It’s time to do some research. You’ve heard that phrase before, and you know what it means. But what does it mean when it comes to competitive analysis in digital marketing, and how do you do it?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of doing competitive analysis for your business. We’ll start with understanding your competitors and their market, then move on to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, we’ll give you some tips on how to use that information to your advantage.
WHAT IS COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS IN DIGITAL MARKETING?
Regarding digital marketing, competitive analysis is critical to your overall strategy.
Simply put, it’s assessing your competitors and understanding their strategies—including what works and doesn’t. This information can then help you develop your plans and tactics, ensuring you’re always one step ahead.
But who should you analyze as competitors in digital marketing? Well, that depends on your business and your goals. Typically, you’ll want to look at companies that are in the same industry or market as you are.
WHY DO YOU NEED A COMPETITOR ANALYSIS?
It’s not enough to do a one-off competitor analysis. You must continuously monitor your competitors and stay up-to-date on their strategies, products, services, and pricing. Why? Doing ongoing competitive research helps you identify changes in the competitive landscape and respond quickly — before you get blindsided.
For example, you may discover a new digital marketing tool your competitors are using that you haven’t heard of yet. Or maybe they just launched a new product or service, and you can use that information to inform your strategy. By keeping an eye on the competition, you can stay ahead of the curve and anticipate any future changes — or opportunities — that may arise.
You can stay one step ahead by understanding how your competitors operate on digital channels, how they reach customers, and how their positioning compares to yours. This is key for staying competitive in digital marketing and ensuring that your business remains viable in the long run.
HOW TO GATHER COMPETITIVE DATA?
Now that you understand the importance of a competitive analysis, it’s time to gather data. Start by doing some research on your top competitors. What are they doing that you’re not? What are they doing well that you can emulate?
Look closely at their website, social media presence, and marketing materials. Note what tactics they’re using and how they’re targeting their audience. What keywords are they targeting? What kind of content are they creating?
Please pay close attention to their language and the tone of their marketing materials. Try to get a sense of what their brand is all about. What kind of message are they trying to send to their audience?
You can also use tools like Google Trends to get data on your competitors’ website traffic and online visibility.
ANALYSIS OF COMPETITORS’ STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
So, how do you conduct a competitive analysis in the digital age?
Start by taking a look at your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. What are they doing that you’re not? What can you do better? And, most importantly, what can you do to set yourself apart from the competition?
Think about your business’s unique selling proposition (USP) and how you can ensure it’s front and center in your marketing efforts. What makes you different? Why should customers choose you over your competitors?
Often, businesses make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people. But that’s not sustainable—or successful. Focusing on your core strengths and building your marketing around them is much better.
TIPS FOR UTILIZING DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLS FOR ANALYZING COMPETITORS
Once you have identified and categorized your competitors, you can use digital marketing tools to analyze them. Here are some tips for utilizing the tools to their fullest potential:
SEARCH FOR THEIR WEBSITE TRAFFIC DATA.
Many digital marketing services provide insights into website traffic, including its sources (search engine queries and advertisement clicks) and other metrics such as bounce rates and time on site. Knowing this data will help you understand where your competitor is succeeding and where there may be weaknesses you can exploit.
UTILIZE KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOLS LIKE GOOGLE ADWORDS.
Doing keyword research can provide valuable insights into what customers are searching for and how they’re likely to find the products you and your competitor offer. This data can then be used to develop a targeted marketing strategy that resonates with potential customers.
LOOK AT SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE.
Analyzing a competitor’s social media presence will give you insight into how they engage with people online, which may differ from how you typically do it. You can use this knowledge to plan your social media strategy while keeping an eye on what they’re up to.
USE A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS
If you want to do a thorough competitive analysis, you should use a framework. This can help you organize your data and ensure everything is noticed.
Start by looking at each competitor’s audience and understanding the demographics, psychographics, and preferences that they have in common. Look at which type of content they are pushing out and what kind of engagement it gets. It’s also helpful to look at the results from campaigns—did they produce any direct response, branding, or awareness insights?
You can then use this information to profile your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. What advantages does each competitor have? What areas need improvement? How does your brand compare against them in terms of these metrics?
Finally, use all this information to devise a strategy for differentiating your product or service from theirs. Please pay close attention to the elements they lack to create an advantage for yourself.
FIND BEST PRACTICES
Once you understand who your competitors are and what they offer, you’re ready to review their best practices. Consider what strategies drive their success and how you can apply them to your business. What channels are they using? How often do they post content? What type of content do they post?
Look at their strategies, tactics, and objectives: What works well for them? Is there anything that could be improved upon? Are there any areas that have been neglected or forgotten about?
Examine their digital marketing campaigns. Do they have any digital assets, such as website pages or a blog, that could be used to engage your audience? Have they established strong relationships with other businesses or influencers in the industry? Are they using any paid advertising platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads?
By examining the competition’s best practices, you can develop more effective strategies for your digital marketing campaigns.
ORGANIZE YOUR DATA FOR ANALYSIS
Once you have gathered the data from your competitive analysis, the next step is organizing it for analysis. To begin, you’ll want to create a spreadsheet and note the information you found about your competitors. This includes things like their website design, pricing strategies, marketing channels, and customer service tactics.
In addition, you should also jot down any changes your competitors have made in the past few months. Now that you have all of this information compiled in one place, it’s time to analyze it and find out what works best.
You can do this by looking at each category separately and noting their differences. For example, if one competitor is constantly making changes to their website design while another isn’t, that could indicate that they are successful in that area, which could lead to something you may want to implement yourself. Please pay attention to these patterns and use them as benchmarks for your strategy.
COMPETITOR ANALYSIS TOOLS
Knowing your competitors and how to analyze them is vital for success in digital marketing. But don’t worry if this sounds overwhelming. There are plenty of tools available to help you out here.
You can use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, or Moz’s Keyword Explorer for keyword research and tracking. Other helpful tools include SimilarWeb and SpyFu to track competitor website performance and traffic flows. If you want to understand better the competition on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, use BuzzSumo or Hootsuite insights.
It’s important when doing competitor analysis that you have a comprehensive view of the market and identify the leading players in your industry or niche. The right tools will give you the insights to decide how your digital marketing strategy should progress.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how to do a competitive analysis in digital marketing, but you can take some critical steps to get started.
Start by identifying your closest competitors and gathering as much information about them as possible. This includes their strengths and weaknesses, as well as what tactics they’re using to succeed online.
Once you have a good understanding of your competitors, you can start to develop your strategy and tactics to outperform them. Use the information you gathered to inform your marketing plan and ensure you’re constantly tracking your progress and adjusting your system as needed.
In short, a competitive analysis in digital marketing is essential for any digital marketer looking to stay ahead of the curve. By following the steps above, you can create a plan that will help you crush the competition and come out on top.