Learning as much competitor research skills as possible and as soon as possible, gives you the right “weapons” to anticipate and face challenges.
The easiest way to research competitors is by visiting their website & social media profiles. What’s important here is what data you document.
I suggest using a Google Sheet to keep track of your competitor’s information.
What Website Data To Track
Analyze their website’s wording. What major keywords are they using most often? Do their paragraphs consist of more or less than three sentences? What is the total copy length per page? What do their call-to-action buttons say? (Shop here, Learn more, Start Today etc.)
What Social Media Data To Track
The first thing to note is what social media sites your competitors are on. It makes a huge difference whether they use Instagram Storytelling or Twitter micro-blogging to create marketing momentum for their businesses. While Instagram measures success by estimating impressions on visual content, micro-blogging is about creating conversation with your customers, supporters, and partners.
The quickest way to start your social media competitor research is by taking down each competitors # of followings & followers, weekly engagement rate, and # of monthly posts.
In addition, write down “review phrases”. These are phrases that your competitor’s customers use to describe their products or services.
Next, take a look at what content they publish, what’s working and what’s not working for them. Types of content can include but are not limited to Blog posts, Whitepapers, eBooks, Videos, Webinars, Podcasts, Slides/Powerpoints and more.
When you evaluate your competitors’ content, it’s good to write down what mood it creates and what voice they use. Is it informative, entertaining, personable, outside-the-box, humble, exciting, etc.?
Use Competitor Research To Identify What Your Competitors Are Missing
Similarly to how your product/service solves a specific need in the market, your marketing should do the same, in terms of messaging. Answer the question “When it comes to marketing (message distribution), what are my competitors not doing, that I can use to stand out?”
Avoid getting lost in replicating everything your competitors are doing. Instead use competitor research for inspiration, however rely on your own connection and understanding of your target audience to make the best decisions for your brand’s marketing.