Analysing the way that competitors handle marketing can give you valuable insights into how you can improve your own efforts to grow your business.
Of course it is easy enough to say that you should invest time and effort in competitor analysis, but actually going about this in an optimal way can be tricky. Here are some strategies to help you get started.
Consider Competitors From a Customer Perspective
This is perhaps the most important effect of analyzing a rival brand since it will let you consider their marketing with relative objectivity and perceive them as if you were a customer. Taking such a stance can be much harder to do when considering your in-house marketing campaigns, so it is much easier to learn lessons from the mistakes of others than trying to find the flaws in your own work first.
For example, in the case of PPC competitor analysis in the digital space, you should focus not only on which keywords are being targeted, but also on the effectiveness of the landing page at the other end of a paid link. There are a range of tools to analyze PPC competition which provide actionable tips and comparisons for paid ads.
Indeed, there are plenty of well-known landing page mistakes to avoid, but evaluating them at first hand on a competitor’s site, or indeed seeing how a well-designed page can make all the difference, will give you a customer-eye view of what works best in the world of web marketing.
Choose Competitors Carefully
Unless you research your rivals thoroughly, you might make the false assumption that one firm is getting its marketing spot-on, when in fact their ROI tells a very different story.
There are tons of tools that can point you towards those competitors that are worthy of your attention while giving you clues about which might not be as savvy with their strategies as they seem on the surface.
For example, do not be fooled by high follower counts on social media sites; if a brand has a huge pile of followers but generated very little engagement relative to this when they post, it is a sign that something fishy is going on.
Carry out Analysis Frequently
You might think that after your first bout of competitor analysis, you are ready to crack on with your own marketing and turn your attention away from key rivals. However, no business operates in a vacuum and you can only stay up to speed with customer habits, trends, and key changes if you regularly come back to re-assess the competition.
By scheduling regular stints of scrutiny, you will not miss out on any potential opportunities to optimize your marketing based on what others in the industry are up to.
Annual reviews are usually enough to make a positive impact for most businesses, although you can carry out smaller quarterly sessions of competitor analysis if you occupy an especially fast-paced marketplace.
Pick the Most Pertinent Data Points to Assess
Squeezing the most value from your competitor analysis sessions is only possible if you are actually looking at the data points which allow you to draw relevant, actionable conclusions.
Carrying out keyword research and conducting a study of how well competitors are faring with their PPC campaigns for top targets can be one of the most useful ways to go about this. You can also base a lot of your organic search marketing strategies on the information you accrue here, which makes it doubly useful.
Online reviews also provide a wealth of useful data on competitor performance, and there are plenty of other sources to consider, many of which offer up information to anyone who wants to take a look, making this an affordable option.
With hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on digital marketing annually, competitor analysis can enable you to make your money go even further.
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