11 Proven Ways To Do Competitive Analysis In Digital Marketing
Have you ever conducted a competitive analysis for your brand recently? And, more importantly, do you possess the knowledge to conduct it effectively and efficiently?
A comprehensive competitive analysis involves analyzing how your competitors distinguish their brands by examining their product range, marketing tactics, brand tone, customer perception, and other characteristics. By conducting a thorough competitive analysis, you can develop effective business and marketing strategies that enable your firm to create new competitive advantages and brand strategies.
Regular competitor analysis can be advantageous for every brand.
By conducting a competitor analysis, you can:
- Identify gaps in the market
- Develop new products and services
- Uncover market trends
- Market and sell more effectively
Now, let’s dive into how to do a competitive analysis in digital marketing:
1. Identify your competitors
To conduct an accurate competitive analysis, it’s essential to identify your direct and indirect competitors. Your direct competitors are businesses that offer a product or service similar to yours and operate in the same geographic area. On the other hand, your indirect competitors offer products or services that may not be the same as yours but could satisfy the same customer need or solve the same problem.
It’s important to differentiate between direct and indirect competitors because they may have different marketing strategies and target different audiences. To avoid confusion, focus your analysis on your direct competitors, as they are the ones most likely to impact your market share and revenue.
2. Identify the products or services offered by your competitors
To conduct a comprehensive competitive analysis, start by examining your competitor’s products or services, which are the core of their business. Assess the quality of their offerings and their entire product line. Additionally, consider their pricing strategy and whether they offer discounts to customers.
As you analyze your competitors, ask yourself questions such as:
- Are they positioned as a low-cost or high-cost provider?
- Do they prioritize volume sales or one-off purchases?
- What are their market share and target audience?
- Do they employ different pricing strategies for online versus in-person purchases?
- How do they differentiate themselves from other competitors, and what is their distribution strategy?
By answering these questions, you can gain valuable insights into your competitor’s business model and develop strategies to differentiate your own brand and gain a competitive edge.
3. Research your competitors’ sales tactics and results
To analyze your competitor’s sales approach and performance, you’ll need to gather key information.
Start by asking questions such as:
- What does the sales process look like?
- What channels are they selling through?
- Do they have multiple locations and how does this give them an advantage?
- Are they expanding? Scaling down?
- Do they have partner reselling programs?
- What are their customers’ reasons for not buying? For ending their relationship with the company?
- What are their revenues each year? What about total sales volume?
- Do they regularly discount their products or services?
- How involved is a salesperson in the process?
Having access to these useful details can provide you with insight into the level of competition within the sales process and equip you with the necessary information to ready your sales representatives for the ultimate purchasing phase.
4. Check competitors’ prices and perks
Proper pricing of your product requires consideration of several significant factors, including competitor pricing analysis, especially for a comparable product or service.
When your product offers better features than your competitors, you may contemplate pricing it higher than the market average. But if you choose to do so, it’s essential to prepare your sales representatives to justify the added expense to potential customers.
On the other hand, if you identify a gap in your industry for reasonably priced products, you could consider pricing your product lower than your competitors, targeting potential customers who want a high-quality product without spending too much.
Assess your competitors’ incentives and determine how you can compete by offering similar perks. For instance, your rivals may provide substantial referral discounts or a one-month free trial version, which could be contributing to customer attrition. Hence, evaluate whether it aligns with your brand, and strategize ways to match those incentives or offer distinctive ones that competitors don’t.
5. Study your competitors’ marketing strategies
The quickest way to evaluate your competitors’ marketing efforts is to examine their websites. Record the specific URL for future reference and make a note of any of the following items:
- Does their website feature a blog?
- Are they producing whitepapers or eBooks?
- Do they share videos or webinars?
- Is there a podcast on their website?
- Are they utilizing static visuals like infographics and cartoons?
- Do they use slide decks?
- Is there a FAQs section on their website?
- Do they have featured articles?
- Are press releases visible?
- Do they showcase case studies?
- Do they release buying guides and data sheets?
- What online and offline ad campaigns are they currently running?
6. Observe your competitors’ content strategy
To gain a comprehensive understanding of what your competitor shares with their target audience, it’s important to include content pieces covering a diverse range of topics in your sampler. This will allow you to obtain a more complete picture of their content strategy and the interests of their audience.
