Promoting your brand and developing new marketing strategies is an essential part of growth and expansion. To execute a successful marketing campaign, there needs to be a well-planned business process and workflow that will appeal to your audience.
Unfortunately, many businesses don’t define their strategies before moving forward within their marketing, and hence their campaigns are ineffective.
Doing a competitor analysis creates solid business strategies where you can improve upon the competition. Your business can learn the ins and outs of how your competition works and find new opportunities to grow that the competition is not performing to market and sell your product more effectively.
Brands can also stay updated on new trends so that their product or service is always in line with industry standards. It is a crucial element in digital marketing reach because you gain considerable knowledge and insight into how the competition addresses challenges similar to your own.
Analyzing your competition gives you the edge to position your products or services better within your industry. Performing competitor analysis can help maximize your marketing strategies and techniques because you can utilize that insight before a significant product or service launch and play to your company’s strengths.
So, why should your business incorporate a brand competitor analysis?
Some key elements of competitor analysis outlined below will provide your brand a more effective digital marketing reach. The breakdown will show you what competitor analysis can provide for your business, what tools you may want to invest in, and what fundamental aspects give you the best insight to position your product or service in the marketplace appropriately.
Main benefits of the competitor analysis
Conducting an in-depth competitor analysis gives you multiple advantages, the first being that you can identify your own brand’s unique value proposition. Finding what makes your product or service different from the competition will significantly influence your digital marketing strategy.
Another added benefit of the analysis is that you are informed on what your competition is doing right, as well as given the ability to identify where they are falling short on their promises. So, not only will you stay relevant on digital marketing trends, but you can also experiment with new areas that are unique to your brand that the competition isn’t doing.
One last advantage of the analysis for your brand is that you can easily measure your growth while learning more about your ideal customers.
Still not convinced that a competitor analysis will help? Let’s explore some of the tools and the elements that you can gain these considerable insights from to help propel your business forward.
Locating the proper competitive analysis tools
One of the first things your brand should adopt when analyzing the competition performance effectively is tools. There are multiple apps and optimization techniques that help establish metrics that your marketing teams can use to get a broad overview of the competition.
In your search for the right tools, you want to be sure that they help you examine multiple aspects of your competitor, such as:
- Website traffic and growth, backlinks and click-throughs
- Website and social media content
- Keywords and SEO used in campaigns
- Advertisement content across social media and online
Some helpful tools that your brand can use are:
- SEMRush – Utilize this for SEO audits, backlink, and keyword research on your competition, with traffic analysis and competitive intelligence add-ons for more profound research.
- BuzzSumo – Used for content research to help you identify how your competitors’ content is performing and question and answer.
- FanPage Karma – Finds content and engagement data on your competitors, so you can see what content is more popular and what channels and specific times posted get more engagement.
By utilizing these various applications for your business in your competitor analysis, you can analyze and track your own performance against the competition and then gain insights to execute and out-perform them.
How to perform a competitive analysis
There are specific steps that come into play when performing a competitive analysis. You are not simply researching the competition and creating a different digital strategy; this is a much more in-depth process that involves many steps.
Essentially, to perform a competitive analysis properly, you must start with a list:
- Determine your key competitors and the products/services that they are offering.
- Research the competition sales efforts and pricing (this includes deals and upsells)
- Analyze how the competitors are marketing their products, note their content strategy, and the level of engagement they are receiving.
- Learn the technology or tools they are using to help promote within their market – this includes social media and advertising platforms.
You want to figure out who you are competing against so that you can accurately compare data. Sometimes what works for another business similar to your brand may not work the same way for yours.
This list will get you started and open up new doors for more questions that you will want to answer within your analysis. For instance, in determining what products your competition offers, you might want to find out are they are a low or high-cost provider, their market share, what their pricing strategy entails, and how they are distributing their product or service.
Their website content will help you gauge their marketing tactics, such as whether or not they have a blog, if they utilize more videos or photos to engage their audience, and what featured articles show up on their main page. Looking at the frequency of how often they update their site or make changes is also something to note.
All of these pieces of information will give you an idea of things like their sales processes and what information you want to gather so that you can efficiently tackle it within your own operations, sales, and marketing strategies.
Element 1: Traffic analysis insights
How people are locating your competitor websites is one of the first elements that you need to analyze. In doing so, you can discover how many visitors their website receives, which visitors are unique to the target audience, how many pages each visitor looks at, and how long they are on the website.
You will be able to identify if the content found on competitor websites is helpful in keeping visitors engaged and what content they are flocking to most. One of the more essential tools you will discover is precisely how these visitors are finding the competitor websites. You can utilize those same methods to invest in suitable search engines or social media advertising for your own brand to gain more traffic.
Take Note: Influencer outreach is another possibility here – if the competition is using those within the industry who have the pull to attract more website traffic through recommendations. Consider developing a strategy surrounding gaining influence affiliations.
Depending on what page on your competitor’s website is the most popular, you can structure a strategy around creating your homepage or landing page to portray similar aspects. You can easily determine what products or services have a better online presence and effectively market campaigns with your own products/services.
