A well thought out competitive analysis plan can put you ahead of your competitor and setup your business for future growth.
First, identify your competitors. You should already have a good idea of who these are, but do a little research to flesh out a complete list preferably in a spreadsheet. Once you've got your list, here are some basic questions you want to get answered
- How does their website look and function? What can you take away form it to add to your site?
- What kind of content do they produce? Blog posts, videos, maybe a podcast? Quality?
- Product differentiation? How different are your product offerings? Are there any products you could add to compliment your main products?
- Pricing. Is it higher or lower?
- How is their social media presence? # of followers? More importantly, how is their engagement? And what kind of posts get the best engagement?
- Do they collect emails?
- How high do they rank in search results and for what keywords?
- PPC Ads?
- Influencers? Any celebrities or another company with a large social following?
Competitor Research Tools
These next 5 tools can help you identify the answers to these questions in addition to analyzing your competitor's current website and marketing materials.
o How many people are searching for things on Google?
o How many clicks from the search engine your competitors are getting
o Who the top competitors are in your industry
o How to improve the SEO of your site (long term strategy)
o Who is linking to your competitors
o What bloggers have written about/mentioned your competitors
o How to find opportunities to get your website featured/mentioned based on who has talked about a competitor
o Customer engagement of competitors
o Traffic sources (other than SEO, like email, social, referral, etc.)
o Audience interests
o Similar sites
o Marketing strategies
o Reveal all sites who linked to your competitor's site
o Content change detection and notification service, offered for free by Google
Competitive Analysis Implementation
Now that you have all this great information, here are a few things you can do to beat your competitors' marketing strategies
- Create content based on competitor's keywords
- Reinvent content your competitor got a lot of engagement on
- Identify areas of weakness on competitor's site and make those your strengths
- Reach out to influencers promoting your competitors
- Test different pricing options
- Test social media marketing strategies
Why reinvent the wheel if there's already a path of proven success?