Knowing your competition inside and out
Marketing people can sometimes get nervous about spying on their competitors and believe its best to just focus on their own business. Some will think that knowing your competition inside and out is a bit unethical, but nothing could be further from the truth when you do it the right way.
A Highly competitive environment
You are working in a highly competitive environment, and you need to know what you are up against. After all, it is highly likely that your competitors are looking at you. If not, then the critical question to answer pretty quickly is — why not?
It’s relatively easy to find the basics on a competitor and even look at their strategies. Start by looking to see how they are performing better than you.
Google Competitive Intelligence and be blindsided
Now, if you Google “Competitive Intelligence” or “knowing your competitor inside and out” you will likely be swamped by the latest SEO software claiming to offer Competitive Intelligence. And offering to monitor keywords. Keywords and SEO is only a tiny part of Competitor Intelligence. And in most cases, you don’t need to spend a penny on finding competitor keywords — Ubersuggest from Neil Patel is a great starting point and it’s free.
Looking at keywords will indeed enable you to improve your landing page performance. Powerful landing pages can significantly increase a conversion rate, while weaker ones can completely turn off potential clients.
Looking at how others in your industry conduct SEO and other online initiatives will assist you in picking up new strategies. Big budget competitors may be keeping landing pages simple or using video. And you can improve your keyword performance. I know its a little boring,
But, these are all excellent ideas, but let’s face it, its all very tactical.
Knowing your competition inside and out with Competitive Intelligence is so much more powerful and yes, strategic.
Be more strategic
Take a look at what your competitor is saying in it’s communication to the outside world. Also, what they are not saying. Ask yourself, does this equate to what they are actually doing and thinking? And, most importantly, what are they going to do next. Questions to consider:
- What are they writing about?
- What is their style?
- Do they have a consistent tone of voice? Can you describe it?
- How do they engage with their audience?
- Do they reveal future strategies?
- Are they announcing new initiatives because the current one is bombing?
- Are forums and review sites telling you a different story to the official line they are pumping out?
- Are they revealing how the management team thinks and make decisions?
- Is about just one person — the founder, or have they gone beyond that?
- Then provide an answer to each of these questions:
- How can we take advantage of what they are doing
- Can we see what they are going to do next?
And, finally, a fundamental question. So what?
In this article, we have suggested that knowing your competition inside and out is very important. Don’t be fooled into the thinking Competitive Intelligence is just keywords, SEO and other tactical rubbish. We suggest it is about knowing how they think, decide and act. And, what they are going to do next and most importantly, so what?
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