While researching your target market and establishing your industry niche is what will give you the ‘edge’, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, and using that information to your advantage, is what will earn you success. Below, we investigate the steps that you need to take in order to complete a digital marketing competitor analysis that is sure to get you the results that you deserve.
Note: When it comes to competitor analyses, it is important to realise that focusing on your direct competitors (i.e. those companies most similar to your business in terms of product / service offering and clientele) just isn’t enough. Paying attention to your indirect competitors (i.e. those companies that are similar to yours, but that may not operate in the same region as you) is just as important. While your indirect competitors may not pose a threat to your business and its success, their digital marketing efforts could provide you with the inspiration and knowledge necessary in order to better your campaigns.
There are generally four main aspects that every digital marketing competitor analysis should cover – your competitors’ website, their social media accounts, presence and interactions, their SEO rankings, and their blog.
1. Your competitors’ website
The key is to compare each aspect of your competitors’ website to your own and take note not only of how they differ – but whether these differences work in your favour or not.
2. Your competitors’ social media efforts
Social media forms a massive part of successful digital marketing. After all, creating amazing content isn’t enough – you need to promote it, too. Here’s how to analyse your competitors’ social media efforts:
If your social media efforts are lagging behind, your competitors’ behaviour and tactics on these platforms will provide you with some insight into why – and supply you with the information that you need in order to make positive changes to your strategy.
3. Your competitors’ SEO rankings
Before you conduct a competitor analysis, you will already have a good idea of the specific keywords which you are (or would like to be) ranking for. Unless you have a programme or online tool for checking these rankings, you can do it all manually by entering the specific keywords or phrases into the Google search engine and collecting the data. If you notice that your competitors are ranking higher than you are, this is a good indication that it is time to up your game. Luckily, the results obtained from this competitor analysis will provide you with the guidance necessary in order to do exactly that.
4. Your competitors’ blog
Blogs are a digital marketing essential, providing you with the perfect platform on which to publish the written aspects of your campaign. Here are a few things to analyse when comparing your company blog with those of your competitors’.
**Ensure that you do some intensive research regarding the less conventional content marketing efforts of each of your competitors. Have they dabbled in alternative content creation such as creating imaginative infographics or interactive videos? Have they gone the extra mile in terms of innovative business promotion via certain social media channels perhaps not yet known to the mainstream? If so, have they been successful in gaining the attention and approval of their target market? If success has been achieved, this could be an area worth exploring. However, it is important to note that simply emulating what they have done won’t do you any favours. Instead, it would be wise to utilise their ideas as motivation in an effort to mould your own interesting, ‘off-the-wall’ ideas, concepts, projects and campaigns.**
Ultimately, the more thorough a competitor analysis, the better. However, when it comes down to it, simply collecting this information isn’t enough. It is one’s ability to utilise the information that has been collected (in an effort to better one’s own digital marketing efforts) that counts – and this revolves around comparison, deep analysis and, finally, creating a plan of action that will allow you to implement the changes necessary for ensuring success.