Competitors are a great source of digital marketing ideas. A simple look at their adverts can give you insights into making improvements in how you market your own campaigns.
Strategic planning forms an essential role in monitoring competitor tactics in any business area. Using the monitoring of competitors through manual or automated solutions informs your own strategy.
Gaps can be identified in their marketing efforts and innovations can be made to develop a plan that challenges competitors to follow your strategies, rather than the opposite. Use the following tips to guide your investigation of competitors to enhance your own digital marketing efforts.
Develop a competitor analysis plan
Creating a competitor analysis plan first involves the identification of who your competitors are in each industry and market. The business owner may operate in a local market, in which case it will be simpler to identify the closest competitors.
Alternatively, the business may operate in an international environment. In this case, the identification of marketing strategies may be more involved.
Whichever market the business owner wants to target, the importance to have a strategy should not be underestimated. Having a strategy means that adjustments can be made as a campaign progresses, for example.
Doing digital marketing analysis and creating a follow-up campaign requires constant awareness of competitor steps in the marketing process.
Identify the competition
Without a strategy, the business owner cannot implement goals efficiently. By identification of competitors, the business owner learns to adequately judge what they are up against. Once this information is gathered, the business owner can observe the way they operate, learn from their successes and mistakes, and adapt their own plans to leverage opportunities and avoid errors.
Identify competitors by looking at which businesses serve the same markets. Observe whether their products or services are the same or like your own.
If businesses around you service the same or similar target markets with similar products and services, they are direct competitors. Take note of their pricing and service differentiators to understand how your business can improve.
Also identify online competitors that sell the same brands as you do, because these will be in direct competition. Just because they are indirect does not mean they are not a threat to your success.
Examine how they use branding better than you do to attract sales and learn from their strategies. Include competitor social media sites in the analysis for in-depth scrutiny of their digital marketing steps.
What does a competitor analysis involve?
Conducting a competitor analysis requires following a number of processes. They encompass:
- obtaining updates on their performance,
- analyzing their SEO tactics,
- obtaining marketing ideas by viewing their ad campaigns across platforms,
- evaluating the information obtained in relation to your own digital marketing strategies.
Research and analysis of competitor strengths and weaknesses help to reveal gaps in your own strategic digital marketing efforts. Revealing gaps aids in remaining flexible enough to adapt to the business environment.
Analysis of information can be used to understand the opportunities and threats of their marketing tactics in relation to your own. Regular monitoring of competitor marketing steps drives innovation in your marketing plans.
Persistent scrutiny is vital to the success
Some competitors may have been lax in keeping their digital marketing strategies updated. Keep an eye on their movements regardless of their stagnation.
Those you should watch out for are the ones who are constantly on the ball, always looking for the latest tools to boost their marketing efforts.
When competitors are diligent with their marketing and advertising efforts, they pose a threat. They also present the opportunity to improve your own marketing strategy.
Benefits of competitor monitoring
Gain benefits from competitor monitoring to constantly enhance your own benchmarks. Look to the best performers in the market to acquire the type of feedback that speaks to success.
If competitors are achieving better results by using the same social media and other digital marketing channels as your business, find out why.
Are they using AI, a marketing agency, advanced analytics, or other solutions? You need to find answers to these questions and create more of your own.
Stay up-to-date on trends
Persistent monitoring also provides information about trends in the market. If you are not current about what is working best, you need to find out what is trending and implement that solution.
Do not always assume that competitors are using the right solutions. Do your own research to determine if certain software will work for your website, and test competitor solutions by acting as a customer to evaluate new strategies.
You may surprise yourself and find that certain software is not all it is cut out to be from a consumer perspective
Acquire new ideas
Watching how competitors operate is interesting. Website owners can leverage new ideas to integrate with their own marketing mix. Businesses can remain on the alert to new product development, promotions and product launches offered by rivals.
Remaining alert to rival campaigns reveals opportunities to leverage new learning and ideas without the costs of making errors, for example.
Consulting with a marketing agency and learning how they would approach a campaign will also provide new ideas to integrate with your marketing mix.
Strategic planning through competitor monitoring uncovers an additional benefit. Remain flexible by learning from the successes and mistakes of rivals, and you can redefine your own goals for optimization. Part of becoming a sustainable business that lasts beyond 2 to 5 years is learning to adapt to environmental changes.
Continue to examine your own business strengths and weaknesses so that you are constantly alert for appropriate environmental responses.
Leverage strengths in your favour and creates opportunities to manage competitor strengths effectively. Take advantage of competitor weaknesses to strengthen your own business position. Harness market opportunities and learn how to minimize marketing weaknesses.
Flexibility is a key driver in creating a sustainable business. Monitoring rival digital marketing strategies provides in-depth intel on how to improve your own. Be alert to changes in their strategies to improve your own marketing and advertising campaigns. Use all available technological and traditional methods to achieve business goals.
Juliet is an Editor at PRable.org, all in one content marketing agency. She loves creating articles about technology, innovative product reviews, and technical writing to help scale up digital growth. She is a writer by day and a frustrated singer by night.