Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy
Your competitors are vying for the same audience. They are making marketing decisions that you can learn from. Are you paying attention?
Competitive Analysis Defined
A competitive analysis is the systematic process of understanding who the competition is and what they’re doing. You look at what is going well and what’s not working. Digging into what’s happening will help you develop an effective digital marketing strategy.
When you conduct a competitive analysis, you evaluate your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses and use that to inform your online strategy.
By looking at your competitors, analyzing how they sell, and monitoring what’s said about them, you’ll also be able to anticipate the market. It will help you to build a web presence that engages your audience.
Competitive analysis research could easily grow into a full-time job, so it’s important to set parameters while making sure the basics are covered.
Start with Three Competitors
Start with a list of three of your strongest competitors. What are they doing online? You may find unexpected leads to follow – competitors you weren’t aware of or places where your audience is getting information that you didn’t consider.
Look for places where your audience is gathered that are under-served by the competition. Are there emerging channels they are neglecting? You might have a greater impact by being where your audience is under served, rather than trying to compete in a crowded channel.
Start by typing your company’s name or industry into Google. The results page will show you what else people search for under those terms, which could include other companies. It’s these companies that you should look into if they’re not already on your list of competitors.
When you conduct this search, you’ll also see terms related to your business. These could be good keywords to include in your online content. These terms – keywords – are words that people use when searching for your products or services.
Tone and brand voice
Look at how your competitors present themselves. The way content is presented sets the tone and voice. Customers use this to judge who to buy from.
Building an audience involves more than just publishing a website. Understanding where competitors are sharing information online will show you what your audience expects.
Track Over Time
Track your competitors’ accounts and relevant industry keywords over time to detect shifts in the way competitors use their social accounts and the way people engage with them. Keep an eye on this information and use it to evaluate and update your plan.
Leverage Information in Your Marketing Strategy
These are just some elements of a successful competitor analysis. You should dig in, go as far as you think you need to in order to inform your business strategy.
Through competitive analysis, you’ll be able to get the measure of the market and use that information to help you to develop the most effective online marketing strategy to reach your audience and achieve your goals.