Competitor research is one of the best ways to grow your business. Companies around the world are continually looking at their competitors’ businesses strategies and wondering how they can improve from the faults, or the success, of those in a similar niche.
We wanted to take a deeper dive into how business owners can use competitor data and show you how to use this information to improve your current marketing strategy.
Examine Multiple Competitors
First, always make sure you’re looking at multiple competitors when analyzing marketing data. We have a habit of looking at one website or brand, see that they are successful, and instantly try to mimic their style. The truth is, this could be akin to the blind leading the blind.
There’s a chance that the competition you’re scoping out could have copied their competitors and don’t have much of a strategy beyond that point. If you want to make an educated guess and expand your business based on brands in a similar niche, make sure you’re looking at the big picture.
When you make impactful decisions about your business, you want to make sure that you’re analyzing multiple data points and identifying trends. For example, if you take your top five or six competitors and look at the structure of their business, you may notice drastically different types of marketing at play. Look at the different ways that companies are selling their product or service, and look for common threads that all of your competitors share, and consider how your business could benefit from their strengths.
Look for Content Gaps
Content gaps are all around us. You would have a hard time finding a competitor that covers every facet of your niche. When you’re examining the blog content of your competitors, think about the material they’re publishing, and look for areas of opportunity that you can use to create content for your website.
If you’re in the marketing business and you notice that your competitors always seem to cover content or email marketing, there is a huge gap for those who want to learn about social media marketing. There’s your opportunity to grow your business.
Similarly, you can narrow down the content into specific categories and look at ways to expand on existing content with a new point of view. This strategy is particularly helpful if you have further information to add and statistics to back up your position.
Use Social Listening
Social listening is a great way to keep an eye on your competition through what others are saying about the brand. Here’s an illustration showing how social listening works.
The social listening process begins when you check review sites, social media, and news sites to see what other people are saying about your competition. You’ll want to pay attention to both positive and negative feedback and comments.
Good comments and feedback can help you see what your competition is doing right. For example, if you own an eCommerce store that sells pet products and you notice that everyone loves the selection of products offered by your competition, it’s time to think about your product line. Do you offer enough products? Are the prices comparable? How does your website rank compared to the competitor website? Context is important because it helps you identify the size of their audience, and how they are generating traffic.
The bad comments can help you in other ways. When you read bad comments, you can see what your ideal customer expects from the product or service they purchase and learn how to solve this pain point with your business model. Let’s go back to the pet store example. If you noticed a whole host of bad comments saying that the competition has high prices, limited product selection, or faulty products, you might want to reflect on these pain points and improve your eCommerce store based on the feedback given to your competition.
The most crucial aspect of competitor research is the fact that you get to learn more about your target audience. If you can grasp the way your potential leads see the industry and competitors, you can make smart business decisions and make changes as needed. As you tweak your marketing formula using data from your competitors and your website’s analytics data, you could see substantial growth in your business.