By Trevor Shorte
The goal of any marketing strategy is to get the attention of your ideal customer. That person who is interested in you and your business, believes that you can solve whatever problem they have, happily pays you for your services, and sings your praises to everyone they encounter.
Unfortunately, there isn’t some kind of magic wand that will be able to make your marketing do all of that so it’s going to require a little bit of work for you to be able to get to that point. One way you can do that is taking the time to understand your competition in the marketplace. You can learn a lot from watching other businesses when it comes to marketing. Just take a look at what they’re doing and see if you can pull inspiration from them to add to your own strategy.
There are a couple of places you can look at when it comes to collecting intel about your competitors’ marketing strategy… their website and their social media presence.
#1: Website Design
Your website is one of the first places potential customers will go to find out about your business and your competitors are no different. Quite a bit can be learned about a company by looking at its website. What does their website look like? Is their design appealing, do it have something that yours doesn’t? Is it image heavy or more text based? Is it easy to navigate? Website design is one of the quickest ways to lose a customer so make sure that yours doesn’t turn people away.
#2: Website Content
Content is really what makes or breaks a website. If it is hard to understand and doesn’t resonate with visitors, they will move on to another one. Is the content on their website easy to read, do they explain their product and service in a compelling way? What is the message that they are trying to get across? Is it too salesy? You want to make sure that the content on your website covers these three important points: You understand your customer, the challenge that they have, and you are uniquely qualified to solve their problem.
#3: Thought Leadership Content
Thought leadership is becoming more valuable as a marketing tactic as it allows you to focus on creating content that establishes you as an expert in your field. If your competitors are doing it, what type of topics are they writing or talking about? Do they have just a blog or do they offer other types of audio/video content like podcast or media appearances or industry speaking engagements? Creating that kind of content for your business is the most effective way to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
#4: Social Media Presence
Social media is a great way to market your business and engage with your community. When you look at your competition, what kind of information do they post and how often do they do so? Do they have a large following? If they don’t post regularly, that’s an opportunity for you to increase your activity to engage with your audience to increase your follower count and build a loyal customer base.
#5: Social Media Activity
If your competition is posting regularly on social media, pay attention to what kind of content they are posting. Do they get any engagement from their audience? What are customers frequently talking or asking about? What hashtags do they use? Are they popular hashtags? You can use this social data to understand what your audience likes and apply that to your own strategy.
#6: Customer Service
There are several review sites out there so it’s easy to find out what people are saying about your competitors. What do they do when they get a negative review? How do they go about solving that issue? If there’s a common issue that keeps cropping up, you could use that as part of your product development or marketing messaging to your customers. You can also use this opportunity to learn how to respond to online feedback, or more importantly, how not to!
#7: Pricing Strategy
Figuring out what to charge for your product or service can be a tricky thing. If your price is too high, then you won’t sell very much. But if your price is too low, you might not be able to make a profit if your margins are too low. Studying what your competitors are charging will give you a better sense of what the market is willing to pay and you can price your products accordingly. Use caution with this strategy though because engaging in a price war does nothing for you or your competition and just becomes a race to the bottom that can wreak havoc on your bottom line.
When you take the time to look at what your competitors are doing, you can start to see patterns of things that work and things that don’t which you can use to adjust your strategy. Since they are targeting the same audience, the lessons you learn can help you boost your sales and build a larger customer base.
If you need help with analyzing your competitors and learning how it can strengthen your marketing strategy, book a free consultation.