Top Tools & Strategies To Nail YouTube Competitor Analysis

What sets your YouTube competitors apart? How do they make their videos rank better than yours on YouTube?

You’ll be able to watch your competitors like a hawk and reveal their hidden secrets only with a good YouTube competitors analysis tool – the staple of your toolbox.

It is particularly essential for busy social media marketers who value their time. You’ll see why in a moment.

Keep reading and find your perfect tool and strategies to analyze YouTube competitors and outrank them.

What is YouTube competitor analytics?

YouTube competitor analysis evaluates your competitors’ general presence on YouTube and specific performance indicators.

Competitor insights from YouTube may be as follows:

  • Posting frequency
  • Video type and quality
  • Audience
  • Engagement rate
  • Marketing and advertising strategies, etc.

Simply put, it gives you a clear understanding of how your competitors perform on the platform, what strategies they apply, and when exactly. Having these data in front of you, you can improve your YouTube strategy for better reach, engagement, and effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Why you need a YouTube competitors analysis tool?

1. To save time and resources

Of course, in theory, it’s possible to manually find and analyze your competitors on YouTube by typing your target keywords into the search bar to see who ranks at the top.

Then, you could open and watch every video each competitor has shared, pen down the view count and duration, calculate the number of likes and dislikes, track their posting time on YouTube, etc.

But in practice – can you imagine how much time and effort it would take?

Rather than doing everything with your hands, you can leverage a YouTube competitor analysis tool and substantially cut the time spent on competitive research.

2. To discern the unnoticed

YouTube competitor analysis tools let you unearth the insights often invisible to the human eye or hard to track.

Let’s say you want to analyze your competitor’s brand sentiment on YouTube. For that, you need to capture positive, negative, and neutral words and phrases from all comments under YouTube videos of your competitors. It is a tough and practically impossible task if you do it bare-handedly, isn’t it?

3. To benchmark against your competitors

Relying on tools, you can quickly master competitive benchmarking and stack yourself against your YouTube competitors to compare your company’s success with theirs. This will help you tweak your strategy in real time to beat your competition on YouTube and make wiser marketing moves on the platform.

4. To generate automated reports

Finally, when you conduct an in-depth YouTube audit of your competitors’ channels, you can create fast reports with accuracy, thanks to competitor analytics software.

Some tools accumulate historical data over a certain period for competitive reporting so you could return to particular areas of interest when analyzing YouTube competitors later.

How do you pick the right tool for YouTube competitor analysis?

Look closer at such aspects as goals, prices, and features.


What goals have you set for analyzing your competitors on YouTube?

These may be to understand the type of content they produce to grow a YouTube channel, track engagement metrics, identify trends, research keywords, or everything at once.

You can choose the best YouTube competitor analysis tool once you outline your plans and objectives.

Pricing plans

You can come across tons of tools and software to evaluate your competitors on YouTube. However, the costs vary dramatically.

Let’s review the subscription plans of the top five you can successfully use for YouTube competitor analytics.

1. Keyhole

Free trial duration – 14 days.

Cost per month:

  • Individual – $89
  • Team – $189
  • Pro – $259
  • Advanced – $549
  •  Enterprise – Starts at $833
  • Campaign – Custom

2. Social Insider

Free trial duration – 14 days.

Cost per month:

  • Adapt – $99
  • Optimize – $149
  • Predict – $239
  • Enterprise – Custom

3.     Brand24

Free trial duration – 14 days.

Cost per month:

  • Individual – $79
  • Team – $149
  •  Pro – $199
  • Enterprise – $399

4. Sprout Social

Free trial duration – 30 days.

Cost per month:

  • Standard – $249
  • Professional – $399 
  • Advanced – $499
  • Enterprise – Custom

5. Quintly

Free trial duration – 7 days.

Cost per month:

The starting price is $315 + $20 per user + $15 per profile.


Functionality is, by far, the key criterion in choosing the best tool for analyzing YouTube competition. For example, you may be interested in such features as tracking the highest-performing videos on YouTube or downloading reports.

However, not all YouTube competitor analysis tools offer downloadable reports. So, if this feature is essential for you, clarify it beforehand.

Psst… Keyhole lets you view the top-scoring videos and download reports as PDF and Excel files.

What are the best strategies for analyzing YouTube competitors?

1. Narrow your competitors list to three or five

When brands plan to conduct a competitor analysis on YouTube, they often face a dilemma. They have too many competitors from four basic groups:

  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Potential
  • Substitute

You can’t deny that it would be time-consuming to find and inspect them all.

Which of those should you analyze?

A foolproof method is to focus on your top three or five direct competitors from YouTube.

For example:

If you were Adidas, you would probably limit your list of YouTube competitors for analysis to Reebok, New Balance, and Nike.

But hey, no pressure or restrictions on our side! Winking Face Emoji (Apple/iOS Version) It’s up to you to decide. You may track as many competitors as you prefer to gain more insights and make better data-driven decisions for YouTube success.

Also Read: How BigEvo monitored as many as nine competitors across several social networks with Keyhole.

2. Start with general channel analytics and move to videos and ads

Stick to the following competitive monitoring sequence to better organize the process (from generic to specific): channel → videos → ads.

Here’s how.

YouTube channel analytics

Start with your competitor’s YouTube channel details:

  • Activity level
  • Subscribers
  • Videos
  • Likes/dislikes
  • Views, etc.

