When was the last time you ran competitor research & analysis for your business? And most importantly, do you know how to do one efficiently?
If you’re not sure, or if the last “research” was a quick glance over your competitor’s website and social media channels, you are probably missing out on important intelligence that could help your brand grow.
Competitor research can highlight market trends and weaknesses in your own business plan. This will help you enhance your own business strategy with ease.
But what is competitors’ research and analysis?
Mailchimp defines it as the process of identifying competitors in your industry and researching their different marketing strategies. You can use this information as a point of comparison to identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses relative to each competitor.
Performing a competitor analysis continuously comes with many benefits as well.
Some of the benefits include but are not limited to:
- Helping you create a benchmark, a foundation, or a point of reference for measuring growth
- Identifying potential threats and risks
- Improving your digital strategy and unique selling point
We have laid out some steps to follow to make it easy for you to track your competitors.
Step 1: Identify Your Biggest Rivals
Knowing who your rivals are and what they offer in minute detail may help make your products, services, and marketing stand out. It will allow you to set competitive services and rates that will respond to competing marketing efforts with your own initiatives.
The most straightforward approach these days in the era of the internet to knowing your competitors is to just perform a web search of your key product or service category to see what results the search engines such as Google will return. Remember, on the web competition could be from businesses in your industry or other fields that use the exact keywords as you do so that’s something to look out for.
Step 2: Examine the Online Presence of Your Competitors
The online presence of your competitors will indicate the standards and expectations you are up against, frequently indicating their strategy. Investigate your competitors’ strategy by looking for example:
- what consumer groups are they aiming for with their products or services
- what are their strengths and weaknesses in their online and offline strategy
- what new items they are announcing and launching soon
- estimate of their financial power
It’s important to also check for reviews from their customers to see what they’re saying about your competitors. This can help you to fill in a gap that your rivals may be neglecting.
Out of all of that information and data conduct your own company SWOT analysis and define clearly your own competitive advantage.
TIP: Did you subscribe to the competitors’ newsletter to see how and what they communicate with their closes customers?
Step 3: Incorporate the Positives into Your Strategy
Competition may stimulate creativity, teach you vital lessons, and motivate people to push themselves and achieve things they never believed possible. This is one of the major positives of having competition in your line of business.
You can only learn as much, get inspired, and push yourself to the limits when you have another competitor business keeping you awake at night. Rivals also help you keep up with trends.
Always check areas your competitor has strength in and use that as a starting point for your business to improve from there.
Remember that competitor research is not limited to these steps but these are some of the critical ones to keep in mind. Being consistent with this can help you keep up to or ahead of your competition. Fingers crossed that your rivals won’t read it first…
Also, do not forget to use some great online tools that are now available online for this task. Our favourite is SEMrush, one of the top instruments available for competitive research.
Enjoy and let us know in the comment section below what is your approach to the competitors’ analysis.
Bye for now
Timothy, Nikolina & NKDigital Team