We all think we know our competitors, but do we really? And no, we don’t mean it philosophically. We mean the understanding of our market standing in comparison. This is primarily because the metrics have come to change a lot since Internet marketing. Traditional ways of measuring success against competitors do not fully work today. And you cannot afford to stick to them if you wish to get ahead in a market where competition is stiff. Thorough competitor analysis is key to building a successful business. Here are a few tips to help you out.
The Correct Way to do Competitive Analysis
Many companies still employ flawed strategies. Traditional methods may seem effective but they aren’t when you look around the online world. If you look at a competitor’s full-page ad and think you should do it too, you might be wrong. You may not even know much about their target market. Drawing conclusions without doing any foundational research work might cost you more money than you think.
We are living in the information age, which means you have access to a gold mine of data. Tap into that to actually study your competitor rather than just following them blindly. Where and how to start? Social media and digital content are your sources and social intelligence tools are your friends. Tapping into relevant data and drawing actionable insights has never been this easy. Read more about that here.
5 Must-Dos of Competitive Analysis
Heading into research work without any goals can cost you precious time. Here are some things to expect and do when you are starting your analysis.
Delve Deeper into the Reality
Every marketer tries to sugarcoat details and say great things about their brand on the internet. Everyone does that, perhaps even you sometimes. Who doesn’t like to portray a glossy image? Most see it as a calculated and strategic move. But you have to look beyond it and get the real story. Look at what people are saying about the brand. Taking into account the overall sentiment helps you gauge the real pulse of their success.
Monitor your Social Reach
Measuring your market share first before planning to expand the business. Telefonica studied 1000 millennials recently, in which 57% used search engines to find information about products and services. And 52% said they used social media as well. Consumers rely heavily on search engines and social media as their primary sources of information. You have to measure your performance against that of your competitors in order to see whether your reach and share of voice is capturing enough of the market share.
A Mistake to Avoid
When you use social intelligence tools you have a world of data and insights with you. You know a lot about your competitors. You know about their target market, their marketing strategy, the demographics, their SOV et cetera. When you do competitor analysis it is to get a better understanding of your position in the market. You may look at their strengths and weaknesses. If their campaigns are successful, study them in detail. Most marketers make the mistake of copying/stealing others’ content. This is nothing but plagiarism and is a strict no-no. This can bring your brand down in the eyes of your own audience and detract from your image.
Use the Right Tools
When you study your competitors, it isn’t espionage. It is only a smarter way to do market research. However, if you are smart enough to conduct competitor analysis meticulously, you are smart enough to realize how artificial intelligence tools can help you. You can either choose to stalk your competitor’s online campaigns and social media accounts manually and draw insights like the number of likes and comments. Or you can get into social media analytics to gain insight into their SEO strategy, their target market, overall brand image et cetera.
Tools like Auris help you keep close tabs on your competitors and do a comparative analysis. With advances in technology, competitor analysis has come to be the easiest way to build your brand’s marketing strategy.