To effectively analyze your competitor’s content, it’s essential to consider the following questions:
- What is the level of accuracy of their content when analyzing your competitors?
- Are there any spelling or grammar errors in the content?
- To what extent does their content delve into the subject matter?
- What is the tone of their content?
- Does the structure of the content facilitate readability?
- Is their content readily accessible to everyone, or is it restricted to subscribers or those who opt in?
- What is the identity of the author of their content?
- Is there a byline or bio that is easily visible and attached to their articles?
When scanning through your competitor’s content, it’s important to pay close attention to the photos and imagery that they are utilizing.
When analyzing your competitor’s content, consider whether you tend to scroll past generic stock photos or if you’re impressed by custom illustrations and images. If they are using stock photos, evaluate whether they have added overlays of text quotes or calls to action that are tailored to their business.
Once you comprehensively comprehend your competitor’s content marketing strategy, it’s important to determine if it’s truly yielding favorable outcomes for them.
7. Discover the technology stack your competitors use
By discovering the technology stack utilized by your competitors in digital marketing, you can gain insight into the tools and resources that are enabling their digital marketing efforts. This information can be valuable in helping you to evaluate and improve your own digital marketing strategy.
8. Evaluate the extent of audience engagement on your competitor’s content
To determine the level of engagement of your competitor’s content with their readers, it’s necessary to observe the response of their target audience to their postings.
Check the average number of comments, shares, and likes on your competitor’s content and find out if:
- Some topics perform better than others.
- The comments are negative, positive, or a mix.
- Some topics have higher tweet volume than others.
- Certain content receives better responses on Facebook updates from readers.
- Check if your competitor tags their content and has social media follow/share buttons attached to their content.
9. Take note of how your competitors promote their marketing content
After analyzing engagement, you can proceed to evaluate your competitor’s content promotion strategy.
The following questions can assist you in prioritizing and concentrating on what to take note of:
- Are there any keywords that your competitors are concentrating on that you haven’t explored yet?
- What content of your competitors is highly shared and linked to, and how does your content compare?
- What social media platforms are your target audience using?
- Are there any other websites that are linking to your competitor’s site, but not to yours?
- Which other entities are sharing the content published by your competitors?
- By whom is traffic being referred to your competitor’s site?
- What is the difficulty level for the keywords you want to prioritize?
10. Examine their social media strategies, presence, and preferred platforms
When it comes to marketing, the social media presence and engagement rates of your competitors is the last area you’ll want to evaluate.
In what ways does your competition boost engagement with their brand through social media? Are there social sharing buttons attached to each article on your competitor’s website? Where can you find links to your competitor’s social media channels, such as in the header, footer, or elsewhere on their website? Is it easy to see them? Do they include calls to action with these buttons?
To evaluate the value of a new social media platform, should you check if your competitors have accounts on the platform by visiting the following sites to review their engagement rates?
Then, take note of the following quantitative items from each platform:
- A number of fans/followers.
- Posting frequency and consistency.
- Content engagement
What proportion of the content is created by the account owners themselves? Do they also share content curated from external sources? Are these sources consistent contributors? What is the general tone of the content?
In what manner does your competition engage with its followers? How often do their followers interact with their content?
Once you gather this information, create an overall rating to assess the quality of your competitor’s content. This will enable you to compare the remaining competitors using a comparable grading system.
11. Perform the SWOT analysis
As you examine each aspect of your competitor analysis, such as business, sales, and marketing, develop the practice of conducting a simplified SWOT analysis concurrently.
Some questions to get you started include:
Comparing their weaknesses with your strengths and vice versa will allow you to better position your company, and identify areas for improvement within your own brand.
- In what areas does your competitor hold an advantage over your brand?
- Which area shows the least strength for your competitor?
- In what areas does your brand have an advantage over your competitor?
- Which areas would you regard this competition as a threat?
- Have your competitors identified any opportunities in the market?
Competitive analysis is a critical aspect of digital marketing that businesses cannot afford to overlook. It helps them to stay ahead of the competition and improve their marketing efforts by identifying areas of improvement, developing new strategies, and improving their overall marketing performance. Through regular competitive analysis, businesses can stay updated on the latest trends and market changes, enabling them to make informed decisions and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.