As you’re probably aware, the market place can be competitive, especially if you’re operating in a market with multiple alternatives. Luckily, there are many kinds of customers with different needs. To find your share of the market place, find where your competitors are lacking and where you fit in. This is called a competitor analysis.
A competitor analysis breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of your competition in the following categories:
- value proposition
- sales pitch
By understanding your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, you can learn to differentiate your business from theirs. This will help you to find the best target audience to market to.
In the next few sections I will review how to do a competitor analysis.
Messaging Competitor Analysis
The first step of a competitor analysis is to understand the overall messaging and value proposition of your competitors. Review your competitors’ websites to answer:
- What is their main value proposition?
- What customers are they specifically talking to?
- How are they selling their product?
- How does their price differentiate from others on the market?
- Are there any advantages or disadvantage to their value proposition?
If you’re able to find market share not addressed by your competitors, these may be the best angles to take when marketing your product/service.
Messaging can be considered one of the most important elements of a competitor analysis because it relates to your value proposition. To ensure you are always in the know about your competition, review your competitor’s messaging at least once a year.
Social Media Competitor Analysis
Your competitor analysis should also include a review of your competition’s social media. This part of the competitor analysis is important because it shows the content/marketing your competitors are using to talk to their audiences. This can show what kinds of marketing and engagement work with certain audience.
Important elements of the social media competitor analysis are:
- Engagement: How are your competitors interacting with their online audience?
- Types of posts: Ex. Blog posts, sharing podcasts, industry news
- Call-to-Action: How are your competitors getting their audience on their site where they can make a purchase?
After completing your social media competitor analysis, try out different elements of your competitors’ strategies with your own spin. Give strategies a few months before making big changes or pivoting. This will give you the time to see what strategies work for your business.
SEO Competitor Analysis
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to how easily your website/content can be found through Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP). By understanding what keywords your competitors’ are trying to rank for, you can go for slightly different keywords that do not have as much competition. This will help you rank on the SERP with similar but different keywords than your competitors.
To see what keywords or queries your competitors are ranking for on the SERP, use a free keyword tool to look up your competitors’ websites.
Some free keyword tools include:
Review the keywords’ overall competition and traffic. Then make a list of keywords similar to your competitors’ keywords but slightly different. “Keywords” can be a couple of words or a short phrase.
- Competitors’ keyword: best scheduling software
- Your keyword: dynamic scheduling software
- Competitors’ keyword: blue socks
- Your keyword: blue ankle socks
After developing a significant list (around 50 keywords) upload the list to Google Keyword Planner and target the keywords with the most traffic.