YouTube’s search engine.
To be specific, YouTube competitor analysis helps you:
- Find industry trends
- Set performance benchmarks
- Identify successful content strategies
- See what’s working best for your target customers
- Understand your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
And many more!
It’s true that leveraging a YouTube competitor analysis tool or a YouTube marketing tool will automate this process completely, guarantee data accuracy, and offer you actionable insights.
But you can also do this manually. Read along to find out how.
How to Manually Analyze YouTube Competitors
For a manual YouTube competitor analysis, stick to the following plan.
Step 1: Identify your Main Competitors
To begin with, you have to identify who your competitors are. Start by searching for channels of brands that operate in the same niche as you. It’s something like YouTube market research.
Also, check out your familiar direct, or indirect competitors, especially the ones with the highest market share.
Some KPIs to consider when looking for competitors are the number of subscribers, video views, and engagement rates. Have a quick look at these numbers to spot the key players that you should definitely keep in your competitor analysis.
However, don’t go too far.
For example, if you found hundreds of YouTube channels in your niche, you shouldn’t examine all of them. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, pick the 5 or max. 10 most noteworthy ones and start your competitor report.
Step 2: Analyze their YouTube Channels & Videos
After having gathered your major YouTube competitors into a spreadsheet, it’s time to dig deeper into their channels and videos.
Unfortunately, you can’t access their YouTube analytics platform, but you can visit each channel and observe their look ‘n’ feel — branding and messaging.
Watch some videos and analyze their style, duration, and format. Check out the keywords they use in the video itself, as well as in their video description.
Decipher their approach, e.g. how the competitor products and services are being promoted, and find repetitive patterns like animations, music, and specific CTAs.
Step 3: Pay Attention to their Audience
Now, scroll down to their videos’ comment section. This is a goldmine of content ideas and a great source of honest feedback.
Read some comments to understand how their audience perceives their video content. Do they like it? What’s their feedback? Do they have any recommendations?
YouTube comments will not only let you see if your competitors’ content is really resonating with the audience but also uncover great content opportunities for you.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to pencil down in your content ideas bucket any comment regarding what people want to know about, or what to see in action. Then, you can create some videos for your channel based on the audience’s suggestions!
Step 4: Evaluate the Performance of your Competitors
This is a crucial step for your YouTube competitor analysis. You have to collect their data so that you’ll be able to compare them with your own channel performance.
Which metrics to consider?
- Subscriber count
- Number of videos available on their channel
- When the channel was established
- View counts
- Engagement per video (likes, comments, etc.)
- Video length
- Posting frequency
Step 5: Develop your own YouTube Strategy
At this point, your spreadsheet must be filled with all the information needed to assess your competitors, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and evaluate where you stand in this competitive landscape.
So, use this competitor analysis as a guide for your YouTube marketing.
Learn from your competitors’ mistakes and pay attention to what they DON’T do. That’s a great start to differentiate your content and communicate your competitive advantages through your videos.
And that’s it.
What are the limitations of the manual method?
Although the above plan sounds really straightforward, manual competitor YouTube channel analysis has its drawbacks and limitations of which you should be aware.
Basically, it takes too much of your time to visit all those channels and gather all this data, not to mention that some of them might be inaccurate. Also, you can’t cover several channels simultaneously, thus you lose the bigger picture, as you have to examine each of them separately.
So, we shall admit that this YouTube competitor analysis framework is a bit complicated and time-consuming.
To save yourself from searching, scrolling, comparing, and so on, try the easier YouTube competitor analysis method we describe below. Keep reading!
How To Analyze YouTube Competitors — The Advanced Method
The advanced method for your YouTube channel competitor analysis involves some tech magic, with the help of a social media monitoring tool.
Let’s describe how to spy on your competitors with a YouTube analytics tool, by using Mentionlytics as an example.
Step 1: Add Competitors to your YouTube Competitor Analysis Tool
First, you have to create an account and add your brand name and all your competitors as keywords to monitor.
Then, Mentionlytics will immediately start tracking your competitors across the entire web and social media — YouTube included of course — and generate data insights on their performance.
Step 2: Check out their Overall YouTube Performance
To continue, select only YouTube from the filters at the top left corner of your Overview Dashboard and click only Competitors in the Mention Tracker box.
Step 3: Analyze their Keywords
Now, scroll down your Overview Dashboard to take a look at your competitors’ main keywords and hashtags in the Keyword Cloud, right below your Overview Chart.
Pro Tip: You can click on any keyword to see its KPIs. Start with your competitors’ brand names or branded hashtags to see their performance and how much relevant content has been created.
This keyword analysis can also help you with social media optimization as it shows you which hashtags and keywords are performing better for your competitors so that you know if you should use them as well.
Step 4: Discover New Potential Audiences with World Map
Keep scrolling your Overview Dashboard to check out the World Map. In this section, you can see in which countries your competitors create the most YouTube buzz and hover over each one to see their exact engagement rate.
That way you know where people care the most about what you offer and target them with your video ads to increase your channel’s traffic sources.
Step 5: Compare their Share of Voice
After that, go to the Reports feature at the main menu bar of Mentionlytics on the left side of your dashboard and dive into your Share of Voice standard report.
Share of Voice shows you which of your competitors creates the bigger buzz on YouTube and it’ll help you understand your own position in this competitive landscape.
Step 6: Discover Opportunities with Sentiment Analysis
In your report, scroll down to the Share of Sentiment to see which of your competitors are more popular among your audience and where you stand.
Step 7: Dig Deeper into their Videos
As a final step, you have to dig deeper into your competitors’ content. Go to Mentions feature from the main menu bar and examine as many videos as you can to analyze their style, look ‘n’ feel, and other non-quantifiable parameters.
You can click on each video and see its key performance metrics, and description, or even watch it without accessing YouTube itself.
Bonus: You can translate the descriptions you don’t understand into English or any other language you prefer with Mention Translate.
That’s all you have to do. This advanced method offers you the bigger picture of your YouTube competition and simplifies the process of searching, collecting, and evaluating performance data.
To Sum Up
Well, YouTube competitor analysis can offer you great insights not only into your competition’s strategy but also into what to do to grab your target audience’s attention and improve your content marketing.
Forget about the manual work and get to know your YouTube channel competition better with Mentionlytics. Get started for free now!
How to see competitors’ YouTube ads?
You can use tools like BigSpy or PowerAdSpy to see your competitors’ YouTube ad campaigns. These platforms reveal information such as their target audience, ad format, duration, and more.
Is there any free Youtube competitor analysis tool?
Here are some free YouTube competitor analysis tools:
- Social Blade: Offers channel statistics, rankings, and growth projections.
- TubeBuddy: Offers a browser extension, video optimization, and analytics features.
- vidIQ: Offers video analytics, keyword research, and channel audit capabilities.
Bonus: Check out our list of best competition analysis tools for various use cases.
Can you check other YouTube channels’ analytics?
You can’t access the full analytics of other YouTube channels directly, as that information is private to the channel owner. However, you can use third-party tools, like the ones we propose above, to analyze YouTube videos and get an overview of their performance.