Element 2: Social media analysis
Your competitor’s social media activity is the next element within your analysis. Discovering which channels are used for promotion and how their businesses create posts and social media advertisements around the various products or services that are gaining response is helpful.
The analysis should also uncover what is missing in terms of the promotional strategy, posting structure, times, and content that you can monopolize and gain an opportunity for your brand. It is important to note that if you are targeting the same audience as your competitor, identifying the channels that have resulted in more traffic or click-throughs will be helpful to your brand as well.
You should take note of the following items across each social media platform in your analysis:
- The amount of fans/followers
- Consistency of postings
- Engagement in the content
- Shares, retweets, repins
Another aspect of social media you can analyze is the content that your competitor is posting. Researching the topics that customers are discussing and which of those topics are receiving more engagement from their audience will guide you in your social media strategy.
You will be able to locate issues from customers who are asking about them (or providing feedback to the business). With the value of your product/service, you can easily promote and position ahead of the competitor.
Element 3: Keyword (SEO) analysis
Locating the essential keywords for SEO that your competitor uses is extremely helpful. Your website and campaign are usually focused on a specific set of keywords that you utilize across channels and platforms. If you know the words that the competition uses that effectively are at the top of their search, you need to adapt your keywords to fit.
Creating a niche around your keywords within your industry that are specific can help you to rank higher in your sight and campaign content. Still, it involves a deep knowledge of what you know about the particular chain of words that your audience will type in the search bar. The best way of doing this is performing this type of analysis on competitors, so your brand can formulate similar keywords for ranking that further distinguish your product and service.
Your marketing team should establish questions about the problems that your product or service can solve and then answer those questions with content that you can publish. Participating in forums where you can discover related questions or problems that prospective consumers will have will give you specific keywords and phrases that proactively address those issues.
Element 4: Backlinks analysis
Improving your website ranking and domain authority is done through the use of backlinks. Backlink analysis also plays into identifying the keywords and SEO that are necessary for link-building. It would be helpful to consistently be managing your brand’s links for monetization and growth. Performing a backlink gap analysis on competitor domains will help to improve your link-building.
Element 5: Content analysis
Though some of this is done through social media, analyzing your competitor’s content is another element that you can utilize to market effectively. Assessing the types of content and topics that are published can provide you with whether or not these are engaging to visitors.
When you oversee the content being used, you also gain insight into what topics or specific areas are not being covered within that content. Seeing the potential for new content provides your brand with a higher opportunity to seize in addressing the content gap within more targeted campaigns to grab your audience’s attention.
Some questions you might want to ask when looking into competitor content:
- What kind of content is being used? Graphics, video, tweets, etc.
- Is the competition focused on click-throughs to landing pages for new leads?
- Are they posting visual content for more brand awareness and engagement?
- Is the content original, or do they share from other sources?
- What is the conveyed tone across the content?
Finding content that you may have wanted to adopt or utilize that isn’t working is another helpful discovery. Suppose the content is not performing the way that you expect, and you see this within your analysis. In that case, you are one step ahead in determining how to improve upon, fix, or nix using that content altogether within your own content.
Your analysis should help you find the best way to make your own content stand out from what is already in place. You can perform a more in-depth analysis and look for specific trends that your audience will resonate with – maybe they like shorter, more bite-sized content, longer-form content, advice or “how-to,” more videos and graphics, etc.
Element 6: advertisement analysis
The information used within your competitor’s advertising will give you knowledge in formulating your own campaigns. Besides just keywords and copy, you can effectively position your products or services more effectively within the market.
Look for an analysis tool that can show you keywords, traffic and cost estimates, product listing, and display advertisements. The keywords that your competitors are using will be helpful for your start within your brand campaign.
When you can see how the competitor promotes their product or service, you can see the offerings they are presenting to the target clientele and easily construct your own landing page or advertising copy to take a different approach. You can set up your website or landing page, make minor adjustments, and appeal to a different niche within the same industry. It will give you a leg up in monopolizing within that niche.
Conclusion – how does your business stack up against the competition?
Conducting a regular analysis of your competition is a great way to take their ideas and find new ways to make your own spin, enticing and engaging a new market to increase profitability and overall visibility. Think of it like playing a sport – it’s like taking a look into the other team’s activity book before you play the game.
By the time you finish your initial in-depth competitor analysis you should be able to easily answer these questions about your competition for your marketing:
- Where and what is the competitor doing well?
- Where does your brand have an advantage over the competition?
- What areas is the competition dominating?
- Are there opportunities within the market that the competitor has identified, or is falling short?
Comparing their weaknesses against your strengths, and vice versa is the main purpose of the analysis. You can find the areas where your business can improve or your business is already ahead. Uncovering all of the areas for improvement within your brand can guide you in the direction of where to focus your subsequent efforts.
Objectively analyzing your business and marketing through the metrics utilized to evaluate your competition can be used as your baseline, much like what you did with the competition. Your brand can then develop a solid marketing strategy involving stand-out positioning, content, and advertising campaigns that will play to your business strengths. Essentially you are creating better brand awareness, and helping you beat out that competition.
If your business has not undertaken a competitor analysis to create a more effective digital outreach, you miss out on exponential growth.