With Keyhole, you can do a YouTube competitor analysis in just a few clicks by tapping into profile analytics and competitive benchmarking.

YouTube video analytics

Define the video content type they share and answer the questions like these:

  • How long are their videos on average?
  • What topics do they discuss?
  • Do they post shorts on YouTube?
  • What about YouTube live streaming?

For example:

If you peek into Apple’s YouTube channel, you’ll see over 190 videos and shorts. The company also streams live on the platform. The latest live streams are from Apple’s events: the special Apple Event and The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which gathered millions of views on YouTube.

Or let’s review The Annuity Expert’s channel. The brand shares short how-to videos about life insurance and retirement planning on YouTube.

YouTube ad analytics

Let’s take the example of Burger King.

The company intensively invests in paid ads on YouTube. For example, once you type the “best burger places in New York” in the search bar, there you have it. It’s a 16-second video ad from Burger King.

Another example:

Here’s a list of suggested products via sponsored ads on YouTube from Eco Terra Beds, Dormeo USA, Home Depot, and others if you are looking for the “best mattress topper.”

Pro tip: Use ad spying tools to find YouTube competitors’ ads and analyze views, impressions, and click-through or view-through rates.

Uncover the secrets of titles and descriptions

How do your competitors promote YouTube videos?

If you want to monitor and analyze competitors on YouTube thoroughly, you can’t waste an opportunity to dig up their title and description optimization strategies. Most likely, they stuff them with keywords for SEO.

However, that’s not the major trick.

“Your competitor’s success on YouTube is not built by SEO alone. Keywords are like a compass for YouTube SEO. That is true. But then, there are people your competitors somehow persuade and convert. They may do that effectively with psychological gimmicks that work well in titles and descriptions,” notes Jerry Han, CMO at PrizeRebel.

He shares a couple of tactics fished out from competitors and implemented on PrizeRebel’s YouTube channel: “A winning strategy for video titles on YouTube is power words. These words and phrases evoke an emotional response and hold immense persuasive potential. Regarding descriptions, brands often use calls-to-action, aka CTAs, to convert and generate leads from YouTube.”

Indeed, you can notice the following power words in PrizeRebel’s videos:

  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Secret
  • Free
  • Legit
  • Gift, etc.

Check out the latest video of PrizeRebel. The brand uses such CTAs as “Join us,” “Sign up today,” and “Get it within 24 hours,” among others.

Spy on hashtags

Like keywords, hashtags also play a critical role in YouTube video optimization. They boost searchability and discoverability and elevate videos on YouTube, placing them in front of the target audience.

Once you perform YouTube competitor analysis, you’ll see how exactly your rivals take advantage of them. For example, look at this video posted by Gymshark.

It is optimized with such hashtags as #ShoulderWorkout, #Gymshark, and #Workout.

Mind: Only the first three hashtags are visible to the audience under the video title, but there may be more in the description. YouTube allows up to 15 hashtags in descriptions.

Ok, but how can you tell which one performs better?

Measuring hashtag performance matters greatly in YouTube competitor analysis. This tactic will help you discover and take away the most successful hashtag ideas from your YouTube competitors.

Keyhole’s hashtag tracking feature is at your disposal to do that. Among other things, it shows the hashtag reach and displays posts and engagements with it in an illustrative timeline.

Detect the gaps

Aside from tracking what your competitors do on the platform, you should also monitor what they DON’T do or fail to do.

Robert Kaskel, Chief People Officer at Checkr, explains, “It’s easy to outsmart your competitors on YouTube if you know not only their strengths but also their weaknesses. After spotting the untapped strategies or ‘holes’ in their channels, you can fill them in and win over your YouTube competition.”

He advises brands to monitor the following:

  • Keyword gaps. Niche-relevant keywords your competitors overlook.
  • Hashtag gaps. Popular or trending hashtags they haven’t noticed yet.
  • Content gaps. Topics or video effects that competitors disregard on YouTube.

For example:

After detecting the gap in content, Checkr started posting customers’ video testimonials and employees’ stories on YouTube with customer and employee advocacy to build trust and loyalty.

Also Read: How Reliance Health used Keyhole as a tool for competitive analytics to locate the gap in their competitor’s presence on social media.

What’s your #1 YouTube competitors analysis tool?

Keyhole is one of the best tools for competitive research on YouTube. You can track YouTube metrics of your competitors like reach, sentiment, engagement, impressions, video views, top posts, and more with it.

Then, get competitive benchmarks, comparing your brand’s performance with your YouTube competitors.

Start here, and Keyhole will draw competitive insights from YouTube for you in a minute.

Related Articles

How To Calculate YouTube Engagement Rate? 7 Tips To Increase It

When Is The Best Time To Post On YouTube

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the best tools for YouTube competitor analysis?

The top five tools to analyze YouTube competitors are:
1. Keyhole
2. Social Insider
3. Brand24
4. Sprout Social
5. Quintly

2. How to choose a good YouTube competitors analysis tool?

The key factors and criteria to keep in mind are goals, pricing plans, and features (functionality) of YouTube competitor analysis tools.

3. How to analyze my competitors on YouTube?

Follow these tips:
-Shorten your list of competitors to three or five
-Move from general analysis of the channel to videos to ads
-Unveil the title and description secrets
-Monitor competitive hashtags
-Spot the gaps and fill them in