When developing your marketing competitor analysis, you will review your top rivals, audit their marketing tactics, and identify areas of overlap with your audience and goals. Through this scrutiny, you will get a clearer idea of how saturated the market is with different types of digital content (and, which messaging is already on your target audience’s radar).
Competitive analysis definition: Pinpointing who your competitors are and evaluating their strategies to determine their strengths and weaknesses in regards to your product or service. (Entrepreneur)
Messaging channels look a little different in the digital marketing realm than in traditional marketing. Some types of digital marketing opportunities include:
- social media marketing,
- website design and user-friendliness,
- any content marketing pieces like infographics, ebooks, or webinars,
- and more.
If you’re looking to attract customers locally, you probably already know who the top competitors are, and you can use these findings to get even more granular with your campaigns based on geographic market constraints.
The benefits of doing competitor marketing researchConducting a competitor analysis has multiple benefits, including helping to save you money and ensuring you’ll reach the right audience at the right time. For example, if you were to launch a Google Ads campaign without first conducting keyword research, you might choose a highly competitive keyword target without realizing it.
Even this blog post has strategic keyword targets based on data:
- competitive analysis in marketing has medium competition
- competitor analysis has low competition
When you know the competitiveness of key terms, you can tweak your overall marketing campaign (or one specific effort, like a blog post) to get the most bang for your buck.
See competitive analysis marketing in actionWe work with a client who provides a range of services in document management, scanning, and storage. After conducting a competitor analysis last year, we determined who was our client’s competition in scanning services and used this information to optimize their new inbound marketing campaign. We targeted those people identified as potentially unhappy with their current scanning services provider (our client’s competitor) because they frequently were visiting relevant “help” and “customer support” pages or searching for alternative vendors.
Tips for a successful competitor analysisCompleting a competitor analysis can be overwhelming if you’ve never done one before, making it difficult to know where to start. Though tactics will vary by industry (and other factors), here’s a high-level look at some of the general ways you can find success.
Focus your marketing effortsFor many of our clients, we get the best results when planning at the campaign level. Concentrating on a specific product or service line will make it easier to identify your specific competition within that parameter.
For example, a large hospital that competes for patients in your area may not have online resources for expectant moms or total joint patients. By creating those resources and promoting them geographically, you’ll answer patient questions and help them find the care they need at your hospital.
Narrow in on marketing tacticsIn addition to focusing on product or service line, it also helps to understand where you’ll have the most impact with your marketing budget dollars. This will include determining how to allocate funds for digital marketing vs. traditional marketing, and—within each type—figuring out which tactics or assets that resonate best with your audience (and generate the greatest ROI).
For example, should your company promote its next campaign on Twitter?
- If targeting young adults, 40% of people ages 18–29 use Twitter
- If targeting seniors, only 8% of people age 65+ use Twitter (Pew)
Set realistic expectationsAnother way to get more from your competitor analysis is to be realistic about your expected results, especially when it comes to paid ads results. For example, if a company pays considerably more each month for paid ads and promotes content of high quality, the results will likely fall in their favor over another who spends much less to reach the same audience.
However, by testing the waters with keyword targets, audience targets, and different spending allotments, you may be surprised to find a niche where you can outshine your competitors.
Keep in mind that we’re all competing for audience impressions, engagements, and click-throughs on the web, so a marketing competitor analysis can save you time and money before your campaign ever launches.
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