Who is your competition? How do you compare to them? Understanding who they are can help improve your own business performance by taking advantage of their weaknesses. Think of it this way: Your competition can be both a problem and a great source of information and ideas.
“The most meaningful way to differentiate your company from your competitors, the best way to put distance between you and the crowd is to do an outstanding job with information. How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose.” – Bill Gates
Looking to create a strategic battle plan in your marketing approach? A simple way to find out what you’re up against is by using your competitors to your advantage.
Wondering where to start? Here are 3 ways to identify and size up your competition.
1. Analyze Their Websites
Pick two or three of your biggest competitors and review their sites. Look at everything - from products, services and pricing to purchasing process and SEO tactics, such as keywords and title tags (text that appears on the top of your browser window when you’re visiting a page).
Make a note of their pros and cons, similarities and differences, strengths and weaknesses. Are their marketing strategies innovative and effective? Take their ideas. Are they using good tactics that increase visitors and sales? Try them out for yourself.
If you can honestly confirm that they’re a threat with their products, services, pricing and marketing techniques - keep them close.
2. Measure Their Traffic
Competitive analysis tools like SEMRush lets you peak at your competitor’s site performance in the organic search results. By entering their website URL into the search engine bar, you can find out:
3. Check Their Social Media
Yes, your market research should include your competitor’s social media channels. It’s a great way to gauge impressions and see what is being said about them. After all, opinions matter.
Look through their social networks - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. Start by manually reviewing their pages. How many followers do they have? How many likes? What types of features or tabs have they included on the page?
Next, look at the type of content they’re posting. Here, you’re assessing the level of engagement and creativity (text, images or videos). Consider the following elements:
Top posts: Take a look at their top posts. Figure out the reasons why these posts are performing well. Do they have product photos? Do they engage in a unique way? What do these posts have that your content doesn’t?
Hashtags: What are the hashtags they use most frequently? If their posts are garnering more attention (likes, shares, comments), then try using the same hashtags they are if they’re relevant, so that you can get exposure to a wider target audience.
Audience growth: Determine if they’re growing their audience faster than you by keeping tabs on the amount of followers they have plus engagement levels.
Once you have what you need to create your own competitive content strategy, it’s time to turn the focus onto your website. Start by improving your SEO (keywords, blogging content, forms, etc), online presence, campaign strategy, branding, etc.
Have questions? Get in touch!