One of the great things about modern business is the new ways to compete. But as always, the place to start is learning from your competitors’ marketing success.
One of the great things about modern business is the new ways to compete. But as always, the place to start is learning from your competitors’ marketing success. They are already reaching your potential customers.
Continued learning is tied to marketing success
In our modern world, anyone can get into a particular line of business as long as they have the knowledge and resources to do so, but it also means that anyone in the business world will have at least one other company to contend with for customer attention, resources, and cost-efficiency.
The dynamic created by industry rivals is usually one of friendly competition in which both or all companies that share an industry have a certain amount of camaraderie along with that urge to come out at #1.
Rather than worrying about what your competitors are up to that could give them an edge, why not learn from them instead?
What Are Your Competitors Doing?
Just like in school when trying to create the best class project, looking around at what others are up to can help a great deal. Never underestimate competitor research, as it can show you both what has and has not worked for a similar business you share an industry with. Your target audiences and products to promote will be similar enough to really learn a few things.
You may or may not agree with their marketing strategies, but it gives you a solid starting point to create your marketing campaigns.
Consider these 5 performance metrics when doing your business strategy research:
- How they are advertising
- Their methods are popular and well-liked
- What has been successful
- What has been unsuccessful
- Details from comments and reviews
What Online Social Presence Are They Using?
When you think of the various ways that your competitors show up online, change your perspective to consider these forms of advertising. Where are you finding them? Some of the popular places to look are:
- Google ads or other search engines paid advertising,
- Social media marketing, paid and organic,
- Local Chamber and Network Listings
Your competitors are probably using some of these as well as others to get in front of your potential client. You want to be there too.
What Marketing Method Appears Most Popular?
Not all strategies win the race, so when you are doing research see what activities are getting the most engagement or success. Sometimes this can be obvious, like reviewing the reaction to their social media posts, but other times it can be harder to access. A tool like SEMRush can help you figure out what kind of paid advertising activities they are using and if they appear to be a marketing success.
Examining Their Marketing Success & Strategy
Your competitors are probably using many of the same essential marketing strategies that you are, but the specifics are always where marketing success lies. You may both be blogging, for instance, but which of their topics have gained a lot of attention? Try writing your own twist on these to appeal to your shared target audience. If they’re doing a video series that’s popular, make one of your own.
Pay-per-click advertising is another place to examine their successes and failures, as there are about a thousand little changes to be made that could influence how well you do at the same endeavor. Pay close attention to the following items to nurture some marketing success:
- Which of their chosen keywords are getting the most traffic?
- Are their ads written in a particularly appealing or clever way?
One especially competitive method to watch out for is using a rival company’s name as a keyword.
Comments and Reviews
One of the biggest sources of insight into the successes and failures of others in your industry are their comments and reviews on public sites like Yelp, Google, and other social sites that provide reviews. If you want information about what your shared target audience loves and hates about how your competitors do business, the reviews are exactly where you should look. This will tell you not only what appears to be working according to the performance metrics but what customers actually think about their marketing tactics, products, and services as well as their view on the customer service they have received.
When looking at reviews, don’t just focus on the five and one star responses. The mid-star reviews often hold valuable combo information about customer sentiment, both likes and dislikes, and exactly what customers believe rates ‘docking a star’.
Your competitors are more than just companies you’d like to do better than, they can act as an industry litmus test for your own business actions.
Whether you’re trying to come up with the next great advertising campaign or avoid the mistakes of others in the past, by studying your industry competition during your marketing journey, you can see how your shared target audience has responded to a wide variety of methods, campaigns, and business decisions.
There’s no need to be shy about learning and working with the data from competitor research. Rest assured, they’re doing the exact same thing, analyzing your successes and failures and trying to do a little better.
Jonathan Perea is a Business Development Manager at ThinkFlame. He started his career as a professional baseball player and continues to enjoy teaching kids through his elite coaching program. This experience has given him the ability to really listen to our customer’s needs, understand their business challenges and help coach them through a plan to achieve their goals.