It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your competition, whether you’re playing a baseball game, looking for the best deal during Black Friday, or running a business. When you have a brick-and-mortar location, you can see your local competition and how they operate just by looking down the street. But how do you compete with the influx of competition from Google Business Profiles, Google Search, and social media?
The short answer is competitor analysis, which helps you keep a pulse on who your competition is, how they operate, and what the market is trending for who will come out on top. In this article, we’ll define competitor analysis, explain why it’s a vital part of your business’s success, and give you tips on how to keep track of your competitors in the digital world.
What is Competitor Analysis?
Before we get started on how to carry out competitor analysis, we need to answer an important question: what is it? Competitor analysis is the process of researching your competitors to find out their marketing strategies, customer response, and results. This includes the digital marketing methods listed below.
- Website Content and Layout
- Position in Google Business Profile and Search Results
- Social Media Profiles
- SEO Tactics
- Online Ads
- Email Marketing Campaigns
Competitor analysis aims to determine how your competitors are using these strategies to drive customers toward their business instead of yours. This gives you an idea of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for improvement, and ways their success may be undercutting your business. With this information about your competition, you can create the most informed and successful digital marketing strategy to help your business succeed.
Three Reasons Competitor Analysis is Important in Digital Marketing
Discover New Trends and Innovations in Your Industry
Whether you sell makeup, books, cars, or any other product, you understand that how you present your product makes a tremendous difference in how it sells. If you have low-quality pictures, difficult-to-understand descriptions, and approach the wrong audience, you’ll have more trouble selling your product than a business that uses the latest innovations to put its high-quality photos and videos in front of the right people.
Keeping up with your competitors’ websites, following them on social media, and subscribing to their email newsletters helps you keep a pulse on industry trends and innovations that you can also use to upsell your products.
For example, if you’re in the makeup industry, you’ve probably noticed a trend towards natural products without harsh additives. As you follow your competitors, you’ll see how they have released a new line of organic products or have rebranded current products free of harsh chemicals. Jumping on this trend may help you see an uptick in sales as you cater to what your audience wants to buy.
Get a Better Understanding of Your Target Audience
As a business, defining your target or ideal audience is important. You can’t always cast a wide net in the middle of the ocean and get a great catch. Sometimes, you need to test different smaller areas to determine where you’ll catch the most fish. It’s the same way with determining your digital marketing strategy. And analyzing where your competitors are catching is a great place to start.
For example, let’s say you’re a small publishing house that specializes in comic books and graphic novels. How do you find the right audience to sell your books? Start by seeing who follows your competitors on social media. What Facebook groups do they follow? What are common hashtags that your competitors use when they post their books? What conventions and events are your competitors attending?
Your competitors have the attention of an audience of customers who may also be interested in your products. Finding those people and getting your products or services in front of them as well is critical to improving your success in digital marketing.
Find Ways to Stand Out Against the Competition
In today’s modern world, it can seem impossible to stand out against the competition, especially if you sell a similar product to dozens of other businesses in your area. However, analyzing your competition is a great way to define how your business is different and use that bit of uniqueness to stand out.
For example, you could own a pizza shop in a large city where businesses sell pizza on every other street. How do you convince customers to come eat your pizza instead of someone else’s? When researching your competitors, you can ask yourself questions like these (just to name a few):
- How does the quality of my ingredients compare?
- Do I offer weekly specials that my competitors don’t?
- How long has my business been around compared to other locals?
- Are my competitors more active on social media with good content?
You only need one or two unique selling points to jumpstart your digital marketing strategy. Offer a lunch special with pizza slices for a dollar on Tuesdays. Promote the quality of your local, handmade ingredients. Advertise how your family has been making great pizza since 1965. Simple strategies like this in front of the right audience can help you see a significant change in traffic and sales.
Tools for Performing Competitor Analysis
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a tactic you use to get your website to rank highest on search engines like Google, where people look for products and services similar to yours. SEO is a combination of website layout, keyword use, and photos (in very simple terms) that show Google your website has the best information for meeting customers’ needs. To analyze how your competitors are using SEO, tools like Ahrefs and SE Ranking are great resources.
Keywords are a huge part of ranking successfully across digital marketing platforms. Whether you’re writing website content, setting up ads, or choosing hashtags, keywords determine how well your website, ad, or post performs. Finding the best keywords for your industry can be difficult without the right resources, but seeing your competitors’ keywords is a great place to start. We like using Ahrefs and Similarweb to find the best keywords from competitors.
Social Media Analysis
Social media has become one of the most important branding tools available to businesses because it is free and allows you to get in front of a huge audience if you use it right. Researching how your competitors rank well (what kind of content they’re producing, what hashtags they’re using, who is following them, etc.) helps you determine the best methods for your business. We recommend Sprout Social and Facebook Ad Library to see the success and weaknesses of your competition.
Need Help Getting Ahead of the Competition?
As a marketing company, competitor analysis is a key part of how we determine our digital marketing strategies for clients. We’ve helped dozens of clients outrank the competition by finding the best keywords, the most successful website layouts, and the most engaging social media content.
If you need help getting ahead of the competition, Such n Such Media would love to assist your business with website design, content creation, social media management, email newsletters, and more. See our Results to learn more about how we’ve helped businesses succeed, and set up a free consultation to learn how we can help your business see the same.