If competitive analysis is a popular practice, or even fundamental, for the development of the marketing plan of your company, it is complicated when one speaks about digital. And yet, the activities and practices of your competitors are a wealth of information to feed your own strategies! Follow the guide…
Why is it essential to conduct a competitive analysis?
Developing a classic competitive analysis should be, and is certainly already, one of the pillars of your company’s marketing plan. With this assessment, you can effectively establish the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. You can also determine what makes you unique and so, know what strategies you need to put in place to attract your target market.
But, how to achieve it concretely?
The premises are quite simple. Start by assessing your competitors by grouping them into strategic groups based on how they compete with your business.
Then, for each competitor or strategic group, list their products or services, profitability, growth model, marketing goals and assumptions, past and present strategies, organizational and financial structure, strengths and weaknesses, and its size (sales) … The goal? Answer questions such as:
- Who are your competitors?
- What products or services do they sell?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- What is the market share of each competitor?
- What are their current & past strategies?
- What kind of media do they use to market their products or services?
- How many hours per week do they buy to advertise through the media used in this market?
- What potential threats do your competitors pose?
- What potential opportunities do they offer you?
Our advice: A quick and easy way to compare your product or service with similar products on the market is to create a competition grid. Write on the left side of a piece of paper (or in an Excel document) the names of four or five products or services that compete with yours. To help you generate this list, think about what your customers would buy if they did not buy your product or service.
Make the most of your web potential
Have you answered all these questions? You now know a little better your competitors. But why not go further? By pushing your thinking further and turning to a visibility analysis of your competitors on the web, you will take advantage of all the data available online to refine your strategies and further improve your performance!
Social networking – all you have to learn from your competitors
It’s no secret that social networks are excellent means of communication. You certainly communicate with your audience and your competitors too. These networks therefore contain tons of information and data with high strategic potential that it would be a shame not to use!
More than incidental, the analysis of the different strategies put in place by your competitors is essential to understand your positioning on these networks!
Watch your competitors:
- Which networks are present?
- How many fans / followers do they have and how fast are they progressing?
- What kind of content do they broadcast? (Video, image, text, computer graphics, case study …)
- What commitment do they get depending on the content?
- How often do they broadcast per week and at what time of the day?
With this analysis, you will be able to establish an ideal content delivery plan for your audience. This information will save you time and productivity as you learn from the mistakes and successes of your competitors.
Inspiration is not copy
By doing this competitive analysis on social networks, you may be amazed by the success that some people encounter. A brilliant strategy that works wonderfully, it’s a dream! Be careful however, success on social networks depends on a multitude of factors sometimes difficult to measure and what works for them may not be as effective for you. Plus, no one likes copiers! So avoid copying others, simply take inspiration from the best ideas and especially take the time to understand the reasons for success. The key? Build your own story to make yourself more unique!
Audacity at the service of success
After observing what your competition is doing, what’s left over? Which post did you score? You will certainly have noticed the shares that are out of the ordinary. So, be bold and luck will surely smile on you!
Stand out on social media is not an easy thing, and this is even truer if you just re-distribute content that has already been broadcast 100 times. So, do not hesitate to test shares of out of the ordinary content or even better, of your own creation!
Tell your story to your audience by being imaginative. To hit the spirits, you must offer unique visibility.
Learn bad practices from your competitors
It is often easier to see the straw in the eye of his neighbor than the beam in his own. This maxim fits perfectly with our next advice. Indeed, communication on social networks is as much “best” as “bad” practices. That’s why we advise you to analyze and list all the mistakes made by your competitors on social networks. You will learn as much from their successes as from their mistakes. Concretely, observe and analyze:
All the necessary information are included on the different profiles?
- Which content has the least commitment?
- How long do they respond to via couriers?
- Is the quality of the answers given satisfactory?
- Any mistakes your competitors make are opportunities for you to better communicate with your target audience.
In a nutshell: The key to competitive analysis on social networks is to stay in constant watch and organize your competitive relationships in order to fully understand the evolution of your competitors over time. By constantly analyzing, you will have a better view of the energy, the time and the budget deployed. This will help you better understand the ways you need to unlock to gain visibility.
Be ahead pf your competitors in search engine results
On Google alone, more than 3 billion queries are made each day around the world. Search engines are therefore great ways to position your business on the internet, but the competition is tough to succeed in appearing on competitive keywords. Thousands, even millions of pages, are also positioned on this query and you will have to work on your SEO optimization to beat your competitors on the most relevant queries in your industry. Because to have real results, you must at least find you on the first page on the request that you target!
4 steps to achieve your competitive analysis in search engine
- Search your keywords: The first thing you need to do is to make a list of the most relevant keywords for your industry. If you do this work for the first time, we invite you to test only 10 at first.
- Determine Search Volume: Once you have a list, use Google Ads Keyword Planner to determine which keywords have the largest search volume.
- Analyze your positions: You can finally create a spreadsheet with information about the search volume and analyze in the search engine at which position you appear.
- Observe your competitors: As soon as this step is completed, you can start the competitive analysis and define which sites are in the top 10 search results.
This list of competitors positioned on the queries you are targeting will allow you to define which strategies have been used to be positioned in the search engine. What should you watch out for?
Throughout the text
- The types of content that enrich the page: videos, computer graphics, images, quotes…
- The number of internal and external links on this page
- At the page loading speed
- At the presence density of the main keyword in the content
This analysis will highlight the optimizations you need to achieve to improve your positioning and get beyond your competitors on the queries you target. Note that this work should be done regularly depending on your results and the competition.
Fundamental work for a lasting result
As for social networks, it is essential to continue to analyze your competitors constantly, because if you make efforts to position yourself better your competitors certainly do the same. In addition, Google imposes a series of rules and good practices that can evolve over time, giving variations in results depending on the techniques used. For example, there is no point in copying content made by one of your competitors, because Google is able to automatically detect what is the original content and this copied content will be systematically downgraded or deindexed Google.
The most obvious analysis to be done in the search engines is the analysis of the positions of your pages according to the requests. This analysis allows you to see the positions you win and those you lose, this allows you to understand which pages and keywords you need to work on to improve your visibility. Example of a tool using the Ranking distribution:
Competitive analysis is crucial for your business. It allows you to better understand the efforts you will have to make to gain visibility over your competitors who are looking for the same thing as you. This analysis must be carried out at the launch of your new project, but must be pursued steadily in order to anticipate and plan your marketing actions.