What is a Competitive Analysis?

A competitive analysis involves identifying your major business competitors and analyzing their marketing practices in order to enhance your own strategies. Performing a thorough analysis clues you in on what is and isn’t working for businesses similar to yours, so that you can spend more of your time and resources on avenues suitable to your business type.

Performing a Competitive Analysis

1. Identify Competitors

The first step in performing an analysis is determining which of your competitors you would like to analyze. Consider that you may have various direct and indirect competitors; a direct competitor is a business in close proximity to yours, that could pass as a substitute for your business. An indirect competitor does not provide the same products or services as your business does, but could satisfy the same customer needs as you do. To gather the highest quality data from your competitive analysis, it’s important to only take your direct competitors into consideration.

2. Determine Sales Tactics

Determine the price and quality of the products or services that your competitor offers. Do they seem to have a particular strategy, in terms of low / high cost versus quality? How does this company differentiate themselves from their competitors, and what do they highlight as their unique selling point?

Some sites like Facebook will allow you to view the full suite of ads that a page is currently running. Facebook’s recently implemented “Page Transparency” section allows any user to view this as well as other insights on the page such as the date that it was created. While you won’t be able to see how much your competitor is spending on their ads, you will be able to analyze what types of ads they put out on the platform and how they perform.

3. Explore All Marketing Avenues

Make note of all of the different means of marketing that your competitor utilizes. Do they have a blog? Perhaps they post podcasts, videos, or case studies. If your competitors produce significantly more content than you do, they may be regarded as more highly qualified by potential customers. Content reflects expertise, and the more high quality content you produce, the more knowledgeable you appear.

Also, consider the quantity and quality of content that they are putting out. Perhaps they appear to have pages filled with podcasts, eBooks, and blogs, but in reality each subpage only contains a handful of content. Do they answer relevant, thought provoking questions that your customer base is after? Consider how your content compares, and if you provide equally fulfilling resources to your customers.

4. Analyze their Social Media Presence and Strategies

Another great avenue to explore is social media marketing. Analyze your competitors presence on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and any other sites relevant to your field. Make note of their follower count, post content and frequency, and their level of audience engagement. By looking at their content, you can analyze what types of posts audiences engage with the most. Does your competitor post a lot of original content, or do they use their platform to share others? If the company interacts with their followers, how do they do so? All of these analytics can assist you in building your own optimized social strategy.

5. Use your Findings for a SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Focus your SWOT analysis on your own business, and use the information that you’ve found from your competitor. Now, you can identify where your business holds strengths over your competitor and in what ways you need to improve. Your SWOT analysis is a simple way to highlight areas of your marketing that need more attention.

Technology Solutions

If you’re interested in keeping an extra watchful eye on your competitors and exploring detailed data insights, a technology partner might be the right solution for you. iSpionage, a tool by TapClicks, gives you full visibility of your competitors’ SEM conversion funnel and detailed keyword and ad insights. To learn more about this powerful tool, read details here or reach out to a DSG representative.

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