In today's crowded marketplace, it can be difficult for your business to stand out. Differentiating your brand from the competition takes patience and strategic thinking. For that reason, analyzing your competitor's business practices and marketing strategies is a good tactic to help you claim and keep your share of the market.
Here is a list of five best practices that can help you beat your competition.
1. Scope Out the Competition
There are two kinds of competition: direct and indirect. Direct competitors are those that compete with you one-to-one. They offer the same solution to a problem that you do. Indirect competitors provide alternative ways to satisfy consumers' needs. For example, if your brand sells hamburgers, your direct competition also sells hamburgers. Indirect competitors will offer another type of fast food to satisfy hunger, like tacos.
Your direct competitors are your biggest challenge because they are the primary alternative for consumers wanting to make a purchase. You must figure out who those competitors are, what they do, and how they do it so that you can monitor and learn from them.
2. Know What Your Competitors are Selling
Determine exactly what your competition is selling, and find out if and how they are succeeding. What are their strengths and weaknesses? How does their product compare to yours? How do they rate in customer satisfaction? Perform an honest assessment of your services to understand your strong points and how the competition outshines you in certain areas.
By conducting a thorough competitive analysis, you can learn what niche you can fill that the competition can’t.
3. Understand Their Marketing Strategy
It's vital that you research how the competition is marketing themselves both long- and short-term. What campaigns are they running, and how effective are they? Are their ads engaging, and do they feature a unique sales pitch?
Explore their website for tone, style, and user-friendliness. Notice areas where they do a good job and those sections that need work. Learn their brand story and how it compares with your own. Maybe your company has a story that you feel resonates more with the community. You should highlight that.
Does the competition blog? How often and what topics do they cover? This will help you to evaluate your blogging efforts for relevance and effectiveness. Do they post thought leadership pieces? Thought leadership helps build trust and expertise and brings your industry to a higher level of awareness about the problems it faces and possible solutions. In fact, 62% of marketers report that thought leadership is effective in generating leads. If your brand is not participating, maybe you should consider it. If you are an expert at something, display it.
Check out your competitor's FAQs page. Are they properly anticipating their customer's questions? If your customers have similar concerns, make sure you are addressing them before they arise.
4. Maintain a Strong Social Presence
Social media is a great way to build a tribe. It gives you a chance to hear what your customers are saying while sharing interesting content. Learn what platforms your competitors are using and what kind of engagement they are fostering. How many followers do they have, and how often do they post? Identify channels the competition uses that you may have overlooked but could be a good place for your customers to hang out. Build a presence there.
An excellent example of a brand that captured market share using social media is Uber. The company harnessed the power of social media by offering riders incentives in exchange for social media shares. With a minimal investment in advertising, Uber became a verb instead of a noun.
5. Work With a Trusted Media Partner
The integrated marketing approach of a media partner can help you beat your competition. They understand the market and your target audience, and they have multiple tactics at their disposal to reach them. They know how to analyze metrics to determine the ROI of your investment, plus they can perform tracking to measure the success of your campaign and optimize as needed.
Anyone can capture market share, but keeping it is the hard part. The first step to outperforming the competition is to understand how they operate. Learn their marketing strategy, and find ways to fill in the gaps in those areas where they are struggling. Use social media to your advantage and establish yourself as a thought leader. By staying two steps ahead of your competitors, you can focus on what you do best - delivering an exceptional customer experience.