On today’s blog, we’re going to talk about taking advantage of the competition. Paying attention to the businesses in your industry can be a valuable part of your success. Knowing the other guy’s products, services, marketing tactics, and target market can help you take advantage of your own tools and resources. Do your research to take advantage of a competitor’s shortcomings and improve your own performance. Let’s talk more about understanding the competition to gain insights.
Compare and Contrast
When you’re looking at the competition, you can do a deep dive with analytics and granular comparisons or stick to the more obvious and readily available information. Below, a few of the ways to check out what your rivals are doing:
- Where do you see competitor ads?
- What products and services are offered?
- How does your pricing compare?
- What is the other guy doing on social media?
- How do your websites differ?
Trends, Topics, and Tie-Ins
Branding is a big part of business. It lets consumers know who you are, what you stand for, and how they should think of you. One way a business engaging in branding is to be out there in a public way. How is the competition doing that? Are they sponsoring local events or otherwise participating in the community? Are they at trade shows? How are they tying the brand to not only major holidays like Christmas but also industry-specific days? If your rival has found a way to make themselves more visible while enforcing their brand, take notice. And then think about how you can do the same thing.
Be the Customer
One of the most effective ways to check out the competition is to act like a customer. Sign up for their newsletters, get yourself on their email list, and follow them on social media. If they have a brick-and-mortar store, go there. Talk to employees and see how they interact with the public. Experience what their customers are experiencing, which will also help you relate to your own target market. Speaking of TM, is it the same for you and your competitors? Where is the overlap and where is there gaps? Perhaps that’s where you need to concentrate your efforts–on the things you provide that the other guy doesn’t.
Competition and Online Investigation
Get online and do some creeping. Look for mentions of your own business, as well as the names of competitors. What are people saying? Listen to what they’re saying about where there are gaps in service and also what’s being done really well. Join in the conversation to gain more clarity on pain points.
Look at what your competitors are doing with online video. Did you know that videos are shared on social media 12000% more than images and text combined LINK and that 88% of video marketers reported that video gives them a positive ROI. Have a look at YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see what kind of videos are posted. Don’t forget LinkedIn, which is surging in the video realm. The job connection site has users who share video twenty times more than any other content type. Finally, how does the competitor’s video play on mobile? Have they optimized their website for mobile? In the US, 85% of all internet users watched online video content monthly on their devices.
SEM and Analytics
Analytics can be hugely helpful when it comes to understanding performance. That goes for your own business and for your competition. Dig into search engine marketing to find out which competitors are performing well and where they’re performing well. Follow the traffic and take notes on what they’re doing right to get so much attention. If there’s someone in your company who’s adept at internet analytics, they can take on this job and compare bounce rates with your own and analyze individual web pages and social media accounts. There are tools to help you parse this information or you can hire a specialized firm to do the comparison. How far you drill down in this competition comparison is up to you.
Act on Findings About Your Competition
Once you’ve spent the time looking at the competition and comparing their performance to yours, it’s time to use all that knowledge to your advantage. Aim for innovation, not imitation. Where are you falling short and what can you do better? Is there a gap in the market you can slip into? What is your TM asking for? Is there something your customers like that you can capitalize on? Use all the research and put it to work for your business. A piece of research we find particularly interesting: only 9% of small businesses use YouTube. That’s an opportunity for your small business to stand out online. Call us today and let’s talk about how we can put you ahead of the competition.