No matter how successful a business is, there are always ways for it to improve.
Enter the competitor analysis. Businesses small and large use strategic competitive analysis to take comprehensive and hard looks at their competitors in the marketplace, everything from specific marketing and social media techniques to general strengths and weaknesses.
The results shed a bright light on not just the practices of a competitor but the changes a company performing the analysis may make to solidify its presence in the marketplace.
Here Joey Armstrong explains the ways to do an effective competitor analysis.
What Does a Competitor Analysis Reveal?
In short: a lot. Any analysis should provide comprehensive details on the ins and outs of a competitor and how they operate, especially where they outperform as a company. It should also provide insight on unutilized opportunities for companies to out-perform their competitors.
There is much to glean from one analysis, including pinpointing your product’s unique value, how to maximize marketing strategies, and seeing what could be missing from a product offered by a competitor. On a basic level, it can be used to make sure your business stays relevant.
How Can I Do a Competitor Analysis?
There are a few easy steps anyone can take to perform a beneficial analysis. The first step is to identify your major competitors, both direct (those selling a similar product or have a similar audience) and indirect (those with a different product but targeting a similar audience).
Next, perform a little research. Get as much background information as you can on your competitors from their own website, social media, or news stories. Review company histories and their financial results, as well as outline their basic pricing and perks attached to certain services they provide.
Get a good understanding of the competitor’s customers and possibly messaging they are responding to. Do they interact regularly with customers through social media and what platforms do they use? What kind of positive or negative feedback do customers provide through reviews? Are customers featured prominently on their website? What about a competitor and its products most appeal to consumers?
SEO and Promotion
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is used to drive traffic to a business and increase its general visibility through the effective use of targeted keywords. These keywords should be what most people will use when searching for a particular product or service.
SEO turns web traffic into cash flow. Identify the most common keywords that are driving the most traffic to a competitor — and see where there are gaps in their keywords for you to take advantage of.
Finally, look at the company’s advertising techniques and use of social media for unique promotion approaches. Look at where and how they advertise and compare that to your own strategy. Know which social media platforms they are on and how they use each platform individually. How are they promoting themselves to achieve high brand awareness?
The Bottom Line
Competitor analysis is vital to any business, and it can be done easily. By diving into the various strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, you will ultimately find ways to make your business even more successful now and into the future.