Every business, small or big, works day and night to gain a competitive edge. From implementing the best marketing strategies to using social media techniques, every business uses the latest trends and techniques to build a successful brand and rise above its competition.
However, it is easier said than done. Standing out from the crowd is not an overnight process. It requires adequate time, money, effort, resources, and the right strategies to make your business successful.
Plus, you must have in-depth knowledge about your competitors and what products and services they offer to their customers.
This is what a competitive analysis is all about. A competitive analysis is a way to evaluate the products, services, target audience, and sales tactics of your competitors. Doing so will help you get ahead of your competition.
In the blog, we have shared a few steps to perform a competitive analysis effectively.
Steps To Conduct Competitive Analysis
1. Determine Your Competitors
This is a no-brainer. The first and foremost step is to determine who your competitors are. This might sound simple. However, there are different types of competitors.
- Direct competitors : They are the ones selling products and services similar to your business and even approaching the same audience. For instance, Apple and Android.
- Secondary competitors : They are the ones who have different products, services, and customers but have the same product category. For instance, Taco Bell and Subway both offer fast food services but have different menus.
- Substitute competitors : They are the ones selling distinct products and services but targeting the same audience in your location. For instance, a restaurant and coffee shop can be substitute competitors.
2. Get Details About Your Competitors
Once you know who your competitors are, the next step is to gather all details about them. This includes the type of products they are selling, the marketing tactics they are using, and the location they are targeting.
Even better assess your competitors based on the following parameters :
- Product : Get an in-depth understanding of the type of products they are selling. Learn how their product is different from yours. Know about the features and quality of the product.
- Cost : Know about the pricing policy of your competitors. Learn whether or not they offer discounts or deals.
- Place : Learn about the location or service area your competitors are targeting.
- Marketing : Get to know about the marketing and sales strategies they are following to attract the target audience, such as : guest post service, blogger outreach, and more. Do they run a blog or social media campaigns to reach a wider audience?
3. Assess Strengths and Weaknesses
The next vital step is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your potential competitors. Evaluate them based on their business, customers, and sales.
Find out answers to the following questions :
- What is the selling point of the product?
- How qualified their staff is?
- What is their pricing policy?
- Does their product satisfy the needs of the customers?
- What is the best thing about your competitor: products or marketing?
- How your competitors are different from you?
- What is the weakest point of your competitor?
Doing so will let you know their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Some of the strengths can be a wider audience, better product quality, low prices, and company size. While weaknesses can be low profit, fewer customers, poor website, and lack of quality content.
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors can help you identify the areas of improvement and can help you better position your company.
4. Learn About Content Strategy
The next step to perform a competitive analysis is to learn about your competitor’s content strategy. Learn what type of content they post. Pick some content samples to review the quality and find out answers to the following:
How many blogs do they publish? Do they post white papers or ebooks? How often do they post blogs? What is new in their content? How unique is their content? What is the tone of their content? Is the content well-structured and easy to read? Are they using high-quality images in their blog posts?
The saying,” Content is the king” holds great significance in today’s world. Content can make or break your business. Having a solid understanding of your competitor’s content marketing strategy can help you create content to stand out from the crowd.
Note : To get ahead of your competition, it is very important to draft highly-engaging, unique, and informative content that engages your target audience.
Also Read : Top 5 Content Writing Tools That You Should Know
5. Learn About Their Online Presence
Online presence is key for every business to survive and thrive in this competitive world. So, it is important for you to determine the social media presence and engagement rate of your competitors. Look for the social platforms your competitors are most active on. This includes Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to name a few.
Determine the type of content they are posting or the social media campaigns they are running. Learn whether they are diverting their audience to their website or they just aim to boost brand awareness.
Also, look for the following points
- Number of followers
- Frequency of posts
- User Engagement
- How many shares, repins, and retweets do their posts get?
- Are they responsive to their audience?
Additional Tips To Gain A Competitive Edge
- Perform a thorough study of your competitor’s websites, social media channels, product reviews, catalogs, and brochures.
- Learn about their unique selling point.
- Know about the reputation of your competitors. Learn why people like or dislike their products or services.
- Study their organization to know the number of people they have employed.
- Know who are their partners, distributors, and suppliers are.
- Analyze your competitor’s market tactics.
- Know about the technology stack your competitors use.
Let’s Wrap Up
Competitive analysis can help you make your business a huge hit. From developing a unique selling proposition to improving products and services, identifying threats, and establishing a brand benchmark, the competitive analysis offers a whole set of benefits.