For when you don’t know where to start with your digital marketing goals, studying your competition’s approach is not a bad start. In fact, competitor research is almost a necessity in marketing.
Recognize your Online Competition
In all likelihood, you will be competing against more companies in the online marketplace than offline. By knowing your competition online, you can analyze their websites for the short-tail and long-tail keywords they are best ranked for. There are advantages and disadvantages to competing websites who may be ranking on the keywords you want. The truth is though that in order to gain your own share of marketing space on a search engine like Google, you need to know another site off for their position. That means you need to know what’s making them successful and finding a way to improve on that.
Define where your Competition is winning Engagement
By knowing where your competition are seeing their highest engagement, you can define where their success is coming from. Know where your competition is engaged on in social media, see the opportunities that they are not capitalizing on, and ultimately don’t necessarily assume that there’s any low-hanging fruit. This is merely to see where your competitor’s strategies are winning – not necessarily to provide you with an automated reply to their marketing campaigns by going into spaces you don’t need to be.
Analyze what Works for Them
When you know where your competitors are getting engagement, analyze what is working. Some may be dominating organic search marketing. If this is the case, understanding how and why can provide insight into what your best foot forward is in this space. Maybe, it’s a strong social media presence and engagement at that level that is doing the work in lead generation for a competitor. There is no magic bullet here. Find out what’s working and then decide whether you believe there to be opportunity there for you.
Analyze What’s Not Working for Them
Just because competition is investing in an area does not indicate you should. Knowing what a competitor is doing wrong will either help you identify an opportunity for you to move in or show you a marketing strategy you want to avoid. Even the most successful of companies make mistakes. Save yourself time and money by learning from where others have gone wrong.
Know how much a Competitor has Invested in a Strategy
If you know a competitor has a big budget for a given marketing strategy in a space, you can probably say that you don’t have a real chance at taking them on there. In some areas, you may or may not be able to outspend a competitor. If you can’t outspend a competitor, you will have to use your smarts to beat them out. Remember, it’s not enough to equal a competitor – you need to better them. Save yourself tons of money by knowing where you can win and where you can’t.
These five examples of competition knowledge are a start to crafting a successful marketing strategy. From time and research, there’s a lot of information you should be able to gather into how your competitors are building their audiences. Try investing roughly 20-25 hours into learning about your competitor’s online marketing. These efforts could be critical to garnering online success.