8 Steps to Completing a Competitor Analysis for Improved Marketing
How to Do a Competitor Analysis to Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Competitive analysis has become increasingly important. Most companies start investing in it when they develop a sound marketing strategy. Then, they move onto different things. Competitor analysis is an ongoing process. We need to build upon it with new information. In turn, we can extrapolate crucial information which we can use. In a saturated, online market, it is of utmost importance to know your competition’s intentions, strengths, and weaknesses. Be sure, they are doing the same kind of research. Digital competitive analysis is the most valuable tool for an experienced marketer. For newcomers, it is not a huge challenge to overcome. The most important aspect of competitor analysis is to know what to analyze for. In this article, we will cover the main points of competitor analysis. Meaning, we will name the key metrics and conventions of proper competitor analysis in a digital marketing strategy.
What is A Competitor Analysis?
First things first, what exactly is the definition of competitor analysis? We have scratched the surface in the introduction. It is the process of researching, analyzing, and extrapolating data from other relevant businesses in the industry. Marketing strategies and business characteristics are put under a magnifying glass and studied carefully. Competitor analysis is used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of other players in the market. It also helps to answer the question of your standing in relation to your competition. Most importantly, it serves to identify gaps in the market and increase your potential to fill them. Everyone needs to make great efforts to differentiate their brands from the rest of the competition. Product mixes, marketing strategies, reputation, etc. are all to be investigated. A robust enough competitive analysis turns into a business and a marketing strategy if you let it. It needs to position you to develop unique competitive advantages. These are the 8 steps to completing a competitor analysis for improved marketing.
1. Who Should You Analyze As Competitors in Digital Marketing?
Competitor analysis includes two types of competition in relation to you. There are direct and indirect competitors. Robust, comprehensive competitor analysis needs to cover both, to some extent. You also need to identify your direct competitors. Who are they? Try and name several of them. You should be able to easily identify the most heard-of names in your industry from the top of your head. But do note, there will always be other companies that are currently not a threat. These companies have the advantage of being the underdog so no one is paying attention to them. This means it is very easy for them to pivot and take over a good chunk of the market share. This is also possible for you, but only with a solid marketing strategy. What are the companies that offer similar products and services? These you need to analyze in the future.
2. Decide Which Metrics Will Be Analyzed
We need to know what metrics to analyze and track. Most competitor analyses fall short of expectations because they are tracking the wrong things. These metrics will become the statistics that you will keep an eye on. These will serve in order to understand their strategies and pivots in short and long periods of time. If we can analyze their performance, we will be able to understand what to expect from them. So, what are some of the key metrics to track in digital marketing? Everything is about social media nowadays. Track their social media following. Also, post engagement is the new trend that is here to stay. What is their website traffic like? Are people sticking or bouncing off? And most importantly, keyword rankings. There will always be some smaller or larger fluctuation in all metrics. The longer you conduct these analyses, the more stable your results will get.
3. Decide How Often To Conduct A Competitor Analysis
There are many industries and niches. And all of them develop at a different, unique pace. Updates will happen at different frequencies. Some companies do their competitor analyses monthly. While others do not feel the need to do it more often than every year. Schedule them according to your market, industry, and niche. What it needs to do is keep tabs on growing trends. If the trends in your industry and niche are changing very frequently, do an analysis every month. If not, space them out more. There is also the question of your company trying to implement big changes or pivot. In that case, do a thorough competitor analysis to give you the best overview of the battlefield. If you are making adjustments to our marketing campaign, check and analyse other companies’ metrics frequently. It is up to you to determine the best frequency of these studies.
4. Analyze Competitor SEO Tactics
Today, any long-term digital marketing strategy will involve SEO. Improving the ranking in the search results pages can mean the difference between making it or not. Check out your competitor’s rankings. Now, come up with a way to rank higher than them. Start by analyzing a competitor’s organic search visibility on a frequent basis. We can use this metric to explore the competition’s best keywords. Also, their average monthly search traffic and their top pages. What we find out can help us bolster our own marketing campaign. The goal is to get the right, specific, high-ranking keywords. This is often where professionals like the SEO Sydney Experts come into play. Give outsourcing a chance, as SEO tends to be very specific and out of reach, especially for smaller companies. Later on, you might decide to get your own SEO in-house department.
5. Compare Your Findings
We want to compare each competitor to our own company. Not only that, it is very beneficial to compare them to one another. Everyone is trying to acquire the most attention from existing and potential customers. But in order to do so, each individual company must employ different strategies. How do those strategies relate to one another? When we gather all that information, we need to write down all the relevant information on how they might be a threat to our endeavors. Do side-by-side comparisons. Include all the relevant elements. What are they offering? Products, services, policies, support, etc. all of this is relevant to customer satisfaction. Do they have a gap in any of these elements? Maybe you can come in and fill that gap in the market and in their strategy. Be honest and write a profile for your own company. Make the comparisons favorable in the future.
6. Perform a SWOT Analysis
One of the most important things to do when completing a competitor analysis for improved marketing is the SWOT analysis. It stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It has stood the test of time as the best way to do competition analysis and much more. In our case, these metrics are very important. These four elements are pretty much self-explanatory. And such an analysis must be conducted on all competitors and yourself as well. Consumers are always looking for new ways to get what they want. And the competition just might exploit your weaknesses against you to gain their attention. What is it that your company does well? List your competitive advantages. Where does the competition perform better? These are your disadvantages. Are there any emerging trends or changes? Could you capitalize on those if you adopt and refine them before anyone else? Lastly, what can cause disruption in your business? These are your threats.
7. Gather Insight On Your Competitors Target Audience
The customers are also to be subjected to various analyses. Do not just look at your competitors, go wider than that. Analyze your and their audience very carefully. If we can understand who they are we will be able to work on attaining them. What are the commonalities and differences between their audience and ours? When analyzing their customers, begin with the basics. The metrics to follow are age, gender, location, education levels, occupation, family status, etc. Feel free to add or discard metrics based on your industry and niche. Then, you can move to more intricate ones like interests, concerns, religious beliefs, and many more. As always, these metrics are used so we can demonstrate to the audience that we share and offer answers to their wishes and interests. With a good marketing strategy, the general audience will gravitate towards our online channels as time goes on.
8. Gather Feedback From the Customers of Your Competition
Feedback is probably the most powerful tool we can have today. It is important to gather the customer’s perception of our and other brands. This data can even be gathered anonymously. Which increases the chances of people filling out questionnaires and other forms of feedback requests. The audience will give you firsthand insight into what they like, do not like, and want from you. Use this to your advantage. Optimize your marketing strategy to fill the needs of the audience. If you can fill in the gaps of another company, be sure that their audience will slowly gravitate towards you.
Competition makes the greatest portion of your marketing strategy. They will shape your future endeavors. We need to know what they are doing. It is as simple as that. Only then can we find a place in the globalized market and thrive in it. Now that you know how to complete a competitor analysis for improved marketing, you’re ready to take on the world!