Comparison is the thief of joy, or so they say. While this wisdom is true in life, when it comes to digital marketing, comparison is a must if we want to improve our marketing efforts.
Identifying our competitors is a crucial step to building a successful marketing campaign. Competitors can give us a wealth of information that we can use to find out our brand’s weaknesses and how we can overcome them.
In this article, we’ll cover what competitor analysis is and how to use it to our advantage. Let’s dig in!
Table of Contents
- What is competitor analysis?
- Who should you analyze as competitors?
- Ways to Improve Your Marketing Strategy Through Competitor Analysis
- Give your website and landing pages an overhaul
- Create a good welcome flow
- Improve your lost checkout flow
- Incorporate hooks into your ads
- Find unique ways to highlight social proof
- Grab ideas for your content calendar
- Nail your email schedule and frequency
- Finetune your SEO strategy
- Have a variety of promotions and offers
- See if collaborating with or featuring influencers in your marketing makes sense
What is competitor analysis?
Competitor analysis is one of the most valuable tools in a marketer’s toolbox. It refers to the process of identifying and analyzing data from competing brands or businesses in your industry. This information includes their marketing strategies, business information, and strengths and weaknesses.
By comparing yourself to your competitors, you can spot your good points and points for improvement and do something about them. Through this, you can find better ways to reach your target audience, strategize the best way to position your brand, and allocate your time and resources to where they will most effectively serve you.
Who should you analyze as competitors?
The first step to competitor analysis is identifying who your competitors are.
You don’t have to know each competitor because that would be impossible and be of little value to you. Instead, determine the businesses that share your target audience and have the same or similar value proposition as your brand.
Research the major industry keywords you want to rank for and see which competitors come up in your search. You can also list down your most obvious competitors or the ones who are the most well-known in your space.
Check out which retailers are buying ads for your target keywords or posting content on social media about your industry. You can also go through websites and publications that are relevant to your niche.
Other filters you can use to narrow down your search include your location, size of business, pricing, and product range.
A helpful question to ask is “What is my target customer using to address their problem?” and find the brands that fit the bill.
Ways to Improve Your Marketing Strategy Through Competitor Analysis
After identifying your competitors, use online platforms like Panoramata to keep track of what they’re doing. Here’s what you can do with the information you find with those tools.
Give your website and landing pages an overhaul
One of the first things you’ll come across when researching your competitors’ marketing strategy is what they’re doing with their websites.
They can adjust their homepages incrementally over weeks or months so keep your eyes peeled for those changes, too.
You can also check out their landing pages if you click on your competition’s social media ads. Notice how they structure their landing pages and what copy they use to promote their products.
All of this data can inform your own website and landing page designs. Take inspiration from what they’re doing and get creative!
Create an excellent welcome flow
When you start tracking your competitors’ emails, take note of how they welcome new subscribers through their welcome flow. The first emails after signup set the tone for the rest of the relationship with your audience so the welcome flow is an important one to get right.
Take note of your competitors’ tactics. Do they offer a discount after the signup? What kind of CTAs do they include in their emails? These are all great information to have when creating or adjusting your welcome flow.
Improve your lost checkout flow
Just as introducing your brand using a welcome flow is crucial, how you handle a lost checkout is key for keeping potential customers engaged.
Keep tabs on your competitors’ lost checkout flow for ideas on how to increase retention and purchases. They may be using strategies you haven’t thought of to reduce obstacles that hold people back from buying.
Incorporate hooks into your ads
Check out the copy your competitors are using in their static and video ads to have an idea of what will resonate with your target audience.
Usually, the copy will lead with “ad hooks” that are used to catch people’s attention from the introduction alone. This is what keeps them watching and learning more about your product.
There are plenty of ad hooks brands use so be selective and only use those that are relevant to your brand.
Find unique ways to highlight social proof
People will be interested in a product if exposed to rave reviews and endorsements about it. That’s why how you use social proof in your emails and ads is important.
Your competitors will be using this tactic, too, so observe their strategy and come up with takeaways from it. Take note of what kind of social proof they’re doing, if they’re incorporating user-generated content, and if they’re featuring influencers and celebrities.
Grab ideas for your content calendar
Competitor analysis can be an excellent source of ideas if you’re running out of content. What kind of posts are your competitors creating? How often are they posting? Do they include videos or GIFs on their social media and emails?
You don’t have to copy them outright. Put your stamp on it and you’ll have enough fuel to keep your content calendar going for months!
Nail your email schedule and frequency
A lot of marketers struggle with how often and when to send emails. Too often and you’ll risk annoying subscribers and too few and you won’t keep them interested enough to visit your website and check out your products.
The timing of your emails is also just as important because you want your emails to have the best chance of being opened and that won’t happen if you’re competing for attention from other newsletters or if you’re sending a time when a subscriber is less likely to check their inbox.
The good thing is you don’t have to guess anymore. Take your cues from your competitors and experiment with the timing and frequency of your email campaigns.
Finetune your SEO strategy
How does your SEO ranking compare with that of your competitors?
SEO is a good indicator of a brand’s presence and performance. Peep at competing brands’ SEO metrics and traffic to help you set your own goals and nail your marketing strategy.
You won’t know if you’re underperforming if you don’t take a look at how other brands are faring.
Have a variety of promotions and offers
It’s difficult to resist a good discount and brands use this to their advantage. However, the usual 15 percent off markdowns can get repetitive so it’s good to switch it up and inject variety into your promotions.
Let your competitors lead the way for you by seeing what kind of offers they’re including in their email and ad campaigns. Maybe they’re prone to having flash sales or buy-one-get-one promos. Maybe a discount bundle can work for your products, too, if competitors are offering it as well.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to discounts.
See if collaborating with or featuring influencers in your marketing makes sense
Brands in every industry use celebrity or influencer collaborations and endorsements as a rock-solid form of social proof. When executed well, it engages customers and builds brand loyalty.
See if your competitors are teaming up with important figures and well-known personalities and how they’re executing these campaigns. This will inform your marketing and greatly improve it.
Of course, influencer collabs don’t always make sense for every industry but if you’re unsure if it’s a good fit for your brand, see if your competitors are using influencer marketing.
Brands don’t live in a bubble and you shouldn’t either. It’s crucial to have a feel for what your competitors are doing right (or wrong) and learn from them. Competitor analysis is a handy tool for improving your business and it’s easier than ever. Try it out for yourself! The results may surprise you.