Online competition analysis is an indispensable part of the digital marketing strategy. You should never invest your time and money in a new business, venture or project without first studying your potential competitors. In this blog we are going to see how to analyze the online competition step by step.
1. Online competitor search (Finding your competitors online)
Before we can analyze market competitors, we must find them and know who they are and how many there are. We are going to do this 100% online. Knowing who they are will help us know how to investigate the competition. Knowing how many there are will allow us to estimate a market share rate in order to determine if the market is not already too saturated. Some ways to find your competitors online: Search in Google. Search on social networks. Ask in forums. Ask your colleagues.
2. Establish the ranking of your competitors
Assign a degree of relevance to your online competitors to know in which of them to concentrate the analysis of the competition that we will see in the following points. How relevant is my competition? To find out, you must research the keyword that your customers use when searching for your service / product on the internet. Do a Google search for that keyword and manually filter (remove) all results that are not from a direct competitor. The list you get will be the ranking by relevance of your competitors, in this case the best positioned in Google.
3. Analysis of your competition's website in search of their product / service offer
Assuming that your competitor has an institutional website, you can study the call-to-actions (CTA) (calls to action) to see which product / service is more important in their digital marketing strategy. You will find the most important CTAs in the central body of the website or in its sidebar. All this will allow you to know which products / services are most important to your competition and evaluate whether or not to compete with them. Indirectly you will know which products / services your competitors are not paying attention to; it means that you have a free hand to fill that empty space if it were profitable.
Another way to analyze online competition is to pay attention to the competitor's blog categories and links on the website's main menu. An experienced competitor is likely to categorize your blog based on your bid, writing about what you sell. The same happens in the menu of the website that should always have some outstanding service or call-to-action oriented to the sale.
4. Discover the prices of your competitors
Now that we know the offer of products / services we have to investigate the pricing strategy of the competition. Here are some ideas to start off:
Investigate the competitor's website: on many websites the price is usually published along with the service or product offered. In some cases it is simple like that.
Ask in forums: you could simply ask in a specialized forum "how much do they think the service of such a company could cost ...", surely someone who has already acquired that service will give you the information quickly.
Pretend to be an interested buyer: many companies prefer not to directly price their products or services. In this case, they leave us no other option than to contact us as if we were a prospect interested in buying. This will also allow you to measure the response time for a subsequent analysis of customer satisfaction or online reputation.
5. Identify the target audience of your competitors
Discovering the target audience of the competition will be useful when defining the attraction channels (social networks, diffusion on our blog, traditional advertising, paid advertising, etc.).
How to discover the clients of my competition?
Analyze the content: we must read the main blog posts of the competition to understand what topics they deal with, if they use technical language or not, see which message works best, if they include different formats (video, audio, images, presentations, etc.), analyze the profile of those who comment and try to detect the keywords they want to position.
Studying social networks: manually analyzing the profile of followers of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks will give us a vision that complements the previous point. We will be able to know interests, demographic data, what they do and even know who your competition's clients are.
When you have found and analyzed the customers of the competition, you should draw a general profile (a summary of characteristics). The objective is to define the target audience for each product or service in your offer.
6. Investigate how the competition builds customer loyalty
In the field of online business, the interaction between company and consumer is almost always carried out through the same channels: email and social networks. Once you have decided which are your main competitors (point # 2) you should carry out one or all of these actions:
Buy the competitor's product or service.
Subscribe to the competition's newsletter.
Follow your competitor on all his social networks (even if he manages a group).
This way you become part of all the communication channels of your competitors as if you were a client or a prospect. By being in all the databases of the competition (buyers, prospects, etc.) you will find out about all the marketing actions carried out with the aim of building customer loyalty.
All these actions will tell you more about your competition and comparing it to your marketing efforts will help you create a better strategy. This process takes some time but we assure you that it will help your business become a stronger competitor in the field. Make sure to constantly analyze these points because competitors change their strategies, new competitors can come up and the interests of customers change. If you would like to set up a meeting to discuss further your marketing strategy let us know! We would be happy to meet